How to bring up marriage and asking your partner “where is this relationship heading” is often difficult for most people.
The truth is, not many people want to enter into a relationship without any plan for a future with their partner.
This makes it extremely important to know if your partner is of the same mindset as you in terms of dating with marriage in view or leaving the relationship if getting married is not in their plans.
So, how do you ask your partner a question that clarifies where you both stand as a couple?
1 Start a general conversation
How to bring up marriage can make you a bundle of nerves that is why I suggest bringing up a general conversation.
You need to ease your partner into the conversation and starting with “Do you think you want to get married to me?” can make them agitated.
A few hints on how to start is by talking about your friend or colleague that got married, how long they dated, etc.
Then, hear what your partner has to say before telling him or her that you would also love that.
Starting with something general makes it easy for them to talk. If they are good at picking hints, they make navigate the direction of the discussion.
2 Bring up the topic
Being the one to bring up the marriage discussion can make you anxious but you owe a duty to yourself to do just that.
If both of you are waiting for the other to bring up the topic, then none of you will do it.
When talking about it, ensure that the discussion is open-ended and that you are not placing any pressure on them.
You must be clear to them about where you stand in terms of marriage. Let them know that you ultimately want to settle them.
After stating how you feel about marriage and your desire to settle down, ask them if it’s something they want in the near future.
Here, you are not putting any pressure but you are letting them know that you want a future and marriage with them.
3 Talk about married life
You may be with your partner for months or years before you bring up the marriage talk. While doing that, talk about married life
We are all different in character, how we respond to things, things that are challenging to us, etc.
Having a review of some sort on these things and how they will affect your married life is important.
During dating, most of these attributes may have shown up in one way or another. But, it doesn’t hurt to still talk about them.
Talking about married life will make you both understand and know if you want to end up with each other or not.
It also helps you both know and understand where you need to work for a better relationship.
4 Stop assuming
A lady or man being great with kids doesn’t mean they want to have kids when they get married
Also, bringing up the possibility of moving in together doesn’t mean they want to get married.
So, when you bring up the marriage talk, drop every assumption you have about your partner.
Doing this will help you not feel punched in your guts when they don’t live up to the assumptions you had of them.
5 Discuss what makes a marriage work
After bringing up the marriage talk, and hopefully, you both are on the same page, you need to discuss what makes a marriage work.
Thinking about getting married to your partner is not just enough. You both need to know what will make it work and last.
There are vast resources, books, podcasts, etc that are available for you to listen to and read.
You both need to consume those resources and share ideas on how you both will implement them in your marriage and relationship.
6 Set relationship boundaries
Everyone has their boundaries, and they shouldn’t be excluded in a relationship as a couple.
There are a lot of things that must be clarified if you both are sure about ending up together.
Tough questions must be asked and answer given and this is important while having the marriage conversation.
How to bring up marriage talk involves honesty and vulnerability. This honesty is particularly important in the long run.
You must tell your partner what your expectations are for in the marriage, relationship, children, and closeness with exes or family members.
Boundaries need to be spelled out and respected for a thriving and blissful marriage to be possible in the future.
7 Talk about your values
Talking about each other’s values may be the perfect time to bring up marriage talk.
If your values align to a certain extent it may be just what you need to navigate the relationship to marriage direction.
These values are in the way you want to raise your kids, religion, finances, relationship with people, etc.
There must be clarity on these values so that you both know if marriage with each other is what you want.
8 Don’t give ultimatums
You cannot be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you and you shouldn’t compromise on that.
If you want marriage and your partner doesn’t but you think you will be miserable if you leave them, then you need to think carefully about what you want.
Trying to act like you don’t want marriage so that you can keep your partner will only leave you feeling resentful in the long run.
There is a certain compromise you shouldn’t make no matter what.
Don’t tell your partner “if you don’t want to marry me, I’ll walk away”. It may make them want to get married when they don’t and divorce will certainly happen in the future.
If you both want different things, know when you should walk away and do it without any hard feelings.
Yes, how to bring up marriage depends on your partner and when you feel is the right time.
But, I hope this guide helps you in doing that. Don’t wait for too long before clarifying where the relationship is heading.