Post # 1
I had a very interesting discussion with my mother today after I posted about BF’s discussions with his parents this weekend regarding seeing about my family’s heirloom ring. Anyways, I framed it that Boyfriend or Best Friend and I were talking about getting engaged and I was curious about it and my mom seemed to balk at the fact that we were talking about it at all! Like it was totally and completely supposed to be a surprise from Boyfriend or Best Friend. I was taken aback like this — shouldn’t be a mutual decision to get engaged? Yes, the romantic notion of a guy asking, but really, if he doesn’t know the answer is going to be a resounding yes, it seems very… premature?
I mentioned before that I’ve been reading “I Do But I Don’t…” (http://www.amazon.com/Do-but-Don%C2%92t-Walking-without/dp/B000MKYKEU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1333943233&sr=8-4) which is all about the tensions we feel between wanting and desiring the “White Wedding” at the same time as wanting to and needing to feel like a modern, independent woma, much more than simply “wife.” It has caused me to think a lot about why I want certain things. It doesn’t change the fact I want them, but its so frustrating to think of why that is. And a lot of it I point back to what my mother expects — that she expects I get a big diamond ring, that Boyfriend or Best Friend asks me (not a mutual decision, not me asking him), etc. At the same time I want these things to, its just frustrating.
Anyways, the point of this is have any of your mothers balked a the idea that you as a couple are making mutual decisions about getting engaged and your future together?
(As a reference, my mother is above 60, if that makes a difference)
Post # 3
no. my mom didn’t even know the concept.. I had to explain to her what happens when “you get engaged” haha so she’s very relaxed about it. Note that where they live people don’t get married, etc.
so it was pretty much if you’re excited I am too type of thing!
Post # 4
No, my mother (who is 55) is all for mutual decision making!
She was married young originally to my bio dad, and has often said she wanted a longer engagement (and might not have married my dad if she had one) but felt pressured to marry soon (she married at 21) as her own parents did not believe in longer engagements. Not surprisingly she has always been very hands off about how her own children choose to live and experience their relationships.
My mother remarried later on, but only after living with my stepfather for 26 years first. She definitely was a lot more cautious the second time, ha ha. And yes, their decision to marry was a mutually discussed one! 26 years worth of discussion, I suppose!
Even if my mother was more like yours, I would never, ever want a completely out of the blue proposal, as in a “we have never talked about marriage” proposal. It was very important to my husband and I that we had talked about our expectations for our life together, and were on the same page, about that life together in all aspects.
Your mother is not the one in your relationship, or living your life. Her expectations should have no bearing on your own expectations and boundaries.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
My mom and dad definitely discussed getting married before he proposed. I can’t imagine why a man would propose to a woman if he hasn’t even talked to her about moving forward with the relationship. Why would you offer to marry a woman without discussing the things that matter when married, like whether you believe in marriage/want to be married, how to manage a household, whether you want kids and if so when, how you would raise those kids, where you would want to live, etc.?
Post # 6
My mom wasn’t surprised…she actually sounded like a lot of posts on the waiting boards…cautioning me that while talking about it was great, don’t bug him too much about doing it now and asap and asking when, because she did that with my dad and in the end he basically just gave her the ring with no formal proposal. So she was always warning me to not be like her (which didn’t happen, despite my bugging I got a very sweet proposal)
Post # 7
My parents are from another country, so they never had the whole engagement thing. My mom loves the idea and is totally supportive and excited for the fact that even the engagement and ring will be a surprise! If it would really make your mom so happy that he made it a surprise, I would just tell her that that was the only time you addressed it to make sure you were both on the same page and it wouldn’t be a shameful “bad” surprise (of you saying no to him asking you), and then tell her that everything else was a surprise. She sounds pretty stubborn about this, and if this was my mom I would just try to make her happy so she would leave me alone with all the nagging. But luckily my mom isn’t a big nag and is very open-minded 🙂
Post # 8
My mom seems a bit…well confused about the whole thing 😛 My SO are moving in together soon, and when I told my mom she asked if marriage was in the future, and I of couse said it was. She seems to have taken this to mean that we’re engaged (despite me saying that it was down the line, in the future, we were just talking about it, etc.) She’s always been one to run with an idea once she’s got it in her head, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. I just wish she would stop telling people we’re engaged!
So basically she knows that it’s a mutual decision, she just doesn’t understand what that decision was. Like she doesn’t get that you can talk about marriage and plan for the future before being engaged. Then again she was engaged 2 weeks after meeting my dad (didn’t tell the parents or get a ring for about a year after that when it was “official”), so I guess I can see where her thought process is coming from.
Post # 9
I have had friends be surprised by how modern I am with the whole idea of getting engaged. I have chosen the ring with my boy, know it is likely in the house and all that. They are shocked that “I dont want a surprise” but I keep telling them that us getting married is a mutual decision and something that we both take seriously, so why does one person get to decide when?
Post # 10
I’ve had this exact conversation with both my parents! A friend got engaged a couple of months after her well-meaning mother announced her engagement to all the neighbours, because she didn’t realise they were “talking about getting engaged” rather than “actually engaged”. As you say, she didn’t understand this concept! And then my parents both said they didn’t understand it either. My mum actually said it was “weird” and “if she wasn’t actually engaged she shouldn’t have said anything”. Now I don’t feel I can talk to my parents about my ‘waiting’ at all, which is sad. I completely agree with you that I would find it weird NOT to discuss marriage before getting engaged!
Post # 11
I’ve been engaged for two months now and still haven’t told anyone (especially my mother) that we had gone ring shopping together, cause I know she wouldn’t approve that I had any say in the decision-making about the ring in particular, or the timing of the engagement.
Post # 12
i don’t think my mom would be surprised to hear that we’re talking about it together, but it’s gotten kind of annoying that EVERYTIME i visit home recently she asks me all sneakily if i have any special news. -___-‘
Post # 13
@kmsw: Out of curiosity, where is it where people don’t get married?
Post # 14
My parents got engaged 2 weeks after they met so I don;t think they really had the time to talk about it!!!
I have been with bf for 5.5 years and part of me is DYING to talk to him about getting engaged but the stronger part of me loves surprises and wants to be very traditional and not know a thing about the proposal.
@kmsw I am also very curious where people don’t get married!
Post # 15
Supposedly my father didn’t even “propose” they just came to an understanding and started planning the wedding! So I’m pretty sure all they did was talk about getting engaged and then boom – they were. But there was no getting on one knee or anything.
Post # 16
I’m of the opinion that my parent’s opinions don’t really matter because it isn’t their marriage. They also made horrible decisions leading up to their marriage (got married after 4 weeks of dating, then had a 23-year-long emotionally abusive marriage) so I don’t put much stock in their relationship advice. And honestly, for a generation who’s relationship communication skills are roughly on par with passive aggressive telecommunication, I think they could use a few lessons on healthy pre-marriage communication.
The most important relationship decision of your life should not be a fast ball out of left field. Life is not a Disney movie.