Being engaged IS a romantic time of life -- choosing a ring, planning your dream wedding, imagining the future stretching out before you.
But it's a stressful time for your relationship with your fiance as well.
Many engaged couples report more fighting and less sex, more uncertainty and less fun.
Strange, but true.
This happens because your relationship has taken on a new seriousness and permanence, and that's just plain scary.
What's more, your relationship, once intensely private, has now become public property.
Everyone feels compelled to comment on whether or not you're a good match.
Your nosy (and tactless) Aunt Linda may shamelessly inquire, "Will he be able to provide for you in the manner to which you are accustomed, dear?"
(THAT sure didn't happen when you were dating.)
On top of that, all eyes are on you to plan the perfect wedding.
As you and your fiance have clashing visions of what "perfect" is, you're discovering personality differences and relationship challenges that never came up when you were just dating.
You may also be buying cars and homes together, and as you sign both of your names on the dotted line, you're learning about each other on a whole new level, finding out about new strengths and weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and quirks, angels and devils within each other.
"What I want is for someone else to plan our wedding for us," bride-to-be Erica commented to me. "And then we'll do it again in 5 years, when we're settled into marriage and know each other even better."
Engagement is a time of turbulence for many engaged couples, and it doesn't make for 100% romance, 100% of the time. And that's OK. Not easy, not what you expected. But OK.
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