Thin Band

Should You Propose in Front of Friends and Family?

Getting to one knee in a crowded room is always a dicey proposition, especially if you’re uncertain of the answer you’re going to get. At least in the privacy of your own home, with just the two of you enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner, you can quietly slink away to nurse your wounds should you be rejected. On the other hand, there’s something wonderful about forging an instant emotional bond not only between yourself and the woman you love, but the family and friends who witnessed the first moment that you pledged your life to each other. Still, it’s a tough choice. If you just can’t decide whether it’s best to keep your private affairs confined to the two of you or if it’s better to make it a family matter, here are a couple of pros and cons to help you resolve the issue.

If you opt to offer a ring to your lady love solo, you’ll certainly remove a lot of the pressure on both of you. Naturally, it’s still a big decision, and awaiting her answer will have you on pins and needles. But you can reasonably expect to get an honest answer. If you pop the question in front of her family and yours, for example, she might feel pressured into saying yes, only to turn you down later in private (or on the way to the altar). You don’t want that. Whether she says yes or no, you can be fairly sure she means it if it’s just between the two of you.

In addition, there’s less pressure on you to perform (or conform) when the only eyes on you during the proposal are hers. If you get flustered, have some kind of emotional breakdown, or simply want to take your time, you don’t have to worry about your bros egging you on or alternately, ribbing you. In addition, if she says yes, you’ll likely want to spend some time with each other immediately afterwards, rather than getting swirled in different directions by a sea of well-wishers. And if she says no, well, you probably won’t want to look anyone in the eye for a while, least of all your family and friends.

While there’s something to be said for involving a group in what could be one of the happiest moments of your life, it seems pretty clear that it’s probably a mistake. You’re going to be strung pretty tight as it is, and you don’t need the added pressure of a bunch of witnesses to make this crucial event even more difficult.

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A Very Long Engagement…Or is it Short? Which is Right for You?

Most people say that one year is an ideal time-frame in which to plan a wedding, but for many couples itching to get hitched, a year is just too long. Still others may feel that twelve months simply isn’t enough time to make all the arrangements and secure the perfect venue. So how do you pick the ideal date once you’ve got the ring on your finger? There’s no simple answer. You’re going to have to take a lot of factors into consideration when you set the date for your nuptials. Here are a few that could make a difference.

1. Availability of bookings. If you’ve got your heart set on a popular venue during wedding season (i.e. the summer months), you could find that trying to book even a year ahead of time presents some difficulties. On the other hand, some flexibility with your choice of vendors could provide you with the dates you need to make your wedding day arrive a lot faster.

2. Availability of guests. The minimum time for guests to make travel arrangements is generally considered to be three months (although it’s standard to send a “save the date” six or more months out to make sure people are prepared). But keep in mind that families with children may not be able to attend if you plan your wedding during the school year, so if you really want your sister to stand in as your matron of honor, but she has three kids of school age, you might have to push out your date to accommodate her.

3. Time for planning. If you’re already weighed down with professional and personal obligations but you’re stuck planning the wedding by yourself (no extra funds for a wedding planner), you may want to make sure to give yourself extra time to get it all done, especially if it’s a destination wedding.

4. Ability to wait. If you’re keen to get married like, yesterday, and your partner is feeling the same way, there’s no reason to wait for a white dress and chapel bells. Head to Vegas and hire an Elvis to read the sermon. Heck, you can even hold the ceremony in a drive-through if you’re in a real hurry.

5. Potential for problems. If your family is not particularly thrilled about the engagement and you suspect they might try to ruin the wedding (based on the fact that they staged an intervention to try to break you up), then maybe you’d rather do the deed before they have a chance to plot against your soon-to-be spouse. It is for these situations that elopements were invented!

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5 Signs it’s Time to Get Engaged

It’s not always easy to know when the time is right to pop the big question. You might not be able to gauge the interest of the lucky lady in question, you may not want to mess with a good thing, or maybe you’re just not ready. But as time goes by and the pressure mounts, you may begin to wonder if the “right time” is just a myth concocted by happy couples to hide the fact that they, too, were unsure about the proper moment for presenting a ring. Whatever your reason for waiting, you certainly don’t want to put off that next step too long or you may find yourself alone while the love of your life runs off to Las Vegas to marry your best friend. Here are a few hard-to-miss signs that it’s time to get to one knee and solidify your future with a diamond engagement ring.

1. She’s pregnant. If your girlfriend is sporting a baby bump as an accessory instead of a ring, it’s time to man up and remedy the situation. Bringing a child into the picture is a pretty clear sign that you’re moving towards a permanent partnership, so stop stalling and get the ring already!

2. You’re already married under common law. If the law says you’ve been together long enough to be married, maybe it’s time you took the hint. At the very least, you’re missing out on a monster tax break. If you’ve been living together for several years as a couple, you’re already married in spirit anyway, so why not make it official and give her the day she’s been dreaming of since she was a child. After all, if she stayed with you, she kind of deserves it.

3. You’ve been together more than half of your life. This is a no brainer. If you’ve been together more than half the time you’ve been alive, you’re probably not going to be moving on to greener pastures any time soon. If you’re in it for the long haul, then for goodness sake, make the commitment.

4. She’s started looking at rings. This is a sure sign that she’s ready, so unless you want to lose her to the next guy to offer her a shiny bauble for her third finger, you’d better start planning for the purchase of your life. Otherwise she’ll be planning it without you.

5. Her bags are packed and she’s thrown the gauntlet. Uh-oh! When it gets to ultimatum time, you may already be too late. Don’t suffer the knee-jerk reaction of telling her to go unless you’re sure that a life without her is just fine with you. Probably she’s already told you a few times and you just weren’t listening. So before you blame her ambush for the break-up, think about your own role and consider if you should have proposed marriage a lot sooner.

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Are You Ready for Marriage?

This is a question that plagues most people at some point in a long-term (or even short-term) relationship. Are you ready to take it to the next level and pledge the rest of your life to another person? Even if you’re in love, it can be a difficult concept to wrap your mind around. And whether you and your significant other start discussing the possibility after six months or six years, you may not have a ready answer. So if you’re hesitant to tie the knot, here are a few things to consider before you buy the ring (or alternately, accept it).

1. Age. Everyone says this shouldn’t matter, but it does. With one in three marriages ending in divorce these days, you really need to think about how long the rest of your life actually is. If you’re under 30 (or even if you’re older), just remember that there’s no rush. And keep in mind that mental age doesn’t always match physical age. Until you really know yourself, you can’t possibly hope to know what you want from a partner.

2. Personal goals. If you’ve been planning to study abroad since you were in high school, think about how you might feel if you let your dream fall by the wayside in favor of getting hitched. Somewhere down the road, you may end up regretting your rash decision to choose love over your long-term plans (especially once the honeymoon phase ends).

3. Relationship goals. You need to sit down and have a long talk with your honey to determine if your lives are headed in the same direction. If one of you wants kids and the other doesn’t, that could be a deal-breaker. Perhaps you have very different career goals (you want to travel while your partner would rather stay put). Or you might be planning for a six-figure salary, a home, and a heavy investment portfolio while the love of your life is content to work at a convenience store. These types of disparities can ruin a relationship over time, so try to spot them before you say “I Do”.

4. Lust versus love. Falling in love is a fantastic feeling that most of us would like to preserve forever. Unfortunately, the feeling will fade and then you’re actually going to have to live with this person. So unless you have a deeper love that includes mutual respect and genuine
companionship (rather than simple lust), you’re going to wind up with a problem down the road.

5. Hesitation. If you’re hesitating at all (whether the reasons are obvious or not), you probably aren’t ready. Take a step back and try to evaluate why you’re reluctant to walk down the aisle. You might find that you just need more time, or it may be that the one you’re with simply isn’t THE ONE.

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Flying Solo on Valentine’s Day? 5 Great Ways to Keep Your Spirits High

Nobody likes to spend holidays alone, and the special day devoted to couples in love is one of the worst for those without a partner in their life. You could go out solo on Valentine’s Day, but you’ll be faced with nothing but cooing couples eating opposite ends of a single strand of spaghetti (ending in a lip-lock). Well, maybe not, but you will have to watch a lot of people in love, with you the proverbial odd man out. Of course, ordering out for pizza and crying over rom-coms is no way to spend the night, either. So why not try one of these great ideas for making the holiday fun, even if you’re flying solo?

1. Single’s mixer. Many establishments throw bashes aimed at the unattached, so consider visiting a local bar, club, or restaurant that’s set up for singles who are looking to get hit with Cupid’s arrow (or simply dance the night away).

2. Throw a party. Forget about spending the night alone with a bucket of bon-bons. Throw a party for your friends (couples and singles alike). Everyone can have great time and you don’t have to spend the evening wallowing in self-pity.

3. Spoil yourself. You may not have that special someone in your life to buy you flowers, chocolates, and cards, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer a gift-less Valentine’s Day. Instead, spoil yourself a little. Book a spa day (massage, facial, mani-pedi – the works!), do a little retail therapy at your favorite clothing store, or get those diamond earrings you’ve had your eye on.

4. See a friend. You likely have at least one good friend who’s just as lonely as you this Valentine’s Day, so re-affirm the bonds of friendship by making a nice meal, renting some movies, and basically taking the time to appreciate a special relationship that isn’t necessarily romantic.

5. Enjoy being single. Most people in a relationship are obliged to jump through a number of hoops on Valentine’s Day in order to make a statement of love to their significant other (secure a reservation, show up looking fantastic, and spend beaucoup bucks to say “I love you”). You, on the other hand, can eat what you want, take a long, hot bath, and spend the evening dominating the TV remote. In the future, you may not have the luxuries that being single afford you, so enjoy it while you can!