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For the Parents: Why You Shouldn't Put Too Much Pressure on the Couple to Get Engaged

Future mothers of the bride and groom, this one's for you.

Contributing Writer
couple on dock engagement photo
Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

Your daughter's been dating the same guy for a few years now, and you're concerned that there's no engagement ring on her finger. At first you would jokingly ask, "When are you two going to make it legal?" but now you're at the point where you're getting pushy. No more joking, Mom! Putting pressure on a couple to get married is a bad idea. Here are a few reasons why.

 

Related: Tips to Be Stress-Free Before Your Wedding

 

They may not be ready.

Maybe they're devoted to each other and have talked about marriage but are in no rush to make their coupling permanent in the eyes of the law. They want more time to enjoy being single with each other. Why rush their bliss? It's their life, so it's their timetable, not yours.

 

They may not be sure.

Just because they've been dating for some time doesn't mean they know he/she is "the one." That takes time and getting to know one another better. Or one is sure and the other isn't, and they're hoping to get in sync.

 

There is no right age to marry.

Are you pressuring them because they're nearing the average age of when people get married? (The U.S. Census Bureau says it's currently 27 for women, 29 for men—both higher than in previous years.) A couple should marry when they think the time is right, not to be part of a statistic.

 

You didn't appreciate it when it happened to you.

Remember how awful it was when your mom would drop not-so-subtle hints—like leaving the newspaper opened to the wedding section on the kitchen table—that she wanted you to be a bride? You even had a boyfriend's mother query the two of you about your future. So awkward and embarrassing! Why do the same thing to your child?

 

They may have more immediate goals.

Paying off student loans, getting an advanced degree, traveling, or buying a house may be on their agendas, not choosing centerpieces and place cards. If they're meant to be together, they will.