First & foremost, I feel like I need a disclaimer. I do not know any of these girls, or relationships, personally. Only they can speak to their situations - and I'm not trying to judge what is obviously a heartbreaking & painful time in their lives. I just feel the need to comment on it.
In the past few months, there have been some very public engagement breaks. First, Crystal Harris & Hugh Hefner. Then, Kristin Cavallari & Jay Cutler, followed a few days by Kat Von D & Jesse James. I've also seen (via Facebook) that a few acquaintances of mine who were also engaged have recently decided not to marry. This, to me, is very different than divorce - there have also been many of those as of late. Each of these "break-ups" have struck a chord with me - they were all "out of the blue" to one or the other, and all were either very shortly after getting engaged, or right before the nuptials themselves. As far as I know, there was no cheating involved - that is a different story entirely.
I'm proud of all who called it quits - they did a very difficult thing, risking disappointing many and stepping away from the "hype". They all did what was right for them. But I can't help thinking that these individuals must lack some self-awareness to have gotten to where they are.
Tyler proposed on the 16th of February, 2010 on bended knee (in the snow!) with a beautiful diamond ring. But we had talked about that moment for four years prior to it. When we were first falling in love, first moving in together and really getting to know each other, we gushed to each other how we wanted to spend our lives together. Our first Christmas together, Tyler bought me a very small diamond ring. My mom kept asking what it meant - and although it was significant and had meaning (I guess you could call it a promise ring, but that's not really it...), it was not an engagement ring. We were not technically "engaged". Did we want to and plan on getting married? Yes, absolutely. But we were in no rush - we had already moved in together only 4 months after knowing each other, and I was 19 when we met! Knowing, truly knowing we would be together, we saw no reason to rush things. We would be husband & wife forever, why not enjoy the boyfriend & girlfriend stage a bit?
When Tyler asked me to marry him, I said yes. I said yes not because there was a gorgeous ring in my face, or because it was so romantic, or because I thought I had to. I said yes because I had thought long & hard about this man and our future together. I said yes because we were proving, by our current successful & happy lives, that we could make a life together work. I said yes, and with that yes, was my promise that I meant it, that I was ready, and that I would try with my entire being to be a great life partner, a great wife.
I guess these "celebrities" did not feel the same way. I can't know. But I can't comprehend not figuring all of this out before you buy the jewelry, before you answer the question. It's a question - answer it. And answer it honestly.
On September 9, 2012, I will become Mrs. Hayley Denker. I will legally be bound to Tyler - I will be his, and he will be mine. But, to me, I am already his. He asked - and I said yes. The wedding & marriage is just a celebration of that. The engagement is the big deal - that is the moment when two people decide to spend their lives together. At least, it was for me.