You've finally found Mr. Right, but there's one problem: Short of getting down on one knee, you aren't sure how to let him know that you are ready for marriage. Although many men appreciate it when women are straightforward, simply telling him that you are ready to become his wife might send him running for the hills. Instead, ease him into the idea gradually by tackling one issue at a time.
Test the Waters
Bring up marriage, but do it without specifically talking about the two of you. Instead, talk about marriage in general. Discuss whether a long marriage is even possible in today's world and whether getting a divorce should be easy or difficult, depending on different circumstances, and why. Talk about your friends who have been married and how they are doing in their relationships. During the talks, not only will you be able to share your positive views about marriage, but you can find out how he feels about it. No matter how much you are ready to be married, he may need more time to think about it.
Start planning for the future. Tell him you are starting a house fund or that you would like to save up for a trip to Hawaii in a couple of years. Ask for his opinion when you are about to make a major life decision, such as taking a promotion or looking for a new job. Including him in your future plans lets him know that you can't envision a life without him and that you aren't planning to leave him anytime soon.
Talk About Your Childhood
One of the biggest decisions a couple should make before they get married is whether they want to have children. If you do want to have children with Mr. Right -- even if you already have children of your own -- one way to feel him out about it is to bring up your own childhood. Sharing childhood memories is a great way to talk about values and beliefs about parenting, and talking about parenting beliefs is a great way to let him know you are ready for marriage.
Introduce Him to the Family
Letting him into your close circle of family and friends is a clear way to tell him that you are ready to make him a permanent part of your life. And although the decision to marry is up to the two of you, the approval of your family and friends holds a lot of weight: If they like him, chances are he could be a good choice for a husband. Include him in family traditions and outings, and he will get a taste -- good or bad, but honest at least -- of what married life with you and your family will be like.