Marriage is about more than jewelry or ceremonies. It’s about finding someone who means the world to you and who will share the world with you. In polls, Americans consistently say that love is the most important reason to get married. Nothing else matters as much as that: Not money, not jobs, not ceremonies, and certainly not whether your engagement ring has a natural diamond or a lab-grown diamond.
But the fact is that those other things do matter, at least a little bit. The stress that you deal with as you enjoy your engagement and plan your wedding are chances to problem solve together, and that kind of relationship strength-building is important for a marriage. After all, making a marriage last requires compromise, communication, and commitment.
Finding your forever means making the right decisions at every important juncture. It means getting the big things, like family planning, just right. As for the smaller things, like date nights, travel plans, wedding decor, and shared hobbies, it may not seem as vital to always agree. But learning how to approach these little problems or disagreements is actually very important; you’ll develop communication skills and improve your understanding of each other. If you can honestly and effectively compromise on or discuss any issue, big or small, “forever” is a lot more attainable.
According to a recent study, 40% of engaged couples find wedding planning “extremely stressful.” Even more find it at least a little stressful, and more than 70% of all couples consider it more stressful than other major challenges, including landing a job! And wedding planning isn’t the only stress you’ll deal with. The engagement itself — and the engagement ring — can be a source of stress, too.
After all, engagement rings can be expensive. Natural diamonds have to be mined and then exported to your home country. The import duties and other expenses can make these already pricey stones even more expensive. The good news is that there are alternatives. The rise of synthetic diamonds has made it possible for more couples to get the engagement rings of their dreams without having to break the bank. Brands like Agape Diamonds (“agape” means “love” in Greek) creates beautiful diamonds that are identical to natural diamonds in every important way.
Communication is key when picking out an engagement ring. While some of us like the element of surprise in marriage proposals, it’s important to be on the same page as your beloved when deciding on these kinds of big financial decisions. Perhaps a piece made with an Agape simulated diamond (or even multiple Agape synthetic diamonds) will be the perfect fit for you and your significant other. This is especially true if your shared values make it a priority for you to get conflict-free diamonds. Jewelry made with synthetic diamonds is always conflict-free, since such stones are made in labs — including labs right here in the United States (the fact that the labs are located in the US is part of why the prices can sometimes be lower for a synthetic option, such as an Agape simulated diamond, than they would be for a so-called natural diamond). If you’re comfortable doing so, you could work with your partner to pick out a ring ahead of the proposal. You could read Agape Diamonds reviews and compare options from Agape Diamonds and others.
Of course, the engagement ring is only the beginning. With the engagement comes wedding planning. So how can you survive that? According to that same recent study, the key is a familiar virtue in any relationship: communication. Keep all lines of communication open, and be clear about your priorities. Focus on the big things first, and nail down what matters most to you before you spend lots of time on tiny details. Experts also advise self-care. Taking a break from planning, allowing yourself to feel your feelings, and spending a little time unwinding and de-stressing alone can be key. While you’re at it, try to stay healthy in body as well as mind: Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and the right dietary supplements, get quality sleep, and exercise. Staying healthy will help you feel good and leave you better equipped to tackle stressful tasks without losing your cool.
Marriages don’t always last. But whether or not yours does depends, to a large degree, on you. You (and your partner, of course) must choose to do the important work — not just the fun stuff. You have to prioritize the repair work and (especially) the maintenance work needed to keep a relationship strong. That means being active communicators, checking in on each other frequently, and making a conscious effort to put more into the relationship as time goes on: more dinner dates, more heart-to-heart talks, and more acts of love and kindness. What was once easy will take a conscious effort as you fall into your routine, but don’t forget what a great place you’ve reached in your marriage — and what it takes to keep your life in that spot!
Great marriages take planning. Before you get married (and, for that matter, before you get engaged), you should have important conversations about your family and future. Do you want children? Do you recognize the difficulties that might stand between you and your dream family? Are you prepared to work with fertility doctors, take fertility boosters for men and women, and do everything else that it takes to turn your dreams into reality? For that matter, are you prepared to speak frankly with each other about everything surrounding fertility and infertility — like physical intimacy, for example?
A great ring for your forever partner will come with a lifetime guarantee. But a great ring will also come with a jewelry care guide, because nothing in this world is effortlessly perfect forever. Your marriage needs care, too, and its only lifetime guarantee depends on you and your partner. Find the right fit in a partner, just as you would find the right ring size. Care for your partner and your relationship, just as you’d care for a priceless diamond. Do that, and it will last as long as the toughest gem.