So folks, I have some big news…I got engaged this week to my ever-so-wonderful boyfriend of almost six years! Although I knew this was our eventual next step, it didn’t take away any meaning from the special moment or the importance of the commitment it represents to each other. That being said, the first question we have already had to dodge is the inevitable, “So when is the big day?” Quite frankly, we have no idea. In fact, the night of our engagement as we were getting ready for bed, Lance said, “So I have to ask…do we want to set a date right away?” I quickly responded with, “No”.
In fact, I have friends and family who run the whole gamut of engagement durations. I recently had a friend get engaged who had her whole wedding planned in 7 days. On the opposite end, my dear older brother and his fiance have been engaged for almost 7 years with no wedding plans in sight. Perhaps surprisingly, my bro is becoming the norm. In an article in Marie Claire titled “Happily Ever Engaged”, the topic of more couples enjoying long-term-engagement-prenuptial-bliss was discussed.
Did you know that back in the 60’s, engagements often lasted only three to six months?! Now, I super love Lance, but there is no way that I’m gonna whip out a wedding that fast. To me, what’s the rush? On average in today’s world, it is normal and perfectly acceptable for women to be engaged in terms of years; which coincides with recent data suggesting that young adults are becoming more and more indifferent about marriage. No longer does a woman have to be married to avoid being called the “cat lady” or the “spinster next door”. No longer do women need to be married, or even in a relationship, to be financially comfortable.
Most have their reasons for delaying the big day: busy raising kids, paying a mortgage, paying off student loans, not wanting to marry until everyone has a right to marry, saving for the shindig (on average, weddings cost 30,000-70,000 buckaroos…o Daaaaaaddy) etc. To each their own! All that truly matters is that you are committed to one another. Long engagements don’t mean that a relationship is having troubles, and vice versa (Hello, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries). I look at my brother and his fiance and they are the picture of a great relationship. They are madly in love raising a 10-year-old together, paying off a house together, taking family trips together, and are more focused on making happy memories than feeling the need to put a ring on it ASAP.
Now, I don’t plan on staying engaged for as long as aforementioned sibling. BUT, I do know that I love my fiance (that still feels fantastic to say), I am committed to our future together and that is enough for me, quite frankly. A ring is simply a piece of jewelry. A wedding is simply a big party. A marriage license is simply a piece of paper. The relationship is what truly matters. So for those fretting over wedding planning or thinking that you are not on the path of what you should be doing…relax. Enjoy each other and this time in your lives for, hopefully, it will be the only time you are engaged and planning a wedding in your lifetime. Take it all in and don’t give a single thought to all those naysayers out there who keep putting pressure on you.
Until next time…