Post # 1
Hey, all, first post 🙂 I hope this is the right place. Sorry if it’s a bit long…
I have to admit, I feel almost…guilty…for signing up and posting here. My BF and I have been together for 6.5 years and lived together for nearly 2…but we really don’t talk about getting married or engaged very much, just because of where we are right now in life. But I can’t stop thinking about it, and it’s driving me crazy!
Anyway, my question is..how long is TOO long for an engagement? I’m finishing up my 3rd year of undergrad right now (21 yrs old, he’s turning 27 soon and finished with his BA), and am applying to professional school, which will be another 4 years on top of that. All in all, I will not be done with school for another 5.5 years.
Since we’ve been together for so long, I have kinda set an internal timeline for myself that I want to be engaged in the next 1.5-2.5 years. It’s a realistic goal aligned with when I will get my BS degree, but I also have it set because I don’t want to invest even more in a relationship if I find out he’s not “ready” after 8 years of dating, because then it’s likely he’ll never be “ready”. Even then, I wouldn’t want to get actually married until I’m all graduated and making $$$, which will probably be about 6 years from now.
Is a 4 year engagement too long? I know some people are like “why get engaged if you’re not getting married in 1-2 years??”, but I think it has something to do with me just being ready for him to “claim” me as his already and put a ring on it for everyone to see. Our friend already tell us we act like we’re married, which is starting to bother me because we’re not even engaged!
Am I being silly to want to get just get engaged already? I’d appreciate some experiences and opinions.
Post # 3
I think you’ll feel a lot better if you have a serious sit down conversation with him about your plans moving forward as a couple (not that you expect anything RIGHT NOW but just to see if you’re both on the same page). It sounds like you’re unsure where things stand and maybe he can reassure you that he’s serious about marriage when the time is right.
Post # 4
I think 4 years is too long- if you’re not getting married in the following year or so, what’s the rush to get engaged? It’s not going to prolong the fun, it’s going to prolong the stress to have an engagement that long.
Post # 5
Don’t let people tell you an engagement is “too long” – we’re in a similar position, 20 and in our undergrad, and to us it’s important to be engaged now, even though we’re not getting married until 2012. our reasons are personal and practical – I’d like to start planning early, and we really wanted to have that level of commitment, since we’ve felt ready for about 3 years (been dating 5 1/2.)
I think that the only time an engagement can be “too long” by any means is when for whatever reason, half of the couple doesn’t want to get married, and keeps procrastinating. As long as the two of you know your reasons, it’s what’s right for you.
Post # 6
Hm…I mean we talk about it a little here and there. We both agree we’re in no rush to get married, but engagement is a whole other ballgame, in my opinion.
I can understand 4 years of engagement being too long for people who are waiting because of emotional reasons or whatever, but it would be purely because of financial reasons. Trying to save for a wedding when you’re paying out 20k/yr in tuition and fees isn’t exactly something you can do overnight. On the other hand, once I graduate, I’m essentially guaranteed a job making 100k+/yr. It’s just the money that’s the issue, since neither of our families would be able to assist in any of the costs of *anything*.
Am I wrong for wanting an engagement after 8-9 years of dating? Things wouldn’t be so complicated if I had just picked a *normal* profession and only needed 4 years of college instead of 8…lol.
Post # 7
Why do you have to be engaged to save money? I would think you could do that before you get engaged- I know I certainly did. If you get engaged, great, it’s there! If you don’t, great, it’s there!
Post # 8
For me, engagement is about making that next step public, and having friends and family share in wedding planning. Around here venues fill up at least a year in advance, sometimes two anyway. I think sometimes after a long-term relationship you’re just ready to take that next step, even if it means a longer engagement for financial reasons (which is exactly why we’re waiting until 2012, as well.)
Post # 9
Four years is kinda long… I think you’d probably end up moving it up. If he’s 27, are you sure you couldn’t be married while finishing your education, if he’s already done? But anyway it’s not up to anyone but you. You both need to come to a decision based on how you feel and what’s right for you. I can tell you though, that after having a 2.5 year engagement (almost done..in June…got engaged at 18 lol)…it gets old. Most people who I’ve heard of having them eventually just want to be married and move on with life. I would say I wouldn’t be engaged for more than 2 years if I were to start this whole thing over again, but at the same time, I don’t really regret the whole thing.
Post # 10
I dont see anything wrong with a long engagement. I think it is more beneficial for younger couples such as yourself b/c you have time to save a lil money at a time for wedding expenses, and youre young so there is no rush.
I would however say that 4 yrs is almost too long b/c I would be afraid people would forget you’re engaged, nag you about if there will ever be a wedding, etc. This is happening to one of my sorority sisters, she is 26 ahd has been engaged since she was 22, and frankly I think the engagement/marriage spark is nearly gone..
Post # 11
i think you should do what is best for your own relationship..everyone is different and because of your situation a 4 year engagement may be best. 4 years is kinda long though, i could see where some of the excitement of it all might wear down, but again, all relationships are different 🙂
Fiance and I dated for 10 years before we got engaged..and our engagement will be 2.5 years long. To some that is crazy, but for us its what works best. We have been together since high school and Fiance is finishing his residency in 3 months, then he will get a job. We’ll have a year to save $ and finally get married. Thats perfect for us.
Post # 12
It really all depends on your relationship and only you and your bf will know. My advice is to make sure you both are on the same page. Briefly talking about it and having an actual conversation (or multiple conversations) about your relationship and what steps are next are two totally different things. Years before our engagement, the hubs and I had talked thoroughly about what we wanted in our relationship and where we saw it going. We even discussed things like starting a family. Now, not everything goes as planned but since we were on the same page, it made our lives easier and never did we ever wonder the status of our relationship.
In my case, a 4 year engagement would have been entirely too long but we are at a different stage in our life compared to your situation. So from what I have read, 4 years may not be too long. You both have a lot of things going on right now in your life and let me tell you, wedding planning is no joke. There are a lot of details, so having more time to plan will suit you well and you will be able to save up a good amount of money to have the wedding of your dreams.
To sum up my POV, just make sure you both are ready for that step and you know exactly where your relationship stands now and in the future. Everything will work out for the best!
Good luck with everything!!
Post # 13
I think so. 15 months was too long for me. But if you aren’t planning a wedding all 4 years then fine. Don’t start planning the wedding until 13 months before hand otherwise you’ll change your mind a million times, waste money, and drive yourself crazy.
Post # 14
I would generally speaking say that 4 years is “too” long. And the way you are talking about it makes it sound like one of those “next step” perpetual engagements. Not trying to sound harsh, but you should get engaged as a promise to marry, not to try to display your relationship to others as somehow more permanent than “just” living together. JMO anyway, YMMV.
One particular thing about your post is that you say you want to be engaged within a couple of years so he can prove he is serious about you…but then you wouldn’t be getting married for four years or so after that. IMO, a 4 year engagement will not prove that he is commited to you. Four years is a LONG time. He can think right now, “OK, we can get married, why not?” and not really worry about it, but still balk at it when it actually comes. I mean, he doesn’t really have to think seriously about actually getting married for several years.
Fiance and I have been living together for 11 years, but we did not get engaged until we were ready to make that ultimate commitment to each other. We will have been engaged for just under a year when we get married.
Post # 15
4 years is not long. My Fiance and I have been together for almost 5 years and our engagement (when we get married) would of been for 2.5 years. We didn’t want to rush. I know alot of people who get engaged and then they start planning immediately instead of just enjoying the next phase in your relationship. My Fiance and I wanted to save money, pay down debt and like I said, transition into the next phase. Take your time, it doesn’t matter when you get engaged or when you get married…the people in your life who give you grief just don’t invite them when you actually get married. Alot of people gave us grief about us being engaged so long…but every relationship is different.
Post # 16
Thank you everyone for your inputs. It’s really nice to hear different views of the situation, and it helps a lot. Thank you!