(Closed) Should Personal Goals Come Before Engagement?

posted 3 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
701 posts
Busy bee

beemyhandsome:  I think it’s not smart to get engaged if you cannot sustain yourselves (i.e. have the money and stability to do so). To me two people choosing to get married should be adults who can live independently. As long as that’s accomplished, I don’t think it’s bad to do some of the other as a team/while married. This might include some advanced education, saving for a house, etc. I think a lot of people waste time waiting for the “perfect time”. 

Post # 3
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

It depends on the goal and how it affects the two of you, as well as what you’re comfortable with. Like I see no reason to save for the house down payment before engagement; you’ll be combining finances for that, and living in the house together. I think most people prefer to be financially stable before marriage. But you have to draw the line somewhere, because you’ll always be thinking about that next promotion or job offer. There will always be a better job out there. So it’s just up to you and when you feel comfortable committing to an engagement or marriage.

Post # 4
5897 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

beemyhandsome:   In general, no I don’t think that a list of personal acomplishments needs to come before an engagement.  I think that what need to happen before your engagement is:

1) You know yourself and have grown enough as an individual to have figured out what you want in life.

2) You know each other as a couple well enough to know if you are fundamentally compatible in terms of values, goals, personality, etc.

You don’t necessarily have to check off a list of personal milestones to do those things.  But it’s hard to complete these things without having any life experince, so you’re probably going to check some of those boxes along the way to being ready.

Post # 5
5131 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

beemyhandsome:  I think that you should be financially independent (i.e. not receiving support from your parents or anyone else), but that’s really the only hard and fast milestone for me. If you’re still in school, but supporting yourself, I don’t see how getting married will inhibit you finishing school (unless you plan to drop out just because you’re married). I also don’t see how getting married is going to prevent you from saving for a house or getting promoted, so I don’t see any reason to wait on those things if you’re ready to get married otherwise.

Post # 6
293 posts
Helper bee

I agree that it all depends on the goals you are trying to reach. I told my Fiance I wanted to have my bachelor’s degree at the very least and I wanted us to be able to support ourselves. However, he proposed the weekend after I graduated so we worked together to sustain our life together. We talked about job opportunities and decided on a city together. From there we bought a house. Now that we are living together comfortably we are planning the wedding. We’ve been engaged almost a year but haven’t planned any part of the wedding. It’s time to get started!

Post # 7
2136 posts
Buzzing bee

I thought so, but people and situations change so it isn’t always possible to reach these goals in the expected time frame. 

I wanted to have my degree before I got married, but life happened and now I’m back to studying part time again. I won’t have my degree for a couple more years. I could postpone the wedding, sure, but then what? Something comes up and I have to take a semester off, I (heaven forbid!) fail a paper and have to retake it.. 

I think in marriage you are a team, so there’s no reason why personal goals shouldn’t be worked on together. Of course, my fiance can’t do my degree for me. But he is there to support me through it, to help where he can, and to cheer me along. He has done that as my boyfriend, as my fiance, and will still do it as my husband. 

Post # 8
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

cbgg:  This sums up my thoughts perfectly. I feel that it’s less about achieving a certain list of goals, and more about knowing yourself and whether your partner is right for you.

Post # 9
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Honestly I was engaged in the past and we didn’t have any goals accomplished then.. We were still in college, renting an apartment off campus & driving a two door honda that we shared .. It’s not about anything else other than the commitment as long as you don’t lose sight of anything else

Post # 10
1436 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

It depends on whether being engaged affects your ability to achieve other life goals. I can’t imagine that it needs to get in the way of finding a promotion, for instance, and probably because I was seeking and achieved this personal goal while being engaged but if buying a property is key, then the associated expenses may not go together.

Post # 11
2352 posts
Buzzing bee

Personal goals first. I was taught to count on yourself only. You don’t know if the other person will be there later in life(leave or die) and you must be able to carrying on and not depend on anyone.

Post # 12
3308 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Many goals can be reached during marriage; it’s not as though you shut down. So a 30 year old who has been with a woman for years not getting married because he’s waiting for a better job is just stalling. For an 18 year flipping burger it looks a bit different lol. It’s more about your age and ability to be self supporting financially. 

Post # 13
6004 posts
Bee Keeper

Depends on the goals and the couple themselves. IA with doberman: that age and self-supporting play a big factor. If a guy is young and living with his parents and finishing college, I’d cut him some big-time slack if he wants to finish school and get on his own two feet before getting into marriage.

Saving for a house isn’t something I think you should postpone engagement & marriage for. If you’re serious about each other as a couple, you can talk all of this out together. Ie if saving up for a house is important to you both, maybe you could agree on a smaller wedding/ affordable ring so more of your money can go toward a deposit. Nothing at all wrong with this IMO, but I wouldn’t want to buy a house without the commitment first. And I don’t see how a proposal and a wedding will be more do-able after you buy a house, if anything you’ll have more of your money tied up in home expenses and that engagement & wedding will be pushed back and pushed back, first for closing costs, then property taxes, maybe you’ll need a new roof or a new furnace and ‘engaged within 6 months of buying our home’ turns into ‘2 years and still no ring…’

‘Getting promoted/ better job/ graduate studies etc are all things you can still pursue while being engaged &/ or married. At some point needing ‘all your ducks in a row’ or ‘needing to accomplish A and B first before we can think of C’  can be scene as stalling or procrastinating- most especially if the couple are not on the same page over this. A guy who has been with his gf for years and ‘needs to get a promotion first’ ….I’d be questioning if this was indeed the real reason for his lack of proposal. Marriage isn’t perfect- there may be money issues, health issues, career issues- and you work through them together, that’s what real marriage is, not a happily ever after you achieve only when all the elements line up perfectly beforehand.

Post # 14
962 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - San Clemente Church, Italy

beemyhandsome:  I think at least 2 of those that you mentioned should be taken care of first…..education and job. I agree with a PP that marriage should happen between two fully functioning adults who are capable of holding things down independently.

There was no way I was going to get married before finishing law school, passing the bar and getting a good job before I got engaged. I just knew that life can get in the way and I needed to focus on my goals. Some people can get married, pregnant or deal with other challenges and not miss a beat. I could have been side-tracked by those things, so I chose to wait.

The other issue that concerned me was being financially dependent on someone other than myself. 

Post # 15
8724 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I don’t understand why getting engaged would affect your personal goals at all. If it’s a financial matter, like some goals are expensive and now you have to factor in wedding expenses too, then you’ll need to re-evaluate priorities. But other than that, what kind of goals would someone have that can’t be acheived while engaged? Or married even. How would being married affect your ability to get a job or a promotion, for example. And if you WANT to get engaged or married, why would you let something that’s not even within your control stop you from doing that?

beemyhandsome:  None of the goals you mention seem like things that would need to be done before getting engaged. Unless the goal is specifically to do something alone, like, “travel through 10 countries solo” I don’t see why an engagment would affect them at all. And even a goal like that — you could still do that while engaged or even married, so long as your partner is supportive.

Another thing to keep in mind is that YOU make your goals because they are important to you. But what’s important to you can change over time. When you’re 20, you might set a personal goal of spending 5 hours every Saturday on your favorite hobby — you’re young, healthy, and you’re your own boss so why not? But over the course of a year or 2 or 5, any number of things might come up that you decide are now more important. It’s bad to give up on a goal because you don’t want to put in the effort any more, but there’s nothing wrong with retiring a goal because you’ve made a conscious decision to focus on something that’s more important to you now.

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