It’s that time of year again. Engagement Season. I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but once you reach your 20s suddenly all winter long people are popping the question. My Facebook newsfeed is riddled with pictures of diamond rings and happy couples, and every day I hear a new “Oh, did you hear? So-and-so got engaged!” story. Most recently was my cousin, who has known his new fiance for less than two months.  That one stung for a second, until I realized how completey insane it is for a 25 year old to be proposing to someone he’s known for less than two months.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for ten years. Yes, you read that right – ten years. Since I was fifteen. Do I have a ring on my finger? No. Am I upset about this? Not anymore. I definitely used to be – it caused a pretty nasty and devastating breakup a few months ago, at our ten month anniversary, when I did not receive the ring I had been expecting (and had already picked out and given him the details of).

That breakup and all the “state of our relationship” talks that came after it was a big eye opener. It made me realize that I wanted to be engaged because so many other people were already there, and I felt like I deserved it more. I mean, ten years, people. Never mind that year nine of our relationship hadn’t been stellar – a ring would fix that. Never mind that my boyfriend wasn’t ready to be engaged – he’d warm up to the idea once he saw how nice that ring looked on my finger. I shouldn’t have even been surprised when our ten year anniversary came and went without a ring – without even a celebration. I was trying to make our relationship into something it just was not, and would never be. Did this mean we shouldn’t be together? Was our relationship doomed to always fail? I thought so, at first.

Then I thought about why I felt we should be getting engaged in the first place – because it was what people were expecting. It was what I was expecting. Did I really care if we got engaged? Not really. I don’t even love the idea of having a wedding. We both still want to be together, and both still want to get married, so does it really matter when we get engaged? I know it will happen when the time is right for both of us, and I know it will be a complete surprise, and what girl doesn’t want her proposal to be a complete surprise? In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the relationship we have right now.   Because really, when you get engaged, wouldn’t you rather people were saying “Finally!” than “Already?!”

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