I'm Engaged, Why Don't I Feel Happier?

man proposing to women
For five years, Deidre Walker, 32, had dreamed of her boyfriend proposing. But when he finally pulled a ring out of his pocket and said, "Will you marry me?" during a romantic gondola ride in Italy, she didn't say yes right away. Lemondrop: Guy Spells Out His Proposal.
Instead she whispered, "Put that thing away," and half-seriously considered throwing herself overboard into the murky water. Ten hours (and multiple conversations with her would-be fiance later), Deidre finally said yes, but she still spent her entire engagement feeling anxious—and wondering if she had made the right decision. Her self-doubt even made her question the relationship: Was she feeling that trepidation because she'd said yes to the wrong guy?
According to a recent study of happiness trends on Facebook, Deidre isn't alone. Research scientist Cameron Marlow analyzed millions of posts on the social networking site and discovered (among other things) that when women get engaged, they actually become less happy. Lemondrop: Unhappiness of Women; Myths About Your Candy.
Marlow suggests this could be due to the stress of planning a wedding, but Allison Moir-Smith, author of Emotionally Engaged, a Bride's Guide to Surviving the 'Happiest' Time of Her Life, posits another theory: "Engaged women are battling with the myth that's been built up in our culture and their minds that they should only be happy, when in fact there's a lot more going on," she says. "A lot of women feel grief—the end of single life, changes in family relationships, the end of simple dating days, and perhaps feeling isolated from your girlfriends who aren't in the same life stage as you."

Written by Colleen Oakley for Lemondrop.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!