There is something that I have been having trouble understanding about the whole wedding process since I have been engaged.
In the circles in which I travel, I come across three different types of daters – those who strictly get set up, those who strictly try to find someone on their own, and those who do both. (I don’t really know any arranged marriage people.)
The funny thing is that nobody cares how another person goes about dating. No “find-her-on-my-own” guy will tell me that a shidduch dater is insane for choosing that direction, and no shidduch dater will tell me that the searcher is obviously wrong. Fine.
Then why is it the exact opposite when it comes to length? In this case, there are two sets of two categories. Length of dating (short and long) and length of engagement (short and long).
If a couple decides to date for a three-week period and get married a month and a half later, the response from the longer daters and engagement period people is “how could they do that?!” “How do they even know each other!?”
Meanwhile, if a couple has a year-long dating period and then an 8 month engagement period, you are left with the faster daters complaining “what’s taking so long?” This eventually leads to “it’s about time!”
Why is that? Why is it that for all other parts of dating (what to wear, where to go, etc.) people don’t have tremendous opinion, but when it comes to length, all-of-a-sudden, everyone is an expert?
Additionally, why do people feel the need to remind those involved of how difficult it is?
“Oh, you have a long engagement? That’s too bad. I had a three month engagement and it was two and a half months too long.”
“Oh, you have a short engagement? That’s rough. You’re probably going crazy trying to put everything together in time.”
The engaged couple knows. They are experiencing it. The people involved don’t need you to remind them how stressful being engaged is. Just like the people who are dating don’t need you to remind them how stressful dating can be. You wouldn’t walk over to a guy who has been dating for several years and is really having a tough time finding a spouse, and then tell him how short your experience was, and how you dated one girl for three months and it was two and a half months too long. Why do that now?
I have been lucky enough to have a relatively stress-free engagement period. Sure there are moments, but it wouldn't be nearly as bad if people wouldn't constantly be telling me how difficult it's supposed to be.