Simply put, wedding engagement is a promise to marry (or be married by) one you care about. This promise is often represented by a ring worn on the 3rd finger. It is an important stage of a relationship, and speaks a lot about how far the relationship has come.

Over the years, the ritual has evolved. In earlier years, it was simpler and less ceremonious, but these days, it’s mostly elaborate. Growing up, most of us didn’t know what an engagement party was. Engagements were quietly done, and the announcement made only to close friends and family later.

In recent years, the need to bring in the element of surprise has taken the ritual to another level. People now throw engagement parties, with friends and family present before they pop the question, and put the ring on it. It’s not a bad shift from norm, after all, change is a constant, but it’s important that we do not misunderstand the significance of engagement. Unfortunately, a lot of people are blinded/distracted by the ritual that they forget what the reality is.

While an engagement is a show of the willingness and desire to marry, it’s not a guarantee of the person’s readiness. So it’s important that we look a lot deeper than the obvious. Getting engaged should not stop you from continuing to study your partner to know if they’re truly the one. That is really the reason you have a space in between your engagement and wedding. Do not look away, and assume everything is settled, you may be in for a marital surprise.

It’s also very important to know that just because they popped the question doesn’t mean they’ll marry you eventually. As I already mentioned, while engagement may indicate willingness and desire, it doesn’t portray readiness. Readiness is everything in a relationship. Are they ready to move on for real? Are you really the one they want to do that with? We have seen countless cases of last-minute engagement call offs, and we’ve seen marriages crumble in just a matter of weeks. So it’s not about getting engaged really, but doing so with the right person.

It doesn’t matter how elaborate or ceremonious your engagement is, it should not change you. It should not make you change your thinking. Do not let your guard down. Don’t stop asking those questions, and don’t stop looking out for your best interest. Expect the worst could still happen, and that way, you’re not taken unawares if something does go awry. Of course, we all want the best for us all, but sometimes, to get the best, you have to understand that ‘worse’ exists.