10 Awful Things Never to Say to Your Not-Yet-Engaged Friend
Know one of these couples? Their relationship seems rock solid, they’ve lived together forever (and might even jointly own the place), but they’re still not engaged. You might think it’s NBD to ask your friend about their plans, but we’ve got three words for you: Don’t go there. The topic of marriage can be a conversational minefield, so before you go detonating a trigger, check out our cheat sheet on what not to say.
So—when are you getting married?Way to put someone on the spot! What if they haven’t had that conversation yet, or if one of them is having doubts? Their timeline is nobody’s business but their own. If you’re a close friend, we get that you’re just excited for her, but try to hold your tongue—when it happens, we guarantee you’ll be first in line to know.
You’re headed to Maui next week? I bet you’ll come back with some bling!With a romantic vacation looming, they’re probably getting plenty of engagement pressure from their anxious families. You don’t need to add to that chorus. Instead, keep your interrogation light and fun and ask about the beaches or how many Mai Tais they’re planning to drink.
Can you believe [insert mutual friend’s name] got engaged before you?!No, she probably can’t! Especially if your friend has been waiting for a ring herself. But she doesn’t need you to rub it in her face. Plus, just because your pal isn’t planning a wedding of her own yet, doesn’t mean she can’t still be a happy, supportive friend to someone who is. And you’re kind of implying that she can’t here.
It must be hard, but your time will come.Hello?! Maybe it’s not hard! Maybe she’s completely content with the way things are. Condescending or pitying comments like this one have no place between friends. So unless she’s specifically stated otherwise or asks for your feedback, why not assume the best—that she’s happy with her relationship.
Have you considered an ultimatum? A little pressure never hurt anyone.Red alert! You’re entering some dangerous territory here trying to fix someone else’s situation for them and getting too involved in their personal affairs. Your best bet: avoid offering advice unless she specifically asks for it, and even then, tread lightly.
Life will be so great once you’re really committed.This is probably one of the most hurtful things you can say to someone in a serious, long-term relationship. Hinting that they’re less devoted to each other or not as fulfilled as people who are married is pretty insulting. Either zip your lips or focus on how great her life is already.
Don’t you want a family? What if you can’t get pregnant when the time comes?The subject of fertility is a fragile one. If she’s like many women between the ages of 25 and 45, she’s already spent a considerable amount of time thinking about her biological clock and doesn’t need you ticking away in her ear too. Oh, and newsflash: last we checked, you don’t need to be married to have a baby.
Do you think if you two hadn’t moved in together so quickly you’d be engaged by now?You know that old-school line that gossipy great-aunts love to drop: “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” Well, this is the modern day variation of that. Recognize that your friend is an adult and stop second-guessing her decisions.
Now that you’ve finished grad school/gotten your dream job/turned 30, the ring must be next, right?It’s true that some couples wait for certain milestones before moving forward with marriage, but others might be holding off for reasons they’re keeping private. Wish them well and let them savor the moment without pressuring them about the next step.
But think of the tax breaks!Yes, people actually say this. Please don’t be one of them. Even though it’s (hopefully!) supposed to be a joke it’s a pretty bad one, because a sweeter IRS refund is probably the worst motivation we can think of for popping the question.
– Lexi Dwyer