When your family doesn’t approve of the guy you’re dating – or his family doesn’t approve of you – it can be a very big strain on your relationship. And especially puts a dent in any proposal or wedding plans. If you’re dealing with parents who just aren’t seeing your mate as you see them, consider these things:
Was it how he spoke to you? Treated you? Do they not like his job or his viewpoints? Ask your family what irks them about your partner and encourage them to be specific. While you might not want to hear it, your parents know you better than you think – and their opinion might just be accurate. If there are really big reasons why he might not be a match for you, you need to hear them from an outside perspective.
So, you have never gotten along with your family and you’ve never felt that special bond that you wanted to have. While it’s disappointing, it is encouraging that you’ve met someone that you want to share your life with, and possibly begin a family with. It might be difficult to swallow your parents’ disapproval or even sad, but try to think of the great things ahead of you and just how different you’ll be than the house that raised you.
Maybe your father likes to fish and your guy does, too. Or perhaps you and his mom are both bakers. Find something that you have in common and plan a joined activity. By sharing a mutual love for something, it can bring you closer and open up more things that you might agree on, causing those tensions to fall away.
At the end of the day, it’s your life, your love, your relationship. While family is a big part, it isn’t the end-all-be-all. You and your partner must decide what’s most important to you and if the opinions of your parents will negatively or positively affect your future and relationship.
Photo Credit: Rachael Nicole Photography]]>
Sometimes a ring on the finger adds to that stress. After all, you want to be the bell of the ball on your wedding day. You don’t want your bridesmaids or guests showing you up, right? So all of a sudden you start planning this crash-course-diet to follow for the next x-amount of months in order to get your dream body by your wedding day.
Take a step back, woman.
Here are my three suggestions.
1. Get everyone on board. Be honest and share your hopes/dreams with your wedding party (at least your closest bridesmaids and your groom) about your size/shape/toning for your wedding day. Let them know how important it is to you, and assign people different tasks. For example, your maid of honor is supposed to keep you from drinking soda (or whatever it is you want to cut out), and bridesmaid #1 is supposed to exercise with you at least three times a week. Set goals together to make it less stressful.
2. Give yourself a break. As in, if you’re trying to make a lot of changes, take it one step at a time. Skip dessert and be happy about it. Eat a few less carbs and reward yourself with a manicure. Find ways to keep yourself motivated and happy. Don’t let stress and pressure get the best of you.
3. Quality time. Your fiancee proposed to you. He loves you. Don’t push him away during your engagement by going all crazy about your diet. Spend some quality time together and remind yourself that he’s the one, and he loves you no matter what (and you should, too)!
Photo Credit: Flikr.com]]>
Let’s not forget what you actually are at the moment—engaged. The engagement is just as fun as the dating and the wedding.
“[Being engaged] gives you endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” From Legally Blonde… sort of.
Being engaged should make you happy. Don’t focus all your energy into stressing out about caterers and seating charts. Take some time to really focus on your engagement. Here are my three to-dos.
Before becoming engaged to her husband, Joy Schoffler, from Austin, Texas, took a trip to Thailand for seven weeks. She wanted to test the waters on her own before accepting a proposal. “Knowing that I could be completely independent, and have the freedom to do as I chose, gave me confidence to make a commitment.” she said.
She also wanted to pay off the debt she had acquired in her last year in college: “I firmly believe that finances are one of the most sensitive areas of marriage and can cause resentment.” she said.
Even now, post-marriage and children, asserting individual identity plays a part in being content too. For example, says Joy “by having happy hours with my girlfriends and little things like pedicures and massages.”. And to keep their marriage loving and romantic, Joy and her husband never go without date nights or spending time together without the kids when they can.
Communication is Key
Dr Christina Schlachter approves Joy’s decision. While Schlachter doesn’t believe there is necessary a “right” time to get married, there are right reasons for marrying the right person. But, before any of those matter, it’s important to really know yourself, she says.
Before deciding if it’s the right time to get married, experts like Schlachter and Jessica LeRoy, the founder and clinical director for the Center for Psychology of women, suggest that you and your fiancé ask each other the following questions:
1- Expectations: Do you and your partner have the same outlook on what marriage means and what it entails?
2- Outlook: Do you and your partner share the same life vision, like work schedules, time off, vacations, and friendships?
3- Compromise: Are you ready to give up certain aspects of your single life, such as not having sex with other people, merging finances, having to check in with someone, and an overall shrinkage of independence and personal freedom?
4- Commitment: Can you imagine sitting on a porch with this person in a nursing home or changing his/her clothes if he/she can not do it for themselves?
5- Friendship: Do your friends get along and do they like your fiancé?
6- Sacrifice: If you had to give up your favorite activity for this person, are you willing to do it?
If you can honestly answer “yes” to all of these questions, you may found the right person and you may be feeling the marrying-bug for right reasons. But, once you say “I do”, how can you make sure to maintain that “I can do it” mantra you’ve lived by?
Schlachter says it’s less about balance and more about negotiating. “You need to be honest with yourself about what you are willing to give and willing to take.” she says. “Sometimes, you give 1001 percent to your career, sometimes 1001 percent to your family, but you can only give 100 percent, so something has to bend.”
Negotiating the Fit
By negotiating your needs and making terms for your marriage, before your cascade down the aisle toward your joint futures, you should prepare your relationship for complications that may arrive. If you’re open and honest with yourself about what you need, what you’re willing to give up, and what you expect out of your marriage, then both you and your spouse will be fulfilled and happy with the union.
Make a list of parts of your life you’re not willing to compromise, what you would change, and what you expect out of a lifelong partner. Be open and honest with your guy and have him make the same list.
Before there’s a Mr Right or a right time, you have to figure out what type of marriage is right for you.
By Lindsay Tigar
Photos by Kelly Tunney Photography
1) Do not ONLY talk about your engagement and upcoming wedding. As happy as your friends are about your upcoming nuptials and you’re newest diamond accessory, they don’t want to hear about it every five seconds at every gathering. If you still want to have friends after this whole wedding thing is over, it’s probably best to remember to not annoy or alienate your friends.
2) Do not start wars with the future in-laws. Merging two separate families together can be a beautiful or terrifying experience. Chances are, there may be some bumps along the way. However, keep in mind that you’re only in control of your actions and can make a huge difference on your relationship with the fiance’s parents by taking the higher ground and having a thick skin. Sure, there are times and places to stand your ground, but remember to pick your battles. The “It’s MY Wedding” mentality can be a lot of bride-to-be’s downfall.
3) Do NOT take off your engagement ring in a unsafe place. You love your ring, so of course you don’t want to mess it up or lose it. However, a lot of people have had some pretty heartbreaking experiences by not taking extra safe measures when removing their ring. Remember the girl who’s ring was thrown away and had to be found later in the dumpster by her fiance digging through trash? Don’t end up like her. Only put rings on ring dishes that they can attach to or in cups that are put up inside of cabinets if working in the kitchen. Or, if you’re going swimming, remember to bring a chain to wear your ring around your neck instead of leaving it in a beach bag (those metal detector guys will have a field day later if you don’t).
4) Do NOT fake an illness to get free wedding stuff. You would think this would go without saying, but it actually happens. Take this former bride for example. She lied about having leukemia to score money for her honeymoon in Aruba. Now, not only is she divorced, but she could face up to four years in prison. Yeah…probably would be best to avoid that one.
What do you think: Any advice on what should be avoided during engagements?
Whether you’re planning on getting engaged soon or you’re already engaged, chances are you’ve probably thought about engagement photos.
There are some things in life that people say have no right or wrong way to do them. Engagement photos are not one of those things.
There are wrong ways to do them. And by wrong, I mean so embarrassingly awful it ends up on the Internet for people to laugh at you over.
After it was brought up over the water cooler by a coworker of mine today, I realized there are some general guidelines one must follow when it comes to the sacred art of engagement photography.
1) Do not copy movies. You’re your own people. Why mimic something weird like an upside down Spiderman kiss or dress up like someone who isn’t you? That’s just silly.
2) Don’t do awkward body positions. You’re a young couple in love. Not human contortionists. And even if you are, that comes AFTER the wedding. Not for your save-the-dates.
3) Don’t try to be too sexy. Kinda follows along the lines of the awkward positions bit. Stay away from outfits that are too revealing or photo shoots that require you to be completely drenched in water. Grandma won’t appreciate it.
4) Don’t look like you hate each other. Sure, some photos are funny when it’s obvious you all are just pretending. But for the actual portraits it may be nice to actually be cuddled up. Looking awkwardly at the camera with enough space between the two of you for an elephant to walk by does not scream “COME TO OUR WEDDING!” It’s more of like “Looks like they’re forced to get married for citizenship papers.”
You may think these tips are completely wacky, but trust me when I say you’ll thank me one day. Don’t believe me? Check out this site of awkward engagement photos. A lot of these people would have been saved if they just followed my advice a little sooner.]]>
The ring seems to be a radiant or princess cut emerald set in diamond pave.
Photos via UsMagazine
Thinking of getting a similar design?
1) Surprise her
2) Pour out your soul
3) Impress her with sparkly bling (seriously, check that rock out at the end!)
**Bonus Points for catching it on film**
Basically, they go hiking (and it definitely seems cold considering the way she’s shivering). He pretends to set the timer on a camera so they could take a picture with the amazing background, but he acts like he doesn’t know how to work it. She keeps beeping at him to inform him that he’s doing it wrong. I think it’s an adorable snapshot of a real life couple.
He keeps the charade going for a little while until he finally proposes and seriously, her reaction is hysterically adorable. Talk about an excited lady! See for yourself! (And because they know all the mush and gush isn’t appreciated by all, they fast forwarded their reaction which is cute and funny to watch. It definitely looks like they love each other).
What do you think: Scale of 1-10, how would you rate the surprise factor of this proposal?
1) You get to celebrate the holidays with each other’s families. With a ring on your finger, you’re definitely either already part of the family or well on your way. This is a great time to really mesh with the future in-laws, see how your future hubby plays with cute kids, and see how you both can deal with family drama and stress.
2) You can take really cute pictures in the snow. Sure, sundresses are cute, but the right sweater or coat can be just as cute and classy, making for very elegant engagement pictures. Or of course you could have a friend take candid pictures of the two of you simply playing in the snow. Either way, tons of photo ops in the winter!
3) There are tons of holiday activities and traditions to share in. Baking cookies together? How cute. Standing under the mistletoe? Yes please! No matter what you’re doing this holiday season, there’s always something fun and magical to do. Maybe its walking hand-in hand down a lighted neighborhood or snuggling up in a horse drawn carriage being pulled downtown. Ice skating even has potential for romantic memory making. There’s never a shortage of fun, winter-themed activities for you and your sweetheart to do.
4) You know you have the real thing. Break-ups tend to happen more in the winter than in the warmer months. Many people blame it on seasonal depression. If you and your honey can love each other through thick and thing, through warm seasons and cold– then you know your relationship is ready to stand the test of time.
5) Let’s be honest– it’s awesome to be engaged ANY TIME. Being engaged is just awesome. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, whether he proposed yesterday or a year ago, or whether or not he went all out for the proposal or sheepishly stumbled over his words– you’re engaged to the love of your life. It feels pretty awesome regardless.
What do you think: When’s the best time to be engaged?