What Does Being Engaged Mean? 12 Ways Your Relationship Changes After The Proposal


You liked it, so you did put a ring on it. First of all, congratulations! Now let’s get to the question that has brought you here: what does being engaged mean for the two people involved in a relationship? It means that you have “made it official” and decided to a commitment for a lifetime Or that’s at least how most people will define engagement for you. However, the answer to what does being engaged to someone mean can entail so much more, both with respect to the dynamics of your relationship and how you’re perceived as a couple by society. 

Once you decide to get engaged to your loved one, everything around you changes so quickly that you don’t even get any time to contemplate the things you’re going through. If you have just decided to get engaged and can relate to the feeling of things changing around you too quickly, then the list here might help you comprehend what’s to come. 

But before that, what’s the history of the custom of engagements? And how do you define engagement? Let’s find out everything there is to know about being engaged to the love of your life.

History Of The Custom Of Engagements

History often has the answers to so many of our life’s questions. So, let’s start there. What does being engaged mean historically? The custom of engagement can be traced back to ancient times in western countries, however, the intricacies of this custom were much different from what they are today. 

Historically, the groom-to-be expressed his intention to marry to his would-be bride’s father. Together the groom and the bride’s parents would come up with the terms of the marriage. Following this, the groom would give a dowry as a form of down payment to confirm the marriage contract. That was engagement.

Related Reading: 30 Unique Engagement Gifts For Couples

Over time, the tides turned, and the opposite became the norm. The bride’s parents gave dowry to the groom in order to confirm the marriage contract. Cut to modern times, dowry has become increasingly frowned upon, and the practice has been abolished in the western world, thanks to pertinent laws. 

Today, engagement is a ritual centric to the two people in the relationship. A couple can seek the blessings of their family members and choose to get engaged in front of their friends. Or they can do it privately. The ceremony can be marked by exchanging rings or the guy going down on one knee, asking his partner to marry him, and putting a ring on their finger. The one being proposed to (typically the woman), accepts with a “Yes, I will marry you”. That’s it; the couple is now engaged.

What Does Being Engaged Mean?

Now, what does being engaged mean legally, for your relationship, and from a social standpoint? Well, while being engaged does not have any legal ramifications, it does mean that you are now in a formal agreement to get married. Personally, it means that your significant other really loves you and wants to take the next step in your relationship. And socially, it means that you’re now seen as a unit and your relationship may get greater legitimacy. 

But, that’s not the explanation of “what does being engaged mean” you came for, is it? If you have recently put a ring on it or are planning to, it is only natural that you have questions about what it means for your future as a couple. After all, it is a considerable milestone for your relationship. To find someone who loves you or you love enough to want to spend the rest of your life together is something special. 

And more than anything, being engaged means you are now entering a new honeymoon phase in your relationship. Things will change for sure, but if you are sure about your choice, you will have the best time in this new phase. The prospect of planning your wedding and married life together will fill you with a giddying sense of hope.

This phase also means you have now crossed the hurdles of choosing the perfect engagement ring or planning the best engagement party, and when the congratulations and euphoria begin to fade away, it’s all about a mutual promise of loving each other, in sickness and health, and fulfilling it together.

If this short and sweet description of what does being engaged mean hasn’t quite quelled your curiosity, let’s dive into the juicy bit about the 12 ways your relationship changes after the proposal.

Related Reading: 10 Ways To Build Your Relation After Getting Engaged And Before Marriage

12 Ways Your Relationship Changes After Getting Engaged

If you’re wondering, “What does it mean when someone says that’s the perks of being engaged?”, you’ll finally find the answer here. Wearing the engagement ring post the marriage proposal is certainly a big step forward in your relationship. You are no longer just dating; you are now an engaged couple. 

And when you move forward in life, it leads to some inevitable changes in your relationship. So, amidst all the hubbubs of this new beginning, let’s decode together what does being engaged to someone mean and how it changes your relationship.

Just remember, change is nothing to be scared of; you are with the person you love, and you have crossed many hurdles to be where you are right now. Up next, there are many factors and commitments to take care of, so let us take you through a journey of what’s to come in this new life as an engaged couple.

Related Reading: 10 Signs You Need To Break Off Your Engagement

1. Moving in is definitely on the cards now

After you’ve got the engagement ring on, moving in and sexual intercourse are definitely on the cards now if you haven’t already crossed those bridges. And that is a big step forward. You will be seeing each other all the time, and you won’t have to miss each other anymore. Remember all the nights you craved physical intimacy with your partner but couldn’t? You don’t have to long for them anymore.

However, as exciting as it is, you have to handle it carefully. As a newly engaged couple, it’s important that both you and your partner are mindful of each other’s needs, wants, and expectations. There are various ways you can do that, but the overarching point is that you have to be open, receptive, and observant during this period to live up to the commitments made at the time of your engagement.

2. You will need to be more considerate

Moving in with your partner is exciting, but you have to remember to give them their space. Just because you are living together doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t need privacy anymore. Personal space in the relationship will help create a safe environment for your partner, and they won’t feel overwhelmed by the changes. Once you are respectful of their space, you have to change some more habits too.

From not leaving the wet towel on the bed to picking up after yourself, these are small things, but they play a big role. Over the course of your cohabitation, you will find the things that tick your partner off. 

So naturally, it’s best to keep away from those things or have a hearty discussion with your partner regarding them. Adjustments and sacrifices generally don’t go in vain, and these small adjustments, or at least conversations about them, will help you make your moving-in experience the best it can be.

Related Reading: Are You Moving In Together? Checklist From An Expert

3. Solo plans will become couple plans

Sure, you can have your personal night outs and space, but mostly, you will probably want to be with each other and do things together. This means you’ll have to factor your partner into your plans and vice versa. This might be a considerable change at first but you will grow to love it.

Slowly, with an effort from both parties, your schedules will become interlinked, and you will spend more time together than apart during your days. From grocery shopping to hitting the gym, spending time will only help you grow closer and grow together both metaphorically and literally (because gym).

While all of the quality time and bonding opportunities are great, you also need to be understanding of the fact that there may be times when your partner may not be able to include you in their plans or be a part of yours (and vice versa). You still have two individual lives to live, and sometimes it can be difficult to balance everything. So, the key here is to communicate with them and find a way to balance out shared and personal space in the relationship.

4. You will get comfortable relying on your partner

Life is unfair, and sometimes even when you give your all to someone, they may end up hurting you. The past experiences of being heartbroken or betrayed can make it harder for you to rely on others. Being engaged changes that. Even if you have struggled with trust issues and insecurities in the past, you will begin to get more comfortable with leaning on your partner. It’s definitely a blessing, and with the right partner, you will be able to rebuild your emotional strength and be able to enjoy healthy relationships again.

Even if you are not emotionally scarred, being engaged will make you feel more in sync with your partner, which in turn will make you depend on them more. It’s a collaborative effort where the more you give, the more you get. And on days when you are feeling low, be it physically or mentally, you will have someone to comfort you even when you can’t give them anything back.

Related Reading: 10 Important Components Of Trust In A Relationship

5. Serious discussions about family 

What does being engaged mean? It means you have taken the first step toward building a life together. And conversations about what that life would entail begin long before you say “I do” – or at least they should. One such important conversation is about what your family will look like. Trust me; many couples end up splitting because their ideas of a family are diametrically opposed to one another. That’s why you need to have that conversation.

While you don’t have to be on the same page from the very beginning, you at least have to start talking about if and when you’d want to have kids. This is a must for you to know where you both stand on the topic before you marry each other. In the worst-case scenario, if you can’t find a middle ground on this issue, this conversation will save you from going through an unhappy marriage. And generally, this conversation will help you picture your future together.

6. Discussions about joint financial planning

The thing is, people are different, and there is a good chance that your and your partner’s view on money will probably not be the same – not 100% anyway. Is that a bad thing? No, but that does mean that it’s important to talk about money before getting married.

This discussion becomes even more important after you’ve worn the engagement ring because you have some important decisions ahead of you. You have to decide how you want to finance the wedding, how you want to save for the future, and any other significant expenditures. Discussions about these aspects will help you plan your finances jointly so you can achieve your goals together. 

Related Reading: Financial Planning Tips: Best Investment Ideas for Married Couples

7. All aboard marriage planning

Yes, finally, a fun point, right? Well, wedding preparations become a lot more fun when you have a financial plan for how you are going to be paying for the wedding. As a couple, you might have already planned your dream wedding, or you might just be getting started with the conversation now. Always remember the principles of adjustment and compromise mentioned earlier during the wedding prep conversations as well.

You will have long discussions about the venue, the outfits, the guest list, catering, music, and all of that can be stressful or fun depending on your ‘couple personality’. But what’s crucial is to keep it light and deal with any and every conversation that arises. Don’t try to avoid uncomfortable topics because that leads to problems later.

And also, remember, the wedding, just like the marriage proposal, will be between two people, so make sure you are planning an event that both of you will be proud to share with the world.

Related Reading: Wedding Planning Tips And Ideas For The Perfect Wedding

8. Disagreements reduce

This is one of the best ways your relationship will evolve after the marriage proposal. Disagreements are likely to reduce because you and your partner will both feel more valued and loved in the relationship. Even if disagreements don’t go away magically, you will be able to look after each other and work out your problems with compassion and patience. 

This is because you are now both serious about the relationship and have mutually agreed to spend the rest of your life together. So, even though a gradual decrease in disagreements may happen naturally, you still have to make an effort to nurture your relationship.

9. Your goals become “our goals”

Continuing the theme of being more serious about your relationship, engagement will certainly transform you as a person. Now, it’s no longer just your life and your goals; you have a partner by your side through thick and thin. And you have to appropriately accommodate them in your life plans as well.

Discussing your life goals with someone and having their support to move forward is how your goals become “our goals”. Healthy relationships are built on mutual support and encouragement, and you should not take that for granted.

Cherish it and always remember to do the same for your partner. Being an engaged couple means helping and supporting each other in pursuit of shared and individual goals. 

Related Reading: Should Couples Have Goals? Yes, Couple Goals Could Really Help…

 10. Life gets on a fast track, whether you want or not

What does that mean? Well, getting engaged is the first step in a series of life events that you will now be expected to go through as soon as possible. After the engagement, you will be expected to get married, have babies, secure your retirement, raise your children… you get the drift.

Even if you are chill and unbothered by these things, there will be some peer and societal pressure to deal with. If you are a person who likes taking things slow, this might be stressful. Make it a point to communicate with your partner about how you are feeling. This will help you two remain on the same page.

And if you’re excited about taking the next steps, make sure you are understanding of your partner as well, who is with you on this ride. Don’t make decisions hastily, without discussing things with your partner.

11. Living up to your promises

What does being engaged mean really boils down to living up to your promises. During the engagement period, you may feel the pressure to be a good partner more than ever. You have to take into account all the tips we’ve shared with you to be the best fiancé you can be.

Living up to your commitments will help you grow to trust and love each other, and that will make your relationship stronger. That is definitely a win-win for both of you.

 12. You grow as individuals, together

And lastly, being engaged means you grow as a person. You become more caring, more considerate, more compassionate, and more observant of your partner. This helps you become a better, more mature person. So, what does it mean when someone says that’s the perks of being engaged? It’s this! You grow in the relationship as well as an individual.

You become a better person for your partner because you want to give them all the best things in life. You want to prove to them that they made the right choice by choosing to spend their life with you. And trust me; they want the same for you too.

Key Pointers

  • Being engaged means making it official that you want to spend the rest of your life with your partner.
  • You start cohabiting as a couple together (if you weren’t already), which marks the beginning of a new phase in your relationship after the engagement.
  • You feel open to start having important conversations regarding family planning, money, and wedding preparations.
  • You rekindle the spark in your relationship as both partners feel more secure and appreciated in the relationship.
  • You grow individually to become better versions of yourselves for each other.

With your question what does being engaged mean answered, now all that remains is to take the lessons from this p and apply them in your life. And of course, enjoy the new journey as much as possible. These are moments that you will look back on fondly as you age, so make the most of them.

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