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Thread: When to get engaged & how long to be engaged

  1. #1
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    When to get engaged & how long to be engaged

    Obviously, a couple should get engaged when they know they want to marry each other.

    I told my boyfriend years ago that it annoyed me when couples got engaged and treated it as some kind of higher level of dating. It means you are going to be married, but people did not treat it that way. Meaning, they were engaged but took no steps toward actually getting married. I started to expand/generalize my thoughts on the topic, maybe inferring that people who are engaged should be planning a wedding, and engagements should not last forever or too long.

    I think we have known that we are going to marry each other for quite some time now. But due to many different things, 3 years have passed since I was ready to get married, and another 1.5 years of the future contain situations that will keep us from getting married. Clearly, we will likely not get married in the immediate future. Since we are not getting married in the immediate future, according to my philosophy above, no need to get engaged, right?

    Well, all of a sudden, I think my philosophy on engagement sucks! I want to be engaged now, even if it means a long engagement.

    Thoughts? Am I being crazy? I'm not gonna lie- I'm feeling a little crazy these days!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    Have you talked to your boyfriend about this recently again? It's ok to change your mind about your feelings/opinions on engagement and marriage.



    from your previous thread, you say you've been with him for 8 years.

    I think you should figure out if he isn't ready to marry or just doesn't want to marry you.

    How much longer are YOU willing to wait for an engagement until you walk away?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
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    Well, I guess it all depends on you really, doesn't it? Some people "believe" in long engagements, others don't. Sometimes the life situation is such that getting married RIGHT NOW is not possible, but you do want to express that you ARE going to get married in 2 or 3 years, and may choose a long engagement.

    I know for me, I am not opposed to a longer engagement if it is a mutual decision. For example, I am going back to school in September, and due to my need for student loans, marriage cannot happen at least not this year as I need to qualify for the maximum. Maybe depending on my financial needs it may need to be put off for 2 or 3 years. However, I am definitely alright with a longer engagement because of these circumstances. However, if it was because someone was having cold feet, and got engaged just to stop the pressure, and kept putting planning off...well, then that is another situation altogether.

    So my answer is...it's all dependent on the couple involved, their dynamics, life situation, and what they have communicated to one another.

    You may be feeling now more open to a long engagement as your views have changed as YOU aged, maybe because you really want to go to another "step", it's not wrong, but maybe you should talk about it together? If you definitely both WANT to get married, you should be able to discuss these details together too!

    As for how long into the relationship...again depends. If you started dating at 18, I think it is fine to wait a few years. If you are both in your late 20's or 30's and both want marriage for yourselves, I think you should know within a year or two if you really want to be with this person long term, and if so at least be discussing marriage/engagement. If you realize they aren't for you long term, I think you need to go separate ways. At this time in my life, I would not wait for 3, 4, 5+ years for someone to "decide" if they ever wanted to get married or not to me, they should know within a year or two, even if as a couple we decide to wait a while longer before taking that next step of marriage (as my bf and I have due to our situation at this time).
    Last edited by RayKay; 07-25-2006 at 10:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Day_Walker's Avatar
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    I think that your initial thought that engagement is some kind of higher form of dating was accurate according to your perception. You long for something more than what you currently have and that is why you feel you need to be engaged. You can tell this because your philosophy changed so quickly.
    It all depends on the person a long engagement may fit some people while others it may not work for.

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  6. #5
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    Since we are not getting married in the immediate future, according to my philosophy above, no need to get engaged, right?
    I would say no. You clearly are wanting to get engagement/married. I think after 8 years together, you'd like to have some assurances about the future.

    Some people have long engagments for lots of different reasons. some people want to be married in a specific spot which is booked for a long time in advance. others want to wait until they finish school, some people just want to wait until they are not so young.

    However... 8 years.... wow... I think you deserve an answer, yes or no.

    Why don't YOU propose to him?

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    I am sure now that we both want the same thing. That entire previous thread, I believe now, was a "freak out" moment that we both went through about the timing of everything. Almost like an argument about nothing, or an argument for the same thing!

    I know I can always talk to him about it, my change in philosophy, but I felt like I got such great insight from my last thread that it might be a good idea to run it through the forum before I said anything.

    Yesterday we were talking about it, he said "Maybe we can get married next fall."

    This would be very convenient, since his house-mates are getting married next fall and moving out. You know, lease-wise and such, it would be good timing for it to happen, because then we could get a place together and not have to be leaving anyone searching for a house-mate. It is clear to me that the house-mates are timing their marriage to coincide with the end of their lease. But now I feel like my relationship is being dictated by their relationship! So I replied "Maybe we can get engaged next fall." I know it is silly to care at all about what they are doing in relation to what we are doing. And I know that won't be the true impetus of a move on our part.

    Actually, speaking of moves on our part, remember how I was saying it was all about his career and waiting for it to work out? And then of course he admitted that it was not worth waiting for and/or losing me over. Anyway, he finally has made some headway in the career department! He is in talks with 3 different organizations to finally do what he wants to do! It is very exciting and he is actually working for 2 of the places right now, and hoping to leave his current job, which he hates, when he starts working for the 3rd place. (I know it sounds crazy to be working for 3 different places, but for what he is doing it is not unheard of.)

    Anyway, to my reply about getting engaged next fall, he said "What?! Why can't we just get married this fall?!"

    Oh boy! Now it's getting fun. My reply about getting married this fall? Well, I can't leave my job until Feb 2008. (That is part of the 1.5 years of the future I referred to above)

    For all my complaining and saying that I am ready to do this anytime, the truth is, if getting married means moving away (which it does) than I am not willing to do this until Feb. 2008 anyway! Yes, I hem and haw about doing it sooner but at the same time will not do it sooner. (Well, I would if he would move here, and he would if I would move there, but right now neither one of us is willing to move.)

    Yeah, we are both all over the place with this stuff. We see the same outcome, but cannot seem to coordinate our schedules.

    Back to the engagement. So since marriage is being put off my both of us right now, engagement would be nice. Asking for it, however, would ruin what element of surprise is left! I may be ridiculous to want "surprise" at this point, but I still want it!

    What's a girl to do? If I tell him I want to get engaged now, and he does it, it will not have the same tone it would have if he did it now.

    And, stupidly, in the back of my head is the bother that the house-mates got engaged, and I don't want to feel like a follower. I would have liked to get engaged sooner, like, before, in times that have already passed, but I was not vocal enough about it. Now, I don't want to be vocal about it because I want to be surprised!

    I guess I'm trying to find away to tell him I want it now w/o actually telling him!

  8. #7
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    [QUOTE=RayKay]
    You may be feeling now more open to a long engagement as your views have changed as YOU aged, maybe because you really want to go to another "step", it's not wrong, but maybe you should talk about it together? If you definitely both WANT to get married, you should be able to discuss these details together too!

    Yes, we can definitely discuss these details, but I don't want to discuss too much, because I want to be (somewhat) surprised by the proposal.

    You want to be surprised, right? You know you two will eventually get married, and current circumstances dictate that the time is not quite right. So you can't be too surprised that he is asking, but it would not be as exciting of a moment if you knew too much about the proposal.

    I also know that some people do not care so much about the proposal. I don't like to put too much stock in the process preceeding marriage (proposal, engagement, wedding), but after all this time, I'm thinking I'd like to take my time and enjoy the excitement of it all!

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by annie24
    I would say no. You clearly are wanting to get engagement/married. I think after 8 years together, you'd like to have some assurances about the future.

    Why don't YOU propose to him?
    I am feeling pretty assured without the ring right now. But I am feeling like I want to parade around and say "fiance" instead of "boyfriend" soon!

    We've talked about me proposing to him, but he nixed the idea a long time ago, and I've grown fond of the idea of him proposing to me.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator annie24's Avatar
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    Actually, speaking of moves on our part, remember how I was saying it was all about his career and waiting for it to work out? And then of course he admitted that it was not worth waiting for and/or losing me over.
    glad to hear that things are better! and yes, this is a very good insight on his part! he can wait to marry until he is CEO, but by then, you will have moved on.

    I am glad things are progressing forward!

  11. 08-08-2006, 07:57 PM

  12. #10
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    Clarity- well, we are way past that point. (unfortunately) I can't seem to get the thought of getting married out of my mind, and the worst part about it that I worry that I will start to resent him for not doing it sooner. The time for this, if you ask anybody, was yesterday. I agree, but I also believe that waiting will ultimately yield the best outcome.

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