How to Deal with Questions about a Lengthy Engagement

howtodealwithalengthyengagementWhen you’re celebrating an engagement, the last thing you want is everyone and their mother asking if you’ve set a date. In reality, all you want is to settle into a new phase of life with your fiance and take a hiatus from love life milestones: the first kiss, the first time you said I love you, when he asked you to marry him…and, break.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth got engaged in May, 2012 when the starlet was just 19, and she publicly acknowledged that she wanted to have a long engagement (which is smart, considering she hadn’t broken into her 20s on or near engagement day).

But almost since the day he put a ring on her finger, the media has questioned the couple’s choice to have a long engagement (and whether they’re even still engaged).

If you find yourself in a similar situation to “Miam” — you’re planning to have or are in the midst of a long engagement — how can you deal with questions from well-meaning friends and family?

Dating with Dignity has some answers for you.

1. As partners, agree on the length of time for your engagement, determine a reasonable wedding date, and calmly answer accordingly. Perhaps one of you is finishing school, waiting on a promotion, or just too busy. You can answer honestly! For example: “We’re saving a bit until we can afford the wedding we want” or “I have two more years of law school; once I can breathe, then we can get to wedding planning” or “We have five weddings to attend in the next year, and we want to focus on celebrating our friends’ love before we get to celebrating ours!” All these can be authentic answers — and ones you should feel comfortable sharing.

2. Turn the question around. If the person asking the question is in a long-term relationship, ask how long it took before they decided to commit to each other (and feel free to ask if they planned a date!). Or, if it’s a married friend, ask how long they waited to tie the knot: do they wish they’d waited longer to throw around the “fiance” term before it turned to “husband and wife”? Listen to their answers! The bottom line is this: Turning their inquisition into a meaningful conversation can create a deeper connection as long as you remember there’s no reason to be defensive or irritated!

3. Ignore and change the subject. When prying eyes or ears get to be too much, simply change the subject. You can give a short reply like “We haven’t thought about it much yet. Can you pass the salt?” It really is no one’s business but your own when you get married, when you get pregnant, or really even when you wash the dishes. There’s no need to go into detail over dinner about your wedding date. Enjoy your time together and disclose your plans at your own discretion.

Remember, when you are engaged, it’s your time to savor the time spent with your fiance; no need to let other’s questions take away from the celebration!

Learn more about relationship coach Marni Battista and Dating with Dignity.

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