Just Engaged and Proposals

Too Soon? Too Long? Too uncertain?

I've never actually posted to the forums before, but first time for everything. I've been trying and failing to figure out an answer to my conundrum so ultimately I've decided this might be the place to reach out to ask about the customs of getting and being engaged. 

My girlfriend and I have been together for a couple days short of five months. We were best friends for nearly a year before admitting romantic feelings for each other (I was still working on growing out of an abusive previous relationship, and she was with someone for a good portion of that year). In the time we've been together, we've been and continued to be very serious. We talk about the future, we share custody of pets, cook and clean together (we don't officially live together - she has a roommate and I have my own place about a mile away, but we do often sleep together at one place or the other), grocery shop together, and after my cousin's recent engagement (and even more recent marriage, but that was just this past week) have discussed in detail our own thoughts about getting married, like coming to the consensus of getting married after college, God willing (and we do believe He is). We got a couple inexpensive rings as 'promise' rings but have discussed Claddagh rings, especially as my primary heritage is Irish. 

My thoughts recently (as of the past couple of weeks) are that I want to get us Claddagh rings for our 6mo anniversary, possibly as engagement rings. As we're still quite young (19+21) and still in college, we know that an actual wedding would not be soon, pretty definitively not for years, which complicates my attempt at figuring out if that's too much of a 'rush', since most of the articles about 'how long you should/can be engaged' and 'how long to date before proposing' conflate when people get engaged and when they get married. I know we both want to be able to have an official show of our commitment to each other (especially since she is going away to art school in the fall) and also that we have no plans on rushing into actually getting married. How appropriate would it be to get Claddagh rings this coming month for our 6mo? Or should I just wait? How long do you recommend?

I'm not sure how effectively I've explained anything here, but I really feel that I need other opinions.

Thanks!

Re: Too Soon? Too Long? Too uncertain?

  • I've never actually posted to the forums before, but first time for everything. I've been trying and failing to figure out an answer to my conundrum so ultimately I've decided this might be the place to reach out to ask about the customs of getting and being engaged. 

    My girlfriend and I have been together for a couple days short of five months. We were best friends for nearly a year before admitting romantic feelings for each other (I was still working on growing out of an abusive previous relationship, and she was with someone for a good portion of that year). In the time we've been together, we've been and continued to be very serious. We talk about the future, we share custody of pets, cook and clean together (we don't officially live together - she has a roommate and I have my own place about a mile away, but we do often sleep together at one place or the other), grocery shop together, and after my cousin's recent engagement (and even more recent marriage, but that was just this past week) have discussed in detail our own thoughts about getting married, like coming to the consensus of getting married after college, God willing (and we do believe He is). We got a couple inexpensive rings as 'promise' rings but have discussed Claddagh rings, especially as my primary heritage is Irish. 

    My thoughts recently (as of the past couple of weeks) are that I want to get us Claddagh rings for our 6mo anniversary, possibly as engagement rings. As we're still quite young (19+21) and still in college, we know that an actual wedding would not be soon, pretty definitively not for years, which complicates my attempt at figuring out if that's too much of a 'rush', since most of the articles about 'how long you should/can be engaged' and 'how long to date before proposing' conflate when people get engaged and when they get married. I know we both want to be able to have an official show of our commitment to each other (especially since she is going away to art school in the fall) and also that we have no plans on rushing into actually getting married. How appropriate would it be to get Claddagh rings this coming month for our 6mo? Or should I just wait? How long do you recommend?

    I'm not sure how effectively I've explained anything here, but I really feel that I need other opinions.

    Thanks!
    There is no set length of time to wait before promise rings, Claddaugh rings (although this is not my culture, so I might not be correct here), or engagement rings. What is right for your relationship is not necessary what is right for someone else's. 

    That said, I do think that engagements are the time period in which a couple is planning a wedding. That can be a long planning period, or a short one, but if you're engaged (living, acting, and representing yourselves as engaged) it is with the expectation and intention of being married. I don't think you should get engaged if that is not what you are planning to do. You can promise each other to be committed to one another, you can use any symbols to represent your relationship that you like, but really unless you're intending to be married, and engagement isn't appropriate. 

    People will tell you all sorts of things on this one and honestly there's no right or wrong answer. My grandparents got engaged after 2 weeks of knowing each other and they have been together over 50 years. 

    However, I believe the promise rings already show your commitment to one another. There's no need for anything else. If you don't want to get married right now, then don't get engaged. I think you don't get engaged until you are ready to get married and start planning a wedding. 

    Also, in my own opinion I think 6 months is way too short of a time to date before getting engaged. I have firm beliefs that you should date for AT LEAST 2 years and preferably longer than that before getting engaged. Don't rush it, you are young..just enjoy this time of dating. 
    I agree with a lot of this expect the bolded. There are women here who had short "dating" periods, some 6 months or less before being engaged, and have strong marriages. Two years is arbitrary. What about a year and 10 months, what makes that any different than waiting two more months to hit the two year mark? This may be the right time frame for you, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. 

    I do agree with enjoying where you are at right now. Don't rush things, but think and discuss what is right for both you right now. 
  • I've never actually posted to the forums before, but first time for everything. I've been trying and failing to figure out an answer to my conundrum so ultimately I've decided this might be the place to reach out to ask about the customs of getting and being engaged. 

    My girlfriend and I have been together for a couple days short of five months. We were best friends for nearly a year before admitting romantic feelings for each other (I was still working on growing out of an abusive previous relationship, and she was with someone for a good portion of that year). In the time we've been together, we've been and continued to be very serious. We talk about the future, we share custody of pets, cook and clean together (we don't officially live together - she has a roommate and I have my own place about a mile away, but we do often sleep together at one place or the other), grocery shop together, and after my cousin's recent engagement (and even more recent marriage, but that was just this past week) have discussed in detail our own thoughts about getting married, like coming to the consensus of getting married after college, God willing (and we do believe He is). We got a couple inexpensive rings as 'promise' rings but have discussed Claddagh rings, especially as my primary heritage is Irish. 

    My thoughts recently (as of the past couple of weeks) are that I want to get us Claddagh rings for our 6mo anniversary, possibly as engagement rings. As we're still quite young (19+21) and still in college, we know that an actual wedding would not be soon, pretty definitively not for years, which complicates my attempt at figuring out if that's too much of a 'rush', since most of the articles about 'how long you should/can be engaged' and 'how long to date before proposing' conflate when people get engaged and when they get married. I know we both want to be able to have an official show of our commitment to each other (especially since she is going away to art school in the fall) and also that we have no plans on rushing into actually getting married. How appropriate would it be to get Claddagh rings this coming month for our 6mo? Or should I just wait? How long do you recommend?

    I'm not sure how effectively I've explained anything here, but I really feel that I need other opinions.

    Thanks!
    There is no set length of time to wait before promise rings, Claddaugh rings (although this is not my culture, so I might not be correct here), or engagement rings. What is right for your relationship is not necessary what is right for someone else's. 

    That said, I do think that engagements are the time period in which a couple is planning a wedding. That can be a long planning period, or a short one, but if you're engaged (living, acting, and representing yourselves as engaged) it is with the expectation and intention of being married. I don't think you should get engaged if that is not what you are planning to do. You can promise each other to be committed to one another, you can use any symbols to represent your relationship that you like, but really unless you're intending to be married, and engagement isn't appropriate. 

    People will tell you all sorts of things on this one and honestly there's no right or wrong answer. My grandparents got engaged after 2 weeks of knowing each other and they have been together over 50 years. 

    However, I believe the promise rings already show your commitment to one another. There's no need for anything else. If you don't want to get married right now, then don't get engaged. I think you don't get engaged until you are ready to get married and start planning a wedding. 

    Also, in my own opinion I think 6 months is way too short of a time to date before getting engaged. I have firm beliefs that you should date for AT LEAST 2 years and preferably longer than that before getting engaged. Don't rush it, you are young..just enjoy this time of dating. 
    I agree with a lot of this expect the bolded. There are women here who had short "dating" periods, some 6 months or less before being engaged, and have strong marriages. Two years is arbitrary. What about a year and 10 months, what makes that any different than waiting two more months to hit the two year mark? This may be the right time frame for you, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone. 

    I do agree with enjoying where you are at right now. Don't rush things, but think and discuss what is right for both you right now. 
    I understand where you're coming from too. That's why on my first paragraph I said there's really no right or wrong answer. 2 years is arbitrary like you said but that's a good enough amount of time to really get to know one another..I also think you should live together before getting engaged. But like you said..there are lots of people who get engaged after 6 months and it works out great. In my family the relationships I have personally seen work the best are the ones where the couples date for multiple years so that is why I believe that for myself. I try to give advice based on what I actually would do for myself. 

    I think Charlottes advice is great too! 
  • edited March 13
    Sharing my experience, take it FWIW. DH and I talked about marrying each other before we actually started dating. Around our 10 month mark he said he would ask me to marry him when he "got a good job". The Christmas after our 2 year anniversary (which was in October), Dh gave me a promise ring. He had, what I though was, a good job, we had been living together for almost the entire 2 years, and did everything together. Over the following 2 years, we went through our biggest struggles, including LDR and bad jobs. After 4.5 years of dating, DH and I finally, officially, became engaged. Another 18 months and we were married, the week after our 6 year anniversary.

    the moral of the story is: if it is right, it will still be right later. There is no need to rush things. Be young together, enjoy learning and growing, let things be relaxed and easy. There is nothing wrong about getting engaged after a short period or when you are young but waiting a while, living a little, gaining a little more experience will not hurt the situation either.

    eta: PP and I share the idea of a promise ring. DH and I were committed to each other but did become engaged until we were ready to start wedding planning.
    InLoveInQueens
  • I totally understand being over the moon excited.

    There's no set timeframe for how long you should know each other/date before becoming engaged, but the reasons you gave for why it's great (cleaning, shopping, cooking, sleeping, and playing house together) are all things that are really great in the first year of a relationship. It's the honeymoon phase. I don't think your age has anything to do with it, really. You could have said you're both 35 and I would say the same thing. Give the relationship time to mature and for the two of you to grow in your love together so that the reasons it's great go from "I can grocery shop with this person" to "I know I can count on this person" and "I am fully committed to loving this person no matter what - accidents, tragedies, loss, etc."

    You both owe it to yourselves to wait and just bask in the happiness you feel right now. Enjoy the shit out of this honeymoon phase of the relationship. Whether you stay together or go your separate ways, it's a really special time. Don't put pressure on it by trying rush things. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    ernursejmissJeanLouisecowgirl8238
  • I think getting married is a huge step in a relationship. It took H and I 8 years to tie the knot. I don't think there is any 'right time' to get engaged and married. It is great that you have talked about the future. Being able to have frank discussions about plans and goals is so important. In saying that, most people I know (myself included) changed a ton during their early 20's. You can change with your partner or away from them. Something to keep in mind.
    charlotte989875cowgirl8238knottie1027
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member
    I say this as a person that got married too young: 

    There is no reason to rush. WAIT. 

    An engagement is typically a time to plan a wedding. You've already expressed your commitment to one another, and you know that a wedding would be years away. Enjoy your time together as boyfriend and girlfriend. Eventually move in together if that's what you'd like to do. And then, when you feel ready to plan a wedding, get engaged. 

    My husband and I got engaged after 5 months. But, we were 32 and 39, and very much ready to get married right away. 

    or girlfriend and girlfriend


    In my opinion, if you are putting so much thought into whether you are rushing into something, for your personal situation you are probably rushing.  I see nothing wrong with exchanging Claddagh rings, but why add the pressure of a symbolic engagement to them at this point? 

    With that being said, I think it's much better rushing into an engagement than rushing into a marriage!

    STARMOON44Mircakesjustsiemollybarker11
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    DH and I started dating in high school. We got engaged at 24/25 and married at 26/27. A 2 year and 1 month engagement- but we start slowly planning from this point.

    DH would've had us get married in our early 20s. I said woah Nellie! But we both knew early on that is where we were headed. We also started living together a few months before DH proposed- again, we knew where we were headed. We could have gotten married sooner, but when we got married felt right- all the pieces fit.

    There are no rules on how long you should wait, but I agree that if it's right now, it'll still be right years down the road. Don't rush- enjoy the process!
  • Why do you need an external display of your commitment? Why can't you just be committed to each other? Why does the fact that she is going away to school have anything to do with this? 
    InLoveInQueensAustralian_girl_in_Paris
  • My husband and I met in college and started dating when we were 18. We knew from pretty early on that it was serious and that we were most likely headed toward marriage. But we agreed that there was no reason to rush into marriage right after graduation and that we wanted to establish ourselves and get financially stable first. We were eventually able to do all that and got married when we were in our mid 20s. Marriage is a big change, even when you've been with someone for a long time, and I am very glad I was not dealing with that while dealing with finding a job and other post-college changes. 

    My point is this: just because we did not get engaged/married right away once we knew we were serious or once we finished college does not mean we were any less committed to each other. Same goes for you and your girlfriend. You are both young and in a time in life when you go through a lot of changes and have a lot of important decisions to make over the next couple of years. There's no need to add the pressure of getting married to that. Enjoy the relationship you have now, be supportive of each other, and be confident in your commitment to each other. At this age, that's all you need to do.
    image
    charlotte989875SP29mollybarker11
  • marigold40marigold40
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited July 15
    I know this post is a few months old, but thought I would respond anyway. I'm sidestepping the timing question because only you two know what's right for you and I don't know you. But just wanted to share this with you since I, too, am of Irish heritage. How the claddagh ring is worn is telling of your relationship. Think of it as an "all-in-one" ring. 

    Left hand towards you = married.
    Right hand toward you = in a relationship.
    Left hand pointed outward = engaged.
    Right hand pointed outward = single.
    Bothers me when I see people wearing the ring wrong. 

    If you already have promise rings, you don't need to "upgrade" to the claddagh ring as it can be considered essentially the same thing. Unless you just want to change to the claddagh by preference. Additionally, if you do change to claddagh rings, you wouldn't need to give her another engagement ring later, she would just move the ring from her right hand to her left hand pointing it outward. If you aren't sure about engagement yet since you are both young and haven't been dating long, you can just wear the claddagh rings on your right hands pointed toward you. Hope that helps. 
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