engagementWhen a couple gets engaged, the first thing that happens is the stress. Planning a wedding is incredibly, incredibly stressful, and many might be tempted to just shorten it all and get the wedding over with so they can move on to being married.

Apparently most couples manage to resist this urge. Huffington Post just ran a survey showing that the average length of an engagement is 13 to 18 months. Despite this desire to rush to the altar (believe me, I remember it), most couples do wait. And they are lucky they do.

A short engagement (six months or less) really only makes sense if you have already been with your spouse for a long time and the marriage is just a formality. Otherwise, especially for couples who have been together a year or less, a long engagement -- more than one year -- is very important. Here are five reasons to be engaged for more than one year:

  • You have your whole life to be married: When you are first getting married, you want forever to start RIGHT NOW. But trust me, 10 years into this whole marriage thing, you are married a long, long, long time if you are lucky. There is no reason to rush into it.
  • Weddings are stressful: It takes time to plan a wedding. If you are eloping or having a small wedding, by all means, have a short engagement. But some venues book up two YEARS in advance. So if you have your heart set on it, it's best to wait.
  • Engagements end: Sorry to burst your happiness bubble, but as someone who was engaged two times before the third one stuck, I can tell you that an engagement is hella easier to call off than a marriage. Give it time. Let it settle. Plan together.
  • It's a fun time: You are only engaged for one VERY brief period of your whole life. People are happy for you and loving and excited. It's a special time in anyone's life, so why rush into the marriage portion of the show that will, if you are lucky, last longer than even the unmarried part!
  • You need to know each other: For some people, six months into a relationship, they get engaged. Six months later they get married and then six months later they are pregnant. Eighteen months together is NOT enough time to know you're compatible as partners and parents. It just isn't. I have heard that it takes three full rounds of each season (three years) to get to really know one another. That's a good rule of thumb.

Did you have a short or long engagement? Why or why not?

 

Image via Maggiejumps/Flickr