Since the latter part of the 20th century, there has been an increase in the number of couples deciding to cohabit permanently rather than getting officially married. “Why get married”, they ask, “if our commitment to one another is legitimate?” Fair enough. There is no need for fancy ceremonies and diamond engagement rings among couples who are fiercely against that sort of thing.
There is also the question of whether or not to get engaged prior to getting married. Should couples set an engagement period or just jump right into marriage as soon as they decide they want to make their relationship official? There is no right or wrong based on cultural norms, but engagement does have a lot going for it. Any couple thinking of getting married should consider an engagement of at least some length.
Here are three good reasons to get engaged:
#1 – Announcing you are off the Market
The ancient practice of getting engaged was, quite literally, to announce to the rest of the local community that you were officially off the market. This is important from a historical standpoint. Keep in mind that marriages used to be arranged in most ancient cultures. Engagement, whether or not there were diamond rings involved, made it plain and clear that both bride and groom were spoken for.
Things are only slightly different today. The diamond engagement ring clearly dictates that a young lady is no longer eligible. Interestingly enough, couples are now choosing engagement rings for both him and her so that he is also clearly identified as spoken for. Being identified as off the market helps avoid unnecessary and potentially damaging flirtations.
#2 – Allowing for Planning Time
Once the engagement rings are purchased and given, it is time to begin planning the wedding. Let’s face it; most brides have visions of a fairy-tale wedding equal to that of Cinderella and her Prince Charming. Regardless of how much money is being spent on the occasion, putting together a wedding does not happen overnight. Any couple that wants more than an elopement or a quick ceremony down at the Chapel of Love need some time to get things together.
Experts say that the length of engagement is often tied to when a proposal is offered. For example, proposing in late autumn or early winter increases the chances of a wedding the following summer. Proposing in the spring often means the wedding will not take place for at least a year.
#3 – Time to Be Sure
It is true that you never really get to know someone until spending time together as a married couple. Dating just does not get it done. Having said that, the engagement period can be a time of getting to know one another a lot better. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of time and effort to plan a wedding. Furthermore, frequent conflicts among couples are not unusual during the planning stages. If a man and woman cannot learn to work things out during this stage, their marriage could be in serious trouble down the road.
A period of engagement gives the couple a little extra time to be sure they want to commit to one another for the rest of their lives. It is not that they should be looking for an out during this time, but it is a lot easier to break off an engagement than end a marriage.
We believe engagement is a good thing, and not just because we sell diamond engagement rings and wedding bands from all the best names like Gelin Abaci. As experienced jewellers and participants in our relationships, we have seen the good that can come from engagement.