Q: My boyfriend and I knew from early on in our relationship that we wanted to get married. Six months ago, he had a ring purchased, and was beginning to plan the proposal. We are the type of couple where we share almost everything with each other. I rarely have a thought in my head that I don’t voice to him, and vice versa, so I was very involved in choosing the ring, but I wasn’t allowed to know any details about how he was going to propose.
Then life happened. He lost his job, and the ring that he had just purchased no longer seemed practical. I told him to return it, and we discussed the fact that we wanted to wait until we were financially secure to be engaged. I was at peace with the decision.
Now we’re back on track and back to planning an engagement. He has a new (more affordable) ring, and his ducks are lining up nicely. The issue I’m having is that I’m fairly certain—read 99.99 percent certain—that he wants to propose in the fall, AT LEAST SEVEN MONTHS FROM NOW! On a levelheaded day I am reasonable and understand that there’s a reason that he wants to do it at that time. It’s our favorite season, and he’s wanted the engagement to be romantic and over the top. Most days, however I am not even a little bit levelheaded. I can’t stand the idea of waiting more than half a year to begin this stage of our relationship. I’ve already waited so long!
How do I deal with knowing that I’ll be in the pre-engaged state for another six months, and how do I keep from driving him crazy while he makes his plans?
A: Dear C,
Meh. What’s the rush?
Best-case scenario, you’re going to be married to this guy until the end of your life. I don’t know your age, but I’m assuming that’s optimistically a good bit longer than six months.
Engagements are fun and exciting. But you know what else is? Dating. Being single. Looking forward to an engagement. Having full control over the remote control and being able to eat the last Oreo without playing rock-paper-scissor. These are the things you get to appreciate for a little while longer. Embrace them!
I’m being a little flip, but seriously. I do understand. And as a happily married lady, I wish I could articulate just how special our short dating time was, and then our short engaged time (and before all of that, our short “no really, guys, we’re just friends, I swear” time). We dated for three long years before he proposed, and in retrospect, those three years feel like the blink of an eye. And I’m not even some wizened old married lady!
A lot changes once you’re engaged, and again once you’re married—and I don’t even necessarily mean as a result of either of those things. That’s just the nature of time, of developing as an individual, of being in a relationship that grows and ebbs and flows. The meet-up spots, the jokes, the shared interests that are special to you now, may not be by this time next year. Forever and always you’ll look back on these times, these places, these terrible radio hits that are on a constant loop, and remember exactly what it was like to be in this specific, short-lived time of your relationship.
Why rush that?
So, let me ask you. What is it about engagement that you’re in such a hurry to get? Is it the planning? You know Pinterest has secret boards now, right? Is it the ring? Go get yourself some pretty new jewelry. It can be really hard to wait, but anticipation is half the fun, and the memories you’re building together right now are also a really special piece of your relationship.
Team Practical, how do you endure the (sometimes agonizing) wait for the next step of your relationship?
If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off!