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Without being engaged, does that mean that the long-term feelings aren't there?

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Question - (15 March 2012) 8 Answers - (Newest, 19 March 2012)
A female age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I've been with my boyfriend for a little over a year, and one of my friends asked me why I wasn't planning on getting married with him anytime soon. I told her I wasn't ready to get married necessarily anytime soon, but she then asked why I wasn't engaged yet, then, and that even if we weren't going to get married in the next year, then we should at least be engaged by now and that when people know they want to get married, they'll at least get engaged.

I was annoyed with her questions, but it also made me feel a little bad that I wasn't engaged or had a wedding date planned.

My boyfriend and I have talked about marriage and how we will one day be married but now I'm curious. Do you think that without an actual proposal or engagement, that neither side thinks that the other is right for them?

View related questions: engaged, wedding

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 March 2012):

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for your responses, it really helped! I think I will just forget about it, not buy into what she was trying to get into my head, and just be happy with what we have.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 March 2012):

engagement is just meant to be an outward show of what's already understood between the couple. That is, whether or not you make the outward show doesn't have any impact on what's actually going on with the couple.

I have friends who dated for 10 years then suddenly one day got married, totally skipping over any formal engagement. on the other hand I also have friends who did get engaged but then broke up. So, engagement or not, means squat as far as the future. what matters is what's going on between you and your bf in private and how you feel about each other. you could get engaged by getting the ring even though you're still secretly feeling very uncertain about the other person. On the other hand, if you're feeling very sure about your partner, that doesn't change whether or not you get an engagement ring.

your friend has it all backward. she seems to think that it is the outward display that causes the relationship to be a certain way.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 March 2012):

It's only been just over a year chill out!!

I've been in a few long term relationships much longer than just over a year & I've never got engaged but it didn't mean we weren't serious about one another.

Don't rush things just enjoy your relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 March 2012):

Hey hun dont worry about it just because your not engaged doesnt mean he isnt serious about you, a year isnt a long time when you think about it, just go with the flow of things if u are together this time next year and u still have these feelings then talk to him but otherwise dont panic and dont let friends dictate to you when things should happen in your relationship becoz every couple is different xx

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (15 March 2012):

chigirl agony auntEverything in due time, that's what I think. I think your friend sounds more interested in herself than in you. She hasn't by any chance recently gotten engaged herself, or married? If so, and she is uncertain about her choices in life, she will seek to make everyone make the same "mistake" as her. Several people committing the same "mistakes" normalizes it and makes it ok. That's why it is called group pressure. It's just a bunch of people being insecure about their own choices, so they try to make others do the same thing as them in order to feel more safe about the choices they made.

There's no "should by now" when it comes to relationships. They all follow their own rhythm.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (15 March 2012):

So_Very_Confused agony auntYour friend sounds like a jerk to be honest. Why in the world would you be ENGAGED without plans to marry? And since when does the amount of time you are dating someone dictate when you get engaged?

I do not think that an actual proposal or engagement is needed to show commitment… IF you two have talked about it and you two are happy with your relationship where it is and at the level it’s at then your relationship is PERFECT.

Sounds good to me… personally I would tell this “friend” to butt out….

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A female reader, k_c100 United Kingdom +, writes (15 March 2012):

k_c100 agony auntYou have not been together long enough to get engaged! If you are going to spend a lifetime together you need to spend at least a couple of years really getting to know each other to ensure you are perfect for each other.

Ignore your friend, she has no idea what she is talking about. One of the biggest divorce statistics is people getting married too soon, so you are far more likely to have a sucessful marriage when you have known each other for longer before you get married.

You are fine to wait as long as you want before you get engaged, dont listen to friends trying to pressure you. Do whatever makes you happy and comfortable, dont rush anything for the sake of someone else.

It sounds like you and your boyfriend are doing really well and have a great relationship, you have spoken about marriage and that is what you both want so just take it slow and wait until it feels right to get engaged. There is no rush, so relax and just enjoy being together.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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A male reader, Odds United States +, writes (15 March 2012):

Odds agony auntDon't listen to your friend. I'll bet she's the same friend who would get you worried about a wedding date once you were engaged, then worry you about children once you're married, then worry you about divorce once you've been with him three or four years.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of women see engagement as a sign of devotion, a required step after X amount of time. Men don't see it that way. Men propose when they're ready to be married, and that includes being financially stable, settled into the right area for living, and generally ready to be a husband and father. It's not about wanting to be those things, it's about being ready for those in a real sense (and not just an emotional one). So, your friend has no idea what she's talking about; he might or might not think you're right for him, but an engagement has nothing to do with it.

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