Tag Archive for: Engaged

5 Signs You Should Break Off Your Engagement

These things can help you think through what's best for you.

It’s normal to get nervous about important decisions. Asking yourself, “Am I marrying the right person?” is one of those nervy decisions because marriage is a lifelong commitment, not something that will come out easily in the wash if you’ve not made the right choice. So you weigh the odds, make a list of pros and cons, mull over some what-ifs. But at some point, when the doubt overshadows the confidence in the relationship, you may find yourself asking a new question: “Should I break off my engagement?

Here are 5 signs the answer to that question may be “yes.”

1. Isolation from family or friends.

If your fiancé is keeping you from seeing or talking to your friends and family for reasons that don’t have your best interest in mind, then consider breaking it off. When you marry, you become a unit, but within that, it’s essential to have a community of people you can lean on when life gets challenging. It’s impossible to be everything you need for each other. Putting that kind of expectation on each other can be crippling. Though you may go to each other first, it doesn’t mean they will always be the last person you talk to in order to work something out.

When you marry someone, you very much so marry the family as well. Unless it is a personal boundary you have set for yourself concerning the lack of communication with your family, having your fiancé control who you see and when can take a manipulative turn.

2. Can’t compromise on “big-ticket” items.

If the two of you find yourselves at a crossroads, and you can’t find a solution for issues that affect both of your futures, reconsidering your engagement may be in your path. 

For example:

  • If one of you wants to have/adopt kids and the other wants nothing to do with kids EVER.
  • If you can’t agree on how you will handle money or you have significant financial differences of opinion.
  • You can’t find a middle ground for religious differences or the role your spirituality plays in your life. (Flash forward to if you have kids, what religious influences can you agree on to raise them?)
  • One of your careers is treated as more important than your relationship. Waiting to marry until you are in a financially stable career is one thing. But a perspective where marriage is going to get in the way of career goals, set them back, or get in the way of what they want to do is another thing.

3. Marrying because you’ve been together forever and it’s just the logical next step.

If you’re only getting married because you don’t feel like starting over with someone else or don’t want to be lonely—a lifelong commitment with someone isn’t a way to fix that. Being married to someone you feel like you “settled for” isn’t going to lead to a happy or fulfilled life. You could quickly begin to resent them or live with regret. 

If it’s been forever because you two were working toward being in the right place for your relationship and you can’t imagine life without each other, that is entirely different.

4. It’s just not a healthy relationship.

  • Lack of trust in each other.
  • A pattern of cheating and making up.
  • Lies and deceptive behavior.
  • Addiction issues.
  • Extreme jealousy—they care obsessively who you hang out with, what you wear, what you talk about, and how you spend your downtime.
  • You continually make excuses for their behavior.
  • Your fiancé gaslights you and makes any problem that arises your fault.

5. Your fiancé is abusive.

Healthy relationships revolve around mutual respect, trust, and consideration for the other person. Intense jealousy and controlling behavior, which could include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, are all indicative of an unhealthy relationship

Some signs of abuse to look out for:

Fiancé says:

  • Violence is your fault.
  • If you had not done… Then I would not have had to do…
  • You cannot survive without them.
  • You are too stupid, too ugly, or too unfit to be a good employee, wife, husband, friend, or mother, father. (They always put you down and make you feel bad about yourself.)

If you find yourself in this type of relationship, ask someone you trust to help you safely get out of harm’s way. The National Domestic Violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233, and there are often resources available to help victims of domestic violence in your community. *You are not alone, and treating others well is key to a healthy relationship. We sincerely hope for the best for you.

Though breaking off an engagement can leave you with some initial heartache…

…choosing not to marry someone because they aren’t compatible or the relationship is unhealthy will leave you better equipped for a more fulfilling future. Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Taking the time to consider if it’s the next step for you thoroughly and for your relationship is an essential part of deciding what’s best for you.

Additional Resources:

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What I’ve Learned During My First Year of Marriage

Here are some insights on the state of "becoming."

The morning light playfully casts its shadows on my husband’s face. I ask myself, once again, in my half slumber, if this is really my life. My mornings are filled with “I love you’s” and kisses (morning breath and all) and an alarm set purposely to snooze so we can cozy up to each other before the real world starts knocking. I never pictured something so imperfect feeling so perfect. Our marriage has its flaws like any other relationship, but we’ve used them as reminders of our humanity and mile markers of where we can grow.

This first year of marriage has been a beautiful mess.

Filled with chaos calmed by Tyler’s deep voice and aptitude to forgive and apologize without hesitation, but also with humility. This has been a year of learning to do old things a new way, learning to let go and let loose, and learning even more so, how to love with reckless abandon. How to love unconditionally even through some harsh conditions. We weathered the storm of my losing a parent and we also learned to be okay with not being able to be everything the other person needs. I needed my husband through that tragedy, but I also needed my best friends and my sisters to help me process what happened in a different way. 

This dreamy relationship of ours isn’t clouded by rose-colored glasses. We are very aware of the gift of newness and the romance it inspires and of the brokenness and falling short we have already done and will continue to do. It’s all a part of it. We have said things that hurt each other. We’ve stayed up late searching for resolutions to issues that we could have prevented if we had communicated our expectations sooner. 

If I’ve learned anything in my first year of marriage, it’s that marriage itself is a state of becoming.

It’s active, not passive. Our relationship as spouses doesn’t get the luxury of the title “Married” solving our problems, having the hard conversations magically disappear, or the sense of accomplishment you feel when you reach a finish line. Marriage is a state of becoming. Becoming closer, more honest (and more tactful), more humble, more loving, more forgiving, more adaptable, and more intentional. 

Our wedding day was the beginning of a public commitment, but we spent almost seven years curating and pruning the best parts of ourselves while revealing our weaknesses. Tyler’s way better at apologizing than I am and I’m better at communicating my feelings on a whim. We get to hold each other accountable – and if we don’t, we miss the potential for our relationship to flourish. It can be tempting to assume you know what your spouse is thinking and feeling on the basis of you knowing them better than anyone else knows them. If we live in a state of assumptions, we miss the chance to get to know each other more intimately. 

We aren’t off the hook now that we have some pretty circles around our fingers.

If anything, it has never been more important to press in and run from the idea of getting comfortable. Your lifelong commitment is an active one. It’s not an “I do” to say I already did. 

I’ve learned marriage is a pursuit. Though we may be within a few walls, we still need to go out of our way for each other like we did when we had opposite schedules or were long-distance. For us, that may look like sacrificing a night out with a friend if it’s the only night he and I could spend quality time together. Being married means considering each other first; plans don’t just affect you anymore – they affect both of you.

As humans, we are constantly changing, balancing on a tightrope of circumstances in flux – some we don’t have any control over (pandemic anyone?). I don’t fear the tightrope or my lack of balance sometimes because I know my spouse is my safety net. Tyler is there to catch me when I fall – and wants to be there to catch me. In this state of becoming, we both are challenged to pursue each other. It looks like keeping our conversations real and curious, flirting just because, and being quick to admit when we’re wrong.

Takeaways: 

  • Marriage is a daily, active commitment to each other.
  • You have to pursue each other to have a worthwhile marriage.
  • Acknowledging you and your spouse’s humanity helps set realistic expectations.

Questions to ask each other:

  • How can we continue pursuing each other? What does that look like for us? (i.e., writing each other notes, texting each other during the day just because, planning a weekly date night, etc.)
  • Talk about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how you can be a team.
  • Do we have a plan to handle conflict/hard situations? If so, revisit it. If not, come up with one.

Bonus blogs to help you prepare for your first year of marriage:

How long should a couple be engaged before getting married? Great question! There isn’t a “magic number” and it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. What matters is how well you both really know each other and if you are both ready—individually and relationally—for that big “forever” next step.

To help guide you through this thought process, let’s see what some experts have to say and what conclusions they’ve gathered from research. 

The average engagement length for U.S. couples was 15 months. The study represents feedback from more than 25,000 couples married in 2019. 

Different factors can play into having a longer or shorter engagement. It boils down to what is best for you two. It’s important to know the difference between having a reason for a long engagement or one of you not wanting to commit and pick a wedding date.

Reasons for having longer engagement:

  • Are you still in school?
  • Are you long-distance or living abroad?
  • Do you have commitments that are presently keeping you busy and you need time to plan?
  • Are you saving money for the wedding to pay for it upfront?
  • Most importantly, are you still getting to know each other?

John Van Epp, author and relationship expert, believes that within “three to six months you can begin to know someone, but like looking through a microscope at its lowest power, you can only see certain things in that amount of time.

Dating someone for an extended period allows you to see certain things that may not become evident right away. Having history together provides understanding into who each person really is. It allows you to see how each person handles different kinds of situations. So, you may not need a long engagement if you’ve already put in the relationship work to get to know each other well. The important thing is that you are ready for marriage.

A relationship needs time for things to normalize. Many people are very flexible in the infancy of a relationship, but as time goes by they become less flexible. By taking things slow and easy you give your relationship time to grow up and you get to see how the person will really treat you,” says relationship expert, Julie Baumgardner.

One study found that couples who dated for more than two years consistently scored higher on marital satisfaction than those who dated less than two years.

According to research by John Birtchnell and John Kennard, at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, “Couples which are better acquainted before marriage have significantly higher rates of marital quality.” Couples who are less acquainted experience greater problems when they face the inevitable difficulties of marriage.

Long engagements are helpful when individuals are at significantly different places in their lives,” says Scott Haltzman, author and relationship expert. So, if you or your partner are in the midst of some of those things listed above, it might be better to take some time on the front end to sort it out before the wedding. It also allows time for premarital education

Haltzman also says that a prolonged engagement gives couples an opportunity to engage in premarital education to learn skills to help them navigate the marriage journey. Premarital education is incredibly importantno matter how long youre engaged.

In addition, Scott Stanley, a marriage guru and research professor at the University of Denver Center for Marital and Family Studies, argues that one of the primary reasons premarital education has value is because it slows couples down and fosters greater deliberation. In Making a Case for Premarital Education, Stanley says the lack of time in a premarital relationship correlates with higher rates of divorce in the subsequent marriage.

However, there is a growing love for shorter engagements.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. Maybe you’ve dated a really long time and gone through premarital education. Perhaps you’ve seen each other respond to problems, differences, and stressors over time. If so, you might not need a long engagement. 

Being engaged feels separate from dating because of the mutual desire for commitment for the future. But there is some overlap in this limbo. You aren’t married yet and you’re more than a girlfriend/boyfriend. Nonetheless, you’re still dating and your goal is to continue getting to know each other so there aren’t any big surprises after you marry.

It boils down to figuring out what is best for you both based on where your relationship is right now. Have you laid a strong foundation? Are you rushing things? Are you listening to other people’s opinions versus making a decision that is right for the two of you? 

It’s a case-by-case basis, so don’t feel like you have to find a perfect equation. Figure out what works for you.

Consider these blogs for some additional resources:

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We’re Getting Married And Everyone Is Giving Us Advice

Try these tips for discovering the info you need.

I just want to do it right, I want to know what I’m supposed to do.” I kept saying this to myself while I was getting ready to be married. Plus, I wanted to prepare myself for anything that could come our way. I wanted a rock solid marriage with a foundation no earthquake could tear down. But when everyone started giving us advice, it was overwhelming.

My parents divorced and my amazing mom raised my sisters and me by herself. She taught me unconditional love with her selfless giving and consistent encouragement, but I wasn’t around a marriage relationship

Luckily, the tantalizing lie that I would mess up or something would go wrong was put to bed once Tyler, my husband, and I took inventory of the relationships we admire

His parents’ marriage was stronger than ever, a close family friend had been married for almost 50 years, a couple who were our small group leaders, and the list went on. Tyler and I were surrounded by people who loved us and would jump at the opportunity to support us.

☆ There are people in your life with good intentions who will give you lots of marriage advice before and right after you say “I do.” However, there are some people who might not necessarily be the right ones to speak into your marriage. Or it might be better to say that they may not be qualified to give you that kind of advice

How can you decipher what marriage advice is solid, who to listen to, and who’s a friend of your marriage?

Checklist:

  • Do you or your fiancé have a good relationship with the person giving advice?
  • Is this someone who you trust?
  • Did this person/couple know you and/or your fiancé before the engagement?
  • Is this a person who is where you want to be at in life?
  • Do you like how they handle conflict?
  • Have they already been through what you’re going through?
  • Are they supportive of your marriage?
  • Will the relationship with them continue in your marriage and not just before it?

There’s no better place to seek marriage advice than from someone who is in the place you want to be. Most people will give advice from the baggage they have had to carry and what they’ve already been through. There is wisdom in asking questions, and pure gold from listening to those who have done marriage well who know you well enough to be open and honest about their experience. Talk to couples who did not let trials cripple their relationship but used the challenge as an opportunity to grow from it. 

Ask them questions like…

  • What is the most challenging and most rewarding part of marriage?
  • What did you all do that has helped you get to the place you are now?
  • How do you solve problems that seem irreconcilable?
  • What would you have done differently with the experiences you have been through?
  • What grace do you wish you had given each other in the beginning of your marriage?

☆ There’s always room to grow – more in love, closer together, and into stronger versions of yourself. Lean into the support system you have and keep the door open for conversations throughout your marriage.

In addition to talking with your trusted people, here are some resources…

☆ If you want to take it a step further, check out our online premarital program!

P.S. There are a few other organizations we have found helpful, like The Gottman Institute, LoveThinks, and the work by Michele Weiner-Davis to name a few. Hope this helps. <3

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While you’re engaged, conversations tend to hover endlessly around the wedding day, and naturally so. Though working out the details and planning your celebration is exciting, having conversations about other topics is important, too. 

You and your fiancé are stepping into something beautiful—a promise of commitment, a proclamation of loving each other now and falling in love over and over again, a 24/7 best friend, and a person who wants to love you at your best and through the worst. You owe it to each other to take the time to appreciate what you have and to continue the pursuit.

One way to pursue each other is to sit down and have important conversations. Continue to learn about each other, find a middle ground for things you may not have the same opinion on, and keep the door open to come back to these conversations down the road. As time goes by, things can change, and so can you. 

5 Conversations Every Engaged Couple Should Have Before They Say, “I Do”

1. Talk about the importance of marriage, what it means to you both and what you hope for it to look like.

Being on the same page about why marriage is important to you helps you both take ownership of your relationship and establishes its value. When you take the time to lay out your hopes and expectations, you invite your spouse into the opportunity to make those happen. If you don’t voice what you expect from your future spouse, you’ll set them up for failure and yourself up for disappointment.

2. Do you want children?

If one of you does and the other doesn’t, this could be quite an obstacle to get over. It is important not to assume the other’s answer in this particular conversation because it intimately affects what the future looks like. Talking about this as an engaged couple is a really big deal.

3. How do you handle conflict and what rules do you want to establish on how to fight when you do?

Conflict is inescapable for any relationship, says Psychologist Dan Wile, but some of the best news is that conflict handled well actually brings you closer instead of pulling you apart. You have to find what works best for you both. For my husband and I, we have two ground rules: 1. No yelling and 2. No cussing at each other. This works for us! If we feel like we are going to start yelling, we call timeout and revisit the conversation after we have had time to process.

With more than 40 years of love and relationship research under their belt, The Gottman Institute says that whether love will last is more about how couples address their differences and support one another’s needs and dreams. Here are some steps they suggest to handle conflict better.

4. Talk through your finances. 

What are your financial goals? Have you talked about a budget and about savings? This topic can take a turn for the worst pretty quickly if you don’t find a middle ground. Here’s some guidance on automating money in your marriage and saving thousands by The Gottman Institute.

5. Intimacy in your relationship.

It’s an often underrated conversation. Being intimate isn’t limited to being physical, though that is an important part. In fact, there’s emotional and spiritual intimacy, too. Each of these plays into each other and helps create a deeper bond with your partner because you are learning about them in a way that others may never experience. Spending quality time together is a great way to increase intimacy. Talk about what your dreams are, your spirituality, your feelings and what’s on your heart as well.

Get personal with your sweetheart. Start out your marriage with the muscle memory of talking through tough conversations, how you want to love each other and what’s important to you. The more you communicate, the richer the potential for a lovely life together. Now who’s ready to say I do?

Check out some other great blogs for engaged couples:

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My Fiancé and I are Fighting All the Time

These 5 steps can help you work through it.

Fighting with your fiancé all the time, aka, the person you are planning on spending forever with, can feel just exhausting. Planning your wedding, fear of job loss, or navigating unemployment while trying to secure a future together… uncertainty can definitely stir the dust in the air. Just when you think the dust is going to settle, one of you kicks it back up again! 

I have seen far too many people fall into the trap of marrying a person thinking that they knew them, but in reality, they only knew about them,” says Dr. John Van Epp, relationship expert, and author. 

So, for starters, if you find yourself in constant conflict with your fiancé, what exactly are you fighting about?  

  • Finances around the wedding?
  • When you will actually get married?  
  • What the celebration will look like in the midst of “RONA?”
  • One of you is messy and the other is a neat freak?
  • Your mother?
  • Quarantining during the Pandemic?
  • The dishes in the sink overnight?
  • Money in general?

Fighting about things that matter is one thing, but if you find yourself fighting with your fiancé about Every. Little. Thing, that’s a whole new ballgame.

It might be a good time to take inventory of your relationship and see if it’s unhealthy. 

An important thing to consider—if you are fighting about everyday things that you will for sure continue to encounter, and you are thinking that once you marry things will simmer down and those issues won’t be such a big deal or you will be able to “work on your spouse” to get them to change… Do not be fooled. If you see things that you need to work on individually or as a couple, the chances of change happening before the wedding are far greater than after the ring is on your finger

The hopeful news is that conflict is inescapable for any relationship. Some of the best news is that conflict handled well actually brings you closer instead of pulling you apart. 

You for sure are not alone in this. Psychologist Dan Wile says it best in his book After the Honeymoon: “When choosing a long-term partner, you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unresolvable problems.” It’s true.  Every couple has around 10 things they will not necessarily agree on for the duration of their marriage. Despite this, relationship expert Dr. Gottman, who has studied couples for the last 40 years, has found that about ⅓ of conflicts can be resolved with the right approach.

Even for those things that you might disagree on for forever, Gottman found that how you approach each other is the key.

Dr. Gottman’s Approach:

Step 1: Soften Your Start-Up.

Are you beginning the conversation where you left off in your head? When your fiancé gets to your apartment you say, “Why should I ever be ready on time? You’re always late.” They respond with, “I got stuck behind an accident. I’m working on my timing.” Then maybe you go on to say, “It’ll be something else next time.” Soft Start-Ups don’t include the Four Horsemen (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling). Instead, you and your partner start the conversation gently and with intentions of understanding each other and coming to a resolution.

Step 2: Learn to Send and Receive Repair Attempts.

Think of a repair attempt as slamming on the brakes when you see a red light. You do this to avoid a collision that could harm your marriage,” says Kyle Benson from the Gottman Institute. In the example above, acknowledging that your fiancé is working on their time management could have de-escalated the situation. Practicing sending and receiving repair attempts can help improve the quality of your relationship.

Step 3: Soothe Yourself and Each Other.

If you know you’re too upset to have a conversation at the moment, take a 20-30 minute break. Try and “focus on the positives of your relationship by yourself.” When you’re “Flooded, ” as Dr. John Gottman refers to it, your brain is flooded with stress hormones and chemicals that make it nearly impossible for your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain responsible for complex problem-solving, to function. As a result, you can’t physiologically function as you normally would. You can’t communicate as you normally should. Acknowledge what makes you feel flooded. Talk about the best way and time to bring up issues to each other, how your partner can soothe you and what signals you can give each other to clue the other into how you’re feeling.

Step 4: Compromise.

When you negotiate, you accept each other’s imperfections while recognizing your relationship is more important than the argument and being right.

Step 5: Address Emotional Injuries.

Sometimes how you fight is what hurts more than what you were fighting about. Be open to talking it out and processing what you two went through. Accept responsibility and learn from your fights.

Fighting with your fiancé doesn’t have to be all bad—it can be an area for growth and an opportunity to understand each other’s differences better. A great way to fight for your relationship is by preparing for marriage. Consider premarital education or counseling to set yourselves up with the tools you need to thrive in your relationship.

Some other blogs you might find helpful!

10 RULES TO “FIGHT NICE” WITH YOUR SPOUSE

TOP 10 POTENTIAL MARRIAGE PITFALLS

10 GREAT DATES BEFORE YOU SAY “I DO”

10 RED FLAGS IN A DATING RELATIONSHIP

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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We may have just celebrated a major holiday, but why not keep the fun going? Pick a random holiday (it can be major like Christmas or something smaller like Earth Day) to celebrate together! You don’t have to wait till the actual date of that holiday, but you can recreate this DIY date night the next time the holiday comes around! Below are some examples of supplies you may use for some popular holidays, but creativity is always encouraged!

Christmas Supplies:

  • A small, wrapped gift for each other
  • Christmas lights hung in the living room or bedroom
  • Your traditional Christmas meal for dinner
  • Your favorite Christmas music to dance to
  • Ask each other some questions, like:
    • What’s your favorite holiday song?
    • What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
    • What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Valentine’s Day Supplies:

  • Chocolates (of course!)
  • Roses or other flowers
  • A romantic, candlelit meal
  • A bubble bath for two
  • Massage oils
  • Ask each other some questions, like:
    • When you do feel most loved by me?
    • How would you describe me in three words?
    • What is my most attractive quality to you?

Earth Day Supplies:

  • Plant flowers, trees, or veggies in your yard, garden, or on your porch
  • Pick one single-use item in your house to replace with a reusable item (plastic water bottles → reusable, getting reusable grocery bags, plastic baggies → reusable containers, etc.)
  • Make a plant-based meal for dinner
  • Go on a walk or hike in a park
  • Ask each other some questions, like:
    • Where is your favorite place to be outside? (Beach, Mountains, Woods, etc.)
    • If it was our last day on Earth, what would you want to do together?
    • If I were some type of plant, tree or flower, what do you think I would be?

St. Patrick’s Day Supplies:

  • Something green to wear
  • A traditional Irish meal for dinner
  • Shamrock-shaped cookies to decorate
  • Follow a video to learn a traditional Irish dance
  • Ask each other some questions, like:
    • If you found a pot of gold, what would you do with all that money?
    • What is your favorite St. Paddy’s day tradition?
    • If you could choose one city in Ireland to visit, what would it be?

Halloween Supplies:

  • Dress up in costume
  • Spooky music
  • Make a creepy dessert together (doing a quick Google search will give you great ideas!)
  • Look up scary stories to tell each other or watch a scary movie!
  • Ask each other some questions, like:
    • What’s the best costume you’ve ever dressed up in?
    • What’s the scariest experience you’ve ever had?
    • Do you believe in supernatural spirits / ghosts / demons? 

There’s just something about holidays that create an extra special experience! So take advantage of the excitement, nostalgia or novelty of doing something different with your love! Make this unique DIY date night one to remember!

Looking for more DIY date night ideas?

Check out ALL of our DIY Date Nights!

And what about something even MORE unique?

Check out our FREE Live Virtual date night events on Facebook!

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I just want to feel our love – the love we are spending time, energy, and money on celebrating. I miss the lack of urgency in answering questions and exchanging our ideas to spark conversations instead of polite compromises. When I was in the midst of planning my wedding I didn’t prioritize quality time with my fiancé. When we saw each other it was business. We sat in the tension of wanting romance but not knowing how to be both productive and passionate about each other. Learn from my mistake and get you and yours on a date! 

The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia did a study on how date nights affect couples. According to the study The Date Night Opportunity by W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew (University of Virginia, 2012):

In these data sets, husbands’ and wives’ reports of couple time were associated with higher relationship quality. For example, Figure 1 shows that husbands and wives who engaged in couple time with their mates at least once a week were approximately 3.5 times more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages, compared to those who enjoyed less quality time with their spouse.

You are preparing for marriage as you prepare for your wedding.

You will be someone’s husband or wife. Take what you see from the research and practice this habit so that it becomes muscle memory for your marriage! Don’t let the quantity of time you’re spending together blur with the meaning of quality time with your fiancé. 

How to Spend Quality Time with Your Fiancé While Planning a Wedding:

  1. Go over both of your schedules together. If you are making time to plan, to grocery shop, or to hang out with friends then you can surely make time to be intentional with your future spouse! Re-allocate your time and try to spend time together at least once a week. P.S. Try your best to refrain from talking about the wedding during this time—unless it’s about how excited you are!
  1. Be intentional with your time. Now that you have carved out some precious time together, don’t waste it! Put up the screens and put in the effort. Talk about how you two can love each other well. If you don’t know what your love language is, take the test and find out. Enjoy falling in love with each other over and over again (as well as learning to love each other better and better.)
  1. Cultivate intimacy. To have intimacy you have to spend quality time together. Communicating your desires, thoughts, feelings, and needs effectively and often are a sure-fire way to keep your connection with each other close. In this same vein, pursue each other. There’s nothing like the feeling of being worth someone’s time and effort. When you pursue your spouse-to-be, you are communicating to them they are valuable and deserving of your love. And for goodness’ sake—kiss! “A daily 6-second kiss will increase your emotional and physical intimacy.” According to author Dr. Kory Floyd, physical contact releases oxytocin (the bonding or trust hormone), can improve your mood (for days at a time), and can help you stay calm. To top it off, something as simple as holding hands, hugging, getting close, and yes, making out, can lessen your stress hormones (cortisol) and enrich your sense of relationship satisfaction.

You have your life together ahead of you. Let’s start it out with some healthy habits and making sure your relationship is the priority.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to get the most quality out of your time set aside for each other, here is a link to date nights that perfectly mix together fun, romance, and facilitate natural connection… Pro-Tip: They’re free! (Which I know is a plus since weddings aren’t always cheap.)

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