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Elie Saab Couture. Image is not my own, edited from my Pinterest
If you haven't been living under a social media rock over the holidays, you may have noted that some people got engaged, and by some I mean practically everyone. You know that girl who was two years below you at school, who you didn't know had a boyfriend? Yeah she's getting married next year. Oh as well as that couple who have only been going out what seems like a week (okay, so it's almost five months according to them). As I was saying... pretty much everyone is 'getting married'.
I use ' ' because maybe I'm judging too quickly however, at an age where there is no sign of them getting a mortgage any time soon (as they still live in their bedrooms which are painted pink with a row of cuddly toys on the bed), or a decent wage that isn't reliant on tips or trying to get hours on a zero hour contract or any other signs of reaching adulthood where you are no longer dependent on your parents putting food in the cupboards – are you really ready to get married. I mean really?

Now don’t get me wrong I believe that marriage is something special to be treasured, vows are to be taken as sacred and the word husband or wife is a title that shows the ability to depend on each other and grow together as two single cogs working to make one unit work and run smoothly. But I don’t think that just because it’s Christmas or New Year you should be wearing an engagement ring that you were given because it was a decent price, rather than reaching a certain milestone in your relationship where you truly believe that you can standby and support this person through thick and thin. Whilst some may think the symbol of an engagement ring as an outdated token or a patriarchal way of buying a woman’s love; I stand by the fact that if your fiancé picked that ring because it was ‘pretty’ and not because it had some reflection of you - your hand shape and colour, what suits your personal style and how you choose to dress, a timeless piece of classic jewelry then they are not going to be considerate enough to survive the test of time.

I can fully appreciate that whilst men maybe clueless in lots of departments that women may take pride and care in, if they are serious about marrying you and that you are the one for them, they should learn as much about what is important to you as possible - and that includes everything that comes with choosing the perfect ring for your finger. My boyfriend and I went to a diamond factory whilst in Amsterdam; in the city of diamonds it felt rude not to immerse ourselves in a historical piece of culture, however Connor really managed to impress me by showing me that not only did he know so much about the all important Four C’s (Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut (which trust me make huge difference with so many versions and variations of diamonds they can produce)) but how he wanted to learn what would compose my perfect ring, down to the band and diamond setting, embellishments and design aesthetic, and how he could make sure my ring would be absolutely perfectly tailored to me.

He gave the skilled expert, who was showing us all the colours and carats that I thought I would want, a budget of £20,000 which in Connors mind (“sounds about right at our age”) and he willingly sat there asking questions about how the ring could be altered to specifications I had. We spent three hours gathering knowledge and facts about the diamonds and walked out with an idea of how my ring could be personally made for me. Connor also said that we would fly to whatever expert diamond factory I wanted and spend the day making my ring. Can I just clarify? We aren’t getting married. We are not even engaged. This is just his way of showing he cares about what’s important to me and that he is willing to go the extra mile to make sure my one and only engagement ring is unique to me. I knew Connor was caring and considerate already, it’s part of who he is, but this really widened my smile. It’s these qualities that make a difference.

Everyone’s relationships are different, no two couples are identical no matter how similar they seem. Yet I can’t help but wonder what the rush to get married so early approaching the age of 20 or having just passed it when making such a life long commitment and when in all honesty you can’t afford it. Personally, I would rather wait until I am at a settled place in the major aspects of my life, with a career on track, my name on the property ladder and a significant amount of savings that will allow me to have that special day I have pinned about. Why would you get married and then go through the stressful transitions that happen with promotions and job losses, moving houses and shifting friendship groups that are all part of the process of passing through your twenties, where the pressures and adjustments will in this day and age end in a breakup. Just an observation…

At some point in our lives we’ve all been with someone who we saw through rose tinted lenses, and it wasn’t until later down the line, maybe even a few years that we realized oh how wrong we were. So why rush? Why wait to find out you hate them when they don’t get their way and strop or that they have no idea how to cook or support themselves and need you to everything for them when you’re married and are paying off the debt of those extra table guests. Why settle for a day that doesn’t meet your expectations because it’s all you could afford? Why not wait until you’re at an age where that Vera Wang or Elie Saab can be yours, where you can have the DIY wedding of your dreams or get married on the mountain of somewhere exotic and dreamlike. Why would you settle on the first person that proposes and have a wedding that is just above par? Call me mad, but I only plan on marrying once. I don’t really want to get divorced, and if the worst should happen I don’t want the idea that I married when I was at the age of a university grad student or younger to be the reason that I later matured and fell out of love with the person I was supposed to devote a lifetime of loyalty too.

Slow down kids! You have a lifetime of bad ideas and mistakes to make, don’t have divorced before the age of 25 one of them. Just wait it out. Life throws us in so many directions, you could end up the other the end of the world without planning, you could be given a brand new job, so much which cannot be accounted for that I cannot justify getting engaged and committing my life to a new relationship when I have so much I need to do and get sorted before I think about the word husband. As yourself, do you see yourself in 30 years with this person? Honestly… Do you think you could handle them losing their job and having to support them and a house whilst they try and find another job? Could you live in a different country with them and learn a new language if you had to? These are basic questions that shouldn’t even need answering if you’re meant to be. Whilst you may be in the honeymoon period of your new love, that doesn’t mean you should be going on one.  

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