Not every relationship has to immediately lead to marriage. Sometimes a relationship is cruising right along at the perfect speed, not too fast, not too slow, and you’re happy just where you are. Don’t feel pressured by others to propose or jump ship because they can’t understand how you can be content with your life the way it is.

Case in point: I met my friend Dan in 2005. A few years later he met a woman named Jenna and they have been in a serious, committed relationship for the past 5 years, living together the past 2 years. Everyone always asked him when he was going to propose, but Jenna never pressured him. They were happy. They finally got engaged last week, on their terms, in their own time. They haven’t set a date yet, and that’s okay too. They’re enjoying the bliss that comes from being newly engaged!

Everyone needs to stop imposing their timelines on other people. You know, the “must call in 48 hours” rule and the “must ask me on a date 3 days in advance” rule and “3rd date sex” rule and the “one year dating, one year engaged” rule. It’s okay to have guidelines by which to live, but there’s no need to enforce those on your friends. If they are happy, then you should be happy for them.

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