6 Relationship Milestones That Should Happen Before Getting Engaged

Marriage is a big step in a relationship, so it makes sense to wonder if you and your partner are headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is no secret or exact timeline to getting engaged. Like most things surrounding your relationship, it’s entirely up to you and your partner. While some people might feel like total strangers after a few months, others might be ready to take it to the next level. That being stated, there are certain milestones that can help you learn a lot about your relationship before tying the knot. Read on to see which markers to look for when thinking about getting engaged.

1. Spending a major holiday together

The holidays are a time of joy, excitement and…quite a bit of stress. Sharing old traditions with one another as well as creating new ones can be an exciting step in your relationship. Plus, if you’re thinking about starting a family together, you’ll get a glimpse into what that might look like during these special moments.

2. Getting sick

Tissues and coughing and mucus, oh my! While catching a cold is certainly not a fun time for anyone, being around your partner when you’re ill (and vice versa) can help you to learn a lot about that whole “in sickness and health” part of your vows. Is your honey a complainer? Do they love to take care of you when you’re feeling under the weather or prefer to keep their distance? It’s good to recognize how you both act when you’re not at your best – it tells you a lot about how you’ll be throughout your potential marriage.

3. The first big fight

If you and your love are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, the idea of having a fight might seem like something you don’t need to worry about. But even the best of couples end up knocking heads on occasion, and how you deal with conflict has a huge impact on how your relationship will fare in the future.

4. Going on a trip

Nothing says “committed relationship” like traveling with your partner. Learning how your loved one deals with the stress of traveling, plane rides, packing and exploring new places can tell you a lot about how you will get along in the future. And while taking a vacation together can be fun, it’s important to also travel for less-fun reasons, like visiting family or checking out a potential new hometown.

5. Meeting each other’s families

Whether you come from a close-knit bunch or don’t see your family much, it can be helpful for you and your partner to meet each other’s ilk, at least to get an idea of where you both came from. There’s baggage that can come attached to family and it’s good to experience what it might be like when your two families become one (before they actually do, that is).

6. Having “the talk”

If there’s one piece of advice we can impart, it’s know where you both stand on marriage and future goals before you decide to get engaged. Does one person want a quick wedding and a big family, while the other would prefer a big affair and a nomadic lifestyle? Is one of you super thrifty while the other more of a spender? These are all important questions to ask yourselves – and, more importantly, to talk about with your partner, before making any big life decisions.

Want to learn more about engagement and marriage? Check out some of our other blogs on The Loupe and read up on the benefits of marriage here.

10 comments
  1. We married on the third day after we met each other. We did not have wedding party and loud guests , rings and veil. Just a stamp in our passports. We are together 41 year. Having adult kids. And we never fought.
    Secret is not in numbers. It is in your hart.

    1. Agreed. Asked my wife to marry me 1st day I met her. Got married next day st JotP. 3 months later small wedding. 40 guests, one of the Best Day of my Life
      Immediate chemistry. Marriage is always a work in progress. Agree that a discussion on each others expectations of each other is helpful., but both need to be committed. w’ve been married 46 years now.

  2. We married on the third day after we met each other. We did not have wedding party and loud guests , rings and veil. Just a stamp in our passports. We are together 41 year. Having adult kids. And we never fought.
    Secret is not in numbers. It is in your hart.

    1. I sure hope that mine and my husband’s marriage has that many years of happiness. Only difference is we have fur- babies- congratulations on 41 yrs of marriage- I sure hope we get there too- so far we’re living proof that you don’t have to know someone for years and then get married- when you meet the right person, anything is possible and worth taking a chance on. Best decision of my life still..

  3. Me and my husband were married after 2 1/2 months of dating- he proposed after 1 1/2 months and we were cohabitating after 2-3 weeks- now almost three years later we are still going strong- and trust me we have had trials and tests of our marriage- and we haven’t regretted anything once- sometimes you need to just go with it and say to hell with anyone who tries to intervene. He had been the best decision in my life and I’m glad we did things our way. To each there own- when you know it’s right, you just know.

  4. The reality is MOST people aren’t going to meet and get married after 3 days and stay in it for 41 yrs!! Congrats to this couple for doing it, that’s amazing; but those 6 things mentioned are valuable heads up potential indicator signs for the other 98% of us!!

  5. In general a good list. Marriage isn’t about love. It is a corporate merger. A space to rear children and a retirement plan. I was married for 13 years and dated 4 years before. We probably didn’t talk enough about money before marriage. Also, I never met his family before marriage because they lived 1,000 miles away. Big mistakes. We were in college and just assumed it would work out and it didn’t. With my current partner, we dated for 5 year before cohabitating. We are too old for children so we may or may not get married. There are pluses and minuses for us with each option.

  6. Being married now for 20 years and 6 yrs pryor to us tying the knot, I’ve learned a thing or two. The things I feel are most important is to marry someone who is first & foremost your friend & not just someone you lust for. Lust is great as long as friendship is the base. Someone you can totally be comfortable around while just being yourself. Respect. You must have respect for the other. Name calling seems to be the norm in relationships. But its THE WORST THING YOU CAN HAVE IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP. There is NEVER a good reason to call someone a name or cuss them out. If you did that to a friend, all the time, that person would NOT be your friend. Remember sharing a life is not easy so dont take each other for granite. Dont name call and dont be called names. Words can do as much damage as being physically abused. Value the others opinion as well as having your opinion valued. VERY IMPORTANT. Do kind things for one another & let each other know OFTEN that you appreciate them. Dont talk behind each others backs or gossip about one another to others. Always, talk about each other respectfully to others. LISTEN to each other, be open to each other & by all means never let communication stop. The saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated” is not just a old silly cliche. It is a Golden Truth a RULE that needs to always be in your relationship. Most importantly SHARE FINANCES. Discuss money. Dont buy a big ticket item without first discussing it with the other. Sit down & put together a budget you can both agree upon. Think of your income as our income & Visa versa. Have a strategy put together for future goals & a retirement plan. Put money aside for emergencies & other monies for savings that neither of you ever touch. DONT have separate accounts, always make money visible to both. When your spouse comes home no matter your day, greet them happily & ask them how their day was, then listen. Always try and look nice for the other. Be clean and look nice as much as possible for the other. It’s nice to have someone on your arm that doesn’t look like they crawled out of a gutter. Keep a healthy sex life. Make the other feel attractive & wanted. Don’t keep secrets & NEVER think it’s ok to do something wrong with the idea that it’s ok as long as other doesnt know it. TRUST. Dont go over that line with major things. Like a new car that gets wrecked, you can repair it, make it look good but it will never be like it was. Forgiveness is important. We are all human & make mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions & be able to admit it and apologize for it. But dont constantly say your sorry for every little thing. That is not genuine and holds no weight plus its gets old to hear it or to say it all the time. Noones life should be a sorry existence! But remember think before you act. Doing something against the other knowing that if they found out could be a deal breaker & destroy the relationship is a huge sign NOT to do it. Think “will this action if found out make the relationship better. If the answer is No then DONT DO IT. There is no pain worse then losing an awesome person because of your own deliberately bad decision. I say all this not because I have a great marriage but because I have a horrible marriage & I always think about how I would do it different knowing what I know now if I were ever to marry again. And if I didnt have all the aforementioned things in a relationship then being single is a far better option. God Bless you all in your relationships and in your life.

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