Reaction to the lateset New Yorker piece about 20-somethings

January 15, 2013

I’m (Finally) Sick of Talking About Hook-up Culture Destorying Real Dating

January 15, 2013

How to respond to being asked when the hell you’re going to get engaged

January 15, 2013
empty image
empty image

If you happen to find yourself both above the age of 27 and in a relationship for any more than 12 months, you best be prepared to answer the question that’s no doubt coming your way from every corner of your world: so…when are you two getting engaged??*

It’s a curious question for more reasons that one.

First of all, female people don’t typically know when they are going to get engaged. Historically it has been the job of the male to bring engagement upon the female by surprise. A quick Google search of the terms “Surprise Proposal + YouTube” will show you just how serious the modern male has become about that element of surprise (it would appear that they invented a whole dance style called the Dub Step for this purpose alone). Thus asking a female when she’s going to get engaged is somewhat akin to asking a recent college grad when they’re going to get a job already. They don’t know. They’re not the ones giving out the jobs.

Secondly, the people asking don’t really want the answer. Well then why are they asking? you might wonder. I’m not entirely sure, but I guarantee it would go down like the following if you had a legitimate response:

  • Nosey: Soooo, when are you two going to get engaged??
  • You: Next Sunday. We decided he’d ask in the living room after we watch Downtown Abbey because we’re sooo Matthew and Mary, minus the whole cousins thing. 
  • Nosey: Oh… Wow…. So you guys decided together?
  • You: Yeah. 
  • Nosey: He didn’t want to make it a surprise?
  • You: Well he did, but I was all, what am I going to tell people when they ask me when we’re going to get engaged??
  • Nosey: Oh. Well. Good luck?
  • You: Thanks, but we don’t really need it. I’ve already tried the ring on to make sure it fits, and he’s been practicing going down on one knee from the sitting position on our sofa.

See what I mean?

That said, logic is not about to stop these most curious of folks, so it is in your best interest to be prepared with a response. Here, in my opinion, are your options:

  • The Sensible: (Blushes) “Oh…I don’t know. I have a feeling it’s coming some time soon, but I really want to be surprised!”
  • The Snarky: “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the guy who’ll be doing it and get back to me!” 
  • The PC: “Why do you assume that we’re planning on getting married? We could be perfectly comfortable with a life as domestic partners in love just like our idols, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.” 
  • The Last Time They’ll Ask: “You know, I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been having a lot of doubts about our relationship, but I think he’s going to ask soon, and so I really need someone to help me figure out exactly when so I know how much time I have to decide whether or not to make a run for it. No one but you has shown any interest in the future of our relationship, so do you think you could help me? I’m really desperate here.”
  • The Reality: “I don’t really know, and it’s sort of driving me insane. I mean what am I supposed to do? Get my nails done every fifth day until it happens?? I don’t have the “treat yo-self” budget for that!! Also please know that I told myself I’d take the high road when it came to answering this question, but that was before I realized how wildly awkward it is to answer. Sorry.”

This is all in good fun, of course. It’s ridiculous to be cranky about the fact that your life may someday soon take an incredibly exciting turn. It’s about the person you love, not all the proposal hype. You know that all these people just want to check in on your feelings around that incredibly special moment you’re about to experience.

Plus, this beats “so when are you guys going to pop out some kids” any day of the week. Stay-tuned for that post. It’ll arrive approximately three to five years from this post…assuming certain things happen within the next two years, which, as discussed, I have no idea whether or not they will 😉

    *Please disregard this post if you are my sister, aunt, cousin, BC girl, gay best friend, or future female family member. You guys get one free pass each. After that, be prepared for some variety of The Snarky 😉 


    1. THANK YOU for this. I’m in the exact same boat, and tired of fielding the question. Think I’ll take some of your suggestions (the Snarky seems just right…).

    2. Okay but really. I’m just so excited for the “We’re engaged!!” post. Eeeee!!! I know it’s kind of tacky to post a picture of the ring, but we promise not to judge. Please do!!! I wanna see it!

    3. How do i respond if i dont actually have a man yet? im almost 26 and if i hear one more ” you married yet? awww thats ok theres lots of time for getting married” im going to die… actually just this morning i left a blog comment and the word verification was “better half” i think gods screwing with me!!!

    Comments are closed.