A few weeks ago I spoke on a panel addressing dating, relationships, and all of the craziness that comes along with love. I thought I was prepared to address every possible question, but when someone asked me what were the things I wish I knew before I got engaged, it took me a moment to gather my thoughts. I hadn’t thought about that before, but there were a plethora of things that bombarded my mind. If you’re single or currently dating, please, take heed.
Trip to the Altar: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Engaged
In this article:
- It will happen when it’s supposed to happen
- Marriage is an addition to your life
- Focus on being you
- Reality hits once you become engaged
- Things happen when they’re supposed to
#1) It will happen, when it’s supposed to happen.
Because I’ve only been engaged for 5 months and with my fiancé for almost a year, I remember living the single life, very well. The loneliness. The tears. The thoughts of rejection. The wondering. The prayers. I remember it all. For some reason our society makes singleness feel like a disease that we’re desperately trying to find a cure for.
We sign up for online dating services with our fingers crossed, hoping this will finally be it. We attend events with plans for destiny to finally allow us to meet the one we’ve been waiting for. And let’s not talk about the cycle of “I’m happy being single”, to “What’s WRONG with me?”All of these things are perfectly normal. However, I wish I would have rested in the fact that it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. Period. Simple, right? NOT. AT. ALL.
#2) Marriage is an addition to your life, it isn’t your entire life.
Of course my family and married friends would encourage me not to awaken love before its time, because it will come when it was meant to come. I heard them, but I wasn’t feeling it. Why couldn’t my “time” be now? And since I tricked myself into believing that my season of marriage was just around the corner, I wasted so much time. Which leads me to my next point: Marriage is an addition to your life, it isn’t your ENTIRE life.
#3) Take your head out of the clouds and focus on being you.
Of course, I knew I was a whole person before I got engaged, but sadly I didn’t behave like it until 2 years prior to me meeting my fiancé. I say this because most of my thoughts and actions were centered around me being married one day. I’m currently in the process of writing a book and establishing myself as a respected writer. However, I’m also in the process of planning a wedding, preparing to be a wife, and smoothly transitioning 2 lives into 1.
It’s safe to say I’m in no way giving any of these things my complete 100% focus. I can’t help but wonder how further along I’d be in my career and business if I would have taken my head out of the clouds, and focused on being the best ME. Nope. It took me FOREVER to be completely okay with being single, and now that I’m engaged I want my wasted time back. Isn’t it ironic?
#4) Once you become engaged, reality hits, fast.
Also, once you’re engaged, things become real. I mean, of course your life is real now, but things get REALLY real. You want to own a house with your future spouse one day? Start working on your credit NOW. You want to have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon? Start saving NOW. Trust me, because when cupid strikes and love hits you, it happens FAST. You’ll be on a natural high and too busy dating, and gaining weight, too deal with real life. Oh, but once you become engaged… reality hits. No one tells you that.
When you’re single, you plan your entire wedding on Pinterest. After you’re engaged you realize you can’t afford HALF of the things you pinned, lol. Oh, remember those Barbie and Ken dreams of having a house with two cars, two and a half kids, and a tropical vacation once a year? The closer you get to walking down the aisle, it hits you: These things aren’t going to magically appear out of thin air. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, prayers, closed doors and opened doors to make those things happen.
#5) Things really do happen when they’re supposed to.
Are you still reading? Good, because it gets better. After you get engaged to the love of your life you wonder why you were ever in a rush to begin with. A love that good takes time. You realize he or she was worth the wait, and if you had to wait all over again, you promise you would do it. No questions asked.
You realize things are about to get real as you prepare to spend forever with this person, and although the planning is driving you insane, you couldn’t see yourself doing it with anyone else. You also acknowledge the gift that only being single can give, as you prepare to embrace a new chapter in your life, finally resting in the fact that things really do happen when they’re supposed to.
BMWK – What are some things you wish you knew before you got engaged?
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on June 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.