I am by no means a relationship expert.
I am three months into my first relationship ever, which is going quite well, but still, I do not know much about relationships in general.
All couples are different. They move at different paces, have different issues, and different quirks. However, one thing that I believe should apply to all couples, is how you should speak about marriage.
Couples that are just dating should not talk about their future marriage as if it is a given.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe in dating to marry. When looking at potential dating partners, I always think way far ahead into the future. I can not hang out with a guy without analyzing how his traits would translate into our future together. Every one of his quirks, opinions, and actions are compared with what I want in a future husband, father to my kids, and my forever BFF. Kind of weird and intense, but I can't help it.
Anyways, it can be hard to find the right person for you to date.
So, once you do find that one you can see yourself ending up with, it's pretty exciting! You want to spend all of your time with that person! And talk about them all the time! And dream about your future with them.
But, just because you do find the chosen one that you could see yourself marrying, does not mean you need to tell them that.
Saying things like "when we get married" and "once we're married" only sets you guys up for hurt.
Every time you talk about your marriage as if it's already set in stone, you are making a promise to your person. A promise that you will be getting married, and have this hypothetical life together.
But until there is a ring on someone's finger, a formal promise in the form of engagement, your hypothetical life together is just that, hypothetical.
Making plans about when that person is your husband is dangerous because you do not know whether he will actually be your husband or not. If you guys break up, you are not only losing your boyfriend but the husband that he was in your head.
So, if you are confident that the person you are dating is going to be your spouse, go ahead and get engaged. And if you are not ready for an engagement, you are not ready to talk about that person as if you are already a married couple.
So, hold off and keep those wedding bells in your head.