Not Engaged Yet

Wait time? (long)

Hey everybody, first time poster. First let me say, I am a guy, I don't see myself getting engaged anytime soon, but I figure being part of this website will get me a head start, and I know it's usually girls who do this kind of stuff, so it will be quite a surprise for the lucky lady!

Anyways, a background on me. I have been dating my current girlfriend for almost 2 months. There has been something there for almost 8 months, but we only started officially dating in February. Let me start off by saying that I am NOT planning on proposing to her soon or anything like that. We don't know each other even close to how much you would need to know one another to get married. We are still in the "honeymoon" phase of just starting dating.

Here is my problem though. I am 23, and I had planned to be married and start a family by the time I was 25-26. If that were the case, assuming a year-long engagement, I would have to propose in a year or so.

My gf and I have not had any sort of "future plans" discussion because we have only been dating for two months. This is more a general question, but thought I would explain my case to make it more clear. How long do you think one should be in a relationship before getting married? If I know and feel that somebody is "the one" and we are on the same level with families and life plans, etc. what's the difference between dating them for 10-12 months and 5-6 years?

I just ask because I feel like getting engaged to someone after only dating them for a year or even less is frowned upon, and the people around me would just assume that we are rushing into something we are not ready for.

Anyways, like I said, I'm not planning on proposing anytime soon. I'm just starting to think 3-5 years ahead, and if I want to carry out my life plan, I would have to get that done in a year or so. I just wanted to get your thoughts on how long a relationship has to last before it's deemed socially "acceptable" to get engaged.

Thanks a lot guys!

Re: Wait time? (long)

  • katanne9katanne9 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_wait-time-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9ae5ae9c-8b39-4451-add5-c5071e827932Post:e81af33e-773d-43f2-b10a-60d1b09567fe">Wait time? (long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey everybody, first time poster. First let me say, I am a guy, I don't see myself getting engaged anytime soon, but I figure being part of this website will get me a head start, and I know it's usually girls who do this kind of stuff, so it will be quite a surprise for the lucky lady! Anyways, a background on me. I have been dating my current girlfriend for almost 2 months. There has been something there for almost 8 months, but we only started officially dating in February. Let me start off by saying that I am NOT planning on proposing to her soon or anything like that. We don't know each other even close to how much you would need to know one another to get married. We are still in the "honeymoon" phase of just starting dating. Here is my problem though. I am 23, and I had planned to be married and start a family by the time I was 25-26. If that were the case, assuming a year-long engagement, I would have to propose in a year or so. My gf and I have not had any sort of "future plans" discussion because we have only been dating for two months. This is more a general question, but thought I would explain my case to make it more clear. How long do you think one should be in a relationship before getting married? If I know and feel that somebody is "the one" and we are on the same level with families and life plans, etc. what's the difference between dating them for 10-12 months and 5-6 years? I just ask because I feel like getting engaged to someone after only dating them for a year or even less is frowned upon, and the people around me would just assume that we are rushing into something we are not ready for. Anyways, like I said, I'm not planning on proposing anytime soon. I'm just starting to think 3-5 years ahead, and if I want to carry out my life plan, I would have to get that done in a year or so. I just wanted to get your thoughts on how long a relationship has to last before it's deemed socially "acceptable" to get engaged. Thanks a lot guys!
    Posted by matty1487[/QUOTE]

    Welcome Man-Friend.

    I'm glad to hear you aren't thinking of proposing soon. IMO most relationships lose the warm & fuzzies after a year or so, thus I would suggest dating for at least a year before engagement (FI and I dated for over 3 years before getting engaged). I think you definitely need to enjoy the beginnings of your relationship, and when you're ready to sit down together and talk about your future plans. Don't let your past plans for the future control your actions. Just change your plans. Better to be a dad at 30, not 26, than marry the wrong person.

    and in regards to this statement: "what's the difference between dating them for 10-12 months and 5-6 years?"

    Time = growth. I "knew" I wanted to marry my FI after 6 months, but nearly 4 years later I look back and laugh. The amount of experiences you will go through to grow your relationship is astounding. People don't think enough about what place (mentally and emotionally) you will be in on your wedding day. Yes, I could have married him way back when, and waiting is hard, but I would never trade that for the place we will be in as a couple when we say our vows to each other. That's something only time can give.
  • edited December 2011
    First and foremost, plans change.  Even life plans.  When I was your age, I had planned to be married with a kid by the time I was 26.  Now I'm 28 and will be getting married in August.  My life, planned or not, is so much BETTER than anything I had dreamed about.  You can only plan out your life so far, and you don't need to twist reality to alter your plans, you can just hope and pray that the life you end up leading fits with the goals you've set for yourself, no matter what timeline they happen on.

    Now that that's answered:
    FI and I got engaged after dating about 2.5 years.  We have friends that got engaged on their year anniversary, but are planning a lengthy engagement.  We have two sets of friends that recently got engaged: the first set has been dating since August 2009 (so 7 months) and the second since July 2009 (8 months).  We were not surprised by either.  Both of those guys (we were friends with the guys, so we know them better than the girls) are very..."I know what I want when I see it, and why wait any longer?"  FI's parents were dating 7 months when they got engaged, but then had a 1.5 year engagement.  My parents were dating about a year, but then had a 1 month engagement.  Everyone is different.

    We did have a friend get engaged to a girl we'd never met, and still haven't met even though they've been engaged now since December, after they'd been dating all of a month or two.  This is the only one that we give the side-eye to, because it was a shotgun engagement.  She got pregnant, they got engaged, but aren't planning to get married until after the baby comes and she's able to lose her baby weight because, and I quote the guy, "every girl deserves her day and deserves to look the way she wants to in her wedding dress."  Yea.  So that one we're not sure about, but in general, if the timing is right, people may go "wow, that was quick!" but unless there are outside circumstances to warrant a side eye, most people will get over it.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    Married Bio
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic My first love.

    Me: 31 DH: 30

    TTC since 10/2010. 2012: HSG showed unicornuate uterus on right side; both kidneys and both ovaries present. High risk for preterm labor, IUGR, and C-Section. Dx'd Hypothyroidism.
    1st BFP: 10/27/12, cycle before we had planned to see RE
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Pregnancy Blog
  • PaigeMcCPaigeMcC member
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm glad you've come looking for advice and I agree with Katanne time=growth! You may know that you want to marry this lovely lady BUT the longer you are together the more you will learn about each other.  I'm not saying you have to wait but it seems like you're a level headed guy and you understand that waiting could be a good thing.  I'd say take some time and when it feels right bring up "the future" with your GF. These conversations are KEY to a successful relationship. You need to be in the same place, you need to know that what is important to you is also important to her and you need to know where you both stand on money, families, etc.

     There's no need to rush - take it at your own pace and when you're ready you'll know. 

    "Popular on the internetz..."
    image

    Canada is kind of like a whole other world with new things to discover that us americans only dream of. - Narwhal
    Paige I would like to profess my love for you and your brilliant mind. - breezerb
    Murried Bio
  • edited December 2011
    Welcome!

    Generally I think around a year is a good time to be together before getting engaged but I have known a few people that were engaged sooner than that but we weren't surprised when they did get engaged.

    DH and I dated for about 2 1/2 years before we got engaged but I started realizing that he was the man I was going to marry about 6 months in but I was nowhere near being ready to get married back then. Of course I didn't realize that at the time and now that I can look back on that now I'm really glad we waited. We weren't the same people we are now as were back then - we changed and grew together and I think that is really important.

    Eventually you need to start talking about your future together but for now I'd just keep enjoying the honeymoon phase of your relationship. I think we first really started discussing our future together after we had been dating for about 7 or 8 months.
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • edited December 2011
    Obviously, different couples require different timelines before they 'know' they should be getting married.  Your plan is to be married/have family in your mid twenties, but what happens if it's not until your late twenties or even early thirties? Whatever you do, don't rush into marriage with a woman just because you wanted to married by 25!

    For me, I knew after about six months that we would get married.  At our one year anniversary, he proposed.  I think anything under a year can sometimes seem a little hasty to people, so my very generalized advice is one year.  You don't have to have a long engagement either, so if you have to be married by 25, you can make the cut.  Since you've only been dating two months, I would wait a few more months and if you feel strongly that she is the one, start talking to her about your  futures to see if you really are on the same page.  Sometimes in the honeymoon phase, one party may stretch the truth about their future hopes and dreams because they reallllllllllly like the person.  You just need to have an honest conversation.
  • edited December 2011
    Hello there :)

    It depends. My fiance and I dated for about 5 1/2 months..and he proposed the Saturday before our 6 month of dating. So we got engaged in October of 2009 and we're getting married in October of 2010, which puts us at a year long engagement. He had been talking about it since a few months before. He's 28 and everyone he knows is married with children and I'm 23 and graduated college 2 years ago. Frankly, IMO, i don't see a point in dating some one for what society refers to as an acceptable amount of time before getting married, like there's some standard timeline. Some can argue that it was "whirlwind" but honestly, if you know in your heart that's who you want to be with then go for it. Yea, you learn about each other as time passes but regardless of time, people don't uncover their true self just because "we've known each other for 'x' amount of time". People will hide/show what they want for as long or short as they want, even when you're married! So, do what you feel is good for you :)
  • matty1487matty1487 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow! I certainly did not expect this much help within a couple hours of posting! Thanks guys!

    I know we've been only dating for two months and we're still in the warm and fuzzy stage. I know that this will eventually wear off, and I know that time changes people; and in the future, things may change so much that I might not feel the same about her. I dated my last gf for three years, and we essentially started planning our wedding, then we moved in together, started to grow apart, and stuff went down and we broke up. So I am well aware that anything can happen, no matter how strongly you feel about somebody, and not to rush into things.

    I realize that you can only plan so far, and I know I can't stick to my guns and get married just because in my head I want to be married and have kids before I'm 30. I know that I might have to alter these plans as life goes on, but I just wanted to know that if I were (hypothetically speaking) to carry out my plan and be married by 25-26, how much it would be frowned upon by family and friends if we were to have been dating for only, let's say 9 months to a year at the time of engagement.

    She will be moving back to her home town of London, ON for the summer (we both currently live in Ottawa). I feel like the distance will give our relationship a chance to grow, even though we won't be able to see each other every day like we currently do. We will definitely cherish the time we do get to spend together during visits a lot more, and if all is still well when she gets back to Ottawa in the fall, we will just be that much stronger as a couple.

    All I wanted to know is, if/when we do have the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" conversation, and we are both on the same page and are devoted to each other and know in our heads and hearts that we are each other's "one", why should it matter if we have only been dating for a year? I was just hoping to get a social perspective from everybody.

    Thanks for the help guys and keep it comin!

    Matt
  • edited December 2011
    You've gotten lots of great advice from PPs.

    I will just address the 'dating a year' aspect.  I think that difference a year makes depends on your age going in to the relationship and what happens in that year.  My husband and I were engaged after dating a year.  However, we met when we were 26 and 29, respectively.  During that year, we went through a lot together - I lost my job in a very emotional way, a couple of his close relatives died, we were in a car accident together, etc.  We also attended a lot of weddings, spent a lot of joyous time together, etc.  We knew that good or bad that neither one of us was going anywhere.  He was the one I wanted to go through life with, even when life sucks.  At a different point in my life, 1 year of dating would have been too soon.

    I do think that age comes into play.  A year when you are in your early 20s is very different from a year in your late 20s.

    I, too, thought I was going to be getting married around 24-24.  I was even engaged.  I had a plan for my life.  I thought that I would already have 1-2 kids by now.  However, life often has better plans for you than the ones you make for yourself.  I got married when I was 27 and we are now expecting our first child.  I would not change my life for anything.  It is 10 times better than I could have planned.  I could have settled and married that other guy.  I could have stuck to my 'plan' but I would have sold myself short.

    "Life is what happens when you are busy making plans."  - John Lennon

    Set goals for yourself outside of marriage/kids.  If you know you want to get married some day, that is all you need to know right now.  Learn more about who you are, what you want out of life, and what you want from another person.  You may NOT be married on your time schedule.  Your current girlfriend may just not be the one.  Let yourself enjoy your relationship with her in the moment and worry about the marriage aspect when it feels right.

  • edited December 2011
    I have that quote hanging on my wall, Mutley! :D
    Anniversary
  • desertsundesertsun member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I think the "social perspective," as you put it, really doesn't matter.

    Do what's right for you.

    Don't rush into marrying someone b/c of a timeline, but don't let the worry that people will think you're rushing stop you from marrying someone you are truly convinced you can be happy with long term.

    I can tell you that people WILL talk and worry that you are rushing if you date less than a year before getting engaged.

    Most people need to know someone longer to feel they really have a strong basis for making a lifelong commitment.

    But again, you have to do what's right for you.

    Just be reeeeeeally sure it's right. :)
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • edited December 2011
    My parents were married 3 months after they met and have been together (not always happily, but they stuck it out) for 27 years. They're very happy now and wouldn't change it for anything.

    It took my fiance over 5 years to propose to me. When we get married, it will be almost 6 years from the day we met. He waited until the time was right and we were both ready for marriage. We always knew we were meant for each other, but he's obviously not the type to rush.

    Society is a funny thing, and I think you should do what's right for you and your relationship regardless of what other people tell you. I thought I'd have been married years ago and have a couple of kids by now (I'm 26).

    People might be surprised by less than a year, or they might start pressuring you to pop the question if you haven't done so when they think you should. That's not their business. It's yours.
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    I am curious as to why the OP joined over 4 years ago. 

    I also think that you are putting the cart before the horse. 
    1) Start dating girl.
    2) Fall in love with girl
    3) Talk about the future with said girl - ensure that you have the same wants/goals
    4) Realize that you want to marry said girl
    5) Talk about the future more with said girl
    6) Propose/decide to get married

    Don't worry about how people might perceive #6 when you are still on #1.
  • matty1487matty1487 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Not sure if I made myself completely clear. I have not decided that the girl I have been dating for two months is the one for me and I wanna marry her. I'm not trying to say "how long do i wait until i propose", I was just thinking into my future in general, whether its with the girl I'm with right now or not. I have friends who have dated for a few months then got married, and I also know some couples who have been dating for almost 6 years and still aren't married

    I was just wondering what the atmosphere is like about short dating periods before getting hitched. I just thought I would give some personal background to demonstrate why I'm thinking these things. I'm not trying to get ready to give my life away before I'm absolutely ready, I'm not trying to say that the girl I'm with right now is the one I wanna marry and I want to skip all the fun stuff and get right to the ring.

    I'm just trying to get an idea as to what the opinions are so that, when my time does come to get married (whenever that may be), I don't have to worry about how long I have been dating the girl I'm marrying.

    And PS my gf at the time joined this site 4 years ago as a sort of joke, I just took over the account and just checked it for the first time since it was started.
  • edited December 2011
    i honestly think that the reactions and responses to a short engagement period will depend on your family and friends. in my circle of friends, 3-6 months is typical (so my 14 months was very odd). it also depends on how people perceive your relationship. it's so cliche, but "when you know, you just know," right? if your friends and family see that you two are ready and commited to each other, i don't think they'll have any adverse reactions.

    as for me, we dated about 2 yrs before he proposed. HTH
  • edited December 2011
    Well, I'm about to spill the beans on something that nobody on the board yet knows.  I've been married in the past.  It was wrong from the very start, but like you I wanted to be married and start a family as soon as possible.  I wasn't even thinking about the person I was marrying - I didn't think about the fact that in reality I didn't even enjoy his company all that much.  We only dated 7 months before he proposed and were married a year later, only to be divorced in less than 2 years - I thank God now that we did not get pregnant. 
    All I can say is that you just KNOW when you're with the right person.  I met my FI a little over 8 years ago and I swear I knew the moment I met him that he was the one, but I was young and decided to go my seperate way in life.  Yes, I sometimes wonder where we'd be at in our life if we would have shared our feelings back then and gotten married.. But honestly, as everyone else has said, life in this very moment is WAY better than I could have ever imagined or planned.  So take your time and make sure she is the right one, and when YOU feel the time is right then I say go for it and don't worry about what everyone else thinks - it's about what you two think. 

    Good Luck and Welcome!
  • nech0606nech0606 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Well personally I have only been with my boyfriend for going on 6 months but I already know (and am planning) on our engagement probably at the beginning of the summer. And our wedding will be next year. The funny thing is this is a sharp contrast to my parents who were engaged for 5 YEARS! But this was partially because my mom was in nursing school and they were paying for the wedding. Life plans change, I remember 2 years ago when I was talking to my other friends who were engaged I would tell them you know thats great but I could NEVER be engaged at that age and here I am looking to be engaged at that age. If you know you just know and I wouldn't be so concerned with what's "Socially Acceptable" but what's right for you and yours truely. The only other people's opinion that might matter are your family. If they're okay with it and you have their "blessing" so-to-speek that's all you really need.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Its A Girl!
  • edited December 2011
    Hello and at the risk of repeating what some of the wonderful ladies in this thread have already said: it's reallly hard to make a "life plan" at 23.  Lord knows I had one and things don't always go exactly as planned, especially relationships.  To answer your specific question about having "the talk" with your girlfriend after only two months, I would wait a bit.  Maybe before she leaves for the summer?  But keep it light, like you said, you're in the honeymoon phase.

    And FWIW we were dating for a little over a year when we got engaged but we were 29 and 28 at the time.
    TTC since 07/11 Me: 32 AO PCOS/DH: 32 Lowish count/motility IUI#1-3 = BFN (Clomid, Clomid-->Femara, Injects) IVF#1 ER on 9/24 19 ER/19 M/9 F w/ICSI Transferred a 5AA and a 5BB on 9/29 Beta 10/9 = 139 Beta 10/11 = 287
    imageimageAlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

    My Blog

  • edited December 2011
    I really think it depends on the couple. My FI and I had been very close friends for a year before we started dating to which everyone responded "finally". Six months later we were engaged. Same "finally" response from family and friends. Married at nine months. People who don't know us well, give us odd looks and most look at my belly for signs of growth (not prego, still a virgin), but those who know us know how completely devoted and commited we are and can see we are not taking the marriage lightly.
    But I have a dear friend who dated for a year and a half and had a year and a half engagement, and I thought they were moving too fast purely because of her maturity and expectations of marriage. She was one of those, everything will be PERFECT once we are married. Yikes.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards