Post # 1
A lot of coworkers and acquaintances have been asking me when I’m getting engaged and I keep stumbling over awkward answers. My Boyfriend or Best Friend and I have been dating almost 1 1/2 years, we (very recently) moved in together, and we’re close to turning 30. We’re serious and talking about the future, but he doesn’t have a ring and I think an engagement is probably about a year away. (He wants to live together for a while and finish paying off his loans before we start planning a wedding.) I don’t know an exact month/season because he really wants it to be a surprise. Although I’m very eager to make things official and get engaged, I am at peace with his desire to wait and live together for a bit first.
I’m almost embarrassed to answer these questions. I feel a bit judged by some of my conservative/older coworkers for living together and the answer is that I really don’t know! I have friends who dated and lived together for far longer than me and my Boyfriend or Best Friend, so I’m not sure why my coworkers and more distant friends feel comfortable asking me this. One neighbor/coworker even asked if I was already engaged and I felt almost angry. I’m not wearing a ring– so no. Even if I knew he was for sure going to propose this Christmas or next summer or something specific, I wouldn’t want to share that moment and news with someone who wasn’t an extremely close friend.
How do you respond politely to these kinds of questions? I want to sound happy and confident in our relationship, while keeping my personal life private.
Post # 2
I would make it a joke in your answer. Something like, “How should I know?! It’s supposed to be a surprise!”
Post # 3
Well it’s a rude question and none of thier business so I wouldn’t be so concerned about being polite. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed either.
My husband and I dated for 7 years before getting engaged so we got this question a lot! I typically just laughed it off and said said something along “when the time is right” or “we’ll get around to it eventually”
I never answered with what our plans actually were because it’s no one’s business but mine and my partners.
Post # 4
That is a rude question. I hate when people ask things like that, I would never ask someone that, particularly someone like a coworker that I am not super close with. People do the same to me with “when are you going to have kids?”…i always say “when i’m ready”. For the engagement question, I agree with teh above poster who suggested saying how should I know.
Very rude indeed!
Post # 5
I get this a lot, so does my SO and I kind of feel bad for him.. since he’ll be the one proposing so he tends to get more pressure about when. Of course, I would LOVE if he popped the question tonight but I know it’ll happen when it is supposed to. Most of the time its our family or friends we see around town or just people who have known we’ve been together a long time (5 1/2 years) who are asking, not typically people at work.
I actually just had a person we both mutually know ask me by myself why i didn’t have a ring. He was funny about it like, well you’ve been together for a long time and now you’re working at a big company… graduated from school so when is it gonna happen? My advice: just make it a joke and laugh about it, that’s what I do, much like PP have said. My answer is always the “You’ll have to ask him that question!” which is also true because ultimately he’ll be the one proposing.. but I keep it minimal. It isn’t their business to know what we’ve discussed as far as our own timeline goes.
Post # 6
Fiance and I met as coworkers and from about the 6th month of our relationship until he proposed 5 years later, everyone at that facility would ask us constantly when we were going to get engaged. I still work there but he had moved on to a new career after a couple years, but every time he happened to come visit he’d be assaulted with that same question. Poor guy took it in stride and joked that he was “trying to make it happen” and when people would ask me I’d say “when it happens it happens.” It added to the stress of waiting for sure but it was also really lovely how excited everyone was for us once we did finally get engaged. I think people’s intentions are good but the delivery is pretty sucky.
Post # 7
My partner and I were together happily for 9 years before we started planning to get married, so I’ve heard a LOT of this and hate it so much. People shouldn’t assume every couple even wants to get married! It’s not everyone’s thing. I definitely grew up around several long-term-committed adult couples who didn’t marry. Anyway, my go to was always a breezy “oh, we don’t have any plans to get married at the moment”. Then if people (rudely) asked if I thought we’d eventually like to get married one day, “we haven’t decided yet, we’ll see” and sometimes a cheerful “we’re happy with things as they are for now” followed by abrupt subject change.
Note that my answers were always “we” — not “he” — making it about the mutual decision to marry, not the man-asks-woman proposal norm. I wanted to emphasize we were both happy and mutually agreeable re: the terms of our relationship, and that I wasn’t moping around waiting for a proposal or something.
Post # 8
I used to go through the same thing and I had been with my SO much longer than you! We were almost 10 years before he gave me a ring. People do come across judgemental. They can also place doubt in your mind.
The key is to not give a crap. Be confident in your answer. “I don’t know when we’re getting engaged. I just know that we’re really enjoying life together so far!”
Some people will be negative. You can’t help that. But you also don’t need to feel bad about not having the “proper” title of husband/wife that others think you should have.
Post # 9
I hate when people ask “when are you gonna get engaged?” In my family, that question would pop up when someone else just got engaged and then everyone would ask me at that persons wedding, “so when are you and Scott gonna get engaged?” It hurt my feelings because if you don’t have an engagement ring or baby bump, you don’t get any attention in my family. I would respond, “Scott’s moving into a cheaper place and has to keep a tight budget.” The best advice I have is if your so is there when they ask you, respond “he’s right here, so ask him.” If you’ve been dating over 2 years, you can be a little rude. Like saying to a newly married couple, “when are you gonna have kids?” I guarantee it will end that question being asked again.
Post # 10
I just got engaed this past weekend, but after 10 years together I never did find a good way to answer that question. “When we’re good and ready!” was usually my go-to, haha.
Post # 11
I say “He doesn’t want to get married” and that usually shuts them up. All kidding aside, my boyfriend and I are only together for 6 months, but we just moved in together so i think that’s what started prompting all the questions, because its a big next step so i guess people ASSUME that a marriage is next and in the works. You mentioned you guys just recently moved in (same with us) so maybe that’s why the questions started?
ETA: By The Way, I really do say “he doesnt want to get married”, but if I didnt say that, I would probably say “when we feel the time is right for us”
Post # 12
My Fiance and I got engaged fairly quickly in the wedding bee timeline of things. He proposed a little bit before we made a year. However, even with that, relatives were asking when there would be a wedding. Now, I’m engaged, not yet married, and I get the “when will you give us babies?” question.
Before we were engaged, when I was asked the engagement question, my answer was always, “When we’re ready, and we’ll be sure to let you know once it’s happened,” (it was a polite nudge that they didn’t need to ask, because I’d tell them after the event) or, “You’ll have to ask him that question, since he’s the one who’s going to propose.” This also discouraged further asking, because they would need to ask him and no one on my side had easy access to him. I didn’t offer up possible timelines, I didn’t daydream with people, or say I hoped it was soon. I was consistent, no matter how many times people asked (gotta love grandparents), and eventually it died down because they knew I wouldn’t entertain it.
Now, for the babies question, I employ a similar answer and say, “Not anytime soon.” or “It’ll be years down the road.”
Post # 13
You can turn it around and say, “Why do you ask?” or depending on the person even “Why would you ask such a personal question?” Puts the ball right back in their court.
Post # 14
I’ve been with my Boyfriend or Best Friend for close to 5 years are we are both in our early 40’s and no one has asked, even my parents. Lol. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, a white lie, or an excuse. Simply say, “I don’t know,” or “when we decide to.” It’s the truth and doesn’t give any more information than necessary.
Post # 15
Darling Husband took 5.5 years to propose, and I used to get asked that question all the time. It’s incredibly rude when people ask! I’d always laugh and say “Whenever he decides to,” because I was ready to get engaged far before when he was haha!
I like nycoleman : response! Light hearted answer that doesn’t dig too deep into your personal life.