Once you and your significant other have been dating for awhile, and as things get more serious, you might start to wonder when the right time is to have a conversation about your future as a couple. After all, who wants to date someone for 4+ years and then find out they don’t actually want kids or believe in marriage? Everyone has certain deal breakers, and it’s important if you’re in love with someone and envision a future together. Unfortunately, it can be daunting and nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and not know what the outcome will be. It’s so scary to be vulnerable when you don’t know if you and your partner are on the same page. So when is the right time to start talking about marriage? Here are some tips for when to bring up the future of your relationship and marriage if you’re feeling intimidated.
Moving In Together
Some people come from more conservative backgrounds whereas others don’t, so sometimes you have to tread lightly. I think it is pretty standard for couples who have been together around a year to start thinking about moving in together. Ultimately, what it comes down to when deciding if you’re ready to move in together is whether you think your relationship will last for the duration of the lease because otherwise, shit will get real messy.
You should NOT move in together for convenience’s sake, or for financial reasons, but only when you see a longer-term future with that person. Depending on how someone was raised and/or what their values are, your significant other may not be comfortable with moving in with someone before they’re married. Personally, I’d rather know that sooner than a year of dating, so it can be beneficial to have less serious conversations at the six-month mark to see what they are looking for before and comfortable with marriage. Another thing to consider is where geographically your partner wants to live and making sure that lines up with your wants and needs.
If you are looking to have a conversation with your partner about the next step after moving in, try to wait to have the conversation about marriage until you’ve dated for at least a year and a half. According to psychologists, the honeymoon phase is not a myth, and individuals have been considered to be in a “state of euphoria” for up to two years into their relationships.
Of course, that is not true in all cases, but you probably shouldn’t bring up marriage until at least 1.5 years into your relationship. Again, since every relationship is different, it is important to keep in mind that there is no one rule to follow or certain protocol that works in every instance. On average, people date a year and a half before moving in together, live together for about two years, and then get engaged. Our generation is dating longer and getting married later which is important in making sure you aren’t rushing into something.
Ultimately you know your partner the best. If you want to have a conversation about taking the next step in your relationship then you need to feel it is the right time in your gut. Like, don’t scare the guy off and bring things up too soon and come off as a lunatic. However, really think it through and if you have dated for a substantial amount of time then you can’t be afraid of how your partner will respond. If you aren’t on the same page, it is better to know sooner rather than later. You’ll feel better once you know.