Wedding Guides

Engagement: Expectation vs. Reality

Whether you are a lady, man, gay, lesbian or any on the gender spectrum and waiting for the big question in your relationship, you have lots of different engagement expectations. You have probably thought of or even acted on how would you react, what will other people say if they discovered you are already engaged, what are the words your partner will tell, and much more scenes floating in your head.

Wondering how things will turn out is not new to us. Some people do it all the time in different cases like reporting in school or work, presentations, debate, and whatnot. It helps others to calm down and be more ready when the day itself comes. But do you think this thought also goes for engagement?

Others even go as far as the engagement! They started thinking and planning for their guest list, wedding venues, vows, program, catering, and souvenir or giveaways. Funny but yes, this is what some of your friends are thinking about when they are bored or high with love. Maybe you also thought of this, too!

Be dreaming or practicing how things will be in your engagement, we listed some of the most common engagement expectations and cases that usually take place:

Getting a hint or being surprised

Since you have been wondering about engagement and other stuff related to the wedding, maybe you even thought of the whole wedding and even your honeymoon, you kind of feel that hearing the question will not surprise you at all. On the other hand, also if you are not thinking about engagement, you are still not surprised at all.

Getting hints about your partner finally asking you to marry him or her might be easy to others and hard for some. Like what my favorite radio DJs say when their listeners ask for tips for a proposal gimmick, they end with telling them never to forget the element of surprise. Let us face it – even if we want the proposal to be surprising to our partners, they already had clues on what you are going to do.

People’s actions, posture, facial reactions and thoughts change when they are preoccupied with other things in their heads. Do not deny it. Your partner might be too nervous not to hide it, or he or she is very excited and can’t contain it. So if you are the one to propose, you should practice concealing everything! It is nothing but typical to feel anxious, nervous and excited. However, if you are aiming for the element of surprise, you should act normal. Okay?

If you are the receiver of the proposal and seems to be getting some hints, keep your mouth shut. There are no better terms with keeping quiet in this situation. Your partner might be on adrenaline rush or too nervous in everything that the proposal is very obvious, do not add up to the pressure. You can talk about how things went after the big event, just don’t do it during the surprise.

Being a human fountain of tears

Aside from food from restaurants, catering, houses and wherever, a massive population of Filipinos love drama. We are into something that touches, pinches and soothes our hearts. This might be embedded in our culture already.

The usual expectation when someone just received the big question is that that person will cry out of happiness. Not all may cry, as we do not react the same way when we are in extreme emotions. Others just keep their mouths shut, while some keep on jumping up and down or kicking to whatever directions.

If one of your hobbies is watching engagement or proposal videos, you will often see that the ones who are being asked cry a lot. But if you have chanced upon some, there are others who do not cry. They are happy, surprised and probably having lots of thoughts inside their heads but there is no single tear on their faces.

Nevertheless, whether you cry or not – be if you are the one asking or answering – it does not invalidate your emotions or the importance of the moment. Again, we just have different responses to such situations.

Popping the question should be a grand gesture

Rooting from the previous point, we are familiar with the concept of proposal and engagement as something grand, breathtaking and spectacular. Why? Personally, I can’t argue that much if that practice is something Western, aside from it’s quite a new practice. In our local tradition, what couples do is “pamamanhikan”, or the family of the person proposing will go to the house of his or her partner to meet his or her family as well. Back in the old days, it is usually the man going to the lady’s house to show his sincerity and pure intentions.

Pamamanhikan is still being practiced up to this date. It is done after the guy received the yes of his partner. For some who are keeping their proposal as a surprise, they straightly talk to the parents or guardians and letting them know their plan.

So going back to the point of this section – should the proposal be a grand gesture?

Let us face it – there are lots of people who would love to ask in a delightful manner. Cheesy and over, but they want it that way. Others spent thousands of money and tons of effort to make those proposals successful. However, we should note that not all are into that big stuff. These are the people who would like to keep it simple and intimate. A simple question, as long as it is genuine and from the heart, is enough. No need for fireworks or theatrical plays.

Nevertheless, if you opt to have your proposal and entire engagement to be extravagant, go ahead. I see that there is nothing wrong with that as long as you do not step on other people’s rights and your partner is comfortable and okay with it. You know your beloved better if he or she finds it awkward with all people’s eyes on the two of you. About that is the next one:

Letting the whole world know

With the age of social media and even faster spread of news, it is very easy to let the whole world know about your engagement. A simple post of “Yes!” plus a wedding ring icon and heart emoji will already relay the message of your engagement. Or maybe your change of status on Facebook or LinkedIn or your other social media accounts – this will probably reach to your connections. Other proposal gimmicks even go viral when posted online. Some also get to the local news or shows!

Of course, the feeling of happiness and love gets into us. It is a typical reaction to shout it to the world. But in some cases, when couples are already engaged, they do not want to let the news out yet. Some would want to keep it private and do not see any necessity to let everybody know what has happened.

Keeping it secret and private are two different things. Other couples don’t give stuff to Facebook or any social media accounts to channel their relationship status. Their group of friends and relatives are enough to make them feel that they are accepted and okay. But then again, we have different takes on every situation. Others will let the whole world know everything about their proposal, engagement, journey, wedding preparations and the ceremony itself. Some will just merely update their relationship status from in a relationship to engaged to married; post a couple of pictures and a short message, and that’s it.

It will be an automatic YES!

Hate to break it and end with this section, but not all proposals and engagements end up happily.

For those who would like to keep things big and grand, you should note that not all people can handle the pressure. Maybe your partner said yes just because he or she does not want you to be embarrassed in front of the crowd.

Your better half maybe 100% sure about you and your relationship but is not yet ready to take things to the next level. With that thought, you get to keep in mind to talk things through even in a subtle manner. Other people do not believe in marriage. They are okay with the concept of relationships (boyfriend-girlfriend) and living in together but not with tying the knot. We have different contexts and beliefs that affect such.

If you are the one proposing, this point is a gentle reminder for you not to be overconfident with your plan. There will always be a chance that your partner will say no. If you are the one to be asked, remember that you have the option to say no as well. You can talk about it afterward to clarify some matters. It will be better to say no than saying yes but not sincere.


How about you? What were your engagement expectations and real situations? Let us know by commenting on this post!

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