If you’re of a certain age or happen to be in what people might consider a long-term relationship, it’s likely you’ve had to field questions regarding a potential engagement.
And whether you and your other half have actually discussed it is totally beside the point as the people in your life are all too happy to speculate, regardless.
In fact, there comes a point in your relationship when you realise the smallest of gestures or the most trivial of pursuits are likely to instigate an interrogation akin to The Spanish Inquisition, and you become used to navigating the minefield that is the Engagement Enquiry.
If this sounds all too familiar, here are just 5 things that take on a whole different meaning when your friends, family and colleagues get the bridal bug.
1. Weekends away
While you and your other half may intend to simply fling yourself on the hotel bed and binge-watch Netflix until it’s time to check out again, your family and friends have envisioned something very, very different.
“Oh, that’s a lovely spot! My sister’s best friend got engaged in the courtyard there. I’d say himself has done his research, alright.”
2. Instagram uploads
Deciding to upload a picture of yourself and himself while away is only asking for trouble as everyone ignores how good your eyebrows look, and desperately scan the caption for some mention of a three-letter word instead.
“Ah Jesus, we were absolutely CONVINCED he’d popped the question.”
3. Beauty appointments
One of the worst things about the constant speculation is that it invariably gets in on you, and you find yourself fearful that you’ll do anything to suggest you’re expecting a proposal.
“We’re going out for dinner on Friday and my nails need doing, but I can’t get them done because he’ll panic and assume I’ve turned into one of you lunatics.”
4. Wedding attendance
Making even the slightest reference to a wedding you’ve attended together is pure lunacy, as you’re forced to elaborate on why you weren’t mad on the venue, and what you’d do differently on your big day.
“My table wasn’t close enough to the bar, and that’s it. End of story. No more questions.”
5. Watching TV
No, seriously. You only have to express interest in the latest episodes of certain programmes – and you all know what we're referring to here – to find yourself dodging the volley of questions that comes your way in the aftermath.
"Tell me now, would you have said yes to that dress? And was himself watching it with you, was he?"