Your social media feed is crammed with engagement photos and evidence of wedding day bliss. Yet you and your boyfriend still haven't made that leap together. It's likely you have a serious wedding itch. Dating coach and author Nina Atwood recommends thinking hard about whether you're ready for marriage and if you and your honey are truly compatible. It's important to figure out first if you're on the same page in terms of finances, children and religion. If all signs point to go, there are some creative and effective ways you can broach the marriage subject with your man.
Get Clear on Your Own Goals
Psychologist Karen Sherman adds that it's important to share your feelings with your boyfriend; quiet resentment over the fact that he hasn't popped the question will place stress on the relationship. Before you approach your guy about marriage, get clear on your own expectations, advises psychotherapist and author Dr. Fran Walfish. It's important to distance social media-induced wedding mania from your own personal goals. Then share these goals, whether they involve getting married in the next three years or having children within the next five. Make sure to listen to his reactions and goals. You may not agree with everything he has to say, but if you can work together to mend your differences with a healthy dose of respect, the signs for marriage look good.
How to Talk About Fertility
Your desire to get married might be especially charged if you want kids -- and soon. If having children in the near future is important to you, you need to let your honey know how you feel, advises YourTango vice president of content and branded media Sarah Harrison in "5 Steps to Take if Your Man Hasn't Proposed." Try a soft approach that doesn't come across as an ultimatum. Pick a calm setting free of distraction. Tell him gently that you love him and you want to be married and have children with him but that you're nervous that your fertility is in decline. Do your research ahead of time to back-up your claim that your chances of getting pregnant and then having a healthy pregnancy will decrease in the next couple of years. Harrison also advises telling him you're not trying to pressure him. Instead, you're trying to be honest about your needs and you're anxious to hear his thoughts.
Chat About Friends' Weddings and Engagements
Take advantage of your friends' weddings and engagement announcements by discussing these with your man, advises WomansDay.com editor and wedding writer Meredith Bodgas. At weddings, compliment the elements you like and slyly mention which ones you might like at your wedding. When your friend gets engaged, mention that you loved how romantic the proposal was and that you'd like something similar one day. With both approaches, you're telling your guy that getting married is on your mind. Still, stay away from mentioning a specific timeline to keep things low-pressure.
Mention Happy Couples
Get marriage on his mind by bringing up happily married couples you know. Perhaps your parents have a long and loving relationship. Or your two pals have carved out a sweet twosome despite the pressures of kids and work. Talk to your partner about these happy couples and mention that you hope the two of you can have just as wonderful a relationship if you get married. This sends a strong signal that you're imagining the two of you into the long-term. You could also try a more direct "I hope we wind up getting married. What do you think?" This approach works best if you're fairly sure he's marriage-minded.