I stand corrected.
Much to the elation of her fans, who I imagine are drooling over the idea of yet another Keeping up with the Kardashians spin-off like Khloé and Lamar, Kim announced her engagement to NBA star Kris Humphries in late May. What followed has been a veritable Hurricane Kim: The Cover of People, the ridiculously weighty Lorraine Schwartz bling, rumors of a secret pregnancy, and talk that the wedding will talk place as soon as this summer.
What seems to be more of an aside amidst the rush of news is how fast it happened: Kris proposed to Kim after barely six months of dating. And if there's one trend I don't want Kim Kardashian to start, it's the quickie engagement.
There's no denying that the very beginning of a relationship is crazy-exciting. What's better than getting butterflies every time his name lights up on your phone, or getting to experience all of the heady magic of a first date or first kiss?
After a month or two, the feeling is still going quite strong. You both slowly realize that you're falling for the other, and your constant desire to be with them, make them laugh, touch them, and learn everything about them makes you both want to be with the other even more, feeding an endless cycle of rapidly accelerating ecstasy. Feel-good chemicals are quite literally pumping through your brain at all times, bonding you to your new person and making you punch-drunk and happily dazed.
The feeling buoys you up, makes you feel beautiful, and makes you feel like finally you aren't alone anymore. Friends can't make you feel like that. Your parents and siblings can't make you feel like that. Your hobbies can't make you feel like that. It's completely and utterly unique, and this one person is singularly making you feel this way.
You're so in love, how could you not be with this person? How could you ever be with anyone else?
They wouldn't love you the same way, or make you nearly as happy, so the obvious next step is to get engaged, right?
Wrong. So, so, so incredibly wrong.
It's nearly impossible to fight or argue during this Honeymoon Phase, because all of those happy chemicals are blurring the natural flaws you might otherwise see in your new person and blinding you to the realities and difficulties of life. In the first six months of a relationship, you aren't supposed to be fighting with your new significant other. There shouldn't be much of anything to break you up, because there simply hasn't been enough time for the disagreements, arguments and obstacles that might pull you apart to arise.
In six months it's impossible to have experienced enough with someone, or to have seen them in enough plausible scenarios, to know how they will behave, react, communicate, and express themselves in any given situation. How do they react to your problems with your boss at work? How do you react when they have a falling out with a member of their family? What happens when they need to move for their career?
What happens when you realize you have different views toward finances? Will both of you always work, or will one stay home with future children? What sacrifices are you both willing to make for the sake of the relationship and marriage? What exactly are your thoughts about possible parenting styles? How will you deal if one of you becomes sick and is unable to care for themselves?
These are tough questions that people entering a marriage need to be able to answer, and they aren't always easily answered in the hypothetical. Many of these scenarios require you to experience rough patches together before you'll know if you can emerge on the other side, still going strong. Is it likely that many of these real-life obstacles that would inevitably be present in a marriage would exist during the first six months of a relationship? Probably not. Is it likely that they would be present after a year or two or five? Most definitely.
A wedding is romantic. It's a day where every girl gets to bring to life her innermost fairytale fantasy: the white dress, the handsome groom, the beautiful party.
A marriage is much harder and entirely more serious. A marriage is making an agreement when you're relatively young to be with someone until you die. It's agreeing to take care of that person if they get extremely ill or become unable to take care of themselves. It's agreeing to love them no matter what they end up looking like. It's agreeing to take on another person's potential debts, and work through the realities of paying for EVERTYHING together - mortgage, insurance, car payments, daycare, utilities, college savings, groceries, clothing. It's agreeing to take on the responsibility of creating, loving, and providing for other human beings for decades, if not the rest of your life. It's a promise that no matter how hard or boring or lackluster things might get, no matter how much you might disagree sometimes, no matter how much their little pet peeves annoy you, that you will always love that person and never want to leave their side.
Are most people ready for that after six months with someone? Is it advisable to take that on when you're still being utterly influenced by feel-good chemicals? Even Kim Kardashian, who might not have to worry about finances, will have two very hectic schedules to compromise. Is she willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make her marriage work? Has she thought about what a marriage truly is, or is she caught up in the whirlwind romance of it all?
I love you, Kim. I think you're hot and savvy and fabulous. But please, don't start this particular trend. If I had my way, you'd get to know your fiancé a bit more before marrying him.