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Being engaged makes you smarter?

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princessmo2

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Has anyone else experienced something like this? I''d be interested to hear people''s stories...

So, I have a very close friend who recently got engaged to her boyfriend of 4 years. And, though I have engagement fever myself, I was (genuinely) happy for her, and I am excited to chat about wedding stuff with her! The major difference between us in this respect, though, is that she was not at ALL excited/anxious about getting engaged. In fact, as recently as a few months ago, she admitted to me she wasn''t sure she would say yes if her bf proposed, because she wasn''t sure she wanted to marry him! I''ve known her since they got together, and her attitude has always been something like, "Eh, well, I don''t know if I ever want to get married - maybe in like 10 years, but I''m not ready now."

Before anybody suggests that maybe she was just "saying" this because she thought her bf wasn''t ready to ask, let me assure you, he definitely was! Everybody that knew the two of them knew that had she been ready, he likely would have proposed a few years ago.

Anyway, the two of us went out for dinner recently, and I was (as usual) talking about my eagerness to get engaged, how I think it''s coming soon and I can''t shut up about it, etc. She listened for awhile, then said, "You know, I honestly don''t understand where you''re coming from. I mean, my proposal was so special because I had no idea he was planning to propose, so I wasn''t at all anxious about it." Since I didn''t want to get into an uncomfortable conversation, I refrained from saying, "Well, maybe you weren''t anxious because you didn''t care at all about getting married?!" However, she made it sound like she had some kind of impeccable self-control, and made a conscious decision to NOT get stressed out so she would be surprised. As if I wouldn''t do that if I could!

So what''s the deal? Has anyone else ever felt that an engaged or married friend was kind of talking down to you about your pre-engagement anxiety? Does getting engaged make you into some kind of sage, passing down wisdom to the poor un-engaged? (Never even mind all the women who say, "Oh, well I''m SURE this won''t happen to you, but I have a friend who thought her boyfriend was going to propose too, and boy was she wrong.")
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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To me it sounds like a defense mechanism she maybe developed to avoid disappointment if no one ever asked her to marry them. I wouldn''t take her opinion or her comment too seriously. To each her own...maybe she''s just become cynical and jaded about something that is normally pretty exciting to people, who knows? Don''t you worry about her, girl.
 

cherry_vanilla

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I think it is a defensive front, like it doesn''t matter how they get there, just that they''re at the finish line and you''re not. I''m reaching the age where a lot of my (and my boyfriend''s) friends are getting engaged and I definitely see how they kind of "elevate" themselves above the lowly LIWs who don''t have that public affirmation of their relationship status. As much as I hate to admit it, engagement is as much a public thing as it is a private vow and it hurts to all of a sudden have that "social gap" exist in my circles.

Especially with your friend in the OP, I do think she really was putting on a front - it seems really odd to go from "I don''t even know if I''d say yes" to patting herself on the back for all her self control and being Queen Perfect Proposal


And I second wishing there was a magic switch to flip that can turn off all thinking about waiting to get engaged! A while back I posted on another message board on how to deal with watching my friends get engaged one and another even though they''ve been either dating far less time/younger than my boyfriend and I or have glaring red flags, and most of the replies were "stop caring what other people do, why can''t you just be happy for your friends and not jealous, don''t be so impatient" and it''s like, I wish I could that''s why I was posting!
 

poptart

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I really don''t think she was being rude. Maybe she really was surprised because she really wasn''t nervous about it. I was excited but wasn''t nervous/anxious about my engagement, and just because I would say that to someone doesn''t mean I am "looking down my nose at them." It means in my situation, I knew it was coming and just enjoyed knowing that it was coming. People react to life''s big changes in different ways, and just because she had a different reaction than you doesn''t mean she''s looking down on you. So I guess I would say from her second comment you shouldn''t take it to heart, and as for her first comment about her BF/FI, it''s sad to see that she wasn''t at least excited!

*M*
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
I understand where your friend is coming from. I sometimes wonder if I am too cynical and "squashing" around here, but honestly, sometimes I just don''t get it.

I was like your friend. Not sure if I ever wanted to get married, but certainly was happy to think about it when the right guy came along. I never dreamed too much about being engaged (although now I will admit I really enjoyed it!)

I can totally understand that many women are very very excited at the prospect of getting engaged. That''s totally normal and great! Why not be excited at the thought of someone you love wanting to commit to you for the rest of your life and vice versa? What I don''t get are ladies who tie themselves up in knots over the whole thing until they are so sick that they can''t enjoy the anticipation. The ones who talk about it INCESSANTLY as if there is nothing else in life.


Perhaps I sound like your friend now...being a bit condescending? But to each their own. We just come from differing viewpoints, is all, and honestly, I don''t mean to come across that way.
 

monarch64

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I have to say that I also was like your friend, though, and wasn't exactly planning my wedding from the age of 8, ya know? However, I had some friends who got engaged before me, and were very, very excited about it, the usual stuff, but I didn't find myself brimming over with that same kind of excitement, I guess. I think a lot of factors played into my level of excitement...I wanted to be surprised with the proposal, I also knew that I would not die if it never came, and I frankly did not want to be "one of those girls" when it came to spazzing out over getting engaged or married. I'm just kind of a low-key person when it comes to those sort of things. But I will say this as well, another small factor was maybe that I didn't want to be let down, and I didn't ever want to let on to anyone else that I was disappointed about something like an engagement that was never proposed. Small factor among many others, but there nonetheless. So TG's post got me thinking maybe it's a combo with this friend of yours...she could be very excited inside but is putting up a bit of a front just in case, but OTOH may also be just not absolutely exhilarated about getting engaged for whatever reasons (not that the reasons may be negative, though). Hope that makes some sort of sense. In an event, I wouldn't take it personally that she has whatever attitude she chooses to have. Some people just look at life differently or assert their opinions differently than most, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what you might think. God I feel like this post is very muddled and not well thought out, maybe even contradictory to my first response, but I'm posting it anyway, lol.

ETA: Ok, for an example I have a friend who's just DYING to have babies and has been since she was a teenager. We are also neighbors and our husbands "commiserate/hang out" frequently, therefore we know a LOT about each other. we've each been married roughly 3-4 years and neither of us have children yet. She has already mapped out her baby shower, chosen furniture for their nursery, etc. I honestly am like, if we have kids great, if not, no big deal. She consistently asks me "when are you guys having kids?" every time I see her. It's gotten to the point that sometimes I just say "I don't think we are" to shut her up because we are just coming from two different places about the whole issue. It's hard to catch on to someone else's enthusiasm when you are at a different place in life and have your mind on other things, to me. Hopefully this anecdote will sort of reinforce what I said above.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/13/2007 10:15:33 PM
Author: monarch64
I have to say that I also was like your friend, though, and wasn''t exactly planning my wedding from the age of 8, ya know? However, I had some friends who got engaged before me, and were very, very excited about it, the usual stuff, but I didn''t find myself brimming over with that same kind of excitement, I guess. I think a lot of factors played into my level of excitement...I wanted to be surprised with the proposal, I also knew that I would not die if it never came, and I frankly did not want to be ''one of those girls'' when it came to spazzing out over getting engaged or married. I''m just kind of a low-key person when it comes to those sort of things. But I will say this as well, another small factor was maybe that I didn''t want to be let down, and I didn''t ever want to let on to anyone else that I was disappointed about something like an engagement that was never proposed. Small factor among many others, but there nonetheless. So TG''s post got me thinking maybe it''s a combo with this friend of yours...she could be very excited inside but is putting up a bit of a front just in case, but OTOH may also be just not absolutely exhilarated about getting engaged for whatever reasons (not that the reasons may be negative, though). Hope that makes some sort of sense. In an event, I wouldn''t take it personally that she has whatever attitude she chooses to have. Some people just look at life differently or assert their opinions differently than most, and it doesn''t necessarily have anything to do with what you might think. God I feel like this post is very muddled and not well thought out, maybe even contradictory to my first response, but I''m posting it anyway, lol.

ETA: Ok, for an example I have a friend who''s just DYING to have babies and has been since she was a teenager. We are also neighbors and our husbands ''commiserate/hang out'' frequently, therefore we know a LOT about each other. we''ve each been married roughly 3-4 years and neither of us have children yet. She has already mapped out her baby shower, chosen furniture for their nursery, etc. I honestly am like, if we have kids great, if not, no big deal. She consistently asks me ''when are you guys having kids?'' every time I see her. It''s gotten to the point that sometimes I just say ''I don''t think we are'' to shut her up because we are just coming from two different places about the whole issue. It''s hard to catch on to someone else''s enthusiasm when you are at a different place in life and have your mind on other things, to me. Hopefully this anecdote will sort of reinforce what I said above.
LOL Monarch, you crack me up.

But I don''t think it''s contradictory...it just hard to say for sure what her reasons for coming across like that may be...and if the OP''s perception is actually right. Sometimes people are just so excited at the prospect of being engaged, it''s a bit offputting when someone else is not.

I''m very happy for anyone who is excited to get engaged if I see it as part of their life, if that makes sense. I have witnessed too many women completely engrossed in looking for their "other half" out there, and I always think, who wants to marry you...a half person? Why not concentrate on living your life, enjoying what you want, and being a WHOLE person? I once knew a girl who had the means to buy a house and to travel. She refused to do any of it until she found a husband. I was like, huh??

BTW Princessmo, not saying you are like the above!
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/13/2007 10:25:27 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 3/13/2007 10:15:33 PM
Author: monarch64
I have to say that I also was like your friend, though, and wasn''t exactly planning my wedding from the age of 8, ya know? However, I had some friends who got engaged before me, and were very, very excited about it, the usual stuff, but I didn''t find myself brimming over with that same kind of excitement, I guess. I think a lot of factors played into my level of excitement...I wanted to be surprised with the proposal, I also knew that I would not die if it never came, and I frankly did not want to be ''one of those girls'' when it came to spazzing out over getting engaged or married. I''m just kind of a low-key person when it comes to those sort of things. But I will say this as well, another small factor was maybe that I didn''t want to be let down, and I didn''t ever want to let on to anyone else that I was disappointed about something like an engagement that was never proposed. Small factor among many others, but there nonetheless. So TG''s post got me thinking maybe it''s a combo with this friend of yours...she could be very excited inside but is putting up a bit of a front just in case, but OTOH may also be just not absolutely exhilarated about getting engaged for whatever reasons (not that the reasons may be negative, though). Hope that makes some sort of sense. In an event, I wouldn''t take it personally that she has whatever attitude she chooses to have. Some people just look at life differently or assert their opinions differently than most, and it doesn''t necessarily have anything to do with what you might think. God I feel like this post is very muddled and not well thought out, maybe even contradictory to my first response, but I''m posting it anyway, lol.

ETA: Ok, for an example I have a friend who''s just DYING to have babies and has been since she was a teenager. We are also neighbors and our husbands ''commiserate/hang out'' frequently, therefore we know a LOT about each other. we''ve each been married roughly 3-4 years and neither of us have children yet. She has already mapped out her baby shower, chosen furniture for their nursery, etc. I honestly am like, if we have kids great, if not, no big deal. She consistently asks me ''when are you guys having kids?'' every time I see her. It''s gotten to the point that sometimes I just say ''I don''t think we are'' to shut her up because we are just coming from two different places about the whole issue. It''s hard to catch on to someone else''s enthusiasm when you are at a different place in life and have your mind on other things, to me. Hopefully this anecdote will sort of reinforce what I said above.
LOL Monarch, you crack me up.

But I don''t think it''s contradictory...it just hard to say for sure what her reasons for coming across like that may be...and if the OP''s perception is actually right. Sometimes people are just so excited at the prospect of being engaged, it''s a bit offputting when someone else is not.

I''m very happy for anyone who is excited to get engaged if I see it as part of their life, if that makes sense. I have witnessed too many women completely engrossed in looking for their ''other half'' out there, and I always think, who wants to marry you...a half person? Why not concentrate on living your life, enjoying what you want, and being a WHOLE person? I once knew a girl who had the means to buy a house and to travel. She refused to do any of it until she found a husband. I was like, huh??

BTW Princessmo, not saying you are like the above!
Exactly...my mother always told me "you can''t be happy with someone else unless you are happy with yourself first." I think truer words were never spoken!
 

cherry_vanilla

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
76
Oh yes, DEFINITELY a big difference between being excited over an upcoming engagement and acting as if there''s nothing else in your life beyond the ring!

I do still think that many engaged girls quickly forget the waiting period once the proposal comes (I think I recall a thread where many PSers admitted to such?) which I guess does make sense but then again would make it hard to relate to those still waiting, you know? I don''t think it''s even concious, but it happens.

Also, even among my friends with seemingly fairytale engagement stories where the guy had something perfectly planned... I''m also not convinced it was always a fairy tale perfect behind closed doors. I wouldn''t exactly call it a front, but it''s not terribly attractive to tell of the tearful conversations that predated the moonlight proposal. People don''t like showing that vunerable side of things, I sure don''t admit to anyone past my boyfriend and this message board I ever think about getting married one day.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
I had proposals in the past that I was totally unstressed about - since I didn''t want to marry them. One I thought I did until he asked and then thought, "oh my god, no way am I spending the rest of my life with you" about 6 hours later! (after 6 years together
)

FI on the otherhand drove my nuts (mainly because he kept telling me how anti-marriage he was). I knew he wanted to be with me for ever, so I was okay about that. I just felt he didn''t understand how important getting married was to me.

Now of course all the stress is a distant memory - unless I reread my posts here
.

There''s a very good book called "Why men marry some women and not others" that says that about 75% of men have to be dragged to the altar in some shape or form.

For me your friend''s attitude is a red flag - does she really love him, or does she just feel that she''d better just get on and marry him because it''s what you do and things are good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave?

I think its sad if you are not super happy and excited. My FI couldn''t sleep at all the night before he proposed and I couldn''t sleep the night he did! (We''re both in our 30''s and it still felt like Santa Claus x 10,000)
 

MustangFan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
935
Some people are just a-holes in plain English, definitely a defense mechanism, she probably think deep down inside, why didn''t I get that excited, is there something wrong with me?!
I thought some people who graduated from college thought we were high mighty and changed their tune, but now engagement!! What is the world coming too?!
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
i''ve defnitely had the expereince where a married/engaged friend talked down to me when i was just a peon single person (haha), it''s pretty common.
they''re referred to has "smug marrieds"---if you''ve read bridget jones diaries! I used to always refer to my one friend (not to her face of course) as a "smug married"...she would ususally say things like "oh, we can''t go to those bars and parties anymore now that we''re so boring and married." It''s subtle, but it was condescending. And I SURE remembered when she was a bitter single person, so she wasn''t fooling me! Anyway, now i''m engaged and dont'' see it as much anymore, but hopefully I''m not doing it back to my singleton friends!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
12,170
I think that it could be a defence mechanism also. Plus, and dont take this the wrong way,as Im a very eager LIW also, maybe she''s tired of hearing about your upcoming engagment and doesnt understand how you are that excited. I know how hard it is not to talk about it, but I know personally that I have to reign myself in, whenever I start talking about it, for fear of boring my friends to tears
 

princessmo2

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Dec 22, 2006
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Thanks for the great responses, everyone... I actually really appreciated hearing about it from the "other" perspective, so I guess I can understand a little better where my friend is coming from now.

And janinegirly - ha!
That reminds me of a night recently where my bf and I were out and it was really late (like 2am), and I had been up since 5am to go to work... But when I suggested going home, the woman we were talking to said, "Oh my gosh. PLEASE do not tell me you are old and married!" Huh? Do only "old and married" people get tired after being awake for 21 hours straight???
 
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