He Says She Says 09/09/10

This week: How long is too long when it comes to engagement?

He Says:

This week on Heart Breakfast we spoke to a lady who had been engaged for 18 years. I guess you have to lead a very busy life not to find one free days in all those years – but I’m sure they have their reasons!

It seems for many that what was once a traditional engagement is now more a kind of holding deposit without ever making the final payment.

Imagine placing a deposit on a car and returning some 18 years later with the remaining balance. I very much doubt the vehicle would still be waiting for you - unlike a very patient fiancée.

Is an Engagement the relationship equivalent of a ‘lite’ beer? You’ve decided to drink the lager but don’t want the full strength stuff and all the problems associated with a full-strength beer. I would rather see some level of commitment than none at all and surely shows that you are valued more than a girlfriend just ‘passing through’.

If you have no intention of marrying but have taken the not –so-giant leap of getting engaged should you perhaps call it a permanent engagement or make it known to close friends that it’s as far is you’re going – if nothing else, to stop those constant questions as to when the big day is.

I never really had an engagement as such. I simply said to my wife of 17 years, “will you marry me?” and within a week or so we were at a registry office and the deed was done.

Some however want to make a bigger deal of that very special day. So take as long as you want to get it right - not that you’ll be any more married after waiting years than if you got married on the very first day you met - but 18 years is really dragging the heels!

She Says:

I’ll never get married as I see no need to do so. But for those people who have or are planning to tie the knot - good luck to you.

If I was at any point thinking about it I do think that I would want to lay down some kind of rules about the length of the engagement period.

The engagement is the time from when you get engaged to the time you get married and I think there should be a set time limit - certainly be no more than 8 months.

Why, oh why would you get engaged and not have a date in mind for when you were going to actually get married, why would you end up being engaged for 18 years? Well there are some people that actually do this, they get engaged and then never get married so what was the point in getting engaged in the first place, you could have quite easily stayed together without the shiny ring.

I wonder if it’s just a way for a man to mark his property, even if he has no intention of ever marrying her? Maybe he is doing it to keep hold of her until he meets someone he does want to marry - or maybe the female in the relationship just won’t stop going on about moving to the next level so he proposes just to shut her up.

As a woman, if the man in my life wants to propose to me then he wants to marry me - so it’s only sensible that it should be done as soon as possible.

How unintelligent do you have to be if he only wants to get engaged and not set a date, all he is doing is putting down a deposit that he doesn’t mind losing if he changes his mind!

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