For some couples, getting engaged may seem like the next logical step in their relationship. They've been with their partner for a while, they love and respect each other, and eventually, they can see themselves getting married. Why not get engaged? Well, just because you have the desire to get married in no way means that you should rush into something that you're not ready for. So, when should you start talking about getting engaged? According to the experts, it's kind of complicated.
While you might consider trying not to move too fast, that isn't to say that you shouldn't also trust your intuition and follow your heart. "When you first meet someone it's the 'honeymoon period'," Stefanie Safran, matchmaking and dating expert, tells Elite Daily. "You are happy, attracted, excited over their every call, text, date. If you are talking about the 'fun' parts of the relationship, the real issues about life's ups and downs get pushed to the side which is truly what marriage and relationships are about. Do you want to be with this person when you disagree about something?" Safran poses an important question here.
Sure, maybe you're head over heels for this person, but does that mean it's meant to be?
Not always. "In general, it takes about six months to a year to understand someone's true values," Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, and The Breakup Supplement, tells Elite Daily. "And then you have situational pressures that can alter someone's values (i.e. you and your partner never thought they would cheat). You need time in the relationship to have the hard conversations and cover the important topics." Obviously, not every couple will follow that specific timeline, but Ritter emphasizes that "getting engaged doesn't replace those conversations, it just speeds up the necessity to have them."
You can definitely talk about getting engaged after having been together for less than six months, but you might recognize that doing so could mean fast-forwarding through a lot of bonding time. Marriage is a serious commitment, and there's no need to rush. "It's customary to date before getting engaged at least a whole year," Nina Rubin, life coach, tells Elite Daily. "I believe that passing through all four seasons is important to see the ups and downs of a person and a relationship. Obviously some couples feel ready and become engaged sooner and others wait longer."
Experts agree that there's no set time for when a couple should start talking about getting engaged, or even when a couple should get engaged. Everyone's relationship is different, and every individual should make the decision that works best for them.
Again, this isn't to say that you must or must not get engaged right away. "Buying an expensive apartment doesn't change the situation," Safran explains. "Just the same as buying a beautiful ring or putting down a deposit on a wedding venue doesn't change the realities of rushing into something too quickly. It's easy to get engaged, but it's harder to break it off if it's not going to work." Breaking off an engagement can be no easy feat. Emotions are high, so many hearts are involved, and to put it bluntly: Things can get complicated.
Only you can truly know when you're ready to take that next step and discuss engagement with your partner. Before you do so, perhaps consider whether or not you both have a solid understanding of each other's values and life goals. Whether you go through a full calendar year, or wait past the honeymoon phase, you decide when the time is right. Remember: No ring shines quite as bright as a true love.