Getting engaged is a special occasion that many people look forward to in life. But popping the question is a daunting task. This task traditionally falls to the man, but in same-sex couples and non-traditional couples, this tradition doesn’t hold much weight.
A proposal should be a statement of your intent to marry. It’s not about bringing you closer or buying more time before you finally settle down. If you aren’t asking for the right reasons, you should consider that your proposal is too soon or misguided.
There are no rules about when it is too soon to propose; only you and your partner can decide if it’s too soon. Once you’re in your 30s, the rules about when it is too soon tend to become more relaxed. If you’re wondering if it’s too soon to propose, consider the following.
Are you proposing for the right reasons?
A proposal will always be too soon if it’s for the wrong reasons. If you are trying to show your commitment or patch over problems in a relationship, then a proposal is not the way to achieve this. As we’ve mentioned above, a proposal should show your intention to marry the person and is not simply a method to help restore trust in a rocky relationship. You want to make sure you’re in a good place before popping the question.
Are you confident your partner will say yes?
If you have any doubts that your partner will accept your proposal, it might be too soon in the relationship to explore this. When most people propose, they are in a good place in their relationship and feel confident they know their feelings are reciprocated. If you have any doubts, and you think that your partner might think it’s too soon, then it’s likely too soon.
Have you talked about marriage?
If you’re in the early stages of dating, it’s likely too soon to think about proposals. But if you’ve already been discussing marriage and you’re confident your partner feels the same way about you, it might not be too early to start thinking about buying that ring.
Some couples move faster because they know what they want and they know what they are looking for. And some couples are simply happy to take the risk. If you’re ready to roll the dice and take the next step, don’t let something as trivial as your time together stop you from moving forward.
How soon is too soon?
When you’re in your 30s, if you’re hoping to get married one day, you’ll probably be approaching the dating scene with the intention of finding “the one”. In your 20s, you might be more flexible in your approach and not looking for anything serious, but by your 30s, you have a better idea about what you want in a relationship and in a life partner.
Some people say it takes a year to really get to know someone, and some people believe that you never truly get to know someone, there is always some mystery to unfold. Proposing in the first year of being together when you’re in your 30s is not uncommon. If you’ve dated a few people and found that it never quite felt “right”, then you might feel like you know when you’ve found the right person.
Ask your friends and family
If you aren’t sure if it’s too soon, turn to friends and family for advice. They will know you best, and if they are nervous about you asking this question, it could be that it’s too soon. They might have a strong reaction to your question, or they might simply want to know more.
Some people that know you well will trust your judgement and support you, and this is when you know you aren’t acting too hastily. Sometimes, you just know when it’s the right time to propose, and following conventions is just going to hold you back from happiness.
Leave it a month
If you’re thinking about proposing and worried that you’re jumping the gun, try leaving it for a month. If you still feel the same after a month, then you might be closer to understanding your desire to pop the question. But if you have doubts after a month, you know that you might be acting a little hastily. In this case, leave it another month and see how you feel. If your relationship is going well, not proposing won’t hurt you, but proposing too soon could lead to the breakdown of your relationship.
Do you have a specific reason for proposing?
For some people, it’s for religious reasons, and for others it’s practical reasons. For example, if your partner is having a child, you might want to get married before the child is born. Or if your partner needs to be married to secure a visa, you wouldn’t be the first couple in the world to push forward their marriage in order to secure your future together. If you have a specific reason for proposing, it’s more likely that you will have discussed this with your partner and it won’t seem too soon.
What can happen if it is too soon?
If you do propose too soon, you run the risk of being rejected. Your partner might not have the same romantic notions of what it means to move fast in a relationship and this question could spook them. If one person wants to get married and the other person wants to continue dating, it’s difficult to continue as you were.
If you propose too soon and your partner says yes, you might run into relationship problems further down the line that feel more intense because you’re engaged, not just dating. If you get married and then these problems become apparent, you might be looking at a divorce, which can be very difficult to manage. If you don’t make it down the aisle, then you might break off your engagement further down the line, which can be painful to do.