Rules Of Engagement

In Czechs on August 17, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

We got engaged, a friend told me about her five-year relationship with her boyfriend. How this happened? I asked. Nothing special, she said. We just agreed we would get married.

Typical, I must say. The institution of engagement is absolutely uncommon in the Czech Republic. Not to mention the use of words fiancé/fiancée. One day you have a girlfriend, the next day you wake up, you put your tux on, say I do (in the Czech Republic we say “Yes”) and boom – you got a wife now.

The will-you-marry me thing is even trickier. The trick is to ask your girlfriend to marry you BEFORE she starts the more intensive discussion about your future as husband and wife. Many Czech single women who are in a serious relationship tend to be very pushy in this matter. Partly since their mothers are just as pushy. Where is this relationship going? Once the Czech man is forced to say Yeah, yeah, we will get married one day, it is spoiled forever. It is no longer IF, but WHEN. From that moment a Czech woman is waiting for her boyfriend to express himself so that she can finally start using the sentence We are gonna get married.

When I worked in a TV station a while ago I had a very secret plan that involved a friend of mine who was a talk show host and my then-girlfriend who was a producer (elsewhere). The plan was so elaborate that it crashed shortly before it could be …well… broadcast.

A friend of mine from Prague heard this proposal: Okay, if we don’t find much nor have a serious crisis until October [it was May] we can get married. Again, typical…


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