3 Reasons Why It's Totally Fine to Have a Long Engagement
The case for NOT rushing down the aisle after you get a rock.
On a warm summer evening the love of my life got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said "yes." We had a wonderful engagement party and all of our friends and family joined us in celebration. At the time I was in my second year of college and my partner was in his first year — we planned to get married a couple of years later when we had both graduated and have the wedding of our dreams.
Over five years later we are still betrothed. Since becoming engaged, life has seemed to be a roller-coaster ride, I won’t bore you with the details but we have been through: studying at opposite ends of the country, a handful of loved ones passing, deciding on a different degree, trying out post–graduate education, living with our parents after graduating, and having an array of post–university “just for now” jobs between us. It hasn’t been easy, but all of these things have proven to be great challenges which we have overcome together. These life challenges have given us an extraordinarily strong bond and helped us to grow not only as individuals but also as a team.
We still don’t know when we will get married, and it’s not an issue for us. So if you also find yourself in this predicament, with acquaintances and family members alike giving you a metaphorical poke in the ribs about how long you’ve been engaged, here are a trio of reasons you can pull out of your pocket on why it works for you.
1. Weddings Can Be Expensive
If you’re anything like me and possibly many other millennials who were brought up on Disney movies, you’re going to want your wedding to be nothing less than perfect. You can picture it in your head: the couture dress, the sophisticated three-course meal, and the fabulous entertainment for your guests to enjoy. This is just the tip of the iceberg and these things do not come cheap. I'm totally in support of make-do-and-mending and I love to get my craft on, however there are some things you can’t create with your bare hands such as a talented photographer to capture your memories or a band for the evening entertainment.
I for one would much rather be engaged for 10 years and save for the wedding of my wildest dreams than be engaged for two years and settle for a day which isn’t quite what I imagined. It’s the most special day of your life and if you hold off the wedding for a little while longer, you can save more cash so that you’re not going to be paying off wedding loans for the next five years.
2. You May Have Gotten Engaged Too Early
I totally believe that love at first sight exists and that people who are childhood sweethearts can get married young and have a happy, love-filled life together. However it is common for people to get engaged in their late teens or early twenties, get married, and then grow apart in adulthood. This definitely doesn’t happen to everyone but it is worth mentioning that you might not be the same person at 25 that you were at 18.
On another note, some people are together for short spans of time and get engaged quite quickly. Obviously I'm not painting all of these speedy engagements with the same brush because every relationship is different, but I personally have known a couple of friends to get engaged within a year of meeting their partners, and sadly they are no longer together, let alone married.
Maturing together and being engaged for a while can mean that you learn the ins and outs of the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with while crossing into adulthood together and hopefully growing closer rather than apart.
3. A Wedding Isn't Your Priority Right Now
Yes you have committed to marrying your partner someday in the future and you plan on spending the rest of your lives with them so why does everyone need to keep asking when the wedding is going to be? Fair enough if you just met someone and they find out you’re engaged, but friends who’ve known you for years... It’ll happen when it happens, people!
There are so many life experiences you might want to embark upon together before getting married, some of which include: building your own business, traveling the world, buying a house, working abroad, having children, dedicating your time to helping others, or focusing on your career. Just because you plan to get married sometime in the future doesn’t mean your life should revolve around that one thing. Yes, it’s a big thing and it will be one of the most epic experiences of your life but so will seeing your baby walk for the first time, helping to build a school in a developing country, or spotting gorillas in the wild.
In life you have got to do what is right for you and if that means a 20-year engagement, so be it. Live your dreams and throw caution to the wind, knowing that one day you’ll be covered in confetti.