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9 Things You Should Know Before proposing

9 Things You Should Know Before proposing

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting experiences of your life. However, if everything goes according to plan, you will only get the opportunity to get engaged once. With this in mind, it is wise to take some time to access whether or not you are truly ready to take your relationship to the next level. Also, after you can answer that question with a yes, you will want to ensure that you propose in a way that will thrill your future spouse.

1. What Are Your Partner’s Life Goals?

If you haven’t talked about life goals, then it’s definitely time to slow down and learn more about your partner before you get down on bended knee. It’s easy to get pulled into the romance of everything, but the reality is that your spouse is someone you will live with through thick and thin.

Therefore, if your life goals don’t align in most areas, you could be setting yourself up for a very complicated marriage. For example, the number of women who remain childless by choice continues to grow. If you want kids but your wife-to-be doesn’t, you need to carefully consider if this is in area you can compromise in without becoming resentful or full of regret.

2. Does Your Significant Other Want to Get Married?

Only half of U.S. adults are currently married, and 30 percent of people aged 16 or older have never tied the knot. Although some of this is due to life circumstances and incompatibility, there are a lot of people who truly do not want to get married.

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Some of these individuals are happy to cohabitate with someone for the rest of their life as long as this doesn’t require them to go through the legal act of committing. Make sure your partner is open to marriage before you purchase an engagement ring.

3. Can You Fight Fairly?

Every couple argues. Some will claim they have never had a disagreement during their many years together, but this typically showcases either a misunderstanding of what constitutes an argument or an unwillingness to be completely open and be honest with their significant other. After all, complete honesty requires letting your partner know when something has upset you, and this can lead to a fight.

Counselors have indicated that fighting is not only normal but can be a very healthy way to deal with conflict. Of course, for this to work, you have to be committed to fighting fairly. This means that you should never keep score or use personal attacks while arguing.

It’s also important to steer clear of using absolutes such as “you always” or “you never.” The reality is that it’s extremely rare for someone to always or never do any specific thing, so making these claims while fighting can be quite harmful.

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4. Do You Know Anything About Rings?

If you’ve determined your life goals are aligned, your partner wants to get married and you’ve learned how to fight fairly, it’s time to start thinking about buying a ring. This might seem like a simple process that involves your budget and finding a ring that looks nice, but there are several diamond factors to consider to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Be aware that diamond grading isn’t exact. It’s also common for diamond cutters to leave weight in undesirable places in order to achieve a higher carat weight. Research these topics before you commit to a purchase in order to avoid being overcharged.

5. What Type of Ring Does Your Significant Other Want?

Whether you are proposing to a woman or a man, it’s necessary to get a good feel for the type of ring they would actually want to wear before you buy one. After all, if your future fiancée dislikes diamonds and would prefer a ruby, you don’t want to end up getting a huge diamond ring to propose with.

There are many ways to subtly find out what they would prefer. You can also take the more direct route by speaking to their best friend. Or, if the two of you are openly discussing the possibility or getting engaged, ask them what ring styles they prefer.

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6. What Type of Proposal Would Your Partner Like?

Flash mob proposals may be popular, but this doesn’t mean that a flash mob is the right choice in your situation. Be sure to tailor the proposal to suit your partner’s needs. It’s also always a nice touch to incorporate at least one aspect of your relationship.

For instance, if you both love reading, you could put the engagement ring on his or her bookmark and invite them to read outside under a tree with you. This gives you a nice, romantic setting and also honors what both of you enjoy doing together.

7. Can You Afford to Get Married?

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is currently $26,645, and this number climbs every year. It is possible to have a wedding for much less, of course, but it’s also wise to consider whether or not you can put together a reasonable budget within a year or two.

Most couples get married within 18 months. If you won’t be able to afford that, you may wish to either delay getting engaged or make it clear from the beginning that it will be a long engagement.

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8. Is Your Future Spouse Traditional or Modern?

Something else you definitely need to know before asking your partner to marry you is whether or not they have a traditional way of thinking about proposals. If they do, you may need to ask their father for permission before you move forward.

It may also be necessary to allow them to be the one to do the proposing. By discovering these things about them now, you can avoid issues later on.

9. Are You Both Ready for an Engagement?

Your partner may want to get married in the future, but do you know for sure that they are ready to be engaged right now? Research indicates that close to 25 percent of women have turned down a marriage proposal, with a staggering 12 percent saying no at least three different times.

There are a diverse list of reasons that these women give for not saying yes, including being unhappy with the type of proposal they received. Be sure to take the time to figure out if they’re ready to get engaged. Also, as previously mentioned, don’t underestimate the importance of the proposal itself.

Proposing to someone is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Before you move forward with making plans, make sure your relationship has all of the telltale signs of being made to last. Once you do decide to propose, have fun with the process of picking out a ring and planning the proposal!

Featured photo credit: Wedding Photographer John Hope via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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