Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Emotional Stages Of Engagement And How To Deal With Them

Getting engaged is something that you hope only comes around once in your life. So, ideally, you want it to go well. In years to come, you would like to be able to look back with fond memories of this exciting time in your life. 

Engagement, though, is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. It’s not just a singular experience. It buffets and batters you. One minute, you’re riding high, the next, you’re at your wit’s end. 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the emotional stages of engagement and how to deal with them. Many of these feelings are inevitable. They almost certainly will happen. How you manage them, therefore, is critical to a successful engagement. 

The Excitement Phase

Getting engaged is quite different from in the past. Go back a hundred years, and only a handful of people would find out about the marriage. Plus, it would take a long time to get the message out. You’d have to send letters to the people that you know individually - a process that could take days. 

But when social media came along, the whole experience changed. Now it doesn’t matter how many people you want to tell - it’s all the same. You just post a picture of your ring on your Facebook or Instagram and wait for the likes to come flooding in. 

Things are a lot more public and communal than people imagine. We live in a world where you can upload literally every conversation that you have to social media and get people to comment on it. It’s a strange environment for anyone. 

Things, however, tend to go up a notch when you start showing off your new oval diamond solitaire engagement rings. All of a sudden, everyone wants to know the gossip. How did the proposal take place? Where was it? How much did the ring cost? You know the drill. 

Talking about all this stuff can be exciting. All you want to do is share the news with the people you know. Getting married and moving forward with your life feels epic. 

The Planning Phase

Once the initial ecstasy wears off, the next phase is planning. You suddenly realize that you have a mammoth event to organize, and you need to start now. 

There’s so much to think about. Who will you invite to the wedding? Where will you get married? What’s your budget? These are all critical questions. 

The planning phase usually starts a week or so after the excitement phase ends. Your emotions subside, and you begin going about the practical task of organizing the celebrations. 

Planning doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can be. It is during this phase that people find out essential details about their partners that they didn’t know before a challenge like this came up. All of a sudden, the dream guy appears lazy or disinterested in flower arrangements.

Here’s how to play this phase. First, answer the important questions. Discuss the budget, the venue, and the guest list. Then see how your partner reacts to a more detailed discussion. If they’re not all that bothered, you have free rein to do pretty much whatever you like. If they do want to be involved, then just keep peppering them with questions.

Think carefully about where you should splurge and where you should save. You want to make sure that you make the best possible use of your budget. Where possible, create a detailed list or spreadsheet for where your money will go. Then you can play around with your budget and work out your priorities. 

The Fatigue Phase

After a few months of engagement, fatigue will inevitably set in. You’ll want to wring the neck of the next person who asks you about how your wedding plans are going. 

They’re fine! Stop asking!

The truth is that everyone wants to know what you’re doing to prepare. Their motivations are usually sound, but when you have to have the same conversation with everyone you meet, it can get tiresome. 

The fatigue phase also starts to erupt when you realize just how many people you have to manage to organize a wedding. Your suppliers are continually blowing up your phone, asking for tidbits of information about the big day. Your friends and family are phoning you, providing well-wishes. And you’re in a battle against the mirror, trying to lose weight to get into that dress you want to wear. It’s exhausting!

So what can you do in this phase? The trick is to go back to your earlier earnestness you had in the planning phase. You want to feel excited again about putting everything together and organizing the big day. You don’t want it to feel like a massive burden on your time and emotional resources. 

Falling back in love with planning usually means coming up with some new ideas. How could you make your wedding day even better? Has anything new come into your mind since you first got engaged?

The Frenzy Phase

As the date of the wedding draws closer, things begin to heat up. You suddenly realize that this thing is happening and that you need to work like mad to pull it off. 

Two weeks out, you suddenly realize that there’s so much to do. You need to sort out the bridesmaids, make sure that there’s adequate parking, and learn your lines. The length of your do-to list can feel overwhelming. You feel like you have no choice but to reach for the drink and hope for the best. 

What can you do to cope with the planning phase? First, and importantly, you want to slow down and rest before your big day. No matter how much planning you think you need to do, there’s probably less than you think. So long as you’ve sorted out the invitations, catering, and venue in advance, you should be fine. 

Second, make sure you get your sleep. You don’t want to look like a zombie on the big day. And don't forget to enjoy it!

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