What to Know Before She Says, “I Do”

What to Ask Before You Say I Do

Finally, you met the woman of your dreams.  She’s funny, smart, loyal, and faithful.  Your friends love her.  Heck, she and your mother are becoming best friends!  You say to yourself, “This is the one.”  However, before you propose and make that final commitment, here are a few things you need to know before you pop the question:


What Kind Of Engagement Ring Does She Want?

Okay, so you’ve made the decision to pop the question.  You’re not nervous about asking for her hand in marriage.  In fact you’re pretty confident that she will say yes.  The only thing you seem to be a little worried about, and for good reason, is the engagement ring!

The engagement ring is the one thing that can make a perfect proposal go from good to bad.  Some women place a lot of weight on the stone you pick.  While other women place more value on the amount of money you spend.  So, that you do not wind up purchasing a ring she does not like, find out what style of engagement ring she would want.

Most guys want to keep the proposal a surprise so asking questions that don’t give away your intention to pop the question might be a bit tricky.  However, it is not impossible.  Here are a few simple things you can do to find an engagement ring that she will love:

  • Ask your married friends for suggestions.
  • Watch romantic chick flick that has a marriage proposal in it.  This way you can ask questions or make comments about the ring.  You can also observe her response and make notes about what she liked or didn’t like.
  • Visit a jewelry shop that specializes in engagement rings.  Don’t feel pressured to buy anything.  Go with the intention of asking questions so that you can become more familiar with the different engagement ring styles.
  • Invite her to a friends wedding.  Once there you can observe her behavior.
  • Ask her what she thinks of the wedding attire.  You can tell a great deal about a woman based on the wedding dresses she likes.


How Long Should Your Engagement Last?

After you pop the question things can either move slowly or swiftly down the isle.  But, so that you don’t wind up with too long  or too short of an engagement, find out how long she wants to be engaged before you marry her.  This might mean learning more about her three to five year plan that does not include you.

If your lady is a career minded woman or finishing up grad-school she might not have time to plan the wedding of her dreams.  On the other hand if she’s already well into her career she may have more time to plan. The key is to get an idea on what her long and short term goals are.

Once you have an idea on where she stands in regards to her future plans, you should also consider your own personal goals. Are you trying to make partner in a new firm?  Or perhaps you just launched a new startup?  All of these things can play a significant role in how long you engagement lasts.


How Soon After Marriage Does She Want to Have Children?

Statistically, at least in the United States, the average time couples wait between getting married and having a baby is about three years.  However, if you don’t discuss how soon after marriage you want to have kids, your marriage can go from a duo to plus two sooner than you may want. The key is before you pop the question find out how soon after marriage she wants to have a family.

For you getting married might signify growing old together, better sex and saving money on date nights.  While your one and only might have her own marital perks such as: having a family, soccer mom status, and not having to shave as often.

Again, if you’re trying to keep the proposal a surprise, questions like these might be tricky.  However, if you want to be sure that you and your partner are on the same page before you say, “I do,” these questions are essential.

There is nothing wrong with asking your lover how many kids she wants or how old she wants to be when she has children.  In a healthy progressive relationship, couples talk  about whether they want to have children, can conceive children or whether they want to adopt.

Next, if you decide to have children, you will need to figure out whether she intends on being a stay at home mom.  If she is happy with her career she may not want to stay at home with the children.  This can be an added strain on a new marriage.  Particularly because childcare is expensive.

Instead of trying to figure these things out down the road, be sure to learn how she feels about children before you pop the question.  In this way you avoid resentment that may result from not knowing.


Does She Expect You to Give Up Your Friends Or Your Hobbies?

One factor that can break a relationship aside from money or infidelity is not having any free or “me time.”  In the beginning of a relationship it’s cool to do things together.  When a everything is fresh and new it’s important to spend a substantial amount of quality time together.  However, while you  may love spending time with this woman, it’s important to have just as much time for yourself.  That could mean you spending time alone or with your friends.

The way to be sure this works during and after you’re married is to make sure that you respect each other’s boundaries.  Boundaries isn’t just about telling someone in your life what you do not want.  It is also about getting what you require and what you need.  That includes what you need and require outside of the relationship.

Of course as the relationship progresses, you get married and have children things will change in terms of scheduling your “me time.”  The thing is to sit down and communicate what each of you needs inside the and outside of the marriage.  Getting your needs met when you have a mortgage, a car payment, school tuition and marital duty can be tough.  However, talking to a Relationship Specialist, a marriage counselor or a spiritual advisor can help you maintain balance within your relationship.

Asking the woman of your dreams to marry you is a wonderful thing.  It’s a time to celebrate the union between you and the woman you love.  At the same time making a commitment to not only love, but share the rest of your life with someone is a big deal.  There is a lot to consider before you ask a woman to marry you.  Sure, you should marry for love.  However since love encompasses more than emotions it’s  important to know everything  about your future partner before you pop the question.

Got A Dating or Relationship Question? Ask Collette.