When People Ask How I Got Him To Propose

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


It happens almost every time.

Chris and I will be in a conversation with someone we've either just met, or don't know that well, or maybe they do know us and they still say it. But one way or another the topic will shift to wedding talk and then back to engagement talk and when the person says, "so how long did you two date before you got engaged?"

And we respond, "seven years."

The person we're talking to gives me the look. Or the laugh. Or the elbow nudge.

And I cringe. I cringe so hard. If I could curl up into myself at that moment I would.

Things I've actually heard people say to me (men and women),

"I won't ask who's responsible for that!" Always followed by a huge chuckle and a jab to my side.

Certainly not me! If it were up to me, I would have been engaged in college! Maybe even in high school! Would have given me more direction in life, you know? 

"You poor thing! How did you finally get him to do it?

I held a pillow over his head. Isn't that how we all do it?

"I would have left a long time ago! How did you wait so long?"

I busied myself by baking cupcakes and knitting doll oven mitts and painting my dog's toe nails every day, all while I prayed to the Lord that my man would come home and bless me by asking me to take his hand in marriage. 

"Wow! You sure put your time in."

Didn't I? I knew if I just kept my eye on the prize (GETTING MARRIED) it would eventually happen for me! All good things are worth working for.

So I may get a little heated about this topic, can you tell? And I know. Usually, the people who say this stuff aren't saying it to be rude. It's almost like it's embedded in them and they don't even realize what they're saying. I'm probably a little more annoyed than I should be.

But the fact is I'm annoyed. Because I know the connotation behind these jabs is that all women are just sitting around, dying to get married and we have to convince "our man" into asking us. The decision is all his. It kills me.

Some girls do "wait for the ring" and willingly admit to laying down "some pressure." Some guys do too.

But some of us don't. Some couples, and I know this sounds pretty wild so just go with me here, date for seven years and are totally okay with it on both ends and then decide to get married because it feels right. And because they want matching plates.

I'm going to blow your mind one more time now and tell you there are even some people who don't want to get married at all! And guess what? It's fine. To each their own. We're all going to make it.

I just had to get that off my chest today, thanks for letting me vent.

Now if you don't mind I need to go chop wood AND plan a wedding. Women can do anything!

60 comments:

  1. Love this post. I get it all the time after 4 years and no ring yet. In my mind it's kind of silly that something so huge that affects both of your lives is suppose to be this "big secret" and totally in the man's hands. We don't do anything in our relationship like that, we discuss everything and decide everything together - so this shouldn't be any different.
    But I'm like you. I'm happy with what we have and yes, I'll be happy when we are engaged but I'm certainly not baking ring-shaped cakes in my floral apron :)

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  2. Same. 8 years before we got engaged and we'll have been together 10 years by the time we get married. We're not even 30 yet so I don't get why people are so shocked.

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  4. 6 years here. We're going on 7 years of marriage next week. If he didn't get drunk and ask to elope we probably wouldn't even be married now. If you're with the one you love it shouldn't matter.
    People don't see that and it annoys the piss out if me

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  5. The ignorant questions and statement involving engagement and marriage infuriate me. I guess I shouldn't say that, it doesn't necessarily piss me off, it annoys the crud out of me.

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  6. I think you guys are awesome for dating and just having fun together for so long. You will have probably a better, more solid marriage than those girls who are just in it for the ring. You've built a solid foundation and a friendship.. and you're young!! So 7 years is not that weird. A good friend of mine dated her guy for 8 years before getting married because they met when they were 20! You gotta do life first, you know??

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  7. Ugh I started getting it after a year and a half... it drives me crazy. 3 years now and EVERYONE says it to me. It's so annoying and rude and frustrating and this post is totally justified.

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  8. We're going on 6 years at this point, and I get comments ALL THE TIME - especially from coworkers. There have been times I've had to leave a conversation to avoid getting angry. I even had one of them say, "If he's so afraid of commitment, why are you still with him?" Um, who said he was afraid of commitment?

    And one of my favorite moments was when I felt like I had to justify myself (and him) to one of my male bosses, and he had the audacity to say, "Well if you want to speed up the process, you could always just, ya know, cut him off. If you know what I mean. Just uh... Put an end to all of that and tell him it won't happen again until you're engaged. I bet that ring would show up much more quickly." It took everything I had not to say, "You know the head of HR is my long time neighbor, right? I might just need to visit him tonight..."

    I'm a hop, skip, and jump away from turning 30, so yeah, I'd like to be married. But if we're happy, why does it matter so much to OTHER people? If there was a "commitment issue", I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have lasted this long.

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  9. Amen to this! We didn't get engaged until after dating for 6 years... but up until we got engaged, people asked all the time. Our standard responses? "I'm afraid of commitment" or "We're on the 10 year plan". Easiest way to end that conversation :)

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  10. Working in bridal I get so many sad stares all day when the women trying on gowns ask me if I'm engaged and I respond "no, my boyfriend and I have just been dating a year". I've actually had a bride tell me if he hasn't proposed yet we won't ever get married so I should break up! I'm happy and in love...so I'm going to break up because I don't have a ring on my finger?!...No.

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  11. Love, love this. Everyone has their own timing and their own reasoning, and it's just right. When you're in love with your best friend, that's the prize, not the ring.

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  12. There was a great segment on Fresh Air (NPR) this morning with Rebecca Traister who wrote a book about the cultural shift of delaying or not even choosing marriage for women. The books called 'All The Single Ladies'. Very interesting stats and questions in the piece if you get a chance to listen. From the 1800's to the 1980's the avg age of a woman to get married was 21-22. Now its 27... and rising! She also goes into some politics of Hilary Clinton's marriage toward the end which I find to be a fascinating component (and double-standard) of her campaign. She also wrote a book on that. http://www.npr.org/2016/03/01/468688887/single-by-choice-why-fewer-american-women-are-married-than-ever-before

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  13. Love this! I can totally relate. We dated 10 years. Been together since we were 16. We figured if we could make it through dating in those 10 years where we are growing and finding out who we are as adults then we would be successful at marriage. We've been together forever and yet we still learn new things about each other all the time.

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  14. I absolutely love this and 100% agree with you. My boyfriend and I are 30 have been together over 5 years, lived together for 3, and we get this all the time. If anything, I am actually the one that wants to slow down the engagement process. I try hard to not be personally offended by women who beg for rings. I guess if it's your thing go for it, but don't feel bad for me for doing what I want to do and not what "you're supposed to do." Clearly this topic gets me heated as well.
    www.erincusackblog.com

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  15. Totally relate- My fiancé and I dated 9 years before we got engaged and people would always say to me and behind my back they can't believe I had put up with that for so long. Put up with a happy & healthy relationship?? So annoying but glad you brought humor to the people who deal with this!

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  16. I can totally relate, except that for us it was the other way around. We only dated for five months before getting engaged. "wow that was fast" and "you couldn't wait could you?" and I KNOW. I mean I KNOW that people had to suspect I was pregnant. At the end of the day, people are just assholes. I do think you need to start telling people you held the pillow over his head haha!!! But the best is yet to come, wait until people start asking you if "you're ready". To which I would respond "what do you think I have been doing for the past 10 months!"

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  17. I love this post! I'm not sure why people feel the need to comment on other people's life choices, especially the super personal ones. We've been married about a year and a half now and have gotten asked roughly 154313547673 times when we're having kids. Um. Hello. Super personal question that could be digging at something super sensitive. Please stop.

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  18. The comments after I got engaged drove me nuts!! My husband and I dated for almost 4 years before we got engaged and so what...we had waited to get engaged and I was happy to stay in a great relationship before that. I agree that's it's okay to wait and not jump into anything rash. I feel like because we waited it made it just a bit more special! =)

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  19. Yes! We dated for 5 years before we got engaged and another 2 years till we got married. I was given comments like this all the time and it really bothered the hell out of me. I tried to remind people with grace that we waited until we were ready.

    The two comments I'll never forget are, "Are you sure he loves you because it took him too long to propose?" and "You need to start making backup plans.(prior to proposal)" Let me just go grab my spare boyfriend out of the trunk.

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  20. My husband and I were together for 7is years before he asked too. It was another 2 years before we got married. I always just tell people we werent in a rush and wanted to do other things first. I mean don't get me wrong I wanted to get married much sooner than him, but that doesnt mean that they have to know that.

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  21. My husband and I had been together 11 years before getting engaged last May. It also used to bother me tremendously that people automatically assume my husband didn't want to marry me sooner. I would find myself trying to find justifications like "Oh, but we started dating when I was 18 and both of us began considering marriage only a few years ago... but we were living 80 miles apart and the timing wasn't quite right." I still get annoyed by people's reactions and questions, but I think I've just come to accept it. We got married in November, which is a whole 'nother story because people then assumed short engagment = I must be pregnant (nope!). People will always have opinions, but each couple should do what's right for them. All that matters is I married my best friend, someone who will now forever watch Vanderpump Rules with me. Yup, he's a keeper!

    Btw, this is my first time commenting and I just wanted to say congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding! Love you and your blog, and I can completely relate to your wedding posts!

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  22. Ugh, yes! My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years and have been getting these questions for the past 2-3 years, even though I'm 25 which still feels pretty young (to me at least). It has come from everyone from well-meaning relatives to random cab drivers - when the time is right it will happen, and it is only our decision of when that time will be!

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  23. Love this! My bf and I have been together 8 years and we're in our 30s, so you can imagine the comments we get. I'm happy where things are though I wish the law (in Kentucky) was on our side a bit more. I think my favorite unsolicited advice has been "threaten to leave." But I also hear "if he hasn't married you yet, he never will." People are fun.

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  24. This. This and "He did so good" in reference to my ring. Umm thank you, my husband is capable of picking out a diamond. It's SO patronizing, it drives me insane.

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  25. Lol I totally get it, but not in the same way. I got married WITHOUT an engagement ring and you wouldn't believe the rude things people would say. When you tell someone you're getting married, or just got married they will immediately reach out and grab your hand like "where's the prize????!!!!" And I got (mostly secretly) really heated about the topic. Just wait until the baby questions start.

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    1. Basically I got a lot of looks that expressed sympathy that he must not love me very much or something. Nope, just broke lol. Everyone needs to just butt out.

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  26. We are coming up on 6 years of dating and I was just the maid of honor at my sister's wedding, can you guess how almost every conversation I had at that wedding went? This resonates with me SO much! Thank you for writing it. I love scrolling through the comments too and virtually fist bumping all these other like minded ladies. :)

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  27. YES! I get the same comments when I say I'm single. "Oh don't worry, you'll find someone" or "Wow! You're such a catch I can't believe it!" and my personal favourite, "Well when you find your husband you'll understand how happy we feel". Glad to know the only way I can find purpose in my life and be happy is to find a husband, who knew?

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  28. I love this post! I got the same comments as my husband proposed one week before our 10 year anniversary. Why can't they be happy that we were/are happy.

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  29. My husband and I dated for 10 years before getting married and are celebrating 8 years of marriage this September. I got asked all the time when were we getting married, but we were happy as it was. Then we decided to get married. I helped pick my ring. It felt right. for us we knew 100% that it was what was best for us. And that's what mattered.

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  30. I imagine my boyfriend and I will be in a very similar place down the line. Having a happy, loving relationship doesn't automatically mean it's time to start thinking about marriage- we have our whole lives to get around to that. My parents got married really young (that's Catholic Ireland in the 70s for ya) and my step-mom had a first marriage that also didn't work out. They constantly warn me against marrying young, which I guess makes sense based on their experience. But the most patronizing thing I experienced was my dad reminding me not to rush into marrying my boyfriend when I was home for the holidays- as if it was even on my mind! I was pretty appalled that they thought I would turn into a girl just waiting for a ring at 23 (wtf?!). I don't care if you get married after 6 months or 60 years; it's always a personal decision and the relationship you go in with will likely be the same one on the other side of any ceremony. I think marriage is awesome, but it's not everything and I think it's crazy that people assume it is.

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  31. Haha love this! I get these kind of comments already and i've only been with my boyfriend just around 2 years! He and I are also really close, so when the time comes it will be something we decide together. why's everybody in such a rush?!

    littlebateaux.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. People are dumb. About a lot of things. Glad that you're smart enough to know that what everyone else thinks doesn't matter.

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  33. This is too good! :) I get it, been dating my boyfriend for 8 years this month and the questions are never ending about when we're going to get married, when I'm going to make him propose, etc. I feel your pain and believe me, I know the irritation. Stay strong!!

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  34. 7 years before my hubby and I tied the knot. I get the same comments all the time.

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  35. I love this, this is SO true. I have been in a relationship for 5 years and people constantly ask me when we are getting engaged/married! I just feel like it's none of everybody else's business, ya know??

    Elainea
    toast the girl almighty

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  36. THANK YOU for saying this! I've been in the same situation. After 6 years, my fiancé and I got engaged. Now we're planning our wedding. Grad school and other things were a priority and it happened when the time was right. People don't realize that just maaaybe there are other reasons as to why you aren't married yet, regardless of how long you've dated.

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  37. I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years and I'm currently waiting for the ring. But I know the wait will be worth it when it happens.

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  38. A-freaking-men. I so get you.

    We're in this almost 9 years total, been "engaged" for 3-1/2 this year, and have no plans whatsoever to "make it official". If I get one more comment on Insta when I post a gasp---!!!happy picture yet out of wedlock(!!!)---saying "Isn't it time for the wedding" or "imagine how happy you'll be when you're married" I will scream so loud you might just hear in Chitown.

    I say "engaged" bc when I was asked, BTW this was all on my darling darling's own bc he just felt he wanted to and it was right to make a grand gesture, no pushing or pressure from me, he asked that we continue to spend our lives together. Oh and if we happen to legally bind ourselves, sure, we're up for it. On a Tuesday, probably at a courthouse, where we will go for an extravagant dinner after.

    It's plain disrespectful when people diminish damn near a decade together bc we haven't "followed through".

    Can you tell I get worked up too? ;)We're happy, in love, we work hard together, we're in it to win it boo.

    Excellent post per usual, happy chopping!

    Megan

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  39. About three years ago (before we were engaged), Eric and I went to a comedy club (!!!) in town. Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ. You should so stop by. We were not the earliest and somehow got stuck right in front of the microphone/stage. The opening act, the guy who owns the place actually (who is married with five kids!), decided to talk to us during his bit. Oh, this your husband? No, boyfriend. Oh, how long you been dating? 4 years.

    You can imagine how it went. Basically poor Eric was tortured and embarrassed and had the entire crowd ragging him. And me. We laughed but I felt SO BAD for Eric. We still talk about it.

    We really should go back and flaunt our wedding rings in his face.

    But for what? We're still happy either way. And I KNOW he'd ask about kids if we went back to talk to him. And that? Well that's just a laugh right there.

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  40. I have an aunt who was with her now ex-husband for 5 years before they got engaged and they they were engaged for 8 years before they got married, they were married for 15 years or something like that before they split up.

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  41. OMG, its like you are living my life! HA! We just celebrated 7 years on 2/19 and I get this ALL the time. I mean, ALL the time. I have a full time career, part time job and I am enrolled to finish my MBA...I dont sit around and day dream about my future wedding all day! Thank you for making me feel less insane for being so annoyed by these comments that are usually not meant to make my blood boil as much as they do! :)

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  42. There is so much truth here. My husband and I dated for 10 years before getting married. We were engaged for 2, so that makes 8 years of dating before getting engaged. Why is it a big deal when or how a couple decides to be together?? My guess is people just don't even think before they make stupid comments.

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  43. Ugh, I can only imagine how it was for you! The grief my fiancé and mostly I got because we were together for four and half years before getting engaged. A lot of people even asked if we were going to go ahead and have kids soon since we obviously never planned on getting married.

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  44. so true, so funny but so real as well!

    I been 5 years with my boyfriend and I'm not desperate to get married, even when I know we will provably do it quite son, I'm perfectly fine with it... I cannot understand why all this pressure and stress to get married... and then what? I mean, I want to get married, but no rush at all! I want to enjoy my relationship not worring about all this all the time as a lot of women does.

    :) lovely blog and such a great post! xx

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  45. my husband and I just got married in August and we were together for 7 years too! WE get the SAME thing! #layoffpeople

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  46. Dumbest question ever, along with the when are you going to have kids question. I get that all the time and we aren't even married yet! We waited almost 5 years to get engaged but at some point you do need matching plates and kitchen gadget upgrades :)

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  47. Loveeeee this. I never realized how worried people were about me getting married until I moved south and EVERYONE decided it was their business that I wasn't married yet. Some of us just don't need that!

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  48. We were in the same boat. Dated for 8 years. In that time, moved in, adopted animals, bought a house together---did all sorts of stuff. Not being married was never a big deal to US---we were committed, happy, all that jazz---getting married seemed to legitimize it to everyone else though (which was weird). I wasn't pining away as an old maid and he wasn't out living the "bachelor" life---which I think was the perception of some of those on the periphery. This may be part of the reason why when we ultimately got married, we only invited 25 people :) But that's another story for another day. CHEERS!

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  49. Thank you for this post! I totally agree... I hate the strange expectations people have around marriage. I'm starting to get the dreaded "So when are you guys getting married?" question from random strangers who don't understand why I'm not engaged yet... so I really appreciate this post :)

    - Nellwyn | www.thecardinalpress.com

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  50. SO refreshing to hear this and totally relate to your frustration with people. We've been dating over 7 years now and the questions are constantly rolling in. Drives me crazy!!!

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  51. Ughhhhh questions and statements like those make me pretty upset! It makes me wonder how often men are asked these questions?? The worst is when I'm about to go on a trip, or go somewhere new with my boyfriend and I get the "I bet he will propose on this trip".. etc. comments from coworkers, friends or family. It really ruins the excitement I'm feeling about my plans and it's really not nice! Thanks for your post!!

    theritzyglitzy.com

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