A few interesting statements from this article about women who get engaged but call off their weddings before they happened:
- "The 2007 U.S. census showed that 41 percent of women aged 25 to 29 and 24 percent of women aged 30 to 34 had never been married...Through interviews with women who've called it off, [Milford and Gauvain] found that many women have an arbitrary timeline for the age by which they should be married. '30 tends to be a milestone, like a random deadline that women mentally set for themselves.'"
- "I'd just like to know whether other women who are clearly excited about their wedding plans are equally as excited about their married lives."
- "As a result [of women realizing there may be reasons for calling off their weddings, and doing so, women often ignore their own misgivings about their impending marriages. Between the book research and [therapist Jennifer] Gauvain's 15 years spent practicing as a therapist, the two estimate they've encountered about 1,000 divorced women, 30 percent of who [sic] said they knew they were making a mistake when they were walking down the aisle."
- One woman mentioned in the article "got engaged after knowing her fiance for just eight months."
A few thoughts:
I never felt pressured, or even all that interested, in getting married. (It wasn't until I met Ed that I really thought about marraige.) I don't recall ever being asked why I wasn't married, unless you count the people who wanted to know why the man I had previously dated for nine years and I hadn't gotten married. (I'm not sure I would have said yes.) I was always ambiguous about marriage: I felt it was a wonderful thing, but never felt an internal clock.
I was certainly more interested in our married life than our wedding plans. Ed can attest to my really not wanting to wear a wedding gown, and aside from my wanting to get married in a Catholic church, I didn't really care too much about the rest of it - although I wanted things done simply, without pretention.
Is there an amount of time people are supposed to wait between the time they meet and get engaged? That just smacks of the notion that people should know their betrothed for years. Ed and I dated barely just under eight months before our engagement; I had known him perhaps four months before I finally agreed to go out with him. (Although I admittedly knew of him for a long time, we had never spent any time together, even chatting, until the last couple of months of my prior relationship.)