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How soon is too soon to get engaged?

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Vani

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
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29
Hello!

I''m Vani and I''m 25 years old, soon to be 26. I''ve been lurking for longer than I care to admit to, but have finally decided to be brave and come out of hiding! Very excited to "meet" you all, although I feel like I know many of you already


Anyway, there is something I''d like your advice on. I''ve only been with my boyfriend a few months (met through a friend and starting dating straight away), but it just seems really right. I''ve been in two serious relationships before (one for almost 5 years) in which I always felt I was compromising too much, we would argue, etc etc, but there is none of that at all with my BF. We are just really happy, so similar and get on so well. I had always had a feeling that 9 months-1year would be the absolute minimum time before I would consider getting engaged, but am starting to reconsider whether you actually need that long. Any thoughts?

(Extra info in case it impacts: I was single for almost a year before current BF, so there isn''t any element of rebound, we both have steady jobs and are financially independent, and I don''t want to live together before marriage - hope no-one is offended by that, just my own decision).

Thanks in advance!
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
Hi Vani!


I''ve always had that "9 months to a year" idea in my head too. I think that''s normal (not the timeline, the feeling that that''s an "acceptable" amount of time to get to know someone). My best friend is getting married in June and she''s been with her fiance for just barely over a year. Normally I roll my eyes at that sort of thing, but they''re just so "right;" just like you said. She told me that now that they''ve started to argue (I''m not even sure they''d had their first fight before they got engaged), they just know that they have to make-up and get over it since they''re getting married.

I say, do what you want! You sound like a level headed gal. If anyone judges you, screw ''em.


Plus, I''m a sucker for a whirlwind romance stories.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Would you consider a long engagement? Or do you want to get quickly engaged AND married?
 

choyoyo

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
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78
Hi Vani,

My fiance's parents were engaged and married six months after they started dating. And they are still happily married after 35 years. My parents married after two years of dating (so somewhere in there they got engaged :D). And they have been married for about 30 years. On the other hand, my fiance and I dated for 5 years before we got engaged (I'm 27). Ultimately it just depends on what feels right for you. And what is long for some is short for others, and you will get comments regardless~ though you will probably get more comments for a shorter relationship.

Personally, I think that people are still in "honeymoon" phase in their first year of a relationship- they haven't even come across any tough issues yet, and for many couples that I know/knew, that is the turning point where they either break up or continue towards a more serious relationship. I'm kind of a slow cynical turtle when it comes to relationships though. 1 or 2 years would not have been enough time for me. But it obviously works for some people :D


 

Feralpenchant

Shiny_Rock
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Feb 12, 2009
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427
I never had a timeline set in my head. When I thought it was right, I was gonna do it, I thought.

That got me into some trouble when I was 18 and got engaged to an idiot I barely knew, BUT another story another day, eh? I''m older now and I''ve been with SO for.. I guess right around two years now, maybe a couple of months shy. We''re going to be getting engaged soon. As in like next month soon. So that''s about 2 years on the nose.

As for you, I think you should do what you feel is right! You''re the only one who knows what is best for you, and usually with things like this our gut is right!
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
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3,269
Hey Vani, welcome!!


I was with FI for about 7 months when we got "officially" engaged - as in we knew and talked about it a couple of months before that, just kind of waited to tell people and get a ring. I did know him (but not too well) for about a year and a half before we got together. I was only 23 when we got engaged - wwwwwaaaaaayyyyy too young for my personal timeline. But, when it happens, it happens. I''ve seen couples get engaged after one year, 5 years, 10 years...I''ve seen relationships of 7 years break up. There''s no right or wrong. You''ll know when its right for you. We''ve been together over two years now and it''s still as right as it ever was!
 

Pushin40

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
617
My opinion is a few months is just not enough to truly get to know someone.
Not saying it won''t work out...there are no guarentees in life anyway...

It''s really your business and your decison! It doesn''t matter what anyone else thinks but you and your SO.

I wish you the best!
 

White Orchid

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2008
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229
Every relationship is different, and you shouldn''t rely on the opinions of outsiders to tell you what to do or feel. And now I''m going to contradict myself and say that I''ve always felt that anything sooner than 3 years is rushing things. Then again, I had a close friend who married a man after a whopping 3 month relationship... and against all odds the marriage is still going strong.

If I were in your shoes, I really would take my time and do a lot of soul searching before marrying this man. He may be everything you''ve ever dreamed about, but what if he''s not?
 

wishinpink

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Messages
587
I think it''s possible to know that he''s the right one after a few months, but if there''s no hurry, it doesn''t hurt to wait! Waiting could only help you guys get to know each other more, and you could both enjoy the dating stage a bit longer! I suggest to take your time, and not to rush even if you KNOW he''s the one!
 

sammyj

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Date: 4/21/2009 1:40:59 PM
Author: Porridge
Hey Vani, welcome!!


There's no right or wrong. You'll know when its right for you.
Ditto this. I don't think it has anything to do with LENGTH of time but what you cover and how your relationship develops during that time. Personally, I think that you need to move outside of the honeymoon phase and experience tragedy and conflict (or at least some not-so-happy times) to know whether or not someone is right for you.

5 years was always the ideal amount of time for me, but then my clock started ticking and we got engaged at 4 years and 3 months.
 

trillionaire

Ideal_Rock
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I think that the older you are, the more you know what you want in a relationship. My SO and I didn''t fight at all for the first 2 years that we were dating. It seemed surreal! I was so glad when we finally had an argument, what a relief! I think if someone is right and perfect, more time is not going to hurt the relationship as long as you are both on the same page. (it can hurt it A LOT if you are not!) I''m biased because I have been with someone for 5+ years, and cannot imagine dating someone and getting married in less than a year, and I would prefer 2! There is 100% no way I would have been comfortable with a proposal in my current relationship before 4.5 years!!! lol

to each their own though, we all have stories of love beating the odds!
 

Sunset_in_Cali

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
75
Hi Vani, welcome! I''m a newbie too, I hope you don''t mind me chiming in.

All relationships are great in the beginning. The question is, will it stay that way? I think in the first year, both of you are still learning about each other. For me, even after a year of being with my bf, I still felt I was still learning about him. Of course, every relationship progesses at a different rate. I think it''s fine to discuss enagement/marriage early in a relationship, but make sure you both really know each other well before you make that serious lifelong committment, however long it takes.
 

Nomsdeplume

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Joined
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I don''t think there''s a definite rule. I once heard that if you can make 9 months, the odds are you can make 2 years. If you can make 2 years, odds are you can make it a marriage. I think considering my past relationships and those I''ve observed, it''s pretty true in most cases.
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
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12,170
Date: 4/21/2009 2:24:02 PM
Author: Sunset_in_Cali

All relationships are great in the beginning. The question is, will it stay that way? I think in the first year, both of you are still learning about each other. For me, even after a year of being with my bf, I still felt I was still learning about him. Of course, every relationship progesses at a different rate. I think it''s fine to discuss enagement/marriage early in a relationship, but make sure you both really know each other well before you make that serious lifelong committment, however long it takes.
ditto. To me I think that every relationship is great in the beginning too. I think that every relationship moves at a different pace but I like equestriennes idea of being together for at least 4 seasons before getting engaged.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Welcome!

It''s funny, I entered PS with a very similar first post


Firstly, everyone is different, and every relationship is different, so everything I say is just general. What I felt was right for me, and what I tend to notice in others'' relationships more than anything else.

Every single relationship has a honeymoon phase. If you''ve been in long-term relationships before, you may (or may not, if it''s just been too long) remember the difference between the very beginning and the well-worn reality that comes later. Not only is all the excitement heightened because it''s all "new," but both partners are on their "good behavior" around each other. It takes a long time to become comfortable enough to be your true selves around each other, and even longer to discover all the things that pop up after you''ve become comfortable.

I don''t think time together increases a couple''s chance of success necessarily - it just gives you a LOT more information to work with. I know that I felt very early on (3-6 months or so) that I wanted to marry my husband, but I still kept learning things (important things, not just little surprises) about him until we''d been together for two years. In my experience, that''s the realistic "honeymoon period." Two years. Of course it varies from person to person, but the more I discuss this with people the more I find that most people tend to take about that long to "get all the information." This takes more than long talks about your nooks and crannies, it takes experience with a person, seeing how they react and deal with different situations, to begin to fully understand them. What we believe to be true about ourselves doesn''t always line up with how we act.

I''ll give you a little anecdote as an example
my husband always told me he was an extremely laid-back person - and he was. Nothing seemed to get to him, his "anger" or "frustration" maxed out with a shrug. We''d been together for 2.5 years when we moved in together, graduated from college, and entered the ''real world.'' He didn''t seem much different, which was a relief to me, because I''d always thought big changes like that could really affect a person. Things were moving along fine, until we had a minor disagreement over relationship progression (this was in my pre-LIW days), which resulted in him having a minor meltdown about "all the pressure." Turns out he''d been completely stressed about all the life changes, and trying to act (for my benefit) as though was taking them in stride just added to his stress. We had a long talk and had to do some major work, with some big changes to how we interact, to get things back to a happy level for both of us.

I had NO idea - I thought he was just a laid-back easygoing kinda guy, which he is under normal circumstances, but when the pressure mounts he had been trying to maintain his laid-back persona... which just wasn''t realistic, or fair, for that matter.

Not everyone has the same issues or takes as long to break them down, but everyone has some issues and they always take some time (and simple experience with each other) to manifest and be worked through.



Anyway, to be fair, I''m an "all the information to make an informed decision" type, as opposed to a "follow your heart" type. If you were to get engaged/married now, you would be getting married without all the information. Sometimes that''s okay, sometimes it''s not. It''s your job to decide whether that''s okay with you or not.

That was WAY too long!
 

ilovesparkles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,389
Hey Vani and Welcome to PS! I am one of those people, that is not very patient. I move through life quickly, and that's just my personality. Contradictory to what many have said already, I will put myself out there.

H and I have a complex situation in that we met/chatted a few times about 5 years ago, lost contact, and reunited this past Sept. Now I really didn't know much about him at all, so I would say we really have only known each other for 7 months. Dating for 4.5 mos. And next month we will be getting engaged. People have asked us why so fast, whats the rush!? The answer is simply he is the one, he was made for me and I for him. We are simply soul mates.

I do however agree to a great deal that if there have been no arguments, disagreements or fights, you truly cannot know the person well enough. How a person reacts in this situation, especially with a loved one, is quite telling! Keep us updated and welcome once again!


ETA: I also think that with a short time before engagement should come a longer engagement. Also, I picked up a book called 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy. Awesome book to go through with your honey!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
No rules in my book.

My parents got engaged 2 weeks after they met and married within 6 months. My mother was only 21 (my father was 32
) and they've been together 38 years and are still crazy about each other.

DH and I got engaged after 2 years and a bit - I would easily have got engaged to him within weeks, but I had been in several long-term serious relationships and at 34 knew EXACTLY what I was after. I was his first proper girlfriend and so he needed a lot more time. It just felt right from the day we met.

We did move in together after 3 months and I do think you learn more quickly about someone when you live together than when you don't. I wouldn't marry a man I hadn't lived with happily for at least 6 months.

My parents are still kicking themselves for not making my sister live with her husband - there's no way they'd have got married if they had! They now have a rule that we all have to live with someone for at least a year if we want their blessing!


I think where you are in your lives can also make a difference. DH and I were both long past college, had been living independently for at least 10 years and so we weren't going to be facing the kinds of stress that can result from moving from a college environment to a work environment and the huge changes that that brings.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Another couple anecdotes...

My brother was with his girlfriend for 3 months before they moved in, a year before he proposed, and 2 years on their wedding day. 2 weeks before the wedding, he found out (on his own) that she had MASSIVE amounts of credit card and school debt, and had to confront her. She admitted that she'd been actively keeping a secret because she was afraid that he "wouldn't marry [her] if he knew."

My mom's best friend met her second husband under perfect circumstances and he gelled instantly with her kids. They moved in together, everything went smoothly, and they got married about a year after meeting. After they'd combined finances, she uncovered a gambling addiction that he has, which was an instant dealbreaker to her. They divorced only 6 months after marrying. (As a funny side note, all this went down in the time between our engagement and wedding day
in the time it took us to get engaged and married, she met someone, got engaged, got married, and divorced).


I'm not necessarily sharing this to 'scare' anyone out of fast engagements/marriage, just saying that there is a lot of ground to cover in a relationship, lots of surprises that you'd never see coming. Some things that your partner wouldn't even think to share, that may or may not be dealbreakers to you. No one can tell you all the questions to ask or things to go through - the journey is different with every relationship. Some people can figure that stuff out very quickly OR feel that any issue is not too big for their relationship to handle, but most people need time and experience with one another.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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11,242
Date: 4/21/2009 3:14:03 PM
Author: Pandora II
I think where you are in your lives can also make a difference. DH and I were both long past college, had been living independently for at least 10 years and so we weren''t going to be facing the kinds of stress that can result from moving from a college environment to a work environment and the huge changes that that brings.
I think the reason that that is a good example is that life is often FULL of ''huge changes.'' Whether that ends up meaning the birth of a child, injury that leads to career change OR inability to work completely, unexpected loss of money (stock market, economy, whatever), having to become a caretaker for an incapacitated relative or friend, etc. Life is full of surprises and big changes, and how one behaves under pressure like that is often completely unlike how they behave in all other circumstances.

Of course, we all can''t just wait around for some huge life changing event to have transpired before getting engaged, but it is something worth thinking about.
 

Vani

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
29
Thank you all so much for your responses! They really are helpful. I think my problem is that in my other two relationships, I never really had a "honeymoon phase" - I know it sounds odd, but basically things were rocky to begin with and then settled down as I got "used" to them. So this is the first time it's all been lovely and right from the start, so I think I'm getting ahead of myself. It's particularly useful to be reminded that just dating is something to be enjoyed in itself, and getting engaged/married is not the only endpoint...

I think I will do my best to calm down, enjoy the relationship and then see what happens in its own time
Thanks again everyone!

ETA: but can I still play with you here while I wait to maybe become an official LIW?
 

sammyj

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
1,247
Date: 4/21/2009 3:33:33 PM
Author: Vani
Thank you all so much for your responses! They really are helpful. I think my problem is that in my other two relationships, I never really had a ''honeymoon phase'' - I know it sounds odd, but basically things were rocky to begin with and then settled down as I got ''used'' to them. So this is the first time it''s all been lovely and right from the start, so I think I''m getting ahead of myself. It''s particularly useful to be reminded that just dating is something to be enjoyed in itself, and getting engaged/married is not the only endpoint...

I think I will do my best to calm down, enjoy the relationship and then see what happens in its own time
Thanks again everyone!

ETA: but can I still play with you here while I wait to maybe become an official LIW?
YES, OF COURSE!!!!
 

jmtomaui

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
390
Please take this with a grain of salt as I was 42 when I met my husband. We were engaged and married within 6 months and have been married for 6 1/2 years now.

I can see a lot of sense in the "2 year" measuring stick. The first year, or 4 seasons as Equestrianne as put it, you are going through the first sets of holidays, vacations, etc and you both want to be the "nice" person and compromise so it all works out. In the second year, you are now dealing more with reality. Things like "my family always does Christmas this way". The newness has worn off and now you really have to start learning how to share and resolve concerns.

Is 6 months right for you? I don''t know you to be able to answer that. Do I think you should wait 2 years? Again, I don''t know. I do wish you all of the best however it works out. We all deserve to be with the one that is meant to be.

Julie
 

Vani

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Date: 4/21/2009 3:43:46 PM
Author: sammyj

Date: 4/21/2009 3:33:33 PM
Author: Vani
Thank you all so much for your responses! They really are helpful. I think my problem is that in my other two relationships, I never really had a ''honeymoon phase'' - I know it sounds odd, but basically things were rocky to begin with and then settled down as I got ''used'' to them. So this is the first time it''s all been lovely and right from the start, so I think I''m getting ahead of myself. It''s particularly useful to be reminded that just dating is something to be enjoyed in itself, and getting engaged/married is not the only endpoint...

I think I will do my best to calm down, enjoy the relationship and then see what happens in its own time
Thanks again everyone!

ETA: but can I still play with you here while I wait to maybe become an official LIW?
YES, OF COURSE!!!!
Fanks
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
To borrow what I believe is an old line from our lovely Decodelighted,

"If you have to ask, it''s too soon."
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
It took me six months to learn Mr. Fiery''s last name. I found out cause he got pulled over for a broken tail light and I saw the ticket when he got to my house.

I give huge kuddos to anyone that can get engaged after a few months. We just happened to be a very sllloooowwww couple before engagement.
 

Bia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
6,181
Date: 4/21/2009 4:28:40 PM
Author: fieryred33143
It took me six months to learn Mr. Fiery's last name. I found out cause he got pulled over for a broken tail light and I saw the ticket when he got to my house.

I give huge kuddos to anyone that can get engaged after a few months. We just happened to be a very sllloooowwww couple before engagement.
Fiery, how in the hell did it you let 6 months go by before you learned his last name? I'm too snoopy for that to ever happen

Que te paso, mi vida?
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
6,689
Date: 4/21/2009 4:33:16 PM
Author: Bia

Date: 4/21/2009 4:28:40 PM
Author: fieryred33143
It took me six months to learn Mr. Fiery''s last name. I found out cause he got pulled over for a broken tail light and I saw the ticket when he got to my house.

I give huge kuddos to anyone that can get engaged after a few months. We just happened to be a very sllloooowwww couple before engagement.
Fiery, how in the hell did it you let 6 months go by before you learned his last name? I''m too snoopy for that to ever happen

Que te paso, mi vida?
I was 20 and didn''t even care LOL

The man would spend weekends in my house and I didn''t know his last name. Let''s just say there was a period between 18 and 21 when I went a little nuts in the "I''m independent and do what I want" department
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
8,614
I think it''s whatever feels right for you. Don''t rush into anything, but if you really feel like you know each other and you are on the same page, then go for it!
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,655
I feel like it takes at least a year to really know someone. A year gets you through all the seasons, holidays, family functions, moods, crabbiness, sickness and maybe one crisis or stress. My parents were married with 6 months of meeting and stayed together til the end but divorce wasn''t much of an option in those days either. I suggest being patient.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
For me? At least a year. At LEAST.

But then, BF and I have been together for 4 years, so I look back on how much I learned between the first and second year, and am tempted to say two years. But that time shortens as I look at different age brackets (so I think in my 40s there would be less of a minimum time).
 
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