Tuesday, May 22, 2012

705 days down, 361 to go!

705 days ago (give or take a day or two since I can't remember our engagement anniversary) Jon asked me to marry him. It has been a LONG engagement (and we're only 2/3 of the way there!!). I've been asked several times if I wish we'd waited to get engaged, and if I'd recommend a long engagement for other couples. So I guess first thing's first: Do I wish Jon and I had chosen to have a shorter engagement? Not really. It's been an extremely trying and yet rewarding time for me. It helps and hurts that I see Jon maybe twice a week (and that's it been that way since the beginning). It sucks not being able to see him very often, but it's been helpful as far as focus and purity. Having been engaged for almost two years has taught me a lot about Jon and how our relationship is likely to go once we are finally married. There are some issues that just don't come up when you're only dating, and it's been very nice to have a good, long while to sort those out and learn from them. I've learned most of Jon's bad habits (I'm sure I'll find more once we're married) and we've learned how to fight productively. I've learned which types of quiet mean mad, frustrated, tired, sad, content etc. I've learned how to best show love to Jon (time). We've learned each others fears and insecurities, hopes and dreams. Jon knows me better than anyone now, and I know I can trust him with anything. (I also discovered he squeezes toothpaste in the middle which is just ludicrous!). The level of understanding Jon and I have for one another is something I don't think we'd have if we'd been dating for this long rather than being engaged. So, even though it's been very tough at times, I do no regret getting engaged when we did. Second: would I recommend a long engagement for other couples? In most cases, HECK NO! For one thing, there can tend to not be a lot of romance and pizazz in this long of an engagement (which is fine for me, because I'm about as romantic as an action movie) but this is very difficult for a lot of women. (Granted, marriage can be that way a lot so maybe it's a good thing, who knows?). Also, if you are trying to wait to be married before having sex it makes it THAT much more difficult. Truthfully, the only way I think it can even be pulled off is to CONSTANTLY monitor your situations. Jon and I are almost NEVER alone. (I highly, HIGHLY recommend this even if you're in a dating relationship; but a ring adds the rationalizations of 'well, we're for sure getting married, right?'. Let's be truthful too, it SUCKS watching relationships start and end up in marriage between the time you got engaged and are STILL waiting to get married. I've had several friends meet, date, get engaged and get married in the time Jon and I have been engaged. While I'm always really excited for them, I'm human so jealousy loves to worm its' way into my brain at those times. It's extremely easy to let bitterness and spite get a hold during such a long engagement. So even though, overall, it's been REALLY good for my relationship with Jon and it's prepared us for marriage in a way I don't think dating would have; a long engagement is really hard to do. It has worked well for my personality type (and Jon's), so I'm not saying it should never be attempted. But if you decide to have a long engagement, don't say I didn't warn you. And as with any decision, I think praying long and hard before you decide to have a long (or short) engagement is the key.

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