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Tough Question No. 3: When Are You Getting Engaged?

If you're dating and you have a job, don't think that you're exempt from the line of questioning at Thanksgiving — getting engaged is of course the next one! Some women enjoy just dating their significant other, but if you're actually waiting for a ring yourself, this question could hit a nerve. To see my suggestions on how to answer tough question number three, just


  • If you're simply not ready to take that next step in your relationship, tell whoever is asking that you're just enjoying being together for now. Reiterate that you're not in a rush to get hitched and hopefully they'll back off.
  • Blame your youth. Tell them you feel too young and don't feel the need to be married just yet.
  • If you are ready for an engagement yourself, take a cheeky approach and say something like, "I've been asking myself the same question" or "I'm not sure, but if you find out when, let me know!" If you take the pressure off with humor, it'll make talking about it a lot easier.

If you're in a similar boat this year, tell us, how do you plan on answering this tough question?


Join The Conversation
I love the "gay marriage" response. Why should I feel pressured to sign a piece of legal paperwork, when my entire Republican family doesn't believe that everyone that wants to be married should have the right? Plus, if and when I do decide to get married, they'll all insist I get married in a church by the family pastor, which happy to burst your bubble, will never happen!
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
"When are you going to start minding your own business?" Gawd I can't wait to be a smartass this holiday.
AlexE70 AlexE70 8 years
This is a touchy subject. I think if you both feel you're ready and are both committed to thew relationship, talking about when to get married, or engaged is a healthy thing. Just don't promise you'll be ready by a certain month and suddenly change your mind. ;-)
klreynol klreynol 8 years
I get this question a lot more from my friends than my family - even from my ex!! I saw him a few weeks ago and the first thing he said to me was "so, I see you still don't have a ring!" Um, excuse me?? The other day a friend asked "so has (boyfriend) said anything about getting married?" ... Yeah, we've talked about it but we can barely afford the necessities right now let alone a wedding!
nopenope nopenope 8 years
My family in Illinois had a get-together dinner for the Jewish High Holidays in October and apparently my Grandma decided that my boyfriend and I were engaged and kepy refering to him as my fiancé... haha, oh boy. Good thing I live in California and wasn't there, haha. If anything my Grandma and my uncle would be all about asking engagement questions. We usually go to the boy's family Thanksgiving most years and it just doesn't come up like that.
Drewsfan Drewsfan 8 years
My new answer to this question is that we're protesting gay marriage being outlawed and will get married when everyone has equal rights. It buys me some time to put off getting married and makes a lot of people really uncomfortable, enough to get them to never ask ME that question again!
omilawd omilawd 8 years
I get asked this all the time. It makes for a really awkward conversation.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
We've been together nearly a year and I think we'll duck out of this question. It's obvious that he's going to propose at some point but I'm not done with grad school yet so we'll be fine. :)
sarasonne sarasonne 8 years
It's super annoying to hear this question at EVERY family gathering. Wish I had a witty (yet respectable) little retort to shut people up! I do like the suggestion of "When I'm good and ready" and " I prefer to live in sin". Thanks!
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
ugh. I was horrified to get this from a friend about six months ago.. my relationship had been faltering for quite some time and I said 'I have some news' with 'that' face - her reaction was to ask if we were engaged! I was like, "um, no. We broke up. Couldn't you see it coming? There were so many signs! that we discussed in detail every time that you and I met up even!" I tend to think you're either insensitve or a fool if you ask this one. It's like asking if someone is pregnant - if they are, chances are they'll let you know when they're good and ready. And if they're not? well, way to make things awkward! I like socktree's answer - 5 years after the last person asks, LOL. too funny! :D
mblab mblab 8 years
I'm in this boat also. I don't *think* I'll be asked this over Thanksgiving by any of his family (that's who we're spending it with) but I get asked it ALL THE TIME from friends. Just today I heard from a friend I hadn't spoken to in a few months and the first thing she asked was if I was engaged yet. (And then proceeded to demand she be told immediately after it actually happens.) I fall in to the awkward position of being ready but waiting for the boyfriend to take that next step. So when I'm asked it doesn't really bother me. (Now if he hasn't proposed within the next few years then I'll be upset. :-p) I tend to answer with "ask [my boyfriend]" or "whenever [my boyfriend] decides to propose". It's truthful and slightly humorous and puts no pressure on anyone to feel uncomfortable. I just chalk it up to being a part of being a member of a close social network. There's always some kind of nagging question to be asked. :D And in the end the person that's asking isn't trying to be rude, they do have your best in mind.
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
i HATE this question - we don't get it from family, but moreso from my single girlfriends- we have only been together for 3 years and just because we are serious and living together they always ask this- it's very annoying
bluebird bluebird 8 years
I always used to answer, "I'll tell you when he lets me know." I think I may use that again for when people start asking when we're having a baby.
dkaufmann125 dkaufmann125 8 years
"when gay marriage is leagal in the US' "i perfer to live in delicious sin" "why buy the cow when I can get the milk for free?" ah family.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Ug. I was engaged for, like the past 3 years, and now we're not anything anymore. Broken up. Now THAT question's gonna be REALLY fun to answer! ;)
looseseal looseseal 8 years
If you get married and have a kid, the next question is "When are you going to have another one?" Then the cycle continues as people wonder when your kids are going to date and get jobs and get married and have kids.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
"DO you have a girlfriend do you have a girlfriend? Who's that girl, she's your girlfriend, blah blah" Gawd... -_- LoL, family gossip is just fun isn't it...
shellbelle1 shellbelle1 8 years
SO sick of this question!
said8me said8me 8 years
i hope the question does come up, because my boyfriend will be eating with us... so ill just pass it on to him to answer. ;)
krae85 krae85 8 years
I was never asked this question, and I've never heard of anyone being asked when they will get engaged.... pretty silly. Now, I've heard lots of "have you set a date yet?" for people who are already engaged, but not the other.
socktree socktree 8 years
Same thing as when they ask when I want to settle, er, settle down and have kids: five years after the last person asks.
thewavingcat thewavingcat 8 years
i hate this question
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 8 years
I avoid when am I having children with "I don't have insurance until February" so. Who wants to force a poor insuranceless couple to breed? Nobunny.
luckyme luckyme 8 years
And, if you're already married, have a job and a baby, the next question is, "so, when are you going to have the next one?" My Grandma asked me that question 3 months after I had my daughter. I couldn't believe it!
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
"we don't have anything to announce right now".
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