May 15, 2014

How to Know When You're Ready to Get Engaged

A few weeks ago, on an unseasonably humid day in late April, my southern beau proposed. It happened nearly 10 years to the day from our very first date....and our wedding (which we've already been excitedly planning) is set to take place almost one year from now.

The decision to get married feels like a biggie....and certainly not one I wanted to enter into lightly. But somehow I just knew it was the right thing.

I can't say that I recommend dating someone for 10 years prior to marriage, but I also can't say it's a bad thing either. It's just what happened for us.

I remember all the years before I met him when I feared I'd never find anybody...always hoping that someone would cross my path or look my way. I never really had a steady boyfriend and didn't date a whole lot either. Maybe I felt like I wasn't worthy or perhaps just put up a wall around myself to protect myself from getting hurt.

I'll never forget what my mom said to me after my first date with the southern beau: "Just be open to the opportunity. Don't close yourself off from any good thing that might come out of it."

And of course she was right.

Then I look back to the decade we've spent getting to know each other, the ups and downs, the ins and outs. There were times when I didn't think we'd make it. There was a short time we didn't. But we found the way back.

There's no checklist or Cosmo quiz that can tell you when it's the right time to get engaged (or make any big life decisions). You just have to trust your gut (which is really your heart).

Have you ever wanted to believe something really badly? And you worked double overtime to try and convince yourself it was so? This is such a tricky spot to find yourself in...always striving and trying to push a believe you hold in your brain down into your heart.

It was never supposed to work this way. Our truest beliefs are already alive in our hearts. Our heads just haven't caught up yet. And the beauty is that you don't have to convince your head of something your heart already knows.

I don't have to convince my heart that my beau loves me...because I already believe that he does. So the idea of spending my life with him sounds alright to me.

In many ways, it's exactly like how I don't have to convince my heart that God loves me...I just believe it because the truth of it lives in my heart.

I don't want to make a big deal of my engagement because I know there are folks out there who feel alone...maybe their sweetheart passed away. Or maybe they haven't found anybody to spend their life with. I was there once so I can relate.

But we can all be encouraged that whatever life decisions (large or small) that we might find ourselves faced with...we can do whatever our heart desires. That will always be the right choice.

And if it makes you feel better, people who get engaged after 10 years of dating are not an urban legend...we do exist!