The Thin Line Between Love and Engagement Nagging

It’s common to reference a ticking biological clock when a woman begins feeling the intense desire to have a baby, but what about earlier in the relationship story, when all she can hear is the loud tick-tock of the engagement clock?

As the modern-day relationship benchmarks are crossed — first date, moving in together, getting a pet — many of us get impatient to cross the engagement threshold. We already split the bills, share a bed, and know we don’t want to be with anyone else. So what is taking so long? This is the moment where us women do the thing we know we shouldn’t, but can’t seem to stop ourselves from doing… engagement nagging. It starts simply enough. We comment  to our boyfriend on a ring in a magazine ad that we would love to wear someday. Or while looking through a friend’s wedding photos we mention how we’ve always wanted a wedding with flowers like that. At first we are mentioning these things simply to see if our thoughts about the relationship and future marriage are in sync with our partner’s.

But then the slippery slope dips, and it becomes an undercurrent of engagement nagging. We purposefully drop hints about marriage in more and more situations. It becomes less about wanting to know if our partner is on the same page, and more about reminding him that we are thinking about marriage. A LOT. And for some reason, we seem to think that reminding him of this, more and more often, will make him propose. It is a hard place to be, feeling like you are a step ahead of your boyfriend, and not knowing when he will catch up. What can be done?

Ladies, here’s the thing we all already know but have a hard time reminding ourselves: if you have dropped hints on several occasions, he knows you want to marry him. He has gotten the message. Repeating that message when you are not getting an equivalent level of enthusiasm back from him will possibly delay the goal you are trying so hard to achieve. He may start feeling like there is no space to propose, since your conversations are constantly mentioning it. Plus, the pressure has now continued to build, all around this thing you expressed you want from him. One of the best things you can do is have a quick conversation to clear the air. Tell him that you know you have been bringing up marriage a lot, and that you’re just really excited about spending your life with him. And then ease up on the marriage hints. Give him room to think about proposing without all the pressure. Sometimes that is all it takes to let the natural course reset itself.

And guys, here is what we ask of you: please remember that since we were all very little girls, the fairytales we were read in bed, the movies we have seen, the magazine ads we have flipped through, have all told us we want to get married. And when we find the guy we truly want to be with, we can’t help but think about the day when we will hear a proposal from him. If you haven’t been proposing because your girlfriend is constantly bringing it up, forgive her. But if you’re not proposing because you have an inherent fear of marriage, or because there are things about the relationship you feel need to be addressed first, or because you’re not in the professional or financial place you want to be before joining lives so completely, let us know. Communicating that will help us understand you better, and perhaps even tap the snooze button on our ticking alarm clock.

Ladies, do you find yourself engagement nagging when you know you shouldn’t? Guys, are you feeling the pressure from your girlfriend to the point that you’re not proposing because of it?

Diamond ring clock image found here.

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