It can be so terribly romantic when the big question finally pops. Men and women alike are becoming much bolder in the land of proposal ideas and are asking for the hand in marriage in all sorts of fun, exciting, and ultimately romantic ways. There is a buzz in the air, an energy that can almost be felt from miles away right before the question pops and then there you are, the center of attention. Whether “all eyes” means your significant other or an entire football stadium of people, all eyes are on you waiting to hear what you have to say. Accepting a marriage proposal seems like the only appropriate next step when you are in the middle of all that energy, with all that attention, and with all that pressure focusing in on you and yours. However, it’s not a requirement.

While men are certainly prone to feel the same way, women in particular have a very hard time disappointing their possible partner for life, especially if the proposal was performed in a very public place with a very public view of her response. Accepting a marriage proposal based on pressure, fear of letting someone else down, to align oneself with expectation, or with the hopes of allowing someone you care deeply about to save face while you deal with your feelings more privately usually ends up causing more trouble than the moment was worth for all parties concerned. If there is a reason that you are either not prepared to marry the individual you are with or are not sure that they are really right for you long term, honesty is always the best policy. The possibility that you might decline a proposal is an unfortunate but very real risk when popping the big question.

I Have to Think About It

If the only response you have to offer is “I need to think about it,” then you have to expect a little backlash from that. While you are thinking about it, things will not go right back to normal. It’s already out there, and now you are both a little uncomfortable while you are considering your options. Usually being unsure is a sign of having a difficulty with the . Most of the time, if you’re happy with the relationship, and are in love with the person you are having the relationship with, but you seem to be lagging behind on the next logical step, you might want to step back and examine yourself for awhile. Are you in a stage where you are having trouble committing to other things or people in your life? Do you set up all of your social engagements as a tentative situation with the option to bail? Do you see yourself in the same relationship five years from now but you simply don’t see yourself being married? These are signs of commitment issues and in reality has little or nothing to do with the relationship itself or the person you are having it with. In most cases, commitment issues arise from a fear. Usually a fear of being left or a fear of misplacing your trust. In most cases as well, once you address your fears you will have a much clearer picture where the relationship is heading, at least as far as you are concerned.

For the rest of you, those who find that accepting a marriage proposal is the next natural and right step in the relationship, it seems as though you open your mouth with a “Yes,” and your entire life suddenly becomes a whirl–wind of hub bub and marriage prep activities. Friends, mothers, aunts, cousins, the neighbor who wants to be your mother—they all are there and ready to advise you on marriage and weddings before you even get your key in the door after a lovely night of marriage proposals. It seems as though from that moment until you return from your , assuming you want to return after all that jazz, everything you do and think and talk about revolves around the day you will get married. For some couples, it’s a time of growing together and becoming more involved in a common goal. For others it is a great stressor, a time period that threatens to actually tear the couple apart. Once you have accepted a proposal, the dynamic of your relationship is bound to change, and most people find that it changes for the better. However, if you are one of the small percentages that finds themselves wishing life would just go back to the way it was before, take a step back and examine that thought. When you have that thought, are you referring to your relationship or are you referring to the previous lack of wedding day chaos? If you are referring to the previous lack of wedding day chaos, relax. That’s normal. If you are referring to the relationship, you might want to examine the strength of your relationship, talk it out, seek some counseling, or even reconsider the wedding for awhile.

For most people, accepting a marriage proposal is a huge commitment, as it should be. However, if during the time between the proposal and the actual wedding day, you find yourself having more than just a case of cold feet, it is much better to break off the wedding than it is to break up the marriage. Cold feet are normal, frigid feet are a signal that things might need to be revisited.

If you are having a case of frigid feet, there may be other answers on the chalkboard. Breaking off a marriage is not your only option. But what is never an option, or should never be an option, is getting married anyway even when not only your feet but your hands, your stomach, your spleen, your heart, and every other body heart is screaming at you not to follow through with this otherwise lovely idea. If whatever is causing such a reaction can’t be worked out before the wedding, it certainly isn’t likely to get worked out after the wedding.

Accepting a marriage proposal is naturally an exciting time in your life. Things that you never expected to change about yourself will start to change. You thought you’d never be the type of person to pour over china patterns and register at the trendiest gift stores but here you go, off to do those very things. It’s very exciting. It’s a lot of fun. And if you keep fun as the highlight of all your post proposal bliss, you are not only likely to enjoy your time together more, but can make for excellent practice for making a long term marriage not only lasts, but blissfully lasts.


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