The Engagement: What Next?Posted: November 8, 2011
So now that I have this gorgeous engagement ring on my finger…what next?
Friends warn me that this new status doesn’t come without its pressures. I, for one, have also seen countless instances where engaged couples get subjected to pressure — self-inflicted or not — and end up calling off the whole thing. It’s like a phenomenon, almost. Very scary.
The pressure could be the result of a variety of factors. It’s possible that with the new status, couples become more possessive toward each other, restricting the other’s freedom. Or that they get freaked out at the idea of commitment and responsibilities that they get cold feet. Or they realise that they actually have totally opposing aspirations and are headed for different directions in life. Or that their families don’t get along. Or that they let the stress of the wedding preparations get to them. There could be 101 factors, really.
Our strategy to keep pressure at bay, is first of all not to think much of our new status as fiancé and fiancée. Truth be told, I would much prefer to refer to him as my boyfriend, still! It’s not that I’m trying to delude myself or run away from reality, but I think it’s more fun and carefree. It’s just a way to inject a little fun into the seriousness of planning to get married and starting a family.
A personal pet peeve I have is when engaged friends keep referring to their fiancé or fiancée as “tunang aku” over and over again…even when we know who they’re engaged to, or worse — are even friends with them! It gets really stifling.
One of these days I’d like us to sit down and have a rather serious chat about our aspirations in life. We have talked about it but very briefly a couple of times throughout our relationship, but now that we’re engaged it kinda needs to be more extensive. Ideally we should’ve done this prior to getting engaged but I suppose we were too caught up in the preparations that we…forgot. Not really a good excuse, I know.
We basically need to start educating ourselves on the Islamic ways to making a marriage work and raising a family. We need to ready ourselves, starting from now. I wouldn’t want us to be all clueless and lost when we get there because when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
On a lighter note, on our engagement day, his aunts were commenting how young my parents were — and understandably so, because there is a considerable age gap between my family and his. He’s the youngest of his siblings, whereas I’m the oldest. His oldest brother is almost my mom’s age, which makes his dad about my grandfather’s age.
I’m pretty concerned about how I will integrate. My spoken Malay is atrocious because I speak a mix of English and Malay at home, with English being the dominant language. I’ll have to brush up on my conversational Malay if I want to win the hearts of the elders in his family!