One of the hardest things about the holidays when you are in a serious relationship but not engaged yet is nosy relatives asking, "So, when are you getting married?" or "When are you getting engaged?" People often ask us how to respond to this, but let's just consider that maybe we can be part of the solution and stop asking that question. Because if this many people are sick of hearing the question, that means that a lot of people still think it's OK to ask it. And...it's not! It's too personal and really no one's business. And if the couple isn't on the same page about when to get engaged/married -- a disagreement that is super common -- it's a really awkward and painful question.
So. Before you are forced into awkward conversations with relatives you haven't seen in a while this holiday season, you may want to send them this list of great conversation starters (and follow-up questions!) that aren't "So...when are you getting married?"
1. So, have you taken any vacations this year? (Followed by: Do you have any planned? What's the best vacation you've ever taken? What is your dream vacation?)
2. Do you two follow any sports teams together? (Oh, your teams are rivals? That must make for some crazy game days! I bet you guys have some stories... Oh, one of you doesn't care about sports? I'm the same way! Do you have any good advice on how to handle game days?)
3. So the other night, I cooked a new recipe and it was a total disaster...are you a good cook? (Who does the cooking for you two? Tried any good restaurants lately? Are you adventurous eaters?)
5. Do you guys follow any TV shows together? (We're loving Scandal lately! Isn't Kerry Washington the best? Are there any shows you just can't watch together?)
6. What are your favorite things to do in the winter? (Oh, you're a summer person? What is your favorite thing about summer?)
One more thing to keep in mind: if the person you're talking to wants you to know when he or she plans to get engaged, he or she will volunteer the info. "Oh, we haven't taken any vacations this year because I'm saving up for a ring." "Work is great! I love the company and we are thinking about buying a house in the area in the next couple years because we plan to be there for a while."
And if they don't mention it, sorry -- you just don't get to know the private story of every couple out there! You're going to have to wait to find out via Facebook just like the rest of us.