- 7 months ago
So as many other bees on here, i have posted about my own journey to engagement. A journey that is still continuing. This post is for the bee’s out there who might be in a smiliar situation to me. Where you know your relationship is healthy, and loving, and headed towards marriage but despite all that, it has taken compromise, and work. The foundation is solid but the actual engagement experience just wasn’t quite what you thought it would be.
Here is what I have learned so far about engagement that I didn’t know until I started the process myself.
- Engagement isn’t always the fairytale that movies, books, tv, and friends and family make it out to be, and that is ok.
- You can deeply, truely, be loved/love someone and not get everything right.
- What you see from the outside isn’t necessarily the truth of a relationship or engagement.
From movies, books, tv, and as an outside observer watching others get engaged, engagement sure looks flawless but often isn’t. Making people feel badly that their engagement story wasn’t perfect is unkind and unhelpful. Engagement is built up enough already.
Why am I saying this? Because truthfully the path to engagement can be hard. Not because you don’t love your partner, or they don’t love you. Not because either person is a jerk who is stringing you along for the heck of it. But because people are flawed, and marriage is serious and hard, and you don’t have a crap relationship just because it wasn’t the smoothest experience of your life.
Sure, there are people out there who had a fantastic engagement experience, where their partner was quick to propose, without prompting, or conversations, where it just happened and both people were on exactly the same page at the exact same time and were excited and BAM. Engaged. But for a lot of us that isn’t how it works, and I personally feel that I was unprepared for the reality of having to work on compromising, on communicating, having it take a bit of work to get on the same page. Sometimes it’s not as easy as saying, I love you want to get engaged? And he jumps up and says HELL YEAH!!! you both 100% agree on exactly the timing of getting engaged hoorayy!!
My boyfriend and I did agree on wanting to marry each other before we were even together a year. But we were not on the same timeline and that took compromise. Does that mean he doesn’t love me, or I don’t love him? NO. Does it mean we aren’t right for each other and he is an insufferable jerk? No. It means that I had to grow up a bit, and so did he. I had to learn how to better express my feelings, and my desire for the timeline I wanted. I had to learn how to be a better communicator and he did too. I had to stop assuming how he felt and ASK instead.
We never really know what couples go through on their path to engagement. I see friends and family get engaged all the time and never get to hear about how they got there, all the hard discussions about timing, and kids, and how they wanted their life to be, maybe they had conflicting ideas about the ring. All I saw was the engagement full of glam photo shoots and ring shots. That is like always seeing the half truth of something. When it was my turn, i thought talking engagement was going to be all rainbows and puppies. But i realized that sometimes your partner doesn’t always say the right thing, and sometimes you react immaturely to something before actually asking if that was really what the other person meant to say. Because the topic of getting engaged is a super vulnerable place to be. It is laying your heart out infront of your partner and admitting that you want to be with them forever. It is scary, and easy to be reactive, or offended, or say the wrong thing. But that is ok!
We all come here on the bee looking for some support and help. And it feels pretty crappy when somone immediately goes to the one negative comment your partner made during a discussion and zero’s in on why that means your partner is never going to marry you, and is awful, and dump him. So how does that make any of us want to share the reality of what we are going through? It doesn’t. It makes us shut down, delete our posts and pretend like our partners are perfect and magical because if we don’t than according to everyone else we are in a dead end relationship.
Engagements aren’t always perfect, and we all need to hear that, to see that, to know that sometimes it takes a bit of work. That getting engaged is an experience that varies widely for people. Sometimes It means that you have to actually initiate a conversation with your partner to get the ball rolling, sometimes it means there are things that need airing out before marriage and talking about it is helpful. Do I always love every word that comes out of my boyfriends mouth? No. Of course not. Sometimes he says things that I dont love and im sure he feels the same about me sometimes.
What I am trying to get across is, getting on the same page specifically with engagement can be hard. That doesn’t automatically mean your being strung along, or aren’t compatable, or you have a crappy relationship nor does it mean your accepting less. It means being an adult is hard, saying everything the right way is hard. Making a life long decision with someone else is hard. If your in the engagement process or are about to be, and it isn’t the most effortless experience for you I just want to say that you aren’t alone and it is ok. I know social media etc. makes it look flawless but we all know how decieving that can be. So please keep sharing on the bee when you have a difficult conversation, or the engagement talk was scary and you didn’t get the exact reaction you were expecting from your partner. Everyone’s experience is different and that is ok.