Dear Dr Nikki,
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 3 years. I have always been the type of person who goes with the flow, but lately, people have been asking me when are we going to getting engaged and I have become a little anxious about it all.
I don’t know if it’s because we have been together 3 years or because people are asking me more, but I feel like I’m questioning whether he really wants to be with me if we are not engaged. I don’t want to be that girl, but I also feel like I’m going a little crazy. How do I calm down about all of this?
I feel like what you are asking is very normal and happens to most people. When you are dating, people ask you when you are you going to move in, when you are living together it’s when are you going to get married, when you are married it’s when are you having a baby and when you have had a baby, it’s when are you having the next one? Don’t you wish people would mind their own business and focus on their own lives?
I think the line of questioning comes down to the fact that we are all still looking for some level of normal in our relationships. We talk about creating a life that is ours and our own rules, but we often still have this desire to look for some level of norm to compare our lives to. The line of questioning is what many see as the norm but still don’t know where this so-called relationships goals and path come from. So why should we keep them?
You need to find a way to ignore the impact of these questions and live your life and your love the way you see fit.
Also ask yourself a few questions. Do you talk about a future? Is he committed to you? Do you enjoy each other’s company? Is there an intimate connection between you? Have you been open with him about your beliefs on marriage etc? Some people rush into marriage, others take a little longer and some many years before saying “I do.” There isn’t a set amount of time that will ensure forever happiness if that even is the goal. What you need to be careful of and what doesn’t work is making that more serious commitment because you feel you should and because others around you have done similar. It’s so hard these days to work out what we really want and what is influenced by the society around us. But it sounds to me like on this issues, maybe you are taking these questions too much to heart.
The next time you get asked the marriage question, just tell that person you are both taking your time and enjoying where you are in your relationship right now. They can think whatever they want of you and your partner, but at the end of the day, it’s your relationship and you are the ones that have to live it, not them. We are all different and need to show that difference not only in the way we love but the way we represent that love to others.
Maybe the real point of this question is not how do you clam down but how do we get people to stop asking these questions? When you are engaged I’m sure you will tell them, so really these questions don’t have a point except for looking for that level of comparison to feel like there is some sort of norm.
But who wants to be normal anyway?
I wish you all the best and I hope just reading this response might help you to stay calm a little more. Life is a journey and so is love, so make sure you enjoy the ride and not focus so much on just one day.