You’ve been going out with this girl for quite some time and you really think that she is the ‘right one’. There are a lot of things that you enjoy doing together and you feel like she makes your life complete. You are thankful that you have met someone like her and want to spend the rest of your life with her. And now, you want to take your relationship to the next level – but wait a minute. There are certain things that you need to consider before proposing to the girl of your dreams. Such as:

Make sure that you are really ready

Note that a marriage proposal is just the beginning of a lifetime with her. Once you propose, you’ve got at least six months to prepare for the wedding. It’s a serious decision that you have to analyze your feelings and resolve carefully, especially if you have doubts about the girl, about you or about your relationship. This is not something that you jump into blindly.

The right time

There is such a thing as ‘right timing’ when it comes to getting married. Statistics show that most failed marriages are because of the fact that the couples involved did not expect how serious the commitment was. Marriage requires teamwork from both parties, something that doesn't come naturally to a lot of people from the opposite gender.

Being married means sharing everything, having kids and a ton of responsibility. It is not always going to be sweetness and light; there will always be trying times in every marriage. So one of the things to consider before proposing is whether it is the right time for the both of you.

Do you want to wake up every single day with her?

This may seem trivial but the truth is, a lot of men make a mistake of proposing just because they are afraid that they might lose the girl that they love, or because of social pressure. However, remember that when you're married, you get to see her everyday, when she's all dolled up and when she looks her worst. Have you seen what you look like immediately after waking up? You're going to see and smell each other even if both of you haven't taken a bath yet, you're going to see each other when someone is down with the flu, etc. Case in point, if you've only seen one another at each other's best, you should be prepared to see each other at your worst.

Never consider the possibility of divorce

While divorce is very common these days, you should not consider it as an escape route. Marriage is a commitment for life and separation is not an answer to your troubles along the way. Once you made the decision to tie the knot, there is no turning back. So, if you feel that you can endure all the aches and pains involved in being married, you are indeed ready.

Selflessness is important

You need to learn how to be selfless, as there are certain things that you must sacrifice. You are not alone anymore – you have to think about your partner, how to please her and how to comfort her whenever she needs it.

Be prepared to change for the better

If you are the ‘bad boy’ type, be prepared to forget about your image once you get married. Even before entering a serious commitment, make sure that you are ready to get rid of your bad habits and bad attitude (unfaithfulness, selfishness, anger, etc.) While you cannot be perfect, it is important to make an effort to change for your partner and your future family.

On the other hand, don't try to change your partner

People who commit to a relationship thinking, "I can change him/her" are walking into a trap. It's extremely difficult to change a person, as most people are already hardwired. Most of them may try to change, and succeed at first - but over time they'll revert and will probably hate you for making them go through with it. If partners are to change, they must do it on their own volition and not because they were forced or manipulated into doing so.

Talk to your partner about marriage

Yes, you want the proposal to be a huge surprise. However, one of the things to consider before proposing is having a talk about marriage and having a family. It is important to know how your girl feels about the whole marriage thing. There are some women who have the notion that marriage simply means having babies, staying at home and take care of the family. On the other hand, there are some who feel that getting married means making important decisions together, realizing your goals and dreams together and raising a family together. Additionally, she must know your thoughts about marriage as well.  You may have the best relationship but if she’s not the ‘wife’ that you’ve been dreaming to have, then it’s over. Or worse, what if she really doesn’t want to marry you in the first place? Now you have a problem.

Talk to her parents

Asking permission from her parents is a simple act of politeness. Talking to them and getting to know your partner’s family means that you are man enough to ask her hand in marriage. Basically, this gesture is as important as talking to your partner. You should promise to her parents that you will take good care of her and that you’ll be by her side all the time.

Marriage isn’t always blissful

All marriages have their fair share of ups and downs. Expect troubles and crisis along the way – bad attitude, difference in political/religious faith, preferences in movies, food, fashion style, etc. These problems will almost certainly occur in your marriage and you should be able to deal with them together.

You can say that a marriage is successful if it is able to endure the test of time. If you think that getting married is the solution to your personal problems (the feeling of being incomplete, depression, broken family), you are in big trouble. Marriage is not for those who lack courage or those who are easily frightened. A successful union involves a great deal of courage, love, trust, patience and moral fiber.