The pop music world has been rocked by fast engagements lately. First, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson announced their engagement after just a few weeks of dating. Now Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are reportedly engaged after dating for only a month.
People promptly freaked out about the latest news on Twitter:
Ok now Justin Bieber and Hayley Baldwin ate engaged after only a month!?? Where the fuck are y’all finding these men!?! Someone let me know ASAP
— Erica Sanchez (@Ericaashley123) July 8, 2018
It's engagement szn and no one is safe. https://t.co/rV8Z9QIkcJ
— Rachel Holt (@ItsRachelHolt) July 8, 2018
Justin Bieber….. engaged…… to hailey Baldwin……. what is going on in this simulation
— Ciara Kendle (@Ciarakendle1) July 8, 2018
Am I hallucinating or I have just read that Justin Bieber is engaged to Hailey Baldwin?
— Bonnie McLaren (@bonaldmcdonald) July 8, 2018
Grande defended the newly engaged couple — and her own speedy engagement — on Twitter in response to criticism from a fan who insinuated that both her and Bieber’s engagements were orchestrated by their joint manager, Scooter Braun:
Research has found that divorce can be contagious, and, it seems, quickie engagements can be too — for celebrities and noncelebrities alike. “The danger of celebrity behavior is that strangely it can normalize less than optimal behaviors,” licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “If a celebrity can get engaged in one month, why can’t the rest of us?”
Here’s the good news: Quick engagements are usually more contagious among a group of friends, licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, although some people may see these speedy celebrity engagements as normalizing the whole thing. And any time a new “norm” is set, people are more likely to behave the same way, Durvasula says.
Durvasula says it’s entirely possible that these are just publicity stunts and that these couples aren’t thinking about forever. But it’s also possible that they really do think getting engaged this quickly is a good idea. Technically, engagements were once intended to be a period to work out the kinks in the relationship and start to create a life together, Mayer points out. But there’s really no need for the engagement at all, given that couples can now get to know each other just fine without an engagement, Durvasula says.
“For most people it is highly unlikely that in one month they can make an informed decision as to spending the next 60 years with a person,” she says. It can also take attention away from some of the heavier aspects of a relationship, like learning to compromise, communicate, and respect each other, and “make it more about party planning,” Durvasula says.
If a couple really feels that a fast engagement is right for them, it’s a good idea to plan on having a long engagement, Mayer says. Durvasula agrees. “Do not even set a date or start planning a wedding yet, as that can distract from the actual relationship building,” she says. “Just treat it as a relationship with more substantial jewelry in it.”
Durvasula also recommends getting to know each other more and talking openly and honestly about each other’s future desires — including kids, careers, and finances. “Be honest. Do not do a bait-and-switch hoping that things will work their way out someday,” Durvasula says. “That can be very painful someday.”
While plenty of people online have lamented on social media that they can’t get the person they’re with to do the same thing, Durvasula says that this behavior really isn’t a healthy model to follow. “Celebrities are not like the rest of us,” she points out.
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