Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 27 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Angela Merici
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

How long should an engagement last?

TRADYCJE ZARĘCZYNOWE Z CAŁEGO ŚWIATA

<h3>Meksyk</h3> W wielu krajach tradycja oświadczyn była przeżywana jako wydarzenie rodzinne, podczas którego narzeczony musiał uzyskać akceptację i błogosławieństwo ojca narzeczonej i jej rodziny. W Meksyku jest zwyczajem, że narzeczony przed spotkaniem rodzinnym przygotowuje dla swej narzeczonej coś specjalnego, jak na przykład śpiew wraz z orkiestrą mariachi w procesji do drzwi domu wybranki. Potem następują oświadczyny.

Edifa - published on 01/13/20

Some couples take the plunge after a few months, while others wait for several years.

Some couples marry very soon after their engagement, while others take time to finish their studies, find jobs, or secure a good income. But how long after engagement should the wedding take place?

This is a conundrum of our times. It used to be that the passage from childhood to adulthood was quick. Today, it’s much longer. The length of studies, job insecurity in one’s career, attaining more material security — all of it means that many young adults take longer to gain independence and this makes it more difficult for them reach maturity. This plays a big part in the frequency of cohabitation, and delays marriage.

The engagement period is not just a waiting game

How long should an engagement be? The prudent and rather unspectacular answer would be: not too short and not too long. If daunting delays are foreseeable, it’s better to extend the period of friendship rather than commit oneself too soon. But there are many cases when couples would do well to set up a home before achieving their desired goals of financial and professional autonomy, as long as they have support and approach their lives and decisions with maturity.

An engagement is a time to be fully lived. It’s a necessary time of deepening the relationship and preparing for a committed life together. The engaged couple allows themselves time to begin to share all aspects of their lives: friendships, family, culture, faith, hobbies, and church life. They won’t be marrying a “stranger.”

An engagement is a time for talking

Engagement is an important time for dialogue. Developing good communication skills in imperative for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Marriage preparation is an opportunity for the couple to systematically discuss various aspects of their lives — family backgrounds, finances, hopes and dreams, career plans, values, beliefs, etc. Their status as “fiances” obliges them to talk about the future, whereas if they are already living together, concerns about the present moment and its immediate needs take precedence.

A time to learn to pray together

It’s always surprising to note how many Christian couples find it hard to pray together (they’re more at ease praying with their children). But, there’s no communion without communal prayer, prayer “of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32). An engagement is a time of grace to be together before the Lord, in private, in the liturgy, and on a retreat. It’s also a time share the Word of God and the movements of the Spirit with one another.

Last, but not least, engagement is the time to learn to love. Some may be surprised by that. Fiances are supposed to abstain from love, right? No. The contemporary view of love so often unfortunately lumps everything together: friendship, affection, sexuality. Engagement, on the contrary, restores and respects the whole panoply of the language of love. Between friendship and marriage comes that period of tenderness that is unique to fiances. It’s important for them, for the moment, to have a chaste (non-consummated) closeness. But it’s also important, for the future, for a couple to learn many languages of love for each other, and be able to grow, steadily, in deep and abiding love for one another for years to come.

Alain Bandelier

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
The 4 Ways to read Scripture every Catholic should know
3
saint Joseph
Philip Kosloski
Why St. Joseph is called the "Terror of Demons"
4
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
5
Aksum Ethiopia; CHURCH
Fionn Shiner-ACN
As many as 750 killed in massacre at Ethiopian church
6
ŚWIĘTY JÓZEF
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The Litany of St. Joseph
7
LUPKOW CEMETERY
J-P Mauro
Polish statue of Christ found peeking out of a growing tree
See More