Rules of engagement #LindaGetsMarried

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BONA editor Linda Mali ponders the purpose of the engagement period.

With her wedding only a few months away, BONA editor, Linda Mali, is sharing what she’s learning on the road to the altar.

For her first blog she gave us her thoughts on what to think about before saying yes when he pops the question and then she tackled the tricky subject of choosing bridesmaids as well as how to buy the perfect wedding dress

This week she’s taking us through what it feels like to be in that waiting period. You’re engaged but you’re not married yet, how do you fit into each other’s family lives? Let us know what you think about her advice and keep an eye out for her next blog soon. 

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Being engaged is like a halfway house; a waiting period where you’re neither single nor married. When filling out forms, you’re still ticking the ‘single’ box, still a Miss and your surname hasn’t changed. You also have a ring on your finger that hopefully deters the advances of other men. Being engaged is a period of mixed emotions. These involve feelings of joy and excitement, but also limbo and stress, as you prepare for your big day (and other occasions in between).

I’ve now been engaged for eight months. During this time, I have found myself in grey areas that I couldn’t navigate, since my role is yet to be defined. I feel as if one foot is out of my family’s door, while the other is inside his family’s home. But, you should never be over familiar in your fiancé’s home. With that said, also be careful not to come across as aloof and uppity. There are many nuances; more often a case of being damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. A few months ago, #BhutBae’s family gathered for umsebenzi that I was also attending. I agonised over what to wear; lobola had not yet been paid at the time, so I couldn’t dress like a makoti. But, I wanted to look respectable. I was also stressing about how helpful (or not) I should be. Look too busy and risk his family side-eyeing you and wondering why you are doing the most, trying hard to impress. Sit in the corner with your arms folded and the family would think of you as lazy. Oh, the anxiety!

Introducing each other has also now become a ‘thing’. Remembering to refer to him as your fiancé and actually using the word makes you feel giddy, but also a little shy, like you’re still not ‘allowed’. But, for all the awkward situations and uncertainty that come with being engaged, there are obvious perks. My favourite is running into ex-boyfriends, especially the douchebags! Nothing compares to the satisfaction of seeing their expression when they notice the ring. No matter how they treated you, men generally expect a crack in the window to always be open for them to worm their way back into your life. A ring has a certain finality to make it clear that not only is the door and all the windows closed, they are also locked! The other benefit is the comfort of being certain of your position in your partner’s heart. We all feel insecure at times, and sadly, marriage isn’t a guarantee that there won’t be problems. But, he’s choosing to spend his life with you, and start a family with you. That is a big and important role. Being engaged also gives you time to get your mind right, and prepare for married life. This is the time to study God’s design of marriage, and understand the role of a wife. The engagement period is more than just about planning and preparing for the wedding, it is also about preparing for your life together, so use this time wisely!

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