To most, it symbolises a step to the next level, a proof of both commitment and love, which explains why it is held in such high regard by society as a whole.
However, in their desire to find true love and have their own fairytale ending, couples can often neglect to take some important aspects into consideration when getting engaged.
It is not enough simply to scrimp and save and buy your significant other a gaudy stone; there is a whole future to look forward to, in which certain aspects of living together will have to be addressed.
Financial Considerations At the risk of sounding like a wet rag, financial considerations should be at the top of any young couple's list of issues to address when getting engaged.
Unless at least one half of the couple is able to provide for themselves and their significant other, taking the next step is an extremely tricky proposition.
Ideally, both should be financially independent at the time the engagement.
More often than not, couples rush into engagement, marriage and a life together, only for their story to have a less than happy ending, an outcome which could be easily avoided with a bit of forward thinking.
Compare Life Goals A couple where both elements are mismatched in terms of ambitions, preferences and life goals can work, especially if the two different sets of priorities complement one another.
However, if the couple disagree on a few fundamentals which will affect life together, it may be better to delay getting engaged.
For instance, if one of the halves wants to have children and the other does not, this could quickly lead to repeated spats, as could a situation where one member of the couple is career-oriented above all else, while the other wants to start a family.
If the relationship is going well, taking a moment to make absolutely sure both members are on the same page is not the worst thing in the world and can avoid unpleasant moments later on.
There are, of course, many other, smaller considerations to bear in mind when deciding whether or not a life together is viable, but if these two broader points are given some thought and agreed upon, there is no reason for the couple not to be happy together.