In the interconnected and increasingly fast paced world we live in, swift engagements followed by an equally rapid rush to the alter are rising in popularity. With some couples committing after just months or weeks of dating, Matrimonial Consultant and Relationship Guru Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart, explores whether a quick engagement can truly lead to a long and successful marriage, or if society should be wary of the phenomenon that has taken this summer by storm.
From Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber to Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, a new group of celebrity millennials are putting all their hopes and faith into a quick engagement, claiming that it is not about the amount of time you have spent together, but the depth of your love.
Getting married is very much an outward expression of love and many now argue that if you love someone and you’re both happy to commit, then why not get married and build your life together as quickly as possible?
In some cases, whirlwind romances can and do work out as marrying quickly isn't always a red flag- when couples are committed to making their relationship work, it can flourish. However, if you are hoping that a quick engagement will strengthen feelings or if you are looking for that extra level of commitment from your partner because they are not saying what you want to hear, then a quick engagement is unlikely to result in a happy ever after.
With 42% of marriages in the UK ending in divorce, it is important to err on the side of caution and not rush to the alter for the wrong reasons. It is far wiser to get your relationship on the right track before tying the knot with a lengthy engagement instead. Think about it - why hurry to speed through your engagement and rush to the altar, when you will be spending the rest of your life together anyway? Ultimately you owe it to yourself to avoid the pain and damage of choosing unwisely.
In my view, it is prudent to invest quality time and effort into truly getting to know someone before seriously committing to marriage. Being as confident as you can about choosing the right person for you is undoubtedly time well spent as the ultimate goal is to build a relationship that can stand the test of time, once the first exciting flush of marriage wears off.
Asking hard questions and making your position clear on certain issues in the beginning, is a great way to lay a firm foundation for a love that can last a lifetime. Find out your partner’s life aims and goals, communicate your non-negotiables, set clear boundaries and manage your differences constructively and compassionately. That way, you’ll get a full understanding your partner’s character, personality traits, faults and behaviour. This will give you the information you need to weigh up whether you can love your partner for who they really are, and not who you think they can become. Remember, you can’t change someone and so you need to make sure that you are truly compatible in the long run.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to finding your ‘happily ever after’ as every relationship is different due to personalities, characteristics and expectations. Many people don’t tend to ask each other what they want 10 years down the line. The answers interestingly often highlight a couple’s fundamental differences. Ultimately, happily ever after is about your lives being richer and more fulfilling together as a team than apart. Only you can be the judge of that and I hope that these small tips can help you along the way to get a more definitive answer.
By Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart, Matrimonial Consultant and Relationship Guru, on a mission to make society ‘relationship-smarter’ by helping people to have more fulfilling and contented relationships, preventing the devastating consequences of marriage breakdowns.
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