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February 16, 2013 / Dale Melchin

How to Get the Guy or Girl Part 5: The Big Catch

This is a post that will give you an idea of what the future will look like if you’ve followed the previous processes regardless of where you are in the relationship chain.  (No pun intended commitment haters!)

Alright so you’ve got her or him.  You’re either engaged or you’ve talked about marriage a fair bit, so what is next?

If you have a network of advisors/mentors who are working with you and they’ve given you guys mostly upvotes, it may be time to proceed.  Take time to listen to the blackhats of your respective groups though.  They may have some some insight into why you shouldn’t go forward, or they may just be causing problems.  Your judgement and intuition will tell you if that is the case.

The Proposal
This is going to be the first of your major “escalations” in the relationship.  If you are a manly man, it is your duty to make sure this is a wonderful and memorable night for her.  Do your best to make sure it runs smoothly.  If you drop the ring, don’t worry about it.  If she’s any kind of a woman, she will think its cute and say yes anyway.  If she gets huffy about how you messed it up, you may need to reconsider your proposal, but this is rare.  I’m going to leave this to your judgement as to how much ring you should buy and how expensive the dinner should be.  Just be creative, you’ll both enjoy it.

Planning the Marriage
Someone once said that if people put as much time into planning the marriage as they did into planning the wedding we would have a lower divorce rate.  This is absolutely true!  There are a number of ways to “plan the wedding” that I will share with you.

The first is premarital counseling.  Both of you may be involved with an ancient tradition.  If you are involved with the same tradition ( and you should be) Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.  Get trusted Pastor, Rabbi, or counselor who will see you.  If it is in your church or place of worship it will be free, because that is part of their pastoral duty to their congregation.  And for goodness sake, listen to their advice and implement it!

Nothing is more aggravating to a counselor in any capacity than to give good advice and not see it implemented and you have fall out as a result.

The other part of that, is fall out.  It is completely avoidable.  If they point out a blindspot, have the courage to address it!  Have the courage to delay the wedding if need be.  I know there is a strong social element to the wedding day, but it is also the duty of the community to help you keep your marriage together.  That includes prevention, not just damage control.

Staying Committed to the Worldview
The next part is making sure to stay grounded in your worldview.  Regardless of which tradition you hail from, staying committed to the values of that tradition is vital if you are going to have a lasting marriage.

Building a Vision for your Marriage
The final part which is going to flow out of the two previous points is building this vision.  Kids or no kids?  Both working? One working? Is one going to become a business owner so eventually no one has to work and both can be flexible with life?  Building a joint life plan in this case does have value.  You want to have a general framework in place before the ring, and then work out some of the specifics after the ring.

Finally have fun!  I realize all of this very sacred and solemn, but it is also joyful.  Enjoy the process and look forward to a glorious life together!


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