Listen, we get it, guys. You’re thinking of getting engaged to your girlfriend but you have no idea what engagement even entails. Like, how do you propose? How do you find a ring? Will she even say yes?! Calm down and take a deep breath, man. It’s a stressful thing to figure out, and your nerves are sure to be through the roof right before you ask for your partner’s hand in marriage. You probably have several questions about marriage and engagements, and we’re here to clear the waters for you.
The truth is, most of getting engaged and married is about instincts and tradition. You need to do what feels right both for you and your partner.
“Sounds good. But how do I know my partner feels?”
Well, first things first, you need to know whether they want to get engaged.
“How do I do that?”
You talk about it; simple as that.
“Okay, but, like, how long is the average engagement length? Can’t we just get married?”
You can, and it’s all based on the preference of the couple. But this involves some further considerations. Let’s give this, and some other engagement questions, a closer look.
The Average Engagement Length
Simple answer: The average engagement length is up to you and your partner. When it comes to getting engaged, some partners like to go from engagement to marriage within the span of a few months. However, most couples tend to go longer.
A 2019 study conducted by The Knot found that the average engagement length for American couples was 15 months. This signifies that people like to wait, whether that’s due to them wanting to save money before their wedding, so they can be financially secure before starting a family, or that they want to wait it out to be 100% sure they’re marriage material. But, again, there is no right or wrong when it comes down to the length of your engagement.
“All right, my head is spinning. How do I know what’s right?”
Again, it’s instinctual. You and your partner need to discuss what you envision for your engagement, wedding, and future together. That’s the only way you’ll know what decision is best for the two of you.
“I’m so confused … I have no idea if I want a long or short engagement. How are they different?”
There are key differences between the two of them that require consideration. Take a breather and let’s consider how they stack up.
What’s Good About a Long Engagement?
So we know that the average engagement length for American couples in 2019 was 15 months. Cool. That already seems pretty long, but why would you want to wait longer than that?
You’re Both Busy
If you’re both career-driven individuals, it might be in your best interest to wait it out. Weddings are stressful and the months leading up to them take up a lot of time. You can, instead, choose to give yourself adequate space to work on your professional careers while planning out your wedding for the future to come, which might involve letting your employer know about it far in advance.
You Want to Save Money
Where do you imagine your honeymoon? White sands beach with the bluest water or a mountain resort with fresh powder for skiing? Whichever you see, it’ll cost money. So will the wedding, and so will buying a house, starting a family, having to buy a new vehicle, doing home repairs …
*Begins heavily hyperventilating*
Take a breath, man! It’s all a part of the process, but you can better prepare yourself for it by taking more time to work and save. And if you’re working hard enough, either you or your to-be spouse might get a raise or a promotion, which would greatly help in covering basic expenses.
You Want to Educate Yourselves
Some couples like to wait it out so they can educate themselves on each other. Consider it premarital counseling.
“Oh no, no, no. I’ve never been a therapy person and I’m not going to start now.”
Listen. It’s for the betterment of the two of you! Even if you’ve been dating for a few years, there still might be some wrinkles you haven’t ironed out of your relationship. As much as you love someone, there is almost always something that bothers you about them: Maybe it’s when her girlfriends bring up her exes while you’re around; maybe it’s because you like playing CoD with the boys at night.
Whatever it is, you should work these out before you get married. Premarital counseling helps because it gets you off on the right foot before you even begin. You can figure out how to better communicate your differences, settle arguments, show each other affection, and handle disparities in sexual drives.
What’s the Benefit to a Short Engagement?
“Now, why would anyone want to get married a few months after getting engaged? What’s the point of even getting engaged?”
Good point. A quick turnaround might feel strange, and they probably got engaged in the tradition of the process: date, get engaged, get married. But there could be more to it.
You’re Ready for It NOW
Some couples are go-getters: They know what they want and they want it as fast as humanly possible. If they know they’re ready for marriage, they can dive into it headfirst.
This tends to be preferential among couples who have already dated for a very long time. They’re comfortable together, know each other inside and out—
—and are ready to begin living the married life, such as having kids, merging their assets, and more. For some couples this is ideal, and they should listen to their guts if it feels right.
You Want to Maintain Excitement
If there is one downside to a long engagement, it’s that it loses its luster after a while. Think of it like the Dat Boi meme you got tattooed on you when bar-hopping with your bros. Hilarious in the moment, but, now, years later, everyone asks you “What does that mean?” and you don’t even have an answer.
Short engagements are ideal for a similar reason—somewhat… There’s an immediate excitement in the air after you and your fiancée get engaged. She’s showing the ring off to everyone in her orbit and you can begin reciting dad jokes way too early. But the longer you wait, the more that excitement will wane.
To capitalize on it, you and your partner can get married a few months after your engagement. That way, you can live off of the cheer produced by your engagement and the eagerness brought on by your upcoming wedding.
You’ll Have Less Time to Stress
Engagement anxiety is real, especially when it comes to long-term ones. You know you made the right decision but, damn, if your brain doesn’t find a way to berate you in the months and months leading up to your wedding. Why not throw all that stress aside and jump right into your marriage? This way, you’ll be able to keep a cool head leading up to your wedding day, rather than ripping your hair out as the months go on, wondering if you made the right choice in the first place.
You know the pros and cons of a short and long engagement now, but how about every other engagement consideration?
“YEAH, WHAT ABOUT THAT?”
How Do I Know She Is the One?
Okay, leading off with a big question here. This is another situation related to listening to your gut. When you ask most men this question, their answer will usually be “I just knew.” It’s inherent, emotional, something you don’t need to second-guess. Why do you love pizza and beer? They’re great, comforting, make you feel happy, remind you of great times, and you always go back for more.
Why is she the right one? She makes you laugh, you smile when you get a text from her, you’re glad you’re not in the dating scene anymore, you want to spend time with her, you’re happy spending days on end with just her, she doesn’t tire you out, she feels like your best friend, she’s the first person you want to tell your stories to, you’ve pictured your future together.
How Do I Know She’ll Say Yes?
It’s becoming more popular for couples to discuss marriage before the man popping the question. This pre-engagement talk is helpful, as it will help the two of you understand how your prospective futures line-up. Does she want to get married tomorrow? Does she not see a future with you? Has she ever mentioned wanting to have kids with you?
Breaking that ice is fundamental to learning where she stands relative to engagement. And, hey, don’t be afraid to ask her outright. You don’t have to propose on the spot. If she says yes, celebrate together, and then wait to surprise her with a ring down the road.
Do I Buy Just Her a Ring?
Tradition has it that just the woman receives a wedding ring. But, as mentioned here, we’re all about breaking tradition. If you want an engagement ring, discuss it with your partner. For all you know, she might not like the traditional, patriarchal move that comes with just the woman getting an engagement ring. She might then be against receiving one at all or she might be more open to the two of you getting one. If you’re excited by the idea of getting an engagement ring, you should just see what our titanium wedding bands look like.
How Do I Propose?
Planning a proposal can be just as stressful as planning a wedding—you’ve seen these dudes on YouTube get whole marching bands, police forces, stadiums, and damn near armies involved to propose to their girlfriend. How the heck do you do better than that?!
Don’t overthink it. No matter what you’ve seen online or what your friends have told you, you need to do what is right for the two of you. Think of something personal that will truly show her how much you love her. It could be proposing at the spot where you shared your first kiss, where you’ve always wanted to vacation together, or the place she is said to be at her happiest.
Think about the “when” and “where” elements and work them out in your head. If you can make it work, perfect. But if you’re short on time and would rather do something sooner, so be it. Call an audible. You’ll find a way to make it work.
Do We Announce Our Engagement?
Most couples will. And it doesn’t have to be done by mail. It’s simple enough to announce it via text or social media. For instance, have someone film you proposing and share that on your Instagram. Boom. Voila! As easy as and simple as that.
“Cool, that’s straightforward. But why?”
BECAUSE YOU LOVE HER, MAN! You just made the biggest decision of your life and you’re not going to want to tell the whole world that the woman you love said yes? C’mon. You should be ripping your shirt off in public and screaming about how this woman said she’d marry you.
But you got us. There are some other reasons, though. For one, people will begin planning relative to your wedding, asking what date you have in mind and wondering where you are in the process. Second, some people might feel inclined to send an early wedding gift for the bride and groom.
Do I Need to Ask Her Father for His Daughter’s Hand in Marriage?
Asking the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage was popularized in the 19th century, but it’s fallen out of style in recent years. Want to show her family that you’re a true man? Consider asking her father. It’ll be a clear sign of respect he’ll never expect. However, talk to her first. It’s unlikely she wants to be viewed as the property of her father, as nice of a gesture as it is. Talk to her first to make sure everyone is cool with the situation.
Seal the Deal with the Perfect Wedding Ring
So, you’re ready to pop the question. Good on you, man. You’re a rock star, and she’s going to say yes. But now you need the perfect ring. If you’re planning ahead, consider a titanium wedding band or a Damascus steel wedding ring for yourself. If you’re looking for a pair? Our couple’s collection is perfect, showing that love always comes in pairs. When the time comes, remain confident and speak your truth. Seal the deal and put a wedding ring on that finger!
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