5 Clever Ways to Dodge the Engagement Question

wedding rings
Photo: Antonis Achilleos

‘Tis the season for invasive questioning! There you are minding your own business, polishing off your second piece of rum cake when all of a sudden someone shoots you a “Where’s my save-the-date?” zinger that knocks the unwed socks off of you and your boyfriend. Just because he hasn’t put a ring on it doesn’t mean you have to hold a press conference detailing the ins and outs of your relationship. So before you head to another seasonal soiree, pop a few of these clever comebacks in your back pocket.

Your Mother

She asks: “When do we get to start dress shopping!?”
You reply: “I know you’re excited to plan a wedding with me, and I promise when the time is right you will be the first to know!”
Why it works: Being direct and honest with your parents is the only way to give yourself a little space from the situation. They may not realize that their enthusiastic questioning is putting anxiety-inducing pressure on you—and they’re probably not going to stop until you break it to them gently.

Your Siblings

They ask: “When do you think he’s going to propose?”
You reply: “Probably the moment you stop asking. Can you pass the potatoes, please?”
Why it works: Firmly changing the subject is a clear-cut way of telling your brothers and sisters to keep their traps shut. It’s your future and you get to plan it on your own timeline, so let your sibs know they need to take a step back and let you enjoy the ride.

Your Friends

They ask: “Where’s the ring?!”
You reply:  “What? And stop getting free drinks out on the town with you ladies?!”
Why it works: Deflecting with humor or a witty comeback is a lighthearted way to let your social circle know that receiving the ring, or getting married at all for that matter, might not be on the top of your current to-do list.

New Coworkers

They ask: “So, are you two married?”
You reply: “Nope, not yet. How about you?”
Why it works: Want to get a one-way ticket out of any explanation? Just turn the question back around on the other person. Besides, your personal life is just that—personal. You should never feel like you have an obligation to discuss it in detail in any professional setting.

Other Married Couples

They ask: “Being married is the best—why are you waiting?!”
You reply: “We’re just taking our time to save up for the kind of wedding we really want to have.”
Why it works: It lets others know marriage is in your plans somewhere down the road—just not right this second. That should satiate their curiosity and (hopefully!) buy you a few more months of sanity.

–Kristin Guy

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