getting engaged in contemporary society - please explain

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    This is probably going to strike a lot of you as a naive question, but here goes.

    A few of my younger friends and colleagues aged in their twenties have been living with their partners for some time now. Some of them have recently announced their engagement, and made quite a big thing out of it.

    Okay, what I don't understand is why make such a big fuss out of the engagement? I can understand the engagement being a big deal if you weren't already living together. However, if you're already cohabiting and have been for some years, you've surely already made the big statement that you're attracted to each other, and the announcement of a forthcoming wedding is merely rubber stamping an ongoing relationship.
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  3. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    You're friends are probably just low on funds and are making a big deal in order to get lots of gifts. [​IMG]
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Maybe they're doing it to appease the parents? Oh, and it does look good in front of employers too..."Thank goodness they're getting married...he'll probably be FORCED to stay at our firm forever! Muahhahahaha!"

    Oh, and don't forget bragging rights! "Nyah nyah, we're getting married! You're all a bunch of losers! :p)"
     
  5. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I'll agree with RobertR. The engagement means they intend to get married. In today's society, marriage is not always the logical next step from cohabitating, or as we call it in my part of the country, "shacking up".
     
  6. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    Andrew,

    I'm with you. I never understood the point of the whole engagement thing. When me and my wife got "engaged" it was merely that we mutually decided to get married. No ring was exchanged and no announcement was made. We didn't even tell anybody until we had a time and place set and the reservations were made so that we wouldn't have to anwswer all those "When is the wedding?" questions. Engagement means nothing to me, either you are going to get married or you're not. Can you imagine that someone is going to change their mind about gettin married and then say, "Well, it's too late now, we are already engaged!"
     
  7. Yoshi Sugawara

    Yoshi Sugawara Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got engaged with my g/f of 3 years, and we had been living together for over a year now. It really isn't a big deal since we were already sort of living 'the married life,' but I just wanted to just show my commitment and really take the next step and got a ring. We haven't made any big announcements, and things haven't really changed much - it's more of getting myself together and really committing.

    So yeah Andrew, this engagement in contemporary times is kind of wierd, but it's like Robert said: lifelong commitment.
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I thought an announcement of engagement is for the benefit of the families involved. Or at least, it was a few decades ago, and in more "traditional" societies where television, feminists, academics, and massive industrialisation haven't been integrated into the public consciousness.

    Nowadays families can be scattered all over the continent or even on different continents altogether. No point making a bid deal about it since everyone is so far away...
     
  9. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    Modern engagement announcements have their origin in the reading of the banns - the practice of announcing the marriage at services for several weeks in order to give the community/congregation an opportunity to object to the engagement. Like the white of a bride's dress, they are a vestigial carryover.
     
  10. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    My girlfriend and I bought a house together last summer. I suppose you could argue that that was our engagement. However, this fall, I plan to give her a ring to make everything 'official'. I suppose that really just starts off the wedding planning (although we're doing some of that already).
     
  11. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I think that getting engaged means you're **really** getting married and you're actively in the process of setting a wedding date. People who are engaged but not actively planning the wedding are just BSing themselves, family, and friends. I think that people who are indefinitely engaged are not any more committed than those who are cohabitating. I always sense that they're only engaged because only one of them wants to be married right now, and the other agreed to be engaged as a stalling tactic.

    BTW, I don't mean to imply that permanent cohabitants cannot be very committed. If they don't believe in official marriages, then that's okay. However, if they plan on "getting married someday" but not doing it yet, then they are acknowledging that there's a further level of commitment to which they are not yet willing to publicly declare.
     
  12. Michael Caicedo

    Michael Caicedo Second Unit

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    Real Name:
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  13. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    oops sorry Michael- I'm one of the people who have been doing this on the forum. Its just that the alternatives of still referring to Caroline in posts as either 'Caroline' (when all bar about three members don't know who she is) or 'my girlfriend' (when we are neck deep in wedding planning) seems a bit odd.
     
  14. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Hey, I just went through this mess and finished the wedding up a few days ago!
    I did plan a nice day, and get a nice ring (I'd rather have gotten an HDTV or a vacation). But the engagement was ours. We didn't announce it although my wife told all her friends over the course of a few weeks. I figured once I asked, I had done my part, but apparently I also had to say "GREAT IDEA!" every now and then during planning.
    I called her my girlfriend, to which she'd retort that she was my "fiancee." I still called her my g/f until she was my wife. 3 weeks later, whatever. She is what she is. She got a lot of crap for the wedding though. I got the high hard one[​IMG]
    Take care,
    Chuck
     

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