When you have been going steady in a relationship for a couple of years, it is natural to start thinking progressively, in terms of what the next step of the relationship is.
After dating for years and learning a lot about your partner, you should know whether or not you want him as your husband. The question is, is he ready to put a ring on it? Plus, how do you bring up the marriage talk?
This can be a very tough (and awkward) conversation to have irrespective of the kind of relationship you have.
So here are 11 tips on how to approach this conversation with tact and get the much-needed answers you seek.
In a bid not to offend sensibilities, sometimes we resort to an intense version of beating around the bush with our partners. We’d rather be subtle and understated, giving our men the chance to take the hint and understand the point trying to be made. But now, all your friends are getting married, and the pressure to discuss marriage with your partner has intensified.
You have to understand that this is a naturally awkward conversation, so even though he understands what you are trying to say, he still might not want to talk about it.
So how do you proceed with the marriage talk? Well, you’ve probably been silent for so long, so don’t be afraid to be straightforward with your partner.
If you have noticed your boyfriend has negative feelings about marriage, this might be the best way to go. In this case, make sure you don’t put him on the spot because he might get unnecessarily defensive or just completely avoid or deflect the conversation.
Don’t be afraid of talking about your friend(s) who just got married, and how they got there. Slowly ease him into the conversation and let it flow, but stay on point. This approach usually takes a longer period and needs the deployment of a little more tact and charm.
You probably love your relationship (at least I hope you do, or why are you here?) and want your partner to be happy. However, if you keep going with the flow just so you don’t make your partner uncomfortable with all the marriage talks, he may never bring it up. You tell yourself that he would bring it up someday (yeah right), or you would just know when he is ready.
But how about your needs? The reason it is important to address the things you need is that eventually (slowly) that sense of patience turns into resentment and the relationship itself might suffer for it.
It is important in every relationship to talk about your needs. So, do not try to be cool or laid back. Be proactive and keep asking your partner about his plans so he doesn’t pull a fast one on you.
Giving out ultimatums is the same as giving out a ‘do or die’ order on your requests. It implies that the person must do what you’re asking or the relationship will end. The reason ultimatums are a bad idea is simply because it puts people on the spot, and people aren’t always their best selves when under pressure.
Even if your partner responds in the affirmative, he has said that under duress and may feel like he is being forced into marriage. Your partner has to want this too, if not, things may not work in the long run. Plus, your partner would have the perfect excuse when he misbehaves or the relationship goes sour, ‘he was pressured into proposing,’ and he wouldn’t be wrong.
Another approach you might take would be to have a focused conversation about something else, in hopes of getting insight into the way he thinks about marriage. Have a conversation about your boyfriend’s hopes and fears.
Hear him out (without judgment) to know if he is afraid of marriage and the prospects it brings. Or maybe he is fine with marriage but not exactly a fan of kids. This will let you know whether he is close-minded or just afraid of something else.
Most men have short and long-term plans. If you are at the point where you are seriously thinking about how to approach this conversation, marriage is probably in your short to medium-term plans.
Listen to his plans to know if his marriage plans are within the same time- frame or if they are in his plans at all. Knowing this will help you know the next steps to take in the relationship.
Ladies, assurance goes both ways in relationships. As much as we like being adored and constantly re-assured that we are loved and cared for, the men in our lives could use that assurance as well.
In fact, that assurance can be a very significant step in the right direction towards getting you to walk down that aisle. So, don’t skimp on words of affirmation, tell him how lucky you are to have found your Mr. Right.
As I said earlier, in any relationship, friendship, or partnership, it is important to communicate your expectations and needs in order to avoid potential resentment. Let him know that you expect to get married after a certain period of time and that you have always planned for a certain type of life.
It might also be worth it to mention the limited time- frame for women to get these things done. This puts him on his feet and at least lets him know what you expect.
What does marriage mean to you? How will we keep our relationship strong through the years? What areas are we aligned on? Open-ended questions are questions that can lead anywhere, but show insight and motive.
You are not asking the question to get a specific answer, but to learn how a person thinks. Open-ended questions like the ones listed above are great conversation triggers that could help you with the answers you need.
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Your boyfriend just got home from work and had a bad day with his boss. You feel sorry about this, but your mind just keeps going to your ringless finger. Do you think this is the best time to talk about this? Probably not.
You want to wait till he is in a good mood, preferably after you have made him a nice hot meal that would remind him of how lucky he is to have you. Timing is everything in our world, just as much as you wouldn’t want him to propose at the wrong time, you should not approach the conversation at the wrong time either.
Assumptions can be quite dangerous, whether they are positive or negative in nature. This is because, by definition, they presume that you understand what you cannot confirm as fact.
So don’t assume he is going to propose soon, especially if he has not shown any signs of it. Even if he has shown signs, and it is taking too long, you might need to step in and nudge your partner gently in the right direction.
You should ask yourself if you are ready to be a wife first, before bringing up marriage. Are you ready for the pressures and responsibilities that come with taking care of a home? Also, how long have you known this guy? You should know his personality well enough, be with him when he’s angry, sad and happy, before you think about marriage.
This can be seen in tip 9. Ask your partner open-ended questions. Try some of the questions there and get the ball rolling!
The best way to bring up the future is to ask him to talk about his long-term plans. This question should also be open-ended in order to allow the conversation to flow naturally.
You can let him know what your expectations are for the relationship or follow the other tips on the list above.
If enough time has passed and you are ready to get married, then yes, you should. Remember, failed expectations lead to resentment. It is always better to speak up than regret later.
We hope you enjoyed the list and will use these tips to make attempts at talking to your partner about marriage. It is important to use these tips to approach this delicate topic tactically so you don’t run the risk of putting him under undue pressure and scaring him off. Did we leave any tips off the list? Let us know in the comment section below. Please like and share this article if you enjoyed it or found it useful.
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