Romance has been turned into an ideal that appeals to young people with lots of money and the freedom to use it. Or, people expect grand gestures that have to somehow prove the depth of their love. The truth is these expectations just aren’t fair. Really loving someone can teach you to really understand the meaning behind romance. It’s not about one huge and profound act that encompasses how you feel—it’s about spending a lifetime doing small things that show an ever-deepening connection. People from the outside looking in may not understand how much something small can mean to your partner.
These can be things like picking up their favorite snack when they’re having a bad day, or paying attention to stories about their childhood and re-creating things that remind them of these emotional moments. Anyone can pick up a dozen roses and some jewelry, but only someone who truly knows and loves you will understand why the small things matter.
Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone is probably the biggest decision you’ll ever make. People put a lot of stress on the proposal, but they should be concerned with why the proposal is happening in the first place. If you weren’t prepared to make the kind of commitment required to make a relationship last, then you’re doing a disservice to yourself and the person that you care about. Marriage is a partnership in every sense of the word. It’s important to be completely transparent about everything that’s going on financially, professionally, and personally. If you feel like you need to hide something to keep the relationship going, then you probably aren’t ready for marriage.
Understand that all things will come out eventually. It’s better to weather the storm together than to alienate your partner by trying to do it alone as it’s not fair to ask someone to accept you if you’re not being honest about who you are. Before you hand over that James Allen engagement ring, these are just a few things to think about:
Are You Both on the Same Page?
There are certain things that can absolutely ruin a marriage if you don’t talk about beforehand. If you want 10 children, and your partner absolutely does not want any, you need to ask yourself if either of you are willing to give. If this isn’t something you can compromise on, then the relationship won’t work. You can’t force someone to do what you want just because you get married. The same goes for religious practices, familial relationships, professional goals, morals and personal values. If you have a strong aversion to gambling and your partner goes to the casino every weekend, then you are setting the stage for a future conflict. Resolve these issues before you tie the knot.
Have You Experienced Conflict?
Throughout the course of a lifetime together you’re going to have a great deal of stress and difficulty that can test relationships. If you’ve already experienced some measure of conflict, then you may understand how both of you react in these situations. It can be helpful to sit down ahead of time, and come up with an action plan for when things go wrong. This helps you come together as a team instead of falling apart and playing the blame game. In order for a marriage to be successful, you must be willing to bend.
Have you talked about it?
Most people don’t associate sitting down and having a candid conversation about marriage with real romance. This is actually one of the most important things to do before you propose. Make sure you both want the same things, and that you have a cohesive plan for your future.