How long is to long-engagement

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

missyjz :  2 years seems like too short of a time for a “shut up ring” in my opinion. But maybe he got caught up in the excitement and didn’t think through what engagement actually means. 


OP, if I were you, I’d have a talk about, “do you REALLY want to be engaged and plan to marry? I do not want to pressure you if this isn’t what you want. If we can’t set a date, I’ll stop wearing my ring until we’re ready to stays planning. It hurts me a bit when people ask about a date, and we don’t have after this time.”

Post # 18
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

sablescorpion22 :  If they were together for 6 years total, and they’ve been engaged for 4, that means he proposed after 2 years. Unless she meant they were together for 6 years before becoming engaged, which is definitely a different situation. Still, 4 years of engagement is a long time unless you became engaged in undergrad and couldn’t until you finished grad school or something. 

Post # 19
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I think it’s not about the specific length but the reason for the length. I don’t think any engagement is too long if there’s an actual date set.

My friend from grad school was engaged for over three years because her Marine SO proposed prior to a three year deployment. The plan was to get married when he returned, prior to starting grad school, and so they did. 

The issue in the OP isn’t the length of the engagement, it’s that there is no actual plan to get married, and he won’t talk about it.

Post # 20
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Are you even engaged though? 4 years, no plans to get married, and not even a plan to plan. He may have proposed, you may have been engaged at some point, but since then he has made it clear through his actions (and lack thereof) that he no longer wants to be engaged, and does not want to get married. Ring or no ring, if I were in your shoes I would not consider myself engaged. I would tell him this, and I would tell him that I was going to begin considering my options/making plans to leave, because I would not be sticking around for false promises.

My brother and SIL were engaged for about 3 years. However, they had talked and had plans for when they were going to get married. They wanted to wait until after my brother graduated college so they could afford a wedding (they got engaged when they got pregnant as a happy surprise). So although they had a long engagement, it was still an engagement to be married because they had actual plans and goals (that they followed through with).

Engagement means nothing without plans and follow through.

Post # 21
2215 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

Bee I don’t think this guy has any intention of marrying you. 

There’s really no point in getting engaged if you aren’t actively planning a wedding. There are plenty of people who are still in school, in the military, overseas, etc. but if you don’t fall into those categories it doesn’t sound good. Also, there’s no harm in a long engagement if both parties are on board. But it sounds like you are ready to get married and he isn’t.

I agree with PP that it sounds like he gave you a ring to quiet you. And if you’re already living together and raising kids together, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be ready to marry you. It sounds like he’s essentially allowing you to be a stepmom, but not his wife.

Post # 22
1027 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2019 - USA

Monica4 :  I would confront him about the wedding and when exactly it’s going to happen. If he puts the ring on your finger it means he intends to marry you and he needs to follow through with that or let you go. This feels like a shut up ring to me. 

Post # 23
18 posts
  • Wedding: City, State

Monica4 :  When we get married in November 2019 it will have been two years and four months engaged. Our reason for waiting was mainly financial and FH is in the process of going back to school and switching careers. I would likely have been OK waiting until the 3 year mark.

Post # 24
3691 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

princessmiaofgenovia :  I agree completely.  We got engaged after dating nearly 8 years and started planning our wedding right away (though it was a 1.5 year engagement).  Too long to me is any time you’re not actually planning to get married. 

Post # 25
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

missinthecity :  We started planning straight away too. Well, we planned the engagement party straight away (we got engaged in November and the party is in March) and we went to our first venue viewing this week. We don’t think the wedding will actually be till Feb 2021 as we want to get married in London and venues book up 1.5-2 years in advance usually. Tbh I don’t see any reason to rush to get engaged if you’re not intending on making some plans, it just seems like a way to tie a person down/shut them up for a while by giving them a ring 😐 Surely it doesn’t actually change the relationship?! Maybe I’m super cynical though, haha!

Post # 26
3083 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

princessmiaofgenovia :  So basically I think “too long” is any length of time you are engaged with no intention of imminently planning a wedding.

Exactly this. The length of time is pretty much irrelevant. The issue here, OP, is not that you’ve been engaged “too long”, but that you got “engaged” without any intention from your boyfriend to actually get married.

I’ve known couples who were engaged for three years, but they were actively planning their wedding during that time. My fiance and I are having a 2.5 year long engagement. Yeah, it’s a long time, but we were both ready to get married and wanted to make it official before we got too far with planning. The only reason it is 2.5 years long is because of purely pragmatic reasons that impact the comfort and convenience of our guests.

If you are not actively planning a wedding, or at least agreeing upon a date and talking about your options for the where, when and how, you’re not engaged. You’re just wearing a pretty ring. That your boyfriend has denied your requests to begin planning a wedding and specifically said it is because he is not ready to take that step means that you are not engaged. Like a PP said, he gave you a shut up ring. He should never have given you that ring and allowed you to think you were engaged since he doesn’t want to get married, but you never should have accepted it and you definitely should not have just allowed this situation to continue for FOUR years. 

When it was a year in and you had no plans in place and he was refusing to talk about wedding stuff, that was your cue to either leave or at least give the ring back and tell him not to give it to you again until he actually wants to make you his wife.

Post # 27
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I think that it’s not the length of the engagement thats the issue. Any length is fine as long as there is a date set at the end of it. Getting engaged without the intent to get married kind of defeats the whole point. A 6 year engagement is fine as long as a date is set and both parties are working towards marriage as the end goal. 

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