Our Relationship Got So Much Better After We Got Engaged

My fiance proposed to me on our fourth anniversary. We’ve always been very open and comfortable with each other, so I didn’t think much would change once our status moved from dating to engaged. I was wrong. I used to think an engagement ring was just that — a ring. Now that I have one on my finger, I’ve come to realize that this little piece of bling has made quite an impact.

Conversations are way more serious.

I’ve known for quite a while that my fiance was “The One,” but I have to admit I never put much thought into the actual process of getting married. I’ve had to determine whether I want to change my last name, whether he and I should combine our finances right away, and a million other little details that feel pretty heavy. Our conversations have veered from which concerts we’re going to catch this summer to which county we want to purchase a house in.

We spend a lot more time with family.

My fiance and I decided early on that we wanted our families involved in the planning process. They’ve always been so supportive of our relationship and we knew it would mean a lot to them to have a say on our big day. Since the planning has begun, we’ve been hanging out with our families almost every day and I have to admit that I’m loving it. Getting married has reminded both of us just how much our families mean to us.

The dreaded baby question pops up regularly.

Now that my guy and I are getting ready to tie the knot, we’re constantly getting bombarded with questions. I have to admit I’m a little surprised by how invasive some of the questions are, especially the ones involving family planning. I’ve never been crazy about the thought of having kids and I’ve always been pretty open about it. Despite this, plenty of people have made the assumption that I’ll be changing my mind now that I’m on my way down the aisle.

I’ve let go of my insecurities.

I’ve always had a pretty tight relationship with self-doubt. I’m always questioning myself in social situations, I’ve always been self-conscious about my body, and I’ve questioned whether I’m the type of woman that someone would want to spend the rest of his life with. From day one, my fiance has made me feel more secure with myself, but my perspective shifted even more when he asked me to marry him. The fact that one person would want to spend his whole life with me despite my faults made the last of my insecurities melt away.

Our goals have changed.

When my fiance and I first met, we had very different goals than we do now. We were both searching for satisfaction within our careers and getting acquainted with life outside of the college bubble. Now that we’re both settled into our jobs and planning our marriage, our sights are set on the bigger picture. Suddenly, we’re not wondering where we’ll be a year from now but what our plans are 10 years down the line.

There’s not as much time for fun.

When we toured our wedding venue, we looked at each other and immediately knew this was the place we wanted to get married. The woman giving the tour told us we were in luck, a date had opened up only six months from the point that we had our tour. Six months felt like a long time then, and we were so excited we put down the deposit. Now that I’m only a month away from my wedding, I can tell you six months is definitely not enough time to plan a wedding! My fiance and I have barely had time to breathe the past few weeks, and our typical happy hour routine has fallen by the wayside.

Jealousy is a thing of the past.

I’ve never been a particularly jealous person, but I’m human. Any time an ex was mentioned in the past, I’d get this odd twinge in my stomach. Now that my fiance and I are planning this lifetime commitment, I feel silly for ever having had any doubts. My guy and I have only ever had eyes for each other and I feel bad for ever thinking otherwise.

Our patience with one another is regularly tested.

My fiance and I are both pretty laid back, so getting thrown into the insane process that is wedding planning has tested our relationship in interesting ways. When things go wrong with the caterer or meetings about floral arrangements never seem to end, we get a little cranky. He and I have both lost our cool on more than one occasion, but it’s actually taught us to fight more constructively, and it never takes us very long to come back down to earth and see the bigger picture.

I’ve never been more sure.

Despite the ups and downs of wedding planning, I wouldn’t want to go through this crazy time with anyone else. I know dealing with the minute, sometimes excruciating details, can seem pointless at times, but we’re getting through it all together and I know it’s all going to be worth it when the big day comes. My fiance has always been my best friend and biggest supporter, and getting engaged has made me more sure than ever that I’ve picked the perfect guy to spend the rest of my life with.

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