Engagement is a significant time for any relationship and should be used to confirm the ability for the couple to live a long and happy life together.
During the period of engagement, the two must do more than just plan the wedding. Although this is a big part of it; it’s not the only focus! They should also use this time together to assess their love for one another as well as their ability to live alongside each other. There are many things to consider when looking into the eyes of your soon to be life partner.
- What do you love about them?
- Are you willing to fight to stay with them?
- Could you ever leave them?
- Are you willing to give up the chance to meet someone else?
- Is this the person you see yourself growing old with?
These questions were most likely answered by the one who proposed the engagement. However, the other is put on the spot and asked to answer rather instantaneously. That’s why it’s important to reflect on where you stand in the relationship before committing to a life with them. Once you’ve determined that this is the real deal, and you want to be together for the rest of your lives, it’s time to think about actually doing it.
- How well do you resolve issues with one another?
- Do you agree more than you argue?
- Do you trust each other’s judgment?
- Do you have common ground for the plans of your future?
It is crucial to know that you are heading in the same direction as well as understand what it expected of you in the relationship. If you answer all these questions and find that you are confident in your love and the two of you can make this last, you are heading toward a fairy tale ending.
Breaking the Engagement
It is ridiculous to assume that every engagement will end in a “happily ever after.” Sometimes on a whim an engagement will be agreed upon without the care required for a successful life with another person and sometimes a circumstance can trigger an engagement.
This is where that uneasy feeling you get from answering reflective questions may arise. If you can’t reasonably reach the conclusion that you’ve made a good decision and will be happy with it in the long run, there’s a simple way to fix it. End the engagement. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing where you scream at each other and never want to see each other again. It can be done in a peaceful way so that you can continue your previous relationship until it matures into something you feel is trustworthy of eternity. This is not an unrespectable action. On the other hand, going through with a marriage that you have a strong feeling won’t make it is. Don’t regret what should be the best decision of your life!
There isn’t a set time frame that is acceptable or unacceptable for an engagement. Really it’s up to the couple getting married and what they are comfortable with doing. In 2013, The Huffington Post reported that the most common engagement was between 13-18 months, at 40%. It was followed by 7-12 months, at 27%., which just barely beat 19-24 months, 23%. However, they ranged anywhere from 0-24+ months, with the extremes being less common. The point is that you can do whatever you want! As long as the two of you are comfortable with it and have time to plan everything you want to include in your wedding, go for it.
Living Together Before Marriage/Engagement
There are many reasons that living with another person outside of marriage seems like a great idea. The first of them that come to mind are saving money, testing out the relationship’s compatibility, and simply wanting to be together. However, this decision causes more of a gradual drift toward to idea of marriage which eliminates the decision making aspect. While also resulting in less communication, little satisfaction, and increased aggression in the marriage that results from this gradual slide. This proves to be less of a problem after engagement, because the couple has already chosen to take the next step together. Living together may feel like marriage, but it lacks the strong commitment. It also robs marriage of the passion that is normally experienced within the first part of marriage that is helpful for overcoming problems in the relationship. If you are considering using a live-together-first arrangement to test your ability to have a successful marriage, don’t trust it. There are many other ways to determine how you and your loved one will do that are less detrimental to your relationship. However, don’t worry about living together a few months before your wedding; in many cases it’s more convenient and you’ll be alright!
Ways It Has Been Done
There has been many heart stopping proposals in the past, but there are many to come! Surprise the one you love in the most romantic and personal way that you can think of. Start your engagement off with a gesture that shows the love you have for her/him while telling the story of your relationship together. Becoming engaged is a big deal because it symbolizes the commitment you will make to each other forever. No matter what you like or how you choose to do it, make sure it’s something that you will both look back on happily!
Some of the sweetest ways I have seen are:
- A guy once made his own movie trailer for his girlfriend featuring himself and her father as he asked for permission to marry her.
- Use a talent of yours to express your love to her.
- Use something simple to shock her like a photo booth.
- Use a memory that is significant to your relationship such as a day with family picking pumpkins.
- Another used how his girlfriend said she would marry a guy if he played a song on a record player for her in his proposal.
- Maybe a photo shoot with a surprise ending is your style.
After you’ve popped the question and decided you want to tie the knot, what’s next? It’s time to make an engagement announcement. This can be done through an exerpt in your local newspaper or cards that you mail out to your friends and family. You can also change your relationship status on Facebook. How you choose the spread the word doesn’t matter.
Engagement announcements typically tell readers who your parents are, where you’re from, your education/occupation, and the date of the wedding, assuming you want that information out in the open. Obviously you don’t want to include anything you would wish to stay private. There are many ways to word these, so regardless of your situation there’s a beautiful announcement waiting to be written for you.