If you recently got engaged, or if you’re expecting it to happen to you soon, you no doubt have a variety of emotions: excitement, nervousness, pride, love, and joy are all natural and expected reactions to a proposal, both now and in the weeks to follow.
Of course, each of these emotions has its shadow side; pride turns to arrogance, excitement turns to attention-grabbing, joy turns to obliviousness. There’s a reason that a recent photo of a young woman scowling as her three friends showed off their engagement rings went viral. If you don’t pay attention to your own behavior, it’ll be you looking smug and your friends scowling in the background.
The trouble is that your new engagement often feels like one of the most important and exciting things to ever happen to you. Because of that, it is natural to want to share your excitement with the people you love. After all, “engagement season” got its name because Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are all opportunities for couples to share their big news with friends and family.
However, once you become a fiancee, you have to practice mindfulness. You have to think beyond your own rush of joy and pride and consider the other people in your life. This is a skill you’ve no doubt been practicing already with your partner and soon-to-be spouse; you now have to learn how to extend it to everyone else in your social circle.
Here are two examples of how to incorporate mindfulness into your engagement:
Troy proposed to Mia shortly before Thanksgiving. She announced it on Facebook five minutes later, and then never stopped announcing. At every holiday event they attended, Mia made sure to turn every conversation to her new engagement; after all, it was the most important news she could think of.
What Mia didn’t take into account was that her own sister had just gotten promoted to Senior Account Manager, and her best friend had been hoping to share her own good news about a first pregnancy. Mia just assumed everyone she knew would want to talk about her engagement and wedding.
A mindful fiancee would let people know about her good news but then smoothly transition the subject into something more inclusive. If people had specific questions about the ring or the upcoming ceremony, after all, they could ask. A mindful fiancee would also avoid bombarding social networks with prideful announcements, and make sure to tell the most important family members in person before posting proposal photos or other status updates.
Katherine and Chris had everything planned out. Before Chris proposed, the two of them researched sapphire rings online to ensure that they had options beyond the traditional conflict diamonds. They knew they wanted a small wedding with a close friend as officiant, and had already made a deposit at a local park.
When they announced their plans to Katherine’s parents, Katherine’s mother started crying. Not from happiness, but because she had wanted to be involved in the wedding planning and felt like Katherine had “taken this” from her.
A mindful fiancee knows that a wedding involves many more people than just the primary couple. Parents, siblings, and friends all have their place in the wedding plans, and it is important to include everyone in the process. A mindful fiancee knows her engagement and wedding is not about her alone; it is about two families joining together, with friends there to support the journey.
When you become a fiancee, it is your job to be mindful and to consider the people around you as you prepare for your big day. This is good preparation not just for a wedding, but for the lifetime of mindfulness you need to have to maintain a successful marriage and a happy family.
Do you have other mindfulness tips for new fiancees? Let us know in the comments.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
Going back to school and also choosing to work for myself.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
My work ethic and the determination I’ve had throughout my professional career.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Achieving my education at an accelerated pace. Start a family!
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I can be a a little too worrisome sometimes and cause myself to become stressed out.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”