All of a sudden it’s become major news that Brad Pitt and Angelina are now engaged. After 6 kids and 7 years together since they first met on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005, people are desperate to know when their wedding will take place. The couple have previously been reported as saying they will marry when all same sex couples are legally able to marry in the US. Although they are engaged, there is no date set and the ring is merely a committed promise for a future wedding.
While everyone else is wildly speculating about what will happen with the Hollywood couple, I’m wondering is it really a massive issue to have a long engagement?
Couples have long engagements for multiple reasons. Taking the time to realise you have ultimately made the decision to be a partner to someone for life can give you time to adapt to the situation which you’re both about to enter. Usually it’s a pre cursor that you would live with someone before you marry him or her. It’s like a dry run; you’ll get the experience of what married life will be like without the legality. Which if you decide is not for you has been an expensive waste of time and money. The stress of a wedding has been known to send many couples over the edge; it takes away the romance if your forever asking your other half what type of linens they want at the end of a stressful day.
I think the main factor is that life gets in the way, whether they are finishing school, in the middle of a long distance relationship if there are job commitments, financial issues can mean serious setbacks to planning. It’s probably what has happened with Brad and Angelina, both very successful movie stars, juggling their careers, a relationship and their 6 children, life can indeed get in the way. I would say 6 kids are more of a commitment together rather than a marriage.
I’m all for the long engagement, it means you can prepare better financially and emotionally. People are in such a rush these days; I think an ‘engagement’ should itself be a celebration like a wedding is. It’s a defining moment in your relationship for you to appreciate your partner and how committed you are to each other.
In fact, a leading relationship researcher called Ted Huston has followed couples since 1979 and found some credible evidence to suggest longer engagements strengthen a marriage. According to his research, couples that had met and married within the 2-year bracket usually made it to their 7th anniversary on average before unhappily divorcing. However, there is a lower divorce rate now than there was in the 1980s, this is due to societal changes. A delay of marriage doesn’t heap pressure onto a couple, enforcing a subconscious way of married life. It simply lets them enjoy what they have right now.
So if you find yourself in a lengthy engagement, don’t meet other people’s expectations, just find your own and accept what you have right now. If Brad and Angelina can do it so can you.