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Are You Getting Engaged? Honestly, Are You Ready?

Updated on September 14, 2014

Ahhh, to be in love and engaged

Let's get engaged--we've dated for three months

Understanding engagement

It’s a process. A process of loving, falling deeper and deeper in love and living with high expectations that the one you are in love with will be your intended for the rest of your natural life.

Possibly. Actually, very possible that two people with this type of relationship are well on their way to being first, engaged, and then married. Man and wife. Sharing and re-sharing their lives and solo adventures as well as dual adventures.

Storybook thinking? To some. Not all.

Actually this piece is not as much about love, falling in love or even the eventual end: Marriage. It is about the second stage of a seriously-romantic and loving relationship: Engagement. Simple, right? Wrong.

Engagement is great if you know each other well


"I didn't know you liked to deer hunt."

Percy Sledge's song, "Get to Know Her," makes sense

Actually this piece is not as much about love, falling in love or even the eventual end: Marriage. It is about the second stage of a seriously-romantic and loving relationship: Engagement. Simple, right? Wrong.

Engagement and becoming engaged has made enemies out of (some) women and men on the road to a working marriage. I know this is true for I knew two people who were engaged while I was in my senior year of high school only to “break the engagement,” about three months later due to some reason that was never known. I do know this about that relationship. Both the man and woman were close friends and neither cheated on the other or dealt in the dangerous area of abuse, mentally and physically.

I, along with my friends, thought we knew this couple well. Apparently we didn’t. And apparently they didn’t know each other that well and sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there was “that one,” small area that one had or known that the other did not believe in or could understand.

We are married now, but did we mess up?

"Let's be wise and wait until our finances are in better shape."

"You will? You want to get engaged? Wow!"

"Gee, son. You never said that your fiancée is a former safe-cracker."


Yep. One thing led to another and then a mountain was raised from a minute molehill and then the sad breaking-off of what could have been a happy engagement and an even happier marriage.

My title of this offering is:

“Engagement? Are You Sure You Are Ready?”

And by mild explanation, it is a light mixture of humor and serious situations that I hope will be of help to some couple out there who are desperately in love and now wondering if engagement is the next step.

Here are 10 things (that I think) needs to be established between a couple before they lunge, head-over-heels into the serious arena of engagement.

  • How long have you two dated? Six months? One year? This may be all it takes for (some) couples to know for sure they are ready to be engaged, but in most cases, one of the future-married couple has one or two small, unimportant doubts about making such a step. There is no such thing as an “unimportant” doubt. Engagement is a serious business and after you have dated for say, four years, and still have doubts, wait. Take your time. You are not on a deadline. Talk about your doubt or doubts openly and honestly. Maybe this wall can be taken down and the two of you can have a happy engagement.
  • Do your interests coincide with each other? Funny how one half of a loving couple’s interest (or hobby) can cause so much friction between a couple who wants to be engaged. Make absolutely sure that her love for archery is not going to be an issue with your pottery classes. I mean this too.
  • How does your family feel about her? Face it. This will come up sooner or later and with me, it’s better sooner than later. If your family just tolerates your fiancée, it is best to “clear the air,” for if you are going to be your own person, make sure that what they are feeling is not hate or not able to accept her for any reason. And the same for you, “Miss Pre-Engaged Woman of 2014.)
  • What about the area of faith, church, or political affiliation? Is she Catholic? Is he Jewish? These and other items of information should be established in the early stages of the relationship, not at the point of becoming engaged. Again, “if” you, the guy, are bothered by her faith, get the tools to understand it. Talk openly to your intended about she sees theology, God, The Holy Trinity and when it comes to politics, I do not think a mature man or woman should allow the fact that their loved one is Republican or Democrat to bother their relationship. But take it from me. And I am old-fashioned. Engagement is a serious move among couples. Be sure of what you know about each other and how you really feel.
  • What are you willing to give up for her? And visa versa for him. Do you think I am being silly? Well, I am not. Just what if you, the guy, have been doing something that really irritates her, but she has not spoken to you about it? What are you willing to do? Example: You love chess and love to have your chess friends over to have chess tournaments, but she sees this as an “additional” part of the relationship that doesn’t include her since she despises chess although she has tried to learn how to play. Would you give it up for her? Would you, the girl, be willing to give up your weekend dirt track racing? See how the game is played? It can only be played by mature talking, trusting, and being mature.
  • Does he have little habits that you dislike? Newsflash! All men have little habits that their loving-partners hate. You better go ahead before problems arise and tell him in a civil way that you cannot stand him drinking his soup instead of using a soup spoon. Actually, you are saving him from future embarrassment when you two have to dine with people who are stern about manners. He is probably an only child and his mom never taught him about manners and since then he has pretty much done as he wanted. But that was in his single life. He is now going to be the other partner in this twosome. This needs to be addressed and also in a civil manner.
  • Are your finances in good shape? And I mean in good shape enough for you to be engaged and then married? Fact: Did you realize that finances are probably the number one area of friction between married couples? If you are not financially-able to be married, fine. Get engaged and take some time to get those bills paid off and when your bank statement looks better, “tie the knot.”
  • Do you, the guy, or you, the girl, have this overpowering temptation to change the other to what you want in a mate? If so, this means danger. Do not try to mold your future-spouse into the mate you want. I didn’t say to have loving-discussions about the things you honestly do not like about the other and then another wall is torn down and the more walls are torn down, the closer you will be to the other.
  • Have you told each other about your past loves? This is not a prerequisite for a happy engagement or marriage. But if you want him (or her) to know “all” about you and your past life, tell her or tell him. Why? Now this is my thinking. What will you say when you and your pretty wife are eating-out and this blond “bombshell,” sways up to your table and winks at you, the man? If your wife is the jealous type, you, the man, will be in a fix. Just get it out of the way now and avoid future humiliation.
  • Do you really trust her (or him)? Should I go on? Okay. This is probably “the” most-important area of the solid foundation of engagement and marriage. Actually trust for each other “is the” foundation for a happy engagement and marriage. Example: Let’s say after two years of marriage, she has to work some overtime at her job with a few handsome guys who are her bosses? Sir, do you want to scream at her and ask stupid questions? If you already know all about her, then this will not bother you. This also applies to the girl in the marriage also.

As a wedding gift to the two of you, no charge for this valuable advice.

This is more than just a ring. This is the fusing of two lives.


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, carrie,

      I agree. People who are bound to be engaged should at least find all of the information they can and make a concerted-effort to know each other well before, like you say, jumping into the marriage abyss.

      I love how you phrase things.

      Thanks for being my friend and follower.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, weavesandbraids,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I can relate to what you said. I wonder where I would be now, if HubPages had been around in my earlier days?

      Come back to see me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Ann,

      I respect your comment so much. And yes, I agree too with the remark that it's tougher to undo the damage later. Sorry.

      I thank you for the time you invested in reading and commenting on this and the hubs I have seen your name.

      You are a great friend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sheilamyers,

      Bravo! I am rooting and cheering for you in what you said. Good going to dump those two jerks. Why couldn't they love you the way you were? Okay. Too personal. Just think what misery it would have been to commit to a long-time relationship.

      You are one wise girl, Sheila.

      Thanks for your friendship and comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you for your valuable input into this topic. Taking one's time in such a delicate matter is the tool of a wise person.

      I appreciate you taking time to read my hub and what you thought of it.

      God bless you, my friend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      You will find the right one, and I hope I will be around to listen to you, but just trust God and your heart. That way you will come more near to get the right relationship.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Gypsy Rose Lee,

      Amen to your comment. I realize that there is no PERFECT relationships, but there are couples who know each other so well that one can finish the other's sentences.

      Thank you, sweet friend, for stopping by.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I am totally for people really knowing each other before taking the plunge. That way you know or should know what you're getting into.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      If I ever find the one, I know where to turn to for advice!

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hey Ken, Great hub. It all makes sense. Get to know her and allow her to get to know you before you totally commit. No one is going anywhere doing the process. If someone is in a hurry then something is definitely wrong. Both should agree when the time to marry, is right. Voted up!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      This is all very good advice. I especially like the one about trying to change the other person. While a relationship must involve some compromise, it's never a good idea to try to change major parts of someone's personality and the actions that result. It just won't work. One of the biggest things that cause me to break up with a couple of guys was that after we dated a few times, they started hinting I should wear some makeup and change my hairstyle. Not gonna happen.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Wise advice. It's easy to say yes, but not so easy to undo the damage! Lots of people should read this.


    • weavesandbraids profile image


      4 years ago from Africa

      Interesting hub. I wish I thought of some of these things earlier in life!

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Voted interesting and useful :). Very true Ken :). Thank you for putting it out there on the line, some couples should think twice before leaping into that marriage abyss.


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