Our Crazy Long Engagement and Why I Don’t Believe in Marriage

Ti’s the season to get engaged. While I am incredibly happy for all of the beautiful people in my life who have gotten engaged, I think some serious evaluation needs to be done before people decide to get engaged or stay in an engagement. This weekend, good friends of our visited. They are interested in getting engaged and they just reminded me of who we were way back when before we pulled the engagement trigger. If you recall this post, then you remember how excited I was to get engaged. But even then, I openly expressed that I love weddings but didn’t see myself getting married. I just got to thinking and here are some things that I would want someone to tell me and that I just wanted to tell others about being engaged espeeeecially if you are young which chances are you are if you blog 🙂

1. Never be afraid to say “I don’t want to marry you”. A friend of mine got married our sophomore year of high school and seven months later she and he husband separated. The day before her wedding we spoke and she told me that her grandmother said “You can say ‘no’ until you say ‘yes” and I thought that was the most beautiful and intelligent advice I ever heard. If tomorrow I decided that I didn’t want to marry my fiance, I would gracefully bow out because until the day I pledge before God and my family that I will be his wife forever, I don’t have to be. And that is the beautiful thing. I am choosing to be his wife and I could choose not to be. I will never let my pride get in the way of doing what I know is the right thing for me and for us. It’s important to not be afraid to say “I don’t want to marry you” be it because he’s isn’t right, the time isn’t right or you aren’t right. Whatever the reason, its okay to say ‘no’ until you say ‘yes’.

2. I don’t want to reduce our love to a wedding. Weddings have turned into these million dollar shows. Just look at the Kardashians who show boated their love on national television only for their marriages to dissolve in flames. I didn’t want to reduce our love to that. As I plan our wedding, I don’t want to turn our love into a show for the entertainment of others. Our vows are sacred and I want them to be seen that way. If at anytime, it feels like the wedding overshadows the union, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

3. Wedding planning is irresponsible. You do all of this planning for a wedding but how much planning do you do for a marriage? Because our engagement has been over two years, we have had an opportunity to see each other through legitimate ups and downs. We have spent the last two years planning not just for our wedding but for our marriage and in turn, our lives together.

4. The terrible twos are real real. We are not the perfect couple regardless of what nonsense people say and I just have to keep it real with y’all; the second year of our relationship got real real, real fast which from talking to friends I’ve heard is a common trend. I don’t really endorse getting engaged until you have suffered been through the second year of your relationship. Whether you are 18 or 46, the second year of your relationship is the part where the foundation and make up no longer gets applied to the relationship every morning and the blemishes shine. All of the cute, newness and infatuation fades away and you are left with raw feelings, emotions and ideals and if you can just wade through those to come out on the other side, you can be more sure of your relationship.

5. Wedding planning is expensive. We have decided to pay for our wedding on our own. It’s really an issue of personal pride on my part. If you accept people’s money, you accept their opinions and I have enough of my own over here. I have always been silently strong willed. I march to the beat of my own drum. Our wedding will be to the beat of our drum, as will our marriage. We don’t accept opinions because no one knows us like we know us. If you are accepting money, just prepare yourself to more than likely accept suggestions.

6. Consider your reasons for being engaged. It’s really easy to get on facebook as a part of a non-engaged couples and practically watch in real time as all of the people around you get engaged. It makes it easy to feel left behind. I remember feeling like “I’m one half of a fully functioning couple and I’m not engaged. Why not me? All of these little freshmen are getting engaged to people they have known for a month. Why not me?” This mentality is one that facebook/instagram/tumblr feeds (see this post about my social media break down). This is not a reason to get engaged. I knew in my heart of hearts when I accepted my fiance’s proposal it was because I want to be his wife. I want to be his life partner, not because I wanted to have a wedding.

7. Weddings are not about you. I know that one seems odd, especially if you’re reading this as the girlfriend/bride-to-be/wife. We were not going to have a wedding. H2B and I were going to get married privately and then go to London for a week this year on our anniversary. We realized last minute that that’s selfish and irresponsible. Our wedding is really for you guys who have been riding with us from whenever you entered our lives. For the people who knew us on day one as confused eighteen year olds who met during welcome week at the pool; who tolerated us during Christmas breaks during the Philly to Brooklyn to North Carolina commutes; who sat on the other end of the phone when I cried because of my mother’s disapproval; who helped us study for cell biology test; who had family dinners with us in Faculty memorial; who spent dark nights in Africa with us listening to H2B’s retelling of Count of Monte Cristo. This wedding is about our community and our support system. We need you to know how much you mean to us and how much you have enriched us as a couple which goes back to our wedding not being a show. We only want to invite people who will lift us up and help us to commit to our vows.

8. God’s will is perfect. When we got engaged, I prayed to hear God’s voice. Each day I prayed that if this relationship was anything that was not like Him that he would close the door on it. I prayed to see God’s face and to know Him for who He truly is and who He is in our relationship.  I did a lot of Roman 12:2 and Jeremiah 29:11 reading. When we first got together, we were not exactly who God wanted us to be. Between my disdain for men and H2B’s suspicion of my goodness (yes, I am that great that he thought I was lying) we had a lot of things to work out and still do. But we have come far in our relationship. Each day we grow in who we are and where we are going and I feel like this relationship is in God’s plan for my life. I checked and double checked and tripled check with Him to make sure that I wasn’t turning someone seasonal into someone permanent. Plus it helps that my H2B told me that he prayed for God to bring me to him.

Before this relationship, I strongly disagreed with marriage. I think Brittney Spears and not LGBTQ has ruined the sanctity of marriage. I think Say Yes to the Dress and Bride Wars has certainly contributed. People have gotten so far from what a marriage is suppose to be. But I look past that and decided for myself that my fiance is the man that I want to spend my life with and just like the day we got engaged, if he’s crazy enough to ask, then who am I to tell him no?

PS. Here’s a sneak peak of one of our engagement photos which I will tell you guys about in another post 😉

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