You think you've heard it all, but when it comes to committing your life to someone else, there are a few feelings that sneakily evade any engagement conversation you've likely had. Here, our experts reveal the emotions and questions you'll have after your significant other pops the question that no one has ever told you about. Everything will eventually turn out fine, but take a breather and check them out below.
1. You could feel fear.
It's a stereotypical myth that only men get cold feet before the big day. "That concern that this is forever hits women too," says Toni Coleman, psychotherapist and relationship coach. "Therefore, even if it's just fleeting, women can experience fear seemingly out of nowhere," she says, though few may talk about it.
2. You could feel regret.
Despite the fact you know in your heart you've found "the one", your resolve could waver in the months of your engagement. "While some engaged women have no regrets and look forward to their wedding and relationship with excitement, most have some mixed feelings," says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D., LCSW and owner and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. "One of those is often a sense of regret or questioning, asking, 'did I make the right decision' and 'what if I made the wrong choice?'"
3. You could feel sadness.
Everyone from the media to our own family members tells you that this should be the happiest time of your life. So it may come as a surprise to hear you could feel sad during your engagement period. Some women mourn the loss of their single lives, while others experience a letdown when their engagements are over. The sadness you feel "is often very confusing," Coleman says, "especially for those who waited and prayed for this day to arrive."
4. You could feel anxiety.
Plain and simple, wedding planning can be stressful. On top of that, Coleman says, "an engaged couple is in a relationship stage in which they have let their hair down with one another, can see each other's faults, and get on one another's nerves." And while that's totally normal, "it may feel like anything but because the woman had romanticized what being engaged would feel like, and this is not it," she explains.
5. You could trigger unresolved family issues.
Getting engaged can uncover issues and concerns with your own family you never knew you had. "With increasing commitment comes additional societal role expectations and prescriptions, and may trigger unresolved family of origin relationship issues," says Hanks. "For example, if you mother has been married multiple times, you may wonder if you're really cut out for marriage or if you're going to repeat her pattern of difficulty maintaining a marriage."