Singaporebrides | Relationships

November 2020

7 Experiences Couples Should Go Through Before Getting Engaged

Wondering if your relationship is ready for the next level? See if you’ve had these experiences couples should go through before getting engaged!

You’ve been dating for a year now and you’re hopelessly in love. If you’re not on a date, you’re constantly on a video call or sending flirty texts to each other, and you can’t imagine life without him or her. Is it time to get engaged?

Not so fast! It’s common to hear wedding bells when everything is smooth sailing, but don’t get engaged until your relationship has successfully navigated some challenges. Before you put a ring on it, make sure you’ve shared these life experiences and your relationship has come out golden on the other side!

1. Taken care of each other when sick

Falling sick or injured when you’re in a relationship has a silver lining—being covered in warm blankets and tender loving care by your partner. When you’re not well, you want to know that you can rely on your partner to be there for you, whether it’s with hot soup to nurse a cold, or with taking over the household responsibilities and errands when you’ve sprained your ankle. You get to see how patient or how caring they are, and it gives you a glimpse into what married life will look like when one person needs to lean on the other.

Jane and Rob’s Intimate COVID-19 Wedding at The White Rabbit by Hong Ray Photography

2. Resolved a big argument

You might already know that even healthy couples fight every so often, but did you know that most healthy couples never solve most of their problems? According to marriage researcher and psychologist Dr. John Gottman, “It’s a myth that if you solve your problems you’ll automatically be happy. Although we tend to equate a low level of conflict with happiness, a lasting relationship results from a couple’s ability to manage the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

Since conflict is inevitable in any relationship, being able to successfully work through and resolve a big argument is a major milestone for your relationship, and definitely something you should experience before getting engaged. For a happy and harmonious marriage, it’s critical that you’re able to talk through your issues, understand each other’s perspective, and respectfully come to a mutual decision about your disagreement.

3. Experienced a milestone

When you’re married, you’ll experience many new milestones in life together—a big promotion, buying a home, the birth of a first child. How you celebrate each other and support each other through a milestone can tell you a lot about your relationship. Is your partner happy for you or do they treat your milestone as no big deal? How supportive they are can also be an indicator of how supportive they will be in the future—say when you’re heavily pregnant and need a shoulder to lean on.

Yolande and Choon Kiat’s Intimate Rooftop Wedding at Artemis by Pixioo

4. Met each other’s families

Spend some time with your significant other’s family so that you better understand their values, their upbringing styles, and their relationship patterns. How has their childhood shaped who they are? Do they believe in a lot of open sharing or are they more private and independent? Are you from vastly different upbringings and find it difficult to share the same values? Spending time with your partner’s families and learning each other’s personal histories will teach you a lot about your partner. The more you understand each other, the more solid your relationship will become.

5. Completed a project together

Whether it’s something as simple as building a piece of IKEA furniture together, or cooking a gourmet meal, completing a project together shows you how you work as a team. Does your partner take instructions well or do they prefer to do things their own way? Can you work well together or do you get in each other’s way? Trying out a new recipe together can be very revealing as you both divide up the tasks, coordinate the timing of the steps, and give and take instructions—especially in a small kitchen! You’ll need to work together a lot in a marriage so it’s important to see if you make a good team.

Shiyan and Sean’s Magnificent JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Wedding by Lightedpixels Photography

6. Gone on a trip

You learn a lot about someone as well as yourself when you encounter challenges such lost luggage, unexpected weather, hotel room mix ups, or getting lost in a foreign country without being able to read the directions! Taking a big trip together also gives you the opportunity to test out how you handle budgeting, plan itineraries, and solve problems. You’ll find out whether you can rely on your partner to stay positive and come up with solutions together, which shows you how well you both can overcome the challenges that you’ll face together later in life.

7. Supported each other through a rough patch

Life is full of challenges, and strong couples are able to support each other through tough times such as a job loss, loss of a loved one, or health issue. Your first experience of a very stressful situation as a couple will tell you a lot about each other. Seeing someone at their lowest reveals a lot about their character through the way their process emotions or react to the situation. You’ll also discover how your partner responds to you during a stressful situation—do they withdraw from you, get unreasonably irritable and angry, or become overly dependant? Are they supportive and encouraging when you’re the one going through a difficult time?

When it gets tough, do you fall apart or do you hold hands and get through it together? When you’ve supported each other through a major life challenge, you’ll have learnt a lot about each other’s personalities and character, and learnt how secure and committed your relationship is.

Feature image from Elaine and Gabriel’s Gorgeous Pre-Wedding Adventure in Sumba by Darren and Jade Photography

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