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to not understand people announcing that they're 'Getting Engaged'.

(331 Posts)
atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 13:12:13

I mean, either you've agreed between you that you want to get married or you haven't. Tellling everyone that you're 'going to get engaged at Christmas' or that 'we're going to Paris to get engaged' doesn't really make sense. Surely its more exciting to wait until you have the ring and then make a general announcement that you 'are engaged' instead of letting everyone know in advance and then expecting them to get excited and ooh and aah when you appear with a diamond flashing on your finger.

I'm not giving out about it, I just don't understand why people want to take the excitement and surprise out of the occasion like this.

EllieArroway Mon 18-Feb-13 13:51:44

Birds Your daughter is already engaged as they are planning to marry each other at some point - which is, in fact, all that really means.

flowery Mon 18-Feb-13 13:52:41


The first time you know you are getting engaged is when you actually do get engaged. If you know you are getting engaged, then unless you've come by this knowledge through use of a crystal ball, you already are.

Birdsgottafly Mon 18-Feb-13 13:56:32

"Oh it's just wringing every last drop of triumph out of the victory of being a finalist in The Race To Catch A Man isn't it"

My DD just likes anniverseries and likes to create them.

She is also realistic, in that people change and you may start living together and get a bit older and things don't work out.

So although when they started living together, 8 years ago, they had in mind to get married, it wouldn't seem practical to count themselves as engaged, iyswim.

We don't do fairy tales in our family, we are probably quite cynical.

If you are not actively planning a wedding, i think that it is pointless to think that you are engaged.

I think of it as a change from the past, in light of equality and living together etc.

Also, for some people their relationships work well and they like to enjoy every aspect. Having said that she wouldn't publically share as much as some do, outside of the family/close friends.

thebody Mon 18-Feb-13 13:56:40

Oh Well, its not the crime if the century is it?

What's the harm in a little romantic announcement?

Birdsgottafly Mon 18-Feb-13 13:59:57

"Birds Your daughter is already engaged as they are planning to marry each other at some point - which is, in fact, all that really means."

But in a world where women can now call it off, if they are not happy, until that pledge to marry, is formally made, you are not engaged.

Engagement started in Jewish Law.

sooperdooper Mon 18-Feb-13 14:00:06

Birdsgottafly I think creating anniversaries is more 'fairytale' than cynical tbh

If you plan to get married, you're engaged, ring or no ring, wedding date booked or not

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 14:02:37

But I don't think it is very romantic thebody. In fact I think it takes the romance out of the occasion if you signpost it all in advance.

MrsBW Mon 18-Feb-13 14:04:23

It's always struck me as a bit childish.

sooperdooper Mon 18-Feb-13 14:04:40

Yes, I agree atthewelles the romance is at the point of asking, and deciding, if it's planned to within an inch of it's life it takes the fun out of it somehow

PassTheSherry Mon 18-Feb-13 14:04:43

Some people look on it as a semi-formal occasion in itself - the presentation of the ring and the proposal. My DP also seemed to have this belief - I think it's stupid.

We'd actually had the 'let's get married' conversation and he'd looked around for the ring, whittled the choice down to 3 possibilities and then suggested I go with him to make the final decision, so I was there to pick it out with him!

Then it got very confusing, as I was all happy happy, wondering how to announce it to everyone - when he said "I haven't asked you yet". confused

It really upset me! I felt humiliated and wondered wtf he was playing at, messing me about - but he just had this idea in his head that it was all just scene-setting stuff, and the 'proper' proposal with the chosen ring, was yet to occur. Whereas I can't actually think of anything cheesier, or more cringeworthy than a staged proposal. <shudders>

In the end I think it spoilt it for me - after all it's a fairly unique occasion and I think he totally stuffed it up, not a good sign for getting married.

We still haven't got married - years later!

mmmuffins Mon 18-Feb-13 14:06:52

YANBU, though I've never actually heard of anyone doing this.

Announcing you are "going to get engaged" gives the impression that the emphasis of the act is on the big show of getting engaged, rather than the promise of commitment, which is the point.

It also just seems really tacky.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 14:09:16

I agree MrsBW, there's something a bit teenagerish about going around saying 'we're going to get engaged'.

Birdsgottafly Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:25

"If you plan to get married, you're engaged, ring or no ring, wedding date booked or not"

Unless it is discussed, then many women may think that they are heading for marriage, but go on the relationship boards and you see that, that often isn't the case.

My DD has been with her DP since they were 17, there have been lots of changes, all discussed and points of possible issues gone through, including house chores.

The same is happening over childcare before they concieve.

If you think of an arranged marriage, or match maker situation (when Engagement was started) the couple meet because they want to marry, someone, but it is only when the pledge is made, they are married.

Inbetween, a lot of practical arrangements are discussed.

I suppose it depends on what you consider your cultural background.

EllieArroway Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:46

So women can't call it off once the engagement is "formal"? hmm

Doesn't really matter how the whole thing started, it's not what it generally means today. Way back when, parents would "betroth" their babies and children to other babies and children (or even adults) & that was considered normal then, not so much now (in this country, at any rate). Things change.

"Engagement" really just means promising to marry each other. Formalising it, and insisting that it's not real until a ring is produced & a date set is perfectly fine, and people are free to feel that way - but I'm equally free to think it's incredibly silly and all just part of the "My big day! My big day! Everybody be excited about MY BIG DAY" mindset that so many people buy into now.

FelicityWasCold Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:55

But in a world where women can now call it off, if they are not happy, until that pledge to marry, is formally made, you are not engaged.

A woman can call it off 30 seconds before she signs the actual marriage register (or 0.11111111 seconds I suppose...) that doesn't make you less engaged...

EllieArroway Mon 18-Feb-13 14:12:44

But your daughter and her DP do sound a lot more sensible than most husbands and wives to be, Birds, to be fair.

FelicityWasCold Mon 18-Feb-13 14:13:38

PasstheSherry- DH and I had an awkward moment a bit like that- I agree it is humiliating to agree you're getting married but be expected to wait around for what could be months on end to 'be engaged'

He <luckily> saw my point, and we got engaged immediately after that conversation! And are now happily married smile

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 14:14:57

I once worked with a girl who had a friend who had got engaged on a bridge in a nearby park. My colleague thought this was lovely and insisted, when she and her DF got the ring, that they would go to this same bridge and he would 'propose' to her there. She even told her friend, and possibly other people, that they were going to do this.
I honestly couldn't think of anything less romantic. Talk about lacking spontanaity.

Birdsgottafly Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:20

That should have been "when the pledge is made, they are engaged".

My DD thought that her partner could be a life partner on moving in with him, but wouldn't have said that she would marry him, until all is well in their living arrangements and relationship.

She wouldn't have made the pledge to marry, until she knew that he knew that he was equally responsible for running the house and trying to get work, that is what she wants in her marriage.

Ponderingonaquandry Mon 18-Feb-13 14:20:31

Another one who doesn't get the point of getting engaged if you're not going to get married.

BraveLilBear Mon 18-Feb-13 14:20:50

YANBU, OP, I kind of have to agree.

Although I am one of those weird types - OH and I decided 1 year/18 months back to get married at some point. We then decided to have children first because we have big families and the wedding will cost us a fortune - and my eggs weren't getting any younger.

We have agreed to get married, but we do not consider ourselves 'engaged'. That moment will come when he proposes, hopefully with a ring. Until that time, if people ask, we are planning to get married, but don't know when yet.

We certainly won't be announcing that we are 'getting engaged'. I agree, it's a little odd.

fluffyraggies Mon 18-Feb-13 14:21:07

Is it going to make me sound really old and crabby to say that i get the distinct feeling that allot of younger couples these days are hung up on all the big piss ups parties and announcements rather than the commitments to each other they are making?

A sweeping generalisation, i know, but over the last few years i've been to so many going to get engaged, have finally got engaged, and massive showy wedding party sequences for young couples who are then separated within a year, (or less) that it's making me cynical.

<Mutter mutter>

TooManyDicksOnTheDancefloor Mon 18-Feb-13 14:22:26

I don't understand people who get engaged with no intention of getting married. My sil has been engaged for years, they're definitely not getting married so why say you are engaged? Also, engagement parties, what is the point in them? Oh, we're possibly planning on getting married, come to my party and buy me a present! Eh, no.

Ponderingonaquandry Mon 18-Feb-13 14:25:56

I'm with you fluffy!

I've seen two friends get married within the past year and it was all about the show. One was all about staging it for the photos and ignore the rest of the day like it was a fashion shoot really the other was all about the piss up.

Everything is about the piss up these days. 21st, 30th, engagement, wedding, divorce, baby shower...piss up and presents. Urgh.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 14:27:12

A lot of celebs seem to be serial 'engagers'. As soon as one engagement is off they've hooked up with someone else and three months later have announced they're engaged. A year later that one is off and within months another fiance is on the scene. Soap stars in particular seem to make a habit of this, often starting when they're about 19 and notching up several engagements before they finally walk down the aisle.
I assume a lot of these 'engagements' are just publicity stunts to get them on the front of Heat and OK.

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