The list of celebrities who skip the lengthy engagement is long and includes Kaley Cuoco, Khloe Kardashian and Naya Rivera. The most recent is Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory star, and Ryan Sweeting, pro tennis boyfriend, who got engaged after just three months of dating. What does Kaley say? “When you know you know.”
So while some couples who are married 50 years acknowledge they took one look at their soon to be spouse and just knew, there are other couples who date years and end up divorced. There are bound to be pros and cons of long and short engagements.
Pros of long engagements
My mother always told me it was important to date someone long enough to see them in a variety of difficult situations. This may not happen in three months. Having longer engagements allow you the chance to get a sense of who your partner is and what you both of you want from a marriage. It gives you time to discuss major life issues: how to spend your money, whether to have children and where to live.
It also allows you time to plan a wedding without undue stress and fatigue. Not to mention it will take awhile to find a venue, find your photographer, and choose a DJ. Planning ahead may also allow you to save more money for marital expenses such as buying a home or taking your dream honeymoon. Not to mention the cost of the wedding can be reduced by booking early. For instance, having a longer engagement may allow you time to research vendors more thoroughly and negotiate lower prices.
But can you be engaged too long? Yes, I’ve known couple that have been dating for seven to ten years and eventually just “fell” into marriage. It seemed like their relationship was too much about comfort and routine versus really wanting to be with the right person. I also had a friend who dated her partner 20 years before he asked her to marry him. She missed the opportunity to have children and never had the sense that he really wanted to marry her.
Engagements can be too short
Can engagements be too short? Sure, dating for only a few months, especially if you just met the person, doesn’t allow you time to move past the stage of butterflies and tension into a healthy place of comfort and stability.
Can you know that you want to marry someone after a few dates? Sure, when I met my husband I was twenty six years of age and had dated enough to understand the type of man I wanted to marry. I knew I wanted to marry him on our second date. But I also already knew that we had common goals, principles, spiritual backgrounds and upbringings. Remember, for every difference, there is a compromise.
Remember, dating is one of the most fun parts of a relationship. Why not enjoy engagements? And although there is no perfect length of engagement for every couple, Kaley Cuoco probably is right – when you know, you know- and that doesn’t usually take five years to figure out.
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