So, you and your partner have been together for a while. You can keep talking about getting engaged, but are doing so in that “what if” sort of way that all couples do. It’s not like you’re not ready to take the step, but because it is such a big one, it’s almost easier to discuss it in the abstract, in a place safe from the reality of it.
But yet the more and more you think about, the more it seems like a good idea. Are you ready? How are you supposed to know? Are you really ready to get engaged?
1. You’re not just lovers, but best friends.
The best relationships are the ones that are equal parts hot, sexy times and lounging on the couch eating pizza and watching Netflix. If you’re going to commit to the whole forever thing, you’ll know it because you’ll have your lover and best friend wrapped up into one package.
2. You bring out the best in each other.
I know this is what everyone will tell you to think about when you’re talking about getting engaged, but it’s true. You want to be with someone who makes you the best you that you can be. And should your hidden monster appear from time to time, know that your S.O. accepts that part of you.
3. Being together with them forever (and ever) doesn’t feel scary.
Realistically, yes, there is divorce, but you don’t get engaged thinking that you can always just call it quits. You’re ready to get engaged when spending a lifetime with this person, through the good, the bad, the strange, and the possible sticky situations just feels natural and right.
4. You’ve stopped thinking about how things would have gone with your exes.
It’s totally normal to go down that path of wondering how things would have ended up had you and that one particular ex (you know the one that took you years to get over) had not broken up. But when you’re ready to be with someone for the long run, you know it because you’ve stopped wondering about the others who came before.
5. You communicate in ways that make life feel easy and secure.
Communication is the most important part of a relationship. If you can talk about anything and everything, and even the weird, gross stuff like, “Sweetie, could you please tell me if that’s a zit on my butt or something else?” then you’re ready, like more than ready.
6. You realize it’s more about the marriage and less about the wedding.
Of course the wedding is a really big day, but a marriage is a lifetime and a wedding, in all its beauty, is still just one day. You know you’re ready for an engagement when you’re excited about the wedding (and all its insane planning), but more excited to start your life together the day afterward.
7. Your relationship is an equal partnership.
You’re comfortable with who has what chores, who pays what bills, and the fact that Friday night will always be pizza and wine night, and you’ll take turns buying it. But you also know that when it comes to money and chores, you’ll be able to discuss both topics openly so that partnership always stays intact.
8. You accept that you can’t change them.
Not that you need to be told that no one is perfect, but sometimes certain imperfections can be grating on the nerves. If you can take the stuff that drives you crazy about them, still find some sort of quirky, adorableness in it, and you know you always will, even if it means sleeping through their snoring will be a perpetual struggle, then you’re ready.
9. You see the world the same way.
You and your partner don’t have to be identical in your thoughts, but if you’re going to grow old together and maybe even have some little rugrats, you want to be on the same page in how you see the world.
10. You don’t compromise who you are. Ever.
You stick to your guns, you never waver in your thoughts or opinions to conform to those of your partner, and they wouldn’t want it any other way. If you can bring your whole true self to the relationship and not let yourself be absolved by your other half, then engagement is for you.
11. You’re ready to work through the bad times instead of running away.
It’s so easy to runaway. It’s so easy to throw your things in a bag, run to a friend’s house, the closest airport, or hop in your car. But the thing with knowing that you’re ready to be engaged is that sort of behavior doesn’t even cross your mind. You want to stick around; you want to work through it and say, “I love you,” before you go to bed every night. You want to give it your all.