Is your romance headed for the altar—or a dead end? Find out now.
Step 1: Evaluate the relationship Before you ask him where the relationship is headed, think about how he treats you. Are you a priority in his life? Does he make compromises for you? The occasional sacrifice? If the answers are 'no,' ask yourself a question: Do you really want to marry this guy?
Step 2: Consider length of courtship Consider the length of your romance. If you’ve been dating for less than a year, consider putting off any talk of permanence until you’ve reached that milestone.
Step 3: Pick a good time If you decide it’s appropriate to ask him about the future, pick a time when he’s happy and relaxed, and you have his undivided attention.
TIP: Sit next to him, not across from him. Research shows that men feel more comfortable in intimate conversation when they’re alongside their partner, rather than across from her.
Step 4: Don’t whine Make the conversation about your readiness, not his uncertainty. Tell him, 'I’m ready to take this to the next level, and I was wondering how you felt.' Think of it as a fact-finding mission, not a debate.
TIP: Whatever he says, don’t argue with him--at least not in this initial conversation.
Step 5: Set a time limit Didn’t get the go-ahead to pick out china patterns? Thank him for his honesty, set the topic aside, and suggest revisiting it in a few months. Then, set a deadline for yourself--how long you’re willing to wait. Thinking about a timeline now will help you cope if things do end.
TIP: Avoid issuing an ultimatum. Even if he does what you want, he may resent feeling he’s being pushed into something.
Step 6: Work on yourself While you’re giving Mr. Wonderful some more time to make up his mind, keep busy. Work on making your life richer, with or without him.
Step 7: Revisit the issue When the deadline arises, raise the issue again. If he’s still undecided about your future, figure out whether you want to hang in there for a bit or cut your losses altogether. Good luck!
FACT: On average, men propose two years, eleven months, and eight days after the first date, according to a survey.