Will you marry me? 5 principles to consider before saying 'I do'

Before you accept a marriage proposal, pause to consider if you are ready to say “I do.” Here are five things to think about before accepting this serious commitment.

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  • Published in Matrimonio by Jackeline Ledezma on November 30, 2013

  • Translated and adapted by Anders Peterson from the original article “¿Quieres casarte conmigo?” 5 puntos para analizar antes de dar el sí” by Jackeline Ledezma

  • Most women dream of the moment when they are asked, “Will you marry me?” Many women say yes immediately. However, it would be wise to consider this question with serious reflection because getting married is a great commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  • It is sad to see the large amount of divorces in our society today. For this reason, before saying, “I do,” it would be a good idea to consider some guidelines to help make your wedding day end in "happily ever after." Your marriage should last forever.

  • The reality is that the future is uncertain and nothing can guarantee a successful marriage. However, I would like to share five guidelines that can be useful to consider before making such a significant decision that will affect your life forever.

  • 1. A long and formal courtship

  • This type of courtship will allow you to know your partner better. As you share meaningful moments, you will be able to see your fiancé’s different attitudes when facing a variety of circumstances in life. At the same time, you will be able to find answers to the following questions:

    • How does your sweetheart react when experiencing anger, frustration or high level of stress?

    • How does he or she treat family members?

    • How does he or she react when you have a problem and feel sad? Does he or she support you or abandon you?

    • Is he or she a hard-working and appreciative person?

    • Is he or she jealous?

  • (Remember, getting to know a person better involves asking more questions than the ones previously mentioned).

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  • 2. Sharing ideals

  • Before starting a life together, you must discuss future plans. In order to function harmoniously, a couple must learn to share common ideals and mutual goals, such as discussing whether or not to have children, living in the countryside or the city, buying a house or travelling, seeking a degree or working and having a family business. These are a few of the many topics that you should discuss before getting married in order to avoid surprises. Since you know your future goals, it is good to discuss it with your fiancé to know if you both are on the same page.

  • 3. Putting things in a balanced perspective

  • Imagine having a scale: on one side you place your partner’s virtues and on the other side you place his or her imperfections. If the scale is heavier on the imperfections’ side, you should think hard before saying, “I do.” When considering all imperfections, you must reflect how much you are able to work through them. Some imperfections are not so profound, such as being shy or being less talkative. However, there are other imperfections that can cause serious wounds, such as certain addictions like alcoholism, drugs or pornography.

  • 4. Pay attention to your fiancé’s family values

  • Reflect on your loved one’s family values to make sure you are compatible. Once you get married, you are also forming a new family.

  • 5. Analyze both of your economic opportunities

  • Starting a family involves serious financial commitments: buying a home, paying rent, buying groceries for the family, paying bills and other expenditures. Before getting married decide if you will have the economic stability to fulfill your financial responsibilities.

  • I would like to mention that these guidelines are not a guaranteed recipe for success. Furthermore, marriage should not be taken lightly because it is a relationship that requires sacrifice. Each story is different, each couple is unique and what may have positive outcomes for some people may not work for others. Nevertheless, it is good to consider these principles because you may discover some interesting aspects of your relationship. Above all, before saying, I do,” you must be convinced that you love your fiancé and that this love is reciprocal. Best wishes!

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Jackeline studied Business Administration at the University of Costa Rica. She is currently a mother and wife.  

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