It’s been about 4 months since The Engagement. So how’s life since? I guess the main difference we feel after getting engaged is that other people now treat you more like the kakak-kakak nak kahwin, ready to settle down and all.
Conversations now revolve around weddings and BTOs. People who meet you for the first time after you just got engaged will first start the conversation with a congrats. Then ask when’s the wedding? How’s the preparations? Combine or separate? Where will it be? Have you booked your vendors? Who’s your bridal? Which catering did you take? Who is doing the decor? How much is the hantaran? (Oh god) Photography? Got your BTO? How much, how many room, where is it, when is it ready? Living at whose house after wedding?
It goes on.
And then once in awhile, I get asked about “How’s tunang life?”
I must say, I really appreciate getting asked this question more. The people who ask about tunang life are usually engaged ladies themselves, and it’s nice to be able to exchange personal opinions and experiences with each other. It’s like we understand each other, we know how it feels like and how difficult things can be sometimes. And it’s not just about the difficulty of the whole wedding planning thing, but it’s also about how the dynamics of the relationship change after the engagement.
So how does it feel like, to be engaged after 7 years of courtship?
Well, he put a ring on it, so officially it does feel like an upgrade. Our families and relatives are also more aware of our partner’s existence, so the acknowledgement that ‘he’s going to be part of the family soon’ is definitely there.
In terms of the dynamic of our relationship, I think our connection is just slightly stronger? To be honest, we feel that there is not much difference in our feelings and connection with each other. Maybe because we have been dating for quite long and gone through a lot of things together already. We have been ready to tie the knot for a while, so this engagement is just like ‘oh finally we’re getting somewhere’. Hahahaha.
But for me, I feel the difference more in two situations. 1) When we are talking about our future. 2) When we are fighting. Basically, these conversations make me feel like things are going to be more permanent.
Sure, we have talked and discussed about our future together countless times during all these years. But they were simply talk, no action (yet). A lot of the plans we made for ourselves used to be still ‘tentative’ and open to discussion. But now whenever we talk about our future home, future travel plans, how many kids to have, even kids’ names, it made me realise that “this is really happening”. It’s no longer just talk. We need to start planning and preparing for our future FOR REAL now.
We have also had fights countless times. Not trying to air dirty laundry or anything, but all couples fight. Be it big or small arguments, not all disagreements can be settled fully. Some are left unsettled, and some could be settled for a while, but turns up again from time to time. Before this, when I get annoyed with H, in my head will be like “Ya Allah irritating nye budak ni, macam mana lah aku pilih dia in the first place?” But now that we are getting married, it’s like “Oh shit I am going to live with this annoying guy for the rest of my life, how am I supposed to survive all his irritating-ness? I am so screwed.”
So I guess it is still slowly sinking in. And the journey definitely feels like it’s going to be more real than ever. I guess one of the most important thing about approaching marriage life is to keep an open mind and manage expectations well, because life after marriage is far from happily ever after and whatever romantic/cheesy stuff we see on social media.