Friday, 26 September 2014

How long is too long to wait for a proposal?



Don't worry, I'm not asking this question in the context of my own relationship, but in the context of our current society. I was recently reading this post by Mez from Domestic Divinity about the pressure that friends and family constantly seem to put on each other (unknowingly or otherwise) about getting into a relationship, moving out of home, getting engaged, getting married, having kids, having more kids, etc. It seems that as soon as you become a legal adult these days, regardless of whether you even have the maturity of an adult, people expect you to have it altogether and want to you to start reaching these milestones in quick succession.

I often wonder if this is because the generations before us have moulded our expectations. My grandparents for example got engaged after 6 weeks of dating, and my parents got engaged after 6 months of dating. Does this mean that B and I will get engaged after 6 years of dating? (I'm joking obviously!) Seriously though.. could the fact that many of our parents and grandparents got engaged/married so early on in their relationships and then quickly had a busload of children afterwards be the reason that we are all so eager to see each other reaching these particular milestones? I'm guessing this is probably the case, which would explain why it feels like we are being pressured, because in the back of our minds we know that this is how our parents/grandparents did things and on some level we want to follow in their footsteps. I'm not saying this is the case with everyone, but it's something to think about isn't it?

I just wish that as a society we could come to realise that things aren't the same as they were 20, 30, 50 years ago. The same people that we are trying to please/live up to/follow in the footsteps of are the same people that also want us to "do it all" - to go to University, travel the world, get an amazing and well paying career, etc. We're living in a society where young adults are expected to be all things, and all before they turn 35. So why do we keep putting so much pressure on each other? Why do we insist on being our own worst enemies?

When B and I (who have been dating for almost 6 years now, which is an accomplishment in itself thank you!) do eventually become engaged, I would like it if my friends and family could wish us "Congratulations!" rather than "About time guys.." or "Finally! I thought he would never pop the question!". I realise that most people who say these comments are saying them out of love and in a joking manner, but that doesn't necessarily make it okay. I myself have been guilty of this behaviour in the past and I honestly regret it now because I know that soon enough it will be happening to me as well (it's already starting to happen).

This blog post is clearly a generalisation written to make people think, so I apologise if it appears that I'm pigeonholing everyone - I promise that wasn't my intention. I just thought it might be an interesting topic to think about. :)

 
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21 comments:

  1. My partner and I have been together for almost 7 years. We live together but we aren't engaged. I don't even know if I want children one day and although I'd love to get engaged and plan a wedding I'm content with where we are. I think you've raised a really interesting point, why do our family and friends feel the need to put pressure on us? I think it is certainly to do with the way they were brought up but you're right (and I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way), society is completely different now and I think people need to accept that every relationship and situation is different and that each person needs to do what is right for them! xx

    Ioanna | www.hearting.co.uk

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way Ioanna. :) For me personally I'd rather skip the wedding and buy a house and start a family instead, but I know this would only be met with even more questions. :P

      Thanks for stopping by! xx

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  2. I don't see why there should be a time frame on when is 'right' to get engaged? as long as you're happy with how things are why rush? or why ever get engaged or married if people don't want to.
    We got engaged after being together for just over 3 years then married 2 and a half years later, sometimes I read things and think even that sounds like quite a wait but felt right for us and that's all that matters :)

    Belle x Part of Belle's world

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    1. Exactly! Sadly though I see people saying "about time" etc. to couples who have gotten engaged after 2-3 years of dating. It just seems so silly to me. People need to focus on their own happiness and let other people decide for themselves when they are ready. :)

      xx

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  3. I completely agree with you on this topic! My partner and I are married now and we are already expected to be pregnant and living in our own home! Every couple is different and I think we all need to realise this. Not everyone wants to live a Gen Y life - marriage, house, kids. We all need time to find ourselves as well as what we are like as couples. When things happen they will happen, end of story. Great topic! xo

    http://www.chasing-peonies.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad we're on the same page hun. ;) I think your life is pretty wonderful as it is so it's silly that anyone would expect you to change things up. B and I couldn't stop talking about your new place on our way home yesterday - it's absolutely gorgeous! I'm definitely going to ignore those outer voices and start focusing on the here and now and how lucky and blessed we are in so many ways already, because as you said, things will happen when they happen. :)

      P.s. Love the new blog - you change it so often haha! My blog is getting so old now but it will be hilariously cringe-worthy to read back through one day. :P

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    2. Thank you! We love the new home. It is certainly more than we expected.

      I know! I am so bad at keeping a blog. I'm trying really hard to keep this one though! Keeping more to topics that I actually like and not trying to please the blogger readers. I want to try and start getting more personal with it also so that I can look back on it too one day! xo

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  4. Totally agree! I feel under the same pressure with my relationship, especially because people I know seem to be getting engaged really quickly, which makes us seem like we are waiting forever...but we are happy so that's all that matters I guess! Great post! :) x

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    1. Yes, exactly. But nobody has the nerve to tell those couples "wow, that was quick!" or "don't you think that's a little soon". Talk about double standards. :P

      xx

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  5. My Husband and I were together 7 years before we got engaged (and then the wedding happened 3 months later!). But we always got the question on when we'd make it 'official'. The way I saw it, we had been together a long time and lived together...isn't that official? We've been married only three months now and the questions have moved on to when the kids are coming. It's ok when people are joking but when it's almost every time you see them it's not a joke anymore!

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    1. YES - this! I've been living with B for 4 years now (dating for 6) and we're about to move away from all of our friends and family together, and people keep saying that he should propose before we move to make it "official". I don't get it? Do they think he's just suddenly going to break up with me after all this time when things are the best they've ever been? I don't mind so much when people joke about it as I do that myself quite often, but like you said, not when they ask you every time they see you.

      Congrats on the wedding by the way! Are you guys planning on having kids yet? - just kidding haha! xx

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  6. I think that times have definitely changed. I don't personally feel any pressure to meet anyone and settle down any time soon, although my mum would like me to meet someone and get married. I'm glad that she doesn't force me to get married or even have an arranged marriage. But like you said our parents and grandparents all married at a young age, I think that it's okay that people aren't getting married so young nowadays because they get to live their life and enjoy themselves. I think it's become a lot more acceptable for couples to live together without being married too which could be the reason why they aren't getting married so young? It's an expensive business after all! My friends all talk about getting settled and yet we're only 24. There are some people who I've known that are a few years younger than me and they've already met their soul mate and are married. I guess it's just luck? I'm sure we would all love to meet the right person and settle sooner rather than later.

    Sorry for rambling so much!

    Yazmin xx
    www.yazzyscorner.co.uk

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    1. You're not rambling at all hun! I think it's great that you don't feel any pressure to meet someone and settle down. I hope that never changes for you! :) It is definitely more acceptable now for couples to live together without being married - I think some people just missed that memo. ;) hehe!

      Thanks for stopping by lovely! xx

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  7. I'm just catching up on your blog and I totally "get" this post. I always feel an immense pressure from family / friends on this topic and although I know they only say "when's he going to pop the question" or "any plans for marriage?" in our best interests and because they're excited for a family wedding, it does add unnecessary pressure to a relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years now so we were only 16/17 when we got together so although it seems a long time, I've only just turned 24 and I'm not ready for marriage just yet, neither is he. Its nice to just enjoy being young, travelling and getting some money saved before even thinking about that stuff! I don't see why everyone's always in such a rush. Yes getting married and having kids is amazing but why does it have to be straight away? Some of us want to have the rest of our lives sorted out first! Sorry for the huge comment but I can really relate to this post :) xxx.

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    1. So glad I'm not the only one who feels the same way! What makes it even worse though is that the older you get (I'll be 26 next year, so being closer to 30 than 20 in my mind makes me feel old haha!) you almost start to listen to everyone else around you and wonder if you're doing something wrong by not taking that next step yet. Fortunately I have lovely blogging friends like you to pull my head out of my arse when I start thinking such nonsense! :P In saying all this though, I'd say yes in a heart beat if Ben proposed to me tomorrow, but it will be because it was the right time for us and not because of anybody else. I think you and your boyfriend have a wonderful thing going for you and have every reason to be happy and content with the life you have right now. :)

      xx

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  8. My partner and I have been together for six year January 1 and I too get the 'when will you two get married/ engaged/ have kids' which can be quite frustrating. I am 23, he is 24. My parents were married and had me when my mother was 20 and my father was 23. My partner and I moved in together after only a few months when my parents felt it was time for me to leave home, this was on my 18th birthday. While I have no issue with those who do seem to have all of these things, its a little disheartening when you are somewhat rushed into what people around you perceive to be the right way to live your life. Thank you for writing this post, I am sure it resonates with many.

    http://beccahillblogs.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Hey Becca! Wow, you and your partner got together one day after me and my partner did. :P I'm so glad you agree with me though, it's just sad that so many people are able to relate to what we're going to. Couples should feel free to take the next step (or not to take the next step) whenever it feels right to them, not because of someone else's timeline. :)

      xx

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  9. I love this post and agree with your points. I think it is the previous generations that put those pressure on us. I get asked why I'm still single or why am I not dating and I hate answering it. I'm not ready to be in a relationship and sometimes I don't think they understand that.

    Aissa // tea in january

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    1. Thanks Aissa, I'm glad I'm not alone in these thoughts. :) If I were in your situation I would totally rock being single (well, maybe not, but I'd like to think I would) and answer people's questions with "I might be a single pringle but that doesn't mean I'm ready to mingle" hehe! Unfortunately I can't think of any similar witty comebacks when people ask my why I'm not engaged yet. :P

      xx

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  10. This is such a good topic! I think it absolutely has to do with the fact that the older generation moved ahead in their personal lives very quickly. My brother and his gf has been dating for 11 years!!! No talks of engagement, they're very much committed to one another, throughout all 11 years they've never had any breaks nothing, I feel terribly bad for them because they're constantly asked when is the big day. xx

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    1. Good for them! If anyone questions their commitment to one another after 11 years of dating then they need to get their head checked. :P

      xx

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Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! I really appreciate it. :)