Ready to spend the rest of your life with your girlfriend? Great! Now, the bigger question: Is she ready to spend it with you, too? Being engaged is an exciting time in a couple’s life, but you want to make sure you are both ready. However, not every couple can read each other’s minds. So how can you tell when she is really, truly ready to get married? Here are eight signs your girlfriend is ready for you to pop the question.
#1 She Drops Hints and Shows You Her Favorite Rings
Sometimes, the signs are not so subtle. Sometimes, your girlfriend will straight-up let you know that she is ready. Whether she does it by showing you her Pinterest board of designer engagement rings or taking you into a jewelry store from time to time, these are for sure signs that she is ready for you to get down on one knee. Luckily, you can take this opportunity to see what kind of engagement ring styles she likes. For example, does she like a three-stone engagement ring or a solitaire engagement ring with a sparkling halo? So pay attention — she might be showing you her dream ring.
#2 She Seems Comfortable in the Relationship
Does your girlfriend seem comfortable in the relationship? Does she show you her weird sense of humor that only seems to come out for you? Then it’s a good sign she feels at ease and can see spending the rest of your life together. On the contrary, if your girlfriend expresses doubt and concerns about the relationship, an engagement and then marriage will only exacerbate the situation and make things worse. You don’t want to start out on the wrong foot. If you are committed to her, first determine what the hiccups are and move past them. Then, you will have a stronger relationship for it — one that is ready for engagement and marriage.
#3 Your Girlfriend Has Stuck Through Thick and Thin
This sign is less about how long you have been together, and more about how consistent your relationship has been. All relationships have their bumps in the road, but stronger ones endure the bumps together. If she splits every time you hit a rough patch, it points to more underlying issues of immaturity. If she has threatened to call it quits or even broken up with you before, these are some telltale signs that it’s not a good time to pop the question (even if she is).
#4 She Has Let Go of Past Relationships
Whether they were good or bad, our past relationships make us grow as a person and a partner. We learn a lot from them, but at the end of the day, we know when it’s not working and move on. Hopefully, a breakup is mature and mutual and, if wanted, remains a friendship. In today’s modern world, your girlfriend may have friendships with past partners. However, having feelings for them is entirely different.
“Just friends” or not, one sign that your girlfriend is ready for marriage is if they have matured enough to let go of past relationships. This doesn’t mean asking them never to contact these past relationships once you are married (there’s a trust factor on your end, too). However, you want to be sure there are no deep feelings still harbored for an old flame. Proposing when she still has such feelings does not automatically secure her. Instead, these harbored feelings might pop up later. The same goes for you, too!
#5 You’ve Discussed Marriage (And Your Values Align)
If she has opened up to discuss the idea of marriage with you, this is a good sign that your girlfriend is ready for you to pop the question. But, of course, having a conversation is not as important as making sure you’re both on the same page. If she enjoys talking about what your married life would be like, this is a good sign. But if anything doesn’t align, such as your overall values or career goals, these are conversations that must be made before tying the knot.
#6 You’ve Had ‘The Kid Talk’
Discussing what it would be like to be married and live together is one giant step toward an engagement. However, there is another discussion your girlfriend needs to have with you: The Kid Talk. Since many couples choose not to have kids, it’s no longer a fair assumption that you are both on the same page when it comes to having children. If one is dead set on having children while the other is not ready, this is a meaningful conversation to have. Yes, opinions and minds can change, but they cannot be forced into it. On the other hand, if you both want children desperately, it’s also good to talk about how far you’re willing to go to make a family, including the alternative options like IVF or adoption. Talking about kids before you are engaged might seem crazy, but this is one giant piece of the marriage puzzle you both need to be on the same page with.
#7 She’s Ready to Let Go of a Single Lifestyle
Another sign that your girlfriend is ready for you to pop the question? She would rather spend time with you than go out on the town with her friends. Sure, she might have a pack of close friends that she loyally visits. But overall, she prefers spending her nights and weekends at your place instead of living on her own. Another sign she’s ready to tie the knot is if she consistently makes decisions as a couple with you instead of telling you as an afterthought. Eventually, we all get tired of the single lifestyle, whether living with roomies or parents and are ready to be more adult and settle down with someone special (that means you!).
#8 Her Life Is Happy and Stress-Free
The engagement period is supposed to be a time of happiness and joy. So the last thing you want to do is propose when life is stressful. And while proposing seems like it would cheer her up after a week at a stressful job, it will only do so temporarily. So instead, propose when you both have time to appreciate being engaged and to plan a wedding.
Stress can also come in the form of grief. The desire to comfort someone during the death of a loved one is natural, but you wouldn’t want them to make a rash decision under the emotion of it all. Instead, it’s best to give them time to heal.
College can be another stressful time. While proposing at graduation might seem romantic, if midterms, finals, or certification testing (like the Bar exam) are weighing on her, it might be a bad time. So wait for the dust to settle and for some time to pass first.