How Long Is Too Long To Be Engaged?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 06/18/2014 | 03:30 PM EDT

Wendy Williams calls out Jennifer Hudson's five-year engagement to fiance David Otunga

Should there be an expiration date on how long a couple can be engaged? Wendy Williams sure thinks so.

The ever-outspoken talk show host called out singer Jennifer Hudson for her seemingly long engagement to fiance (and baby daddy) David Otunga.

“I wonder when Jennifer is going to marry David. I really don’t understand five-year engagements. There are a lot of people out there who’ve been engaged for way too long. An engagement is supposed to be the drumroll to the ceremony,” Williams said in front of her studio audience.

“A five-year engagement [should] be illegal. Somebody needs to be arrested...once you get engaged, you can’t blame people for asking ‘when are you getting married’ because you’re engaged!”


However, Wendy made it clear that there’s nothing wrong with those who choose not to get married.

“Most people these days understand that when you’re together and loving, and having a bunch of kids without getting married. We understand that. If that’s the intention then do that, but a five-year engagement is really a long drum roll and we’re wondering.”

While Wendy is known to ruffle feathers with her words, could she be making a valid point?

While there’s not exactly a rubric for when a wedding or marriage should take place after an engagement, the trend of longer engagements seems to be far more common than believed.

In a 2012 Marie Claire article entitled, “Happily Ever Engaged,” social research professor Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. said that over the last 50 years, the decision to walk down the aisle has delayed for many couples.

"Back in the '60s, engagements often lasted three to six months," Orbuch said. "Today, an average woman may be engaged for two, three, even five years."

Some experts hint that an overall attitude shift on the importance of marriage as a reason. According to 2010 census figures, only 30 percent of people ages 18 and 34 are hitched. Others say women get caught up in the sexiness of engagement; the flaunting of the ring and living in pre-wedded bliss.


Still, there are legitimate reasons for an extended engagement, such as stresses on wedding planning, time conflicts and even using the down time to get to know each other better (for those who jumped the gun).

In Hudson’s case, being a superstar singer and actress who’s engaged to pro-wrestler can also have its hangups.

But whether engaged for five years or one year, the goal should always be to get married and stay that way. What you do in between that time is a personal choice...right?

What do you think? Can you be engaged for too long?

(Photo: John Rasimus, PacificCoastNews)

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