Going down on one knee to propose is a major step in life. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the right time. It’s not determined by the length of a relationship, but rather the quality of that relationship.
Before proposing, there are many topics that you need to speak about with your partner to make sure you are on the same page or at least understand each other’s viewpoints. From finances and religion to sex to and children, these topics should not be taboo.
Even after having these conversations, some might not know when to propose. If you and your partner do want to get married, here are some signs that you are ready to take the next step:
You have been living together for some time
Sharing a space with your partner is a very important step in preparing for marriage. Living with someone and seeing how they occupy such a personal space is crucial in understanding them more. From their daily routine to dividing home chores, living with your partner helps to shape what your marriage could look like in the future.
You’ve spoken about controversial topics
They say never bring up politics on a first date, but that’s a topic that has to be discussed before marriage. Their general views on politics can extend to other issues often deemed taboo, and it’s important to know their stance because it could affect your relationship in the future. For example, in the event of unwanted pregnancy, how do they feel about abortion? If your child were to be gay, intersex, or transgender, how would they feel about that? What are their opinions on gender roles?
You are in a good financial situation
It’s most important to be aware of one another’s financial situation before taking the big leap. For example, if one person has debt, their partner will inherit that after tying the knot if you enter into a marriage in a community of property, which is the default in South Africa.
This marriage contract makes you responsible for all debt incurred by your spouse, including debt incurred before your marriage. Your financial position could thus be weakened by your partner. In the event your assets are seized by a court order to pay creditors for money owed to them, all of your assets can be taken because your estates are joined.
You know each other’s families and have their support
Family is a big one because they have the power to influence people’s decisions. While you don’t need to be best friends with your partner’s parents and their siblings, it is important for them to support your future union. If there is any tension with a family member, it’s best to squash it before getting engaged so that they can celebrate your big news with you instead of bringing the energy down.
You want the same things
While it is impossible to map our future’s out and stick to that plan to the letter, having a general idea of what you want out of life is helpful for giving your journey some structure. Beyond your personal goals, you should also discuss your shared goals and dreams. Firstly, you need to be on the same page about wanting to get married in the first place, as some people don’t have that dream.
Do you want to buy a house or continue renting? Do you want kids? If yes, how many and how do you want to raise them? These questions can be part of a continuous discussion because people change all the time, but the important part is to be aware of how the other person feels.