How To Bring Up Getting Engaged For The First Time, According To Experts
If you're in a relationship and things are going well, you might have started to think about the possibility of a future with this person. Not just getting dinner next week, but maybe moving in together if you haven't yet, or potentially getting married one day, if that's what you want. It's totally normal to think about and plan for the future, but it can also feel a little nerve-wracking. If you want to get married one day, then knowing how to bring up getting engaged with your partner for the first time might be helpful. Even though it can be an intimidating conversation, if marriage is something you want, then it's also totally worth it to be open and honest with your significant other.
Of course, it's a big talk to have, but it's crucial. "Understanding what your partner needs and desires will help you to understand if the relationship is in line with your own needs and desires," Sasha Aurund, editor at Psych N Sex, tells Elite Daily. "Communication is key in all aspects of your relationship. Understanding your partner's views and clearly communicating your expectations will solve problems or conflicts that will eventually arise. Assumptions will hurt you more in the long run than having an open and honest conversation with your partner about the longevity of the relationship."
Honesty is the best policy, that much is obvious, but how can you start that conversation in the first place?
Perhaps the most crucial thing to keep in mind is to listen to your partner when you bring up a possible engagement. "'We need to talk' has negative connotations," Aurund says. "Instead, start this conversation as you would in your relationship like any other discussion that holds importance to you," she explains. "Be comfortable and remember this is a conversation, rather than you telling your partner something. Don’t talk at them, and engage in a dialog."
More, you should also be prepared for your partner to not be ready to talk about getting engaged, Aurund says. "If you both want the same thing — great. But, chances are you might not. Be open, and respectful of the other person's words and values just as you want them to do for you."
Marriage — and engagement, by that way of logic, too — is a big deal. Which is exactly why it's a good idea to talk these things out sooner rather than later. "Many people put off these conversations until they're bursting with eagerness to get engaged, and that often has the effect of cornering your partner into a decision," Irene Fehr, intimacy and sexuality coach, tells Elite Daily. "By having various exploratory conversations about this — without pressure to make decisions — yields a more grounded and calm conversation. It's also an opportunity for both partners to express fears and hesitations about marriage."
Finally, you should never feel embarrassed about wanting to talk about getting engaged or your future with your partner. "There is nothing shameful about discussing what marriage means for you, your desires for it and your readiness," Fehr says. "And there is nothing shameful about knowing yourself and being clear on what you want and need from your partner. You're letting your partner know what is important to you and what will make you happy, so that they can fulfill that."
You deserve what you want, and you should be able to be honest with your partner about that. No matter what kind of timeline you're looking at, or whether or not you get engaged in months or years, having this conversation is an important step to take together.