Singles are planning weddings before they have a suitor

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:18:27 AM EST

Cathy Kaplan/SXC

Single women are planning their weddings long before they even get engaged. From picking the perfect dress to picking out engagement rings, its no longer necessary to have a beau to plan a wedding,

"Finding somebody who wants to be plugged into your life exactly the way it is, and all the choices you've made, is not so easy," Dr. Lisa Morse, a clinical psychologist in Manhattan, told the New York Times. "I think for anybody it's much easier to plan a wedding than it is to form a meaningful relationship that is going to lead to a fulfilling marriage."

The website TheKnot.com found 40% of the 20,000 brides they polled said that they visited the wedding-planning site even though there wasn't a groom in sight.

And knowing that you have the perfect wedding all planned out can be a relief to many women -- or, at least, a good distraction. "I think for some people this becomes a way of taking away their anxiety or refocusing their anxiety away from their real concern, which is meeting somebody," Morse suggested.

But all that planning could be doing more harm than good. For one thing, it reinforces the whole center-of-the-universe princess mentality -- one wanna-be bride told the New York Times that her future groom's input wouldn't matter, as that certainly doesn't bode well for her future marriage. For another, it also maintains the misconception that the details, rather than the meaning, make the day. And as etiquette expert Anna Post (etiquette icon Emily Post's great-great-granddaughter) points out, all of that over-the-top someday-my-prince-will-come planning could scare a good guy off.

"That's a lot of pressure for a guy to see," she told Your Tango, adding that after three years of being in a serious relationship, she posted an engagement ring on Pinterest but "I still felt kind of weird about it."

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