It can be really hard to know how everything should work when you plan on getting engaged. It all seems so simple on film, but when you start planning for it yourself, it can feel a lot more complicated. In these cases, it’s also usually about proposing, meaning you jump straight to the question of marriage instead of taking the more natural step of getting engaged first.
In previous articles we have looked at how to choose a spouse based on etiquette literature in the 19th century. However, when we read older etiquette literature, it is quite obvious that the focus was not on either courtship or engagement. There was no real advice on how to do it in practice.
Even today we have some similar problems. Much of the advice for engagement that exists for us men is written by women, and so it doesn’t always reflect the anxiety and anxiousness that we have about it.
What is an engagement?
It should be mentioned in this context that engagement and proposal are not the same thing. In the past, an engagement was a symbol of a future marriage, but in this case much has changed. Now an engagement is more like a proof that a couple belongs together, while a proposal has become the real “promise” that a marriage is on the way.
Engagement before and now
Although engagement can seem complicated and difficult, it is still much simpler than it used to be. In the past, there would be a detailed advertisement in the newspaper that an engagement had taken place and after this, the couple would also have an engagement dinner.
None of this is a requirement today. Since an engagement was also more or less a promise of marriage in the past, the man who wanted to marry was also expected to go to her father and ask for her hand in marriage.
Especially among the nobility, a young man could rarely propose without asking his parents’ opinion. In this context, it was especially important to set the girl’s parents straight. In this way, things have become much easier nowadays, as we rarely need to ask the woman’s parents for permission before proposing or getting engaged.
How to get engaged
This brings us to the main question. How does an engagement actually work? Is there a manual for how we as men do it in the best possible way?
It sounds so simple in theory, but in practice it can be much more difficult. You’ve probably seen and heard about all sorts of spectacular and ingenious ways to get engaged. It can also cause a certain amount of stress – you want to make this occasion as special as possible. How will I know what to do and which venue to choose.
Make it personal
A golden rule for all things engagement is to make it as personal as you possibly can. This is an occasion that is unique to just the two of you and not something that needs to be advertised outwardly. Therefore, don’t think that an engagement necessarily has to be something spectacular.
Think less about what other people think and focus instead on making the day special for your loved one.
Place for the engagement
Many people get engaged while travelling. This is something that is a little more difficult at the moment, for obvious reasons. At the same time, it feels a bit old-fashioned that an engagement has to take place on a trip. This is despite the fact that it can be more romantic to get engaged at sunset in a very beautiful place with warmth and sun. The Swedish summer is notoriously unreliable…
What we would recommend at this stage is that you instead look for what is unique about the two of you. What brought you together and where did you meet for the first time? What is your favourite place and is there any particular activity that your loved one loves to do?
All of these are great ideas for both places and occasions to get involved. Especially in these times when it’s hard to get away on trips, it’s important to be a little more creative.
How to choose an engagement ring
One of the absolute most important parts of an engagement is the choice of rings. At the same time, it’s also one of the very biggest challenges. How do you really know what your partner likes and how do you even know the size?
The size of the ring is not a big problem provided you don’t buy a ring with diamonds all around the ring. The vast majority of people also have a return policy on their rings, so if you want, you can safely buy a ring for your partner on engagement.
What we still recommend to make it the least hassle is to use a symbolic ring such as a toy ring when you ask your loved one to get engaged for the first time. Then, together, you can pick out the ring online or at the local shop.
Nowadays, there is a wide range of different models of engagement rings available online. One of the most stylish online stores is Carat London, where you many different types of engagement rings.
What is also interesting to note is that online stores like these have 90-day open purchase and free size adjustment. This makes it much easier if you are unsure about the choice of ring or size.
Best engagement rings online 2022
Since engagement rings come in an enormous number of versions and materials nowadays, it might be a good idea to take a leisurely look at the selection together. Better that than you alone trying to figure out if she likes white gold, rose gold, yellow gold or diamonds. While knowing everything about your woman’s tastes may sound charming in theory, in practice it’s likely to go horribly wrong.
The ring is thus in key position for most women regardless of what you as a man think of it. There are many who are still very traditional and place great emphasis on the symbolism of both engagement and wedding rings.
What do you say in an engagement?
Another thing that can cause some stress is the verbal in an engagement. It always sounds so good when others are articulate. After all, we’re used to hearing all the verbally skilled actors express themselves in all the movies and shows. How am I supposed to be as smooth and charming when I propose or get engaged?
In these contexts, it is important to be able to distinguish between “poetry and reality”. Remember that the most important thing is not to say everything according to a certain romantic script.
You are one of the people who, according to theory, knows your partner best of all the people in the world – otherwise it’s probably too soon to get engaged. That’s why you’ve probably learned a thing or two about how your partner works and what she likes to hear.
The most important thing of all is to spend time preparing and practising what you want to say. Showing that you’ve made an effort and done your best is worth more than a thousand words.
This business of proposal or engagement is definitely not easy. It’s also all too rare that we men talk to each other about these matters.
In most cases, the advice we men receive is also written by women, which means that there is a strong bias towards female desires and thoughts. As a result, the concerns and questions we men have about getting engaged are often left unanswered.
Hopefully, we have answered some of the most common questions that arise in the context of an engagement. If you have any more, just comment below!