Facing a big decision? Do I relocate for better opportunities? Should I apply for a promotion? Am I ready for another serious relationship? Is it the right time for us to start a family?
Whether you are single, engaged, or married, there are always choices to be made. Some may seem small and others large, but they all impact our lives in one way or another. We've reflected on what has been most helpful for us throughout the years and wanted to share it with you!
When single (dating included), we recommend that individuals:
Keep the future in view, not the focus.
Typically there is pressure for singles to make decisions they normally wouldn't make until engagement or marriage. Future decisions should be made based on where you are now and your current relationship status. For example, instead of choosing not to pursue your higher education in another city or state to be closer to your current boyfriend/girlfriend, attend that college/university and consider discussing long-distance arrangements with your partner. During this time, you can set distant goals for where you want to end up, whether you desire to remain single or get married. However, make the short-term goals the priority, and make the decision for you.
When engaged, we recommend that couples:
Make decisions based on available resources (i.e. time, money, social network)
Based on our experiences, the time and energy couples put into finding additional resources should be put into planning with resources you already have. For instance, before searching for additional sources of income to pay for wedding expenses, create a budget based on joint (you and your partner's) financial resources. Then, create a plan for saving for future expenses. Let additional resources be the last result.
Time: 25% of available resources should go toward wedding planning, the rest should go towards life after the wedding
General rule: For every hour spent on wedding planning, take three hours to talk about life after the wedding
When married, we recommend that couples:
Avoid impulse decisions for non-emergent situations.
Don’t be afraid to tell someone, “We need time to think and will get back with you.” Take as much time as the both of you need to make the decision. Even though a decision may be good, weigh in potential stressors when making the decision. If one spouse is presented with the situation, give the other spouse time to process the information you told them in their own way (i.e. conversation, silence, journaling, exercise, prayer). For instance, your spouse may have mixed emotions about a promotion you’ve been offered. It isn’t that he or she is not happy for you, but he or she may fear that an increase in work responsibilities will result in a lack of family commitment. Always be considerate and make decisions together.
We hope what we've shared will help with decision-making moving forward.
What have been some things that have helped you?
Feel free to share in the comments or through the contact form!
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Click HERE listen to Episode 7: "Making Major Life Decisions" on our podcast!