The key difference between engagement and marriage is that engagement is a promise to get married, whereas marriage is a couple living together, sharing responsibilities, engaging in sex, and bearing and nurturing children in a culturally and legally accepted way.
The most important thing in both marriage and engagement is selecting a suitable partner. This is because happiness in a marriage or engagement will depend on the characteristics of the partner you select.
What is an Engagement?
An engagement is a period between a marriage proposal and the marriage. It is also a mutual promise between the two people. With this promise, they confirm their plan to marry each other, whether they are of the same gender or different ones. An engagement also acts as an official announcement of their marriage. However, an engagement is not typically legally binding.
There is no fixed time between an engagement and a marriage; some get married within 6 months while some wait for years before getting married. Generally, more than 80% of couples marry within one year of getting engaged. Moreover, for many couples and their families, engagement is the starting point of wedding preparations. An engagement usually ends with marriage. In modern times, this emotional and romantic occasion is symbolized by exchanging an engagement ring.
Normally, engagement happens when the man proposes to his partner, and as soon as she accepts the proposal, they become engaged. Sometimes this happens according to the custom of the man asking the bride’s parents for blessings.
What is a Marriage?
A marriage is a legally and culturally accepted union between two people called spouses. Marriage is a universal concept, but its definitions may vary based on the cultures, religions, and the passage of time. Since marriage is a legally binding agreement, ending a marriage requires a legal procedure. Generally, marriages end in divorces or annulments.
Marriage allocates different rights and duties to each partner and basic social and personal functions such as division of labor, economic production and consumption, sexual gratification, and satisfaction of personal needs like companionship, protection, emotional support, affection, and status. Another main function of marriage is procreation. With this comes taking care of children and seeing to their education.
In sociology, there are three types of marriages. They are monogamy (one partner), polygamy (more than one partner to a man), and polyandry (more than one partner to a woman). There are two types of polyandry; they are fraternal polyandry (women married men who are brothers) and non-fraternal polyandry (partners are not brothers). Monogamy is the most common form of marriage seen in modern society.
What is the Difference Between Engagement and Marriage?
The key difference between engagement and marriage is that engagement is a promise to get married, while a marriage is a couple living together, sharing responsibilities, engaging in sex, and bearing and nurturing children in a culturally accepted way. Furthermore, marriage is legally binding while an engagement is not. One needs to obtain a divorce or annulment to legally end a marriage.
Below is a summary of the difference between engagement and marriage in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Engagement vs Marriage
An engagement is a period between a marriage proposal and the marriage. This is a mutual promise and a confirmation of marriage. Meanwhile, a marriage is a legally and culturally accepted union between two people called spouses. This involves a couple living together legally and in a culturally accepted way, engaging in sex, procreation, and nurturing children. Since marriage is a legally binding agreement, ending a marriage requires a legal procedure. Thus, this is the key difference between engagement and marriage.