Question #4: When is the wedding date?
I have known people who were engaged for a couple of years and are in very happy marriages. I have known people who were engaged for four months and are in very happy marriages.
But I’m not gonna lie. Being engaged STINKS. You will really see some of the worst parts of each other come out during this time. Waiting to have sex until the wedding night can be downright torture. Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful. Family members and their opinions come out of the woodwork. You have to make so many decisions that by the end of it you really wish you had decided to elope. But, engagement really presents a lot of ways for you to more firmly establish your relationship.
Once you are engaged, set a wedding date as soon as possible. I recommend being engaged for no longer than 6 months. Aaron and I were engaged only 4 and had a really nice wedding (and on a small budget!). If your fiance is squeamish about setting a firm date or wants to “wait”, you may need to have a tough conversation about whether you have answered the previous three questions in the best way.
At this point, you should begin discussing all the areas in which you will consummate your marriage. There are five areas of consummation: physical, social, spiritual, financial, and emotional. Take time to discuss each area–your expectations, fears, goals, etc. (And consider discussing the physical consummation somewhere that is public so you don’t jump each other. Just sayin’.)
If at all possible, meet together as a couple with an older couple in a healthy marriage about once a week. I would suggest that this couple not be any set of your parents, but someone outside of your families. I also strongly encourage engaged couples to do premarital counseling. (It’s also good to make some “couple friends” if you don’t have any already, but as a general rule it’s wise to not base friendship on one’s marital status.)
I hope you’ve found “the questions” helpful! As always, any feedback for conversation is great!