By Dr. Jane Greer: Marriage and Family Therapist, Author, Radio Host, Shrink Wrap Celebrity Commentator
You and your fiancé just got engaged! Not only are you both thrilled, but everyone around you is happy for you, too. Sometimes, though, the excitement can take on a life of its own, sweeping you away, and not allowing you to take the time you need to connect this new romantic development with the reality of your lives. In other words, you have committed to getting married, but there might be a lot to think about and take care of before you are ready to actually walk down the aisle. Some of those things might include jobs, where you are going to live, if one of you is finishing up an academic project, and your overall financial situation.
Sometimes, also, people have specific ideas about their wedding that might take a while to plan,such as a destination wedding. Some couples are not even able to get on the same page about what type of wedding they want in the first place, whether it’s big or small. And for others, the responsibility of planning a wedding and all the tasks that it includes can seem daunting, and they are not ready to deal with it. All of this can slow you down when you are thinking about setting a date. In addition to that, many people are happy to reach this point and take a breather –the engagement can be an end game in itself – and are in no rush to choose a wedding day. So what do you do when people start asking you when are you getting married?
To begin with, keep in mind that all the moving parts that go into not only planning the day of your dreams but also into setting up the building blocks for your life together can take a while to put in place. Sometimes it is hard to wrap your head around the timeframe – will one year be enough time to get that all done? Two? That makes sense to you, but sometimes family and friends become restless and, the more time goes by, the more you might be bombarded with these questions. If they come on strong enough, it can even make you second guess your choice to take it slow. You might find yourself wondering, is there something wrong with us? With the relationship? The answer is no, not if you are both on board and happy to take your time. There is no right timeframe, it is simply what works for you as a couple. Once you are comfortable with that clarity, any of the following responses should fit the bill and keep those eager beavers off your back for a while. When asked that famous question, try answering with one of these responses: we’re taking our time and really enjoying this part of the experience, we don’t want to put any pressure on the process, we’re not in any hurry, or we really love being engaged. Let them know you don’t intend to rush things so you can hold onto your peaceful, paced approach to marital bliss. If they really won’t leave you alone try one of these: we are keeping the planning private and intimate – just us, or assume we are eloping, unless you get an invitation or hear otherwise!
Be sure to let them know you are enjoying the journey and are focusing on that instead of racing toward the destination. A cheeky and direct approach will hopefully stop the third-degree (and get them to butt out!). And, of course, tell them that they will be among the first to know once you do settle on a date – whenever that might be.
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