You’ve been in a long term relationship with this girl. As hard as you may have tried to push your emotions to the side, you’ve come to realize that you really truly care for her. As the song goes, “first comes love, then comes marriage.” Though it can certainly be a great decision to propose to the girl of your dreams, it is important to take a second and ask yourself, “Am I really ready to get married?”

This is not a question you should ask as a means for discouraging you from spending the rest of your life with someone you really care about. It is more along the lines of a question you ask to really sit back and reflect on who you are, where you are in the relationship, and if you’re really ready to make the commitment. Marriage is more than just saying I do, and while divorce is always an option, what’s the point in vowing your life to someone if you already have a “backup plan” in mind.

So before you decide to head out and learn all you can about diamond and settings, purchase the perfect ring, and pop the question, it is important to make sure that you’re really ready to be married.

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Are You Over the Single Lifestyle?

Have you reached the point where you’d rather be home with your girlfriend as opposed to hanging out in the bars picking up women with the guys? Are you ready to leave your bachelor pad behind and move into a place with your soon to be wife? If the thought of trading in all the eligible females out there for your girlfriend, ditching the guys for a night in with your girl, and swapping out your sports memorabilia for patterns, fabrics, and other home decor pieces sounds like something you’re willing to do, then you’re probably ready to get married.

2. Are You Confident in Who You Are and the Experiences You’ve Had?

This isn’t implying that once you get married you won’t be able to explore things and live your life, however, most of what you explore and experience will be with your spouse. Have you tried all the things you want to try, seen all the things you wanted to see, and explored all the avenues that interest you? Living your own life and exploring who you are as a person allows you to bring more to the table once you’re ready to get married.

3. Are You Financially Ready?

Sure we’re living in modern times, but that doesn’t mean that your role as the provider does not still hold true. Financial matters are one of the top causes of divorce and therefore you want to eliminate this issue (or at the very least minimize it) before popping the question. Do you have money saved? Is your credit in good standing? Do you earn enough to sustain the average costs of a home and a growing family? Nothing in life is perfect, but you want to try and be somewhat financially stable before becoming someone’s husband.

4. Do You Love Her Just As She Is?

One thing you don’t want to do is believe that you can make her change. Change is certainly a part of life, however, it is not something that one person can force another person to do. That being said, you want to make sure that you’re not marrying the idea of what your girlfriend could be, but instead marrying her for who she is right now. If you love her and wouldn’t change a thing, then you’re probably ready to get hitched.

5. Have You Talked Long Term Without Doubling Over?

If a girl starts talking about marriage and babies too early in the relationship, you probably want to cringe at the subject matter. However, as time goes on, talking about your relationship long term is a telltale sign that you just might be ready to pop the question.

6. Do You Guys Make Each Other Better?

It is important that whomever you decide to marry is able to make you a better you, and vice versa. Do you guys compliment each other well? Do you talk about your goals and aspirations? Do you strive to help each other meet those goals and dreams? If the two of you work well together in making each other better people, then buddy… it’s time to pop the question.

Now that you’ve gotten the “self evaluation” out of the way, you’re ready for your next big challenge…finding the right ring. If you’re ready to take that step, check out Marlows Diamonds.  If you’ve answered positively to the questions listed above, then you’re more than ready to buy that engagement ring and get on your knees in front of the girl of your dreams. Though some of these questions might have caused a bit of sweat to drip from your brow, it’s better to be honest now, than to hurt the girl you love later on. At the end of the day you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you went into this big step in life having made an informed decision. Good luck!