Post # 1
Wait, there’s more…
My partner of 5 years proposed to me: He proposed that we spend our lives together. I said yes. Truthfully, at this point (6 yrs) that was already a forgone conclusion. Still, he gave me his grandmother’s/mother’s diamond ring (custom reset.. so beautiful!) as a symbol of his commitment to our life together (kids, a house etc).
Within the next couple years we plan to have a really great dinner one night with friends and family, and then have a really awesome party in order to celebrate our decision to spend our lives together and our love.
BUT! We do not plan to walk down the aisle, say vows or sign a marriage license. Our reasons are philisophical, plus my love is shy, and he hates being the center of attention… and as much as I’d love a fancy pants ceremony I don’t want it enough to make him uncomfortable.
So. What are we? Are we engaged? What do I say when people see the ring, assume we are engaged (i.e. soon to marry) and asked when we are getting married?
Post # 3
Since you’re not legally married but plan your life together, I would consider you two partners. It’s silly to let others define you though. What do you feel like you are?
Post # 4
Everyone with an e-ring is asked or more likely, badgered about their wedding date, from day one. I would come up with some saying, like cheerfully stating “in the future” or “still deciding” or “we have our whole lives to figure that out”
However, you will soon be inundated with wedding advice, which will be awkward since you are not having a traditional wedding. I just would try to avoid leading people or letting them have any indication of future plans.
Have you consided eloping, or is that part of the philosophical reasons not to sign a contact?
Post # 5
I would say yes, but at the same time… can you really be engaged if you have no intention of getting married (either legally or religiously)?
I think this is one of those “you decide” questions.
Post # 6
@missgars: Youre definitely commited. I like the idea of life partners since marriage is a religious term
Post # 7
you are committed, you are significant others, you are partners, etc…
but you are not engaged… because that means engaged to be married… and you have no intention of being married.
Post # 8
@missgars: I would say you are committed and partners as well. But as rosworms said, you are not engaged because you are not planning on getting married (at least at this time).
ETA: After reading a few of your other posts, it seems like you and him should discuss the status of your relationship a little more. You say it is for philosophical reasons you will not be getting married, but you have asked a few times on different posts of whether or not you are engaged. Have you two considered common law marriage? It gives you more legal benefits/protection as a couple, but does not have some of the same “social qualms” or “legal paper” descriptors that it appears you two dislike.
(FYI…despite poplar belief, many states require you to declare common law marriage, it is not simply granted after living together for x amount of years).
Post # 9
I love what you are doing!!! I hope more people go in that direction, which is to commit officially and explicitely to each other but not get married in the legal way of things. Having a celebration with friends and family sounds lovely. I absolutely considered doing something similar but thought society (my friends and family) would not be ready for such a type of commitment celebration. They wouldn’t come out all the way to Toronto for a dinner that didn’t involve a wedding…maybe I’m wrong and they would have made the effort. Anyhow, I loved out wedding and I really loved saying vows to my husband. I love that he is my “husband”.
I consider you to be engaged! You will be having a “non-wedding” type of celebration and that’s awesome! As a pioneer of this type of celebration, you might be “educating” people a lot when they ask about your ring and wedding. It’s worth the effort to allow for new customs to be understood by society. 🙂
Post # 10
I wouldn’t consider you engaged. Since you are not geting married. But you are committed.
Post # 11
If you don’t plan on signing a marriage license, but have commited to spending the rest of you lives together, just get a small band call yourselves married. IMO, its nobody’s business how you decide to define your commitment.
Post # 12
You are committed. I suggest you both sign a post it note as to your commiteement to each other like Meredith and Mc. Dreamy on Grey’s Anatomy : )
Post # 13
Shoot! That’s a tough one. I know it’ll be a somewhat long answer for those that ask but I would just be completely honest with people that ask “what you are” or “when’s the date” because they will eventially find out. And it’ll be more awkward explaining it later when they realize you aren’t planning a wedding and trying to explain that you aren’t ever get married. And just let people know its a mutual decision that you aren’t confirming to society standards of marriage. Good for you!!!!!
But be prepared for plenty of “when’s the date?” as soon as you announce your engagement. We got plenty of that, which I didn’t understand because how can you possibly know when your wedding is when you just got engaged?? Sheesh!
Post # 14
“engaged” implies there is a next step – marriage. I agree with PPs, you are committed. you made a verbal contract, so go ahead and call him whatever you want! partner, husband, boyfriend, whatever you two agree on. (I know a gay couple who refer to each other as husband, this was back before gay marriage was legal in any state. nobody questions their reasons.)
if you want to stave off the “when’s the wedding” questions, maybe you could get an additional band and think of it as your commitment band? that way maybe people won’t see the e-ring alone and assume there is going to be a wedding.
or just wear the ring you got alone, tell people you’re committed if they ask. if they press the topic, it’s none of their business!
Post # 15
@HeMadeMeWantTo: yes! a post it note! I love it.
Post # 16
Are you ever going to exchange wedding bands? Because then I would say you’re engaged.
If not – then I would just tell people you’re married. One of the definitions of marriage is “any close or intimate association or union” – so I think it still applies to you. You’re married, without being legally married or religiously married. But you’ve certainly pledged your commitment to each other.