When you couple with someone, you stop being two individual people. You begin to be responsible for what you have created together: your relationship.
When your love is meant to be, this relationship becomes almost a living and breathing entity; one that must be respected and cared for.
So how do you know when your relationship is ready for the next step? Should you “just know,” or are their signs that can help lead the way?
Marriage Becomes the Topic of Conversation
When you have been together for awhile, the question of marriage tends to surface. This can be internal, from you or your partner, as you begin to ponder your future. The thought of marriage can also come from external relationships, from relatives or parents who constantly ask why you have not married yet. If both you and your partner have begun to talk about marriage positively, with no one person pushing the other into it, it’s a good sign that your love is meant to be and you’re ready for the next step.
Photo by: Priscilla Westra
You Share Inside Jokes
The best relationships are packed full of inside jokes; things only you both find funny, or even know the meaning of. Inside jokes reflect a closeness that is built over time, a shared history, one that you both enjoy the memory of so much that you revisit them often.
You Have Argued and Come Out On The Other Side
Couples that say they never argue can be problematic. Before you buy Verragio rings online, or any other type of expensive engagement ring and commit to marriage, you need to know that you can handle disagreeing with your partner. You need to know that even if you do differ, you can find a way to work through it as a team. No one is saying that you have to pick a fight to make sure you can handle it, but you have to have at least some history of addressing different issues.
You Are Affectionate
When your love is meant to be, your relationship is full of affection. While sex can be optional in relationships, affection is not. Affection shows a comfort with one another’s physical presence that requires respect and trust. Can you reach out to brush a stray hair off his shoulder without a thought? Do you kiss when you greet each other? If those things have gone, you may just be good friends. And perhaps that’s enough — no one but the couple themselves defines their relationship, but you both have to be comfortable.
You Have The Same Goals
Having the same goals doesn’t just involve the big things, like children or where you will live. You know you’re ready for the next step when you need to have a general shape to your life. Does one of you want to live abroad? How does the other feel about it? Are you secure in your careers? Can you support each other if anything changes? Having these frank discussions makes sure your love is meant to be and you’re ready for the next step.
You Haven’t Lost Yourself
The best relationships don’t stop either of you from being individuals. You are still you; they are not your “better half,” but a complementary addition to your life. Between you, you respect what you have created together and cherish it. If you two give each other space, time, and freedom to be your true selves, you may be ready to take your relationship to the next step.
Photo by: Andrew Itaga
You Already See Your Future
Finally, one for the “just know” column. If you have envisioned your future, do you see them as a part of it? A natural part of it, not just one you remember to include? Sure, the topic of marriage could be brewing, but when your love is meant to be and you’re ready for the next step, you both can see each other in your futures. If you can envision this, you’re probably onto a winner.
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