It’s spring and wedding season is in full swing.
Amid all the dancing and champagne toasts, someone will inevitably ask, “So when are you two getting engaged?”
When navigating this awkward question, you must stifle the urge to turn your dagger stare upon your lover, poke them in the ribcage and ask, “I don’t know, WHEN ARE WE GETTING ENGAGED?”
Chances are good he’s already been asked the same question at least 20 times.
I usually just shrug and continue doing the Cupid Shuffle because, honestly, I have no freaking clue.
After three years of dating, it could happen days, months or years from now.
But at this point I’ve gotten good at ignoring the pressure. I’ve stopped stressing every time someone’s great-aunt pinches my cheek and says, “You’re next!”
For me, the important part is knowing there will be a proposal some day. I know this because before I even moved in, Robert and I mutually agreed that he would eventually make an honest woman out of me.
Or at least attempt to.
Take Your Time
Even though I am positive I want to marry Robert and raise giant mustachioed lumberjack babies with him, I have learned to cherish our current situation for all that it is, instead of all that it is not.
It’s great to know where you are headed together in life, but that doesn’t mean you need to fast forward to the “happily ever after.”
Even if you do see yourselves heading to the altar eventually, it’s up to you whether you want to walk, run or dance down the aisle.
Putting pressure on your relationship to reach certain milestones by a particular deadline will only add tension to something that is just getting good.
It’s totally natural to get impatient and antsy, wondering when the big moment will come. All of your Facebook friends are getting engaged, so why aren’t you?
But don’t let other people’s happiness diminish your own. Be genuinely happy for them and know that one fine day, they will be genuinely happy for you.
Not to mention that if you’re expecting a ring, they don’t just appear out of thin air. You kind of have to save up for them, unfortunately.
The Peanut Gallery
Yet another layer of pressure on your relationship comes from an unexpected source: the people who love you.
Because your nearest and dearest care and want the best for you, you have to prepare yourself for unsolicited advice about how they would handle your relationship differently or what your timeline should be.
Some will not approve of you living together before marriage and hope you get hitched soon so they can gloss over this stage like it never happened. Others will insist that you should have at least held out for a sizable rock before moving in. A small faction will scoff at the fact that you are even considering settling down at all.
The most exasperating are the few well-meaning acquaintances who gleefully recount the disastrous details of their friend’s cousin’s sister-in law’s cohabitation experience that ended with someone’s clothes on fire in the front lawn.
But even if you give it a try and someone still ends up burning your clothes in effigy, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a divorce. Hopefully the only custody battle you have will be over the couch you pooled your tax returns to buy.
So just ignore the chatter going on around you and do what is best for you and your relationship
Permanent Slumber Party
For now, enjoy what’s right in front of you.
Living together is an awesome time where you get to learn everything about each other and spend more time together than ever before.
You can eat whatever you want, do whatever you want, build a pillow fort whenever you want and neither of you even have to wear pants!
This life stage does not get enough credit for being a commitment in and of itself that is worth relishing and celebrating.
Someone is intentionally waking up next to you every morning and going to sleep next to you every night. That’s not something that happens simply out of convenience or laziness. That is love and commitment.
So even when you start to get impatient, trust in the love and life you have built together and know that things will happen in their own time.
If you put as much effort into strengthening your relationship as you do stalking Facebook albums of former friends’ weddings, you will be much happier.
And maybe try to cut back on the hint dropping. Trust me, he gets it.