How to answer the annoying- "When are you two going to get married?" question

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
  • poll: Do you think it's rude to ask not-yet-engaged couples about their plans regarding wedding/children?

    yes, if a couple didn't make their plans known, it's rude to try to get them to reveal them

    no, it's just a small-talk, there is no harm in being curious

    at least family and closest friends have right to know

  • Post # 17
    1706 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Kinda depends, most of the time I think people are just trying to make small talk and they don’t mean anything by it at all. 

    A little rude… perhaps. Not on purpose, so I say just reply with something along the lines of “I don’t know” or “We haven’t talked about it yet” or “When we feel like it”, and move on. 

    Post # 18
    437 posts
    Helper bee

    I used to answer that question by laughing and telling them they’d be the first to know.  And then they’d laugh becasue people are usually just making small talk.  Maybe you are sensitive about this question because it bothers you that you aren’t engaged but would like to be, so it upsets and disappoints you to be reminded that you are still waiting.  Maybe that’s something you should explain to your boyfriend.  If you never discuss it, he might not know how much it hurts you to be waiting and that you wish your engagement would be now rather than two, three, more years from now.

    Post # 19
    3102 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2017

    View original reply
    beejolly :  Be honest, say “I wish I knew,  I’ve allowed him to be in total charge of my future”  because based on this and previous postings of yours,  you have! 

    Post # 20
    7893 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    IMO, it’s a completely reasonable question for couples who are legally allowed to marry. When people have been together for years, that’s the natural next step, and most people are just making conversation or being curious. 

    Like others have said, if this is something you aren’t supposed to be aware of at all then people wouldn’t be asking. I think YOU are frustrated and are taking it out on people being friendly instead of taking it out on your boyfriend, who should have taken some action by now. 

    Post # 21
    1012 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I’d make a joke out of it. “When my golf skills get better” or “When he gets shorter because he’s too tall to kiss comfortably”. Personally I say “When his warranty expires” but I’m not in a rush.

    Post # 22
    1614 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    I’d look over at my SO and say,  “wanna share that info?”


    The person asking will get the picture that you want to but haven’t been asked and either get embarrassed and drop the subject or turn the pressure on your SO.


    Post # 23
    1578 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    View original reply
    beejolly :  I really don’t understand how people see these questions as rude, for close friends/family.  I’m not nearly as close to friends/family as some other people are (ie we dont have text conversations and the like) but we ask each other all sorts of personal questions about finances, religion, politics, relationships etc. I think its normal to know what’s going on in each other’s lives.     

    Ido think it’s a little rude if an aquaintance/colleague/boss/other distant person asks, but at the end if the day you can deflect and move on.  

    Post # 24
    7423 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    View original reply
    youngbrokebride : If it’s a very close family member or bff that’s one thing, but for more casual friends or extended family, I do think it’s rude and thoughtless. It’s such a sensitive issue and you never know what’s going on in someone’s relationship. If a couple has been dating for a long time and they’re not engaged, I’d never ask why that is because what if it’s a source of tension? Why twist the knife? It’s the same resaon I’d never ask a couple when they’re planning to have kids…you never know if they’re already trying and struggling. 

    I agree though that it’s best to deflect and move on when someone does ask, because these annoying questions are unfortunately a normal part of life. 

    Post # 25
    2907 posts
    Sugar bee

    When someone asks me an intrusive question I stare intently  them and say If you forgive me for not answering, I’ll forgive you for asking. That usually shuts them up.

    Post # 26
    1579 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    View original reply
    youngbrokebride : I don’t get this line of thinking, either.

    On the one hand, family and friends shouldn’t ask. On the other hand, those same people should be ready and willing to spend tens of hours and hundreds/ thousands of dollars (close family/ friends) to attend or participate in wedding related activities. Family should welcome the new person in as a new family member – but not be interested in when this is supposed to happen? Either you want people to care, or you don’t. 

    I think it would be super strange for the people who were the most invested in my life to ask about my shoes or my opinion on politics but not actually ask about the most important changes I might m ake. Unlike surgeries or health related inquiries, marriages are public records- it’s perfectly reasonable to think isn’t secret.

    FWIW, the only people I’ve known to be upset about being asked their wedding plans are people who are uncomfortable with them – especially folks who are waiting and don’t want to be. I’m totally interested in the people who are happy and content in their relationship timelines who nonetheless want their close friends and family to remain mum. If you can’t discuss marital status with friends and family, what can you talk about?

    Post # 27
    650 posts
    Busy bee

    Before I was engaged whenever I got that question it was from people who always assumed that a woman had no say, so it was easy to say “I don’t know, ask him”.

    For super nosy people, I gave answers like “when he quits spending all his engagement ring savings at the dog races”, “when he can afford the massive ring I deserve *hair flip*”, “he already asked and I said no”, or “oh my gosh, do you think he’s leading me on? Should I leave him? You’re right, I should leave him, thank you SO MUCH for bringing this to my attention.”

    When we planned the engagement generally, picked out the ring, etc. and people asked, I’d just tell them the plans. Then they would get horrified and say “YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO KNOW” to which I replied “then why did you ask?”

    People are the worst.

    Post # 28
    346 posts
    Helper bee

    Ugh, people asking me this question or making comments along the same lines drives me absolutely crazy! I’ve tried talking to my boyfriend about how much it hurts my feelings when he doesn’t tell his friends to stop referring to me as his “wife/wifey” because it’s like dangling a carrot in front of a horse and I find it cruel that something I’ve wanted so badly for so long is allowed to become a joke, but he hasn’t really done anything about it. So now, when people ask, I make a point of checking to see if a ring has magically appeared on my finger, then with an exaggerated shrug, sarcastically retort “Why are you asking ME?” and pointedly look over at him, before steering the conversation into a discussion of polite social boundaries.

    Post # 29
    149 posts
    Blushing bee

    I’d redirect the pressure at SO. “I don’t know- ask him”. You know since men insist on being in charge of this shit.

    Why are you taking on the emotional labor of answering this question?

    Post # 30
    600 posts
    Busy bee

    Smile. “Eventually.” Change the subject.

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