any other untraditional 'engagements'?

posted 3 years ago in Proposals
Post # 3
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

You are over thinking it.  And I’m not really sure why you would want to pass up the opportunity to be engaged just because you want to be different.  If you are planning on getting married than I’m pretty sure you’re engaged.  It’s not about the proposal, it’s about the promise.  Enjoy it.  

Post # 4
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Engagement is just the period of time between when you decide to get married and when you actually do get married!

So when people ask, I’d just say you haven’t set a date yet!

Post # 5
1168 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@misstwinkle:  Just say we know we are meant to be, we just dont know when! Its the truth. After a while people wills top asking for a date.  

Post # 7
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@BrandNewBride:  +1!

I am technically ‘engaged’ too but don’t consider it to be a traditional engagement. For one, my SO and I aren’t completely sure we want to be legally wed. His parents were never married but have always worn rings to signify their commitment, which is something I am considering. If we do decide to get married, there are two major events I have prioritized before a wedding that won’t be happening any time soon. So I know how you feel! I started out trying to explain that our engagement is non-traditional, but that always led to the full blown speel, and people don’t always know how to reply. I switched to responding with we’re “not sure yet”, which is kind of the perfect answer since we’re “not sure” if we want to get married let alone when it would be 🙂

Post # 8
5 posts
  • Wedding: April 2015


I read your story and it was downright eerie how similar it is to mine… is your SO German?! Maybe in other European countries it’s similar, but in Germany they think of “engagement” the way Americans think of being “betrothed” or “arranged to be married”…it’s considered really oldschool and a bit odd. In fact, marriage itself there is beginning to be seen as something you do when you’re maybe 40, after being together 10 years and a couple of kids. It’s just very culturally different there. Believe me, this has caused friction in our relationship.

Case in point: A while back he got a job across the country and just assumed I would move with him. I told him that I wouldn’t go unless we were engaged. He said, “Just tell people you’re engaged, we’ll probably get married eventually.” I told him that’s not the way it works, he needs to ask me, there needs to be a ring, etc. Then he went and got one of my rings from my jewelry box and told me, “Here, then wear this.”  I think that’s when it really hit me that I wasn’t going to get a “traditional” engagement. 

The problem is that American women are given since a young age a message that the more special the engagement and the bigger the ring, then the more he loves you. This is not true everywhere in the world, where getting married and being an amazing partner is the “proof” he loves you. It really helped me to talk to other Germans about this. In fact, I was talking to his mom and I was telling her that I was disappointed I didn’t get an engagement ring, and she was like, “You want to wear a wedding band AND an engagement ring? How many rings do you need to wear?” It really made me laugh how different our thinking is!

I hope this helps, and remember, having a different culture is what makes our SOs so interesting to be with!  

Post # 10
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000

I’m 33, American, but have lived in various countries in Europe for over 11 years (including Demark for 1 and Germany for 4), the last three with my European husband.

Before I left the States at age 21, there was apparently a whole stack of memos I forgot to pick up. I too don’t really ‘get’ engagement. To be clear, this is not the same as taking issue with anyone who does ‘get’ it. Cultural differences are always fascinating and I love it when people enjoy their own cultural expressions. It’s a beautiful thing.

However, when it came to myself and sir, we discussed it, decided on it, and did it. In our case, we just took the Yoda approach. ‘Do, or do not. There is no ‘engaged’.’  – to paraphrase…

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