Post # 17
I personally see being engaged meaning you will marry in the near future (near future meaning maybe even up to 2 years into the future, but –again IMO- not more than that). I guess, I see engagement as sort of a “last step” before actual marriage, but that prior to engagement, you are both already self-reliant adults, with stable (as stable can be!) jobs/career, working on achieving goals, and you’ve established your own home. Like, you’ve already taken steps towards marriage. I know a lot of people don’t want to live together before marriage, so they won’t agree with how I see it, and that’s fine of course.
Being financially stable, educationally stable and emotionally stable are also all IMO necessary steps for a marriage, and therefore, for an engagement.
I don’t mean this to sound pessimistic, but I think a lot of people confuse “engagement” with “love”, or think if you’ve been dating a period of time, an engagement is a way to prove (to whomever) that you are really serious and really love each other. I don’t feel that way, or see engaged couples that way…I mean, I don’t necessarily think a couple is strong/more serious than another couple just because they are engaged.
I think the point of being engaged is that you’re getting married – and if you’re not ready to get married in the near future, I don’t see the point of getting engaged. Just my opinion, of course. To each their own.
Post # 18
@gabrielleelise1981: Interesting. Not to open another can of worms, but I wonder if part of the reason the public sees engaged couples as being more committed/in love than dating couples who’ve expressed the desire to marry is because of the “engaged/married/living together” rule for +1s at weddings. Not that I think that everyone should get a +1…but I was very grateful when my fiance’s (then-boyfriend) cousins invited me to their wedding, even though we weren’t yet engaged. I felt like they were validating our relationship, you know? But I think most of society doesn’t see it like that…it’s you’re engaged/married, or you’re just playing the field.
Post # 19
Yeah…i remember the awkward phase. I had to explain our situation to some people–deployment, no he didn’t propose, here’s why…etc….but in reality, when it came down to it, i just didn’t give a crap what they thought of me and my relationship! he was my boyfriend until he pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. Technically.
Post # 20
I find it so interesting to read these! I had no idea just how different our views were on what an engagement really is.
Post # 21
I’ve always viewed an engagement as a couple’s intent to marry – no time limits. After moving to a new country, I realized it’s much different here. In Sweden, a couple can be engaged indefinitely, without ever intending to marry. A lot of the younger couples think it’s romantic to get engaged — setting a different level of commitment then just bf and gf. But in no way can you assume they will get married.
In the begining, I didn’t understand this, but after realizing that most couples don’t marry because living together is just as serious with similar rights as a married couple, then it made more sense (and children are given the same benefits no matter what).
I still voted for: A public announcement of your intent to marry.
But at the same time, I am swayed to see an engagement like how my Fi sees it – it’s when a couple decides they want to send their lives together.
All of that other stuff is icing
Post # 22
i’m getting married almost 2 and a half years from proposal to wedding. I think it really helped my sister come to terms with the fact that her younger sister was getting married before her.
I always said that I wanted a long engagement because it would give me enough time to organise what I wanted. I find it hard to think of as a ‘public announcement of intention to marry’ because our families all knew we would get married one day and to me the announcement wasn’t really a ‘big deal’
Post # 23
This is SO old, but I’m having a three-and-a-half year engagement and I had to add my input since I’ve been getting a lot of criticism for the length of my engagement.
By definition, an engagement is “a promise to get married”. The definition is not “planning a wedding” or “getting married within a year”. There is no time limit. However, I do think that you should have an approximate date set (even if it isn’t exact) and a real reason for having a long engagement. For instance, my fiancé and I are having a long engagement because a.) our parents want us to finish school first and we want to respect their wishes, and b.) being broke college students, we wouldn’t be able to support ourselves yet and we need time to save money. Many couples choose to have a long engagement for financial reasons, educational reasons, military deployment, etc. As long as you’ve got a real reason and you aren’t just procrastinating!
So why get engaged if you aren’t getting married soon? Because you can be ready to get engaged without being ready to get married right away. By this, I mean you would get married sooner if you could, but you can’t because of other circumstances (money, school, etc.) that aren’t related to your relationship. You can be mentally and emotionally ready to get married without it being practical or possible at the moment. My fiancé and I were ready to take that step. We’d felt like we were engaged for a while, so we wanted to make it official. We didn’t want to wait two years to get engaged just so we’d have a shorter engagement. We wanted to make that commitment now.
To sum it up? An engagement is a commitment. Yes, typically, it’s the period of time to plan the wedding, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about taking your relationship to the next level and making a lifelong promise to each other. An engagement is an engagement, whether it’s five months or five years. You shouldn’t take a couple less seriously because their engagement is longer than average. If two people have officially agreed to marry each other and there’s a wedding in the future, whether it’s in the near future or not, they’re engaged. End of story.
I’m sorry for the rant, I’m just so tired of people not taking my engagement seriously because of its length. It’s ridiculous, in my opinion.
Post # 24
“See this guy? I hope you like him, because I’ve decided I’m going to marry him and be with him for the rest of my life.”
Post # 25
I think what a lot of people may have been responding to in your previous post was your sentiment that you didn’t feel ready to be married, but you did feel ready to be engaged. For me, getting engaged is the public declaration that you’re ready to get married and are taking action toward making it happen.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you start planning a wedding (some people get engaged then elope, for example) but it does mean you start your preperations in the way that is meaningful to you. Which for most people, of course, is by planning a wedding.
But that’s just me! I say live and let live, if others look at an engagement more the way I’d think of a promise ring type of arrangement, who’s to say that’s wrong?
Post # 26
I guess I think its both option 1 and 2 (with a time limit). I think its a time to plan your wedding, even if you don’t start planning immediately. And I think its to make a public annoucement that you will marry blank person in the near future (within 2 years). I hope I don’t offend anyone, but it’s been my experience that when a couple is engaged for more than 2 years and haven’t begun planning, especially if they have not set a pretty solid day (at least down to year and month) I don’t really take them seriously. To me its just dating with a really pretty ring. I guess the intent to marry is not an engagement to me, because I always intended to marry my fi. Its more official we will be getting married…soon.
Post # 27
For me it is another level of commitment in the relationship, a declaration of your plans to marry and spend your life together. Fiance and I are not financially ready to marry yet, I am still studying and we don’t earn enough to move out together, but emotionally we are ready to marry. We are having a very long engagement, 3.5 years, and I see nothing wrong with that. Engagement for me is about much much more than just planning a wedding.
Post # 28
I agree, been getting a LOT of rude comments about my engagement length, mainly on the bee.
Post # 29
I guess I fall under a long engagement as well, 22 months from propsal to wedding. We chose to have a “long” engagement as we are both quite young (will be 22 at wedding) and as we wanted to buy our first house first and didnt want any handouts (we are paying for the wedding and our house all ourselves 🙂 ) so financially a “longer” engagement was better suited for us.
Post # 30
I dont mean this to be rude, but in regards too this statement ‘You shouldn’t take a couple less seriously because their engagement is longer than average.’
where do you draw the line? Future Sister-In-Law has been engaged for coming on 10 years, no rings and no plans on marriage. I just dont consider them to be engaged, but obviously think of them as more serious then dating
Post # 31
I don’t mean serious as a couple, I mean I don’t take them as seriously planning to get married. I say that because in my personal experience (not saying it’s true for everyone) the couples that never planned (like not even a little bit) or even had a round about date after 2 years either didn’t get married (still “engaged” 7 years later with no plans to marry), or they broke up.