Think you're ready to tie the knot? Use these tips to help you know when it's right to propose.
- Step 1: Think about why you're proposing. If you honestly want to get married, and aren't just succumbing to outside pressure, there will be fewer kinks when you tie the knot.
- FACT: In 2009, 59 people set a record by passing a message through a whisper chain: the message was a marriage proposal from the first person on the chain to the last person.
- Step 2: Just had a fight and want to make things right? Wrong time to propose! Pop the question when you're both feeling stable about your relationship to help guard against the doubts that can lead to breakups later.
- TIP: Make a concerted effort to get along with your partner's loved ones to avoid a lifetime of misery.
- Step 3: Talk about future plans and life objectives. Listen to their goals -- the ability to approach each other's visions with openness indicates that you may be ready for a lifelong commitment. But be realistic about what ambitions are non-negotiable.
- Step 4: See how your friends and family feel about your beloved; have their support -- or at least their acceptance -- before proposing to ensure you won't be fighting a battle with your loved ones as long as you both shall live.
- Step 5: Have an honest discussion about your finances with your prospective fiance. Make sure you're both comfortable with each other's level of debt, savings, and spending -- research has indicated that regularly fighting about money is a leading predictor of divorce.