You’ve heard of hunting season and fishing season, but Facebook has something that I like to call engagement season. It starts right as it begins to snow and lasts until Valentine’s Day or so. During this time you literally can’t log on to Facebook without reading about another person you graduated with, went to camp with, or kissed in the hallway during Sunday School getting engaged. Reading about these announcements has the tendency to stir up different emotions, depending on your own view of marriage. For those hoping to get married, they may provoke jealousy. For those nowhere near ready for marriage, they instill fear or possibly confusion.
Is Engagement Season For You?
No matter your take on tying the knot, it’s hard not to feel like everyone else is doing it. But is peer pressure a reason to start looking for your dream ring? Nope. In fact, it’s a surefire way to set yourself up for unhappiness. Here are some other less-than-ideal reasons to get engaged:
- You want to put your Pinterest board to use: Okay, even the biggest wedding cynics probably find it hard to resist creating a Pinterest board dedicated to their future nuptials. With all of the cute and creative ideas out there, it’s easy to get lost in the pinning process. Don’t worry, those ideas will still be there when it’s your time. No need to start purchasing mason jars for cocktails and building your own centerpieces.
- Your best friend got engaged: While hearing endless wedding talk can make it seem like it’s the right thing to do at this moment, everyone operates on different schedules. Your best friend may feel ready for marriage and kids, but that doesn’t mean that has to be what you’re ready for. Enjoy celebrating with her, but don’t let it make you feel pressure to get hitched.
- Your mom wants it: My mom is an events planner and I’m an only child. Put these two facts together and it’s probably safe to say that she’s been waiting to plan my wedding since I was in middle school. At any major family event, I’m peppered with questions about when my boyfriend and I are exchanging vows. Regardless of my family’s excitement and the knowledge that my mom would put together the reception of the year, this isn’t a reason to say “I do.” It’s important that your family supports your relationship, but they don’t run it.
- You want a ring: Admit it, having something sparkly looks enticing, and you’ve seen something that you think would look pretty good with a fresh manicure. While a new piece of jewelry is exciting, it’s not a reason to make a lifetime commitment.
Now that we’ve gotten those out of the way, let’s focus on some ways to tell that you are actually ready to get hitched. These include:
- You’re emotionally ready: You feel secure in your relationship and you’re ready to make that serious commitment. You’ve worked through any issues that may have existed in the relationship, and you can’t see your future without this person.
- You’re in a stable place: It’s hard to tie the knot when you’re planning on moving or are generally unsure about your future. When you get married, you want to feel certain that you’ll have the ability to live with your spouse. While this isn’t always possible, in general it’s best to achieve some sense of stability before getting married.
- You’re positive: You’ve got no hesitations about spending the rest of your life with this person, and you’re ready to begin now. They support you and add happiness to your life.
- Your relationship is relatively drama-free: Even the best couples fight, but your relationship should be fairly smooth instead of a series of highs and lows.
When you’re ready to take the next step, you know. While there may be financial difficulties and other issues that make the situation more complicated, you feel sure about your decision and know that this is the right step at the right time. Though it’s difficult, try to separate the romance and excitement of a wedding and realize that it’s about more than just dresses and floral arrangements. It’s a lifetime commitment and it requires serious thought. If you’re not ready yet, no need to feel rushed. Even if it feels like you’re the last person on earth without a ring, your time to obsess over bridal magazines and gush over gowns will come.