Quickly engaged and married: is that a smart idea? Most people usually ask. Today the news became known that Jennifer Lawrence got engaged to her friend Cooke Maroney. And that after about 8 months of dating.
Such a quick engagement is not unique in Hollywood, but what about ordinary mortals? Is getting married again hip? And is it a good idea to get married quickly?
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney. Apart from the fact that they are all known, these stars have something else in common: after only a few months of dating, they have already become engaged. And the first two cases have also been happily married in the meantime.
In itself such a quick bowling in Hollywood happens often, but it does raise questions. Like: is getting married again hip? Olga Lincautan, wedding planner and co-author of the inspiration book ‘Yes, I want’, does think so. “I have noticed a clear trend in the last two years”, she explains. “A few years ago, people found marriage redundant or did not want to organize a marriage until they had been in a relationship or had children for a long time. Now more young couples want to get quickly engaged. For example, my majority of customers are between 23 and 29 years old.”
Disney and romantic rituals
According to clinical sexologist and psychologist Chloe De Bie, marriage has never really been out. “It has been under pressure for a while. A few years ago, it became clear that many marriages did not last. Why would you marry if you are never 100% sure?” She explains. According to De Bie, this line of thinking is still alive, but in 2019 other factors also play a major role. “Nowadays we attach great importance to individuality and make your own choices. This also applies to relationships. While you were married in the old days because it was so, we now want to consciously choose a partner.”
That goes hand in hand with the Disney ideal, according to the sexologist. “We are still growing up with the fairy-tale idea that one partner is meant for you. The wedding ceremony is a romantic ritual to make that love official. It is a way to show the whole world that you and your partner belong together.” Lincautan agrees. “Most couples especially find symbolism important. They want to reflect on what they mean to each other and they want to celebrate that with all their friends and family.”
A slightly less romantic factor is that divorce is no longer a big deal. De Bie: “In the past it was a disgrace, now nobody looks at it anymore. You can start a wedding as quickly as possible and break it up again.” That makes the threshold to get quickly engaged somewhat smaller. According to the psychologist, this is reinforced by the fact that millennials grew up with the YOLO phenomenon. “You only live once. So, accept the challenge, enjoy it and see where it ends. We apply that idea in many areas, including our romantic life.”
How fast is too fast?
These factors therefore ensure that more and more lovebirds opt for a happily ever after as married couple. When that happens when they have been together for several years, there is no dirt in the air. All guests drink enthusiastic bubbles on the wedding day and throw their dancing legs with the happy couple. But if it’s quickly engaged after barely 8 months – as with Jennifer and Cooke – there will soon be whispered behind it. “Is not that too fast?”
In itself it is bizarre to think about this, because of course the perfect moment to marry does not exist. “A British survey has shown that couples have an average relationship of 4.9 years when they marry. But that is only an average,” says De Bie.
“There is no ideal term. Some couples have been together for a year, but only see each other once a week because of their difficult agendas. With others the romance has been going on for half a year, but they do speak every day. Then you have much more time to get to know each other well. And that is ultimately much more important: that you know each other through and are 100% behind the choice to take the next step.”
The sexologist admits that it is a risk to promise eternal love after several months. After all, you are still in the amorous phase where the hormones rush through your body. “After the honeymoon, your love hormones will be at a lower level. The result: you also discover the less pleasant traits of your partner. So, think carefully before you make such a commitment.”
Relationship therapist Margo Van Landeghem shares that opinion. “There is no fixed standard. But I would still recommend taking the time. Do not immediately enter a chapel in Las Vegas to marry”, the expert responds. She also recommends waiting until after the first stage of infatuation. “Only then do you really feel whether your partner can offer what you need. The real relationship begins on the cracks of falling in love. And why not first live together? That is a good test to check whether the real life with you, on good and difficult days, actually works.”