Surviving Engagement and Avoiding Cold Feet

Just-married couple drive off in a car

After getting engaged, many couples start to feel stressed about getting married. This could be what is known as cold feet or premarital doubt. It is not uncommon to ask yourself, “Is this the right person to spend the rest of my life with?” However, it could just be jitters and nerves about the wedding planning process. Maybe this feeling is pressure from well-meaning friends and relatives pushing along their expectations of what you should do from the moment you’ve announced your engagement. Take time to explore why you might feel stress about the wedding and identify the possible sources.

Many couples stay engaged for a year or more before planning and budgeting for their weddings. They revel in being engaged, while letting it all sink in and using this time to get to know each other better. Taking one’s time benefits the couple by lowering pressure and stress and allowing for more time to discuss any impending fears or doubts.

A couple facing away from each other after a fight

Premarital Education and Pre-Wedding Counseling

Your engagement is the perfect time to get to know yourself and your partner better. You’re both learning about each other and solving new issues together, which is good practice for your lifetime as a married couple. You’re both learning to become more open and more honest and to alleviate any fears of deeper intimacy.

Many couples choose longer engagements for the opportunity to get to know each other’s “for-better-or-worse” firsthand, and in advance. This gives a couple the chance to start working things out early. You both might have doubts as you learn more about each other. Relax and explore your feelings together. Whirlwind romances can and will grow into a much bigger lasting love, which hopefully lasts a lifetime.

However, if there are any issues, hesitations, or second thoughts that arise, they could be for good reasons. Perhaps premarital counseling or marriage education could be of assistance to both of you.

This is the perfect time to turn to someone at your church or to a professional counselor you can trust. They will have heard many pre-marital issues from different couples they have counseled and can help you learn to understand your differences before it gets too far out of hand. Many of us turn to these individuals for advice even after getting married. These relationship experts help solve problems and can counsel you on marital issues, which can have lasting benefits. It’s okay to admit you can’t solve every relationship issue yourself. It’s better to learn together how to deal with issues, since problems can get out of control without proper intervention. After all, a lasting marriage is always a work in progress, so don’t be afraid to get good counseling anytime.

A couple sees a therapist

Pre-Wedding Stress Reduction

There are many techniques to help with pre-wedding stress reduction. Here are a few tips:

  • Plan to get organized and stay organized.
  • Accept that you can’t do everything yourself. Ask for help when needed.
  • Be yourself and accept your own limitations.
  • Don’t set yourself up for failure by accommodating the expectations of others. Plan a wedding that you can handle and scale it back if needed.
  • Make a budget and stick to it.
  • Learn meditation, prayer, yoga, or use deep diaphragmatic breathing or other relaxation techniques.

Successful Marriages

We’ve all seen many older married couples who are inspirations to all of us. They still hold hands and have grown into a deeper kind of love that only time makes possible. It comes from the excitement of having from many new experiences together, both from good times and bad times. At first, we all feel the excitement of romance, which then turns into a love we can’t always understand right away. A deeper kind of love grows as you become one together, while still holding on to your individuality.

Learn from each other, as there are always other new ways to do things. Sometimes compromise is the answer, as there is always middle ground, and winning at all costs isn’t worth it. Take turns accommodating one another. Work on good civil communication, even during the tougher conversations. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, but it’s how we learn to deal with conflict that is important. Many couples don’t ever go to bed mad, but it’s just as important to learn how to disagree healthily and deal with it. Sometimes it’s better to sleep on it, so you can come back to the issues when you’re less irritated.

An older couple walks in the park

Most of all, remember the time when you first fell in love. You are two people who fell in love as individuals and found something in each other that made your love possible. Many couples focus on what’s working for them and find strength in what works well in their relationships, which isn’t always easy.

Lastly, if you literally just have cold feet, gift each other some nice warm socks with character!

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