Matt De Groot: 'Why he changes after you get engaged'

Matt de Groot

He's not just Fitzy and Wippa's newsreader or a panelist for The Morning Show, FOX Sports, and the ABC – Matt de Groot is also Be's newest columnist. He'll be taking us on a deep dive into the world of dating and relationships... from a guy's perspective.

When a man proposes to a woman he earns himself a period of grace whereby he is immune from trouble.

It’s a magnificent period - he can push the boundaries of what was previously acceptable, confident he’ll be free from criticism.

Things like staying out for a couple more rounds with the boys, or accepting that weekend round of golf when you may have had commitments are now fine (for a period).

Matt De Groot: Explains why he believes men get a period of grace after proposing. Source: Getty

I’ve gathered the reason for this is twofold:

One: You have created such joy and goodwill that it heavily outweighs any negativity she may be feeling at the time.

Two: There is a new confidence that you are committed to her and the relationship, and so it doesn’t matter what you’re doing because clearly you are going to be coming home. For life.

It even has the inverse effect that any basic gesture such as ‘I’ll grab these coffees’ is met with extra appreciation and gratitude.

There are no rules on how long this period lasts, and no firm indicator about when it’s going to end.

I’ve spoken to many newly minted fiancés who’ve reported back varying lengths of time ranging from a few months through to just that night.

I feel for those latter guys, because so much time, energy and expense goes into a proposal that it feels almost fair that we should be rewarded with a few trouble-free weeks of spoiling ourselves.

Relationships are all about trade, balance, give-and-take; as it is with this 'grace period.' Source: Getty

Relationships are all about trade, balance, give-and-take; as it is with this ‘grace period.’

You can cash all your proposal goodwill points in overtime with a series of smaller actions like picking a movie ‘you’ want to see more than ‘we’d like to see’.

Or you can do what I did, and cash them all in in one fell swoop.

Over New Year’s, the extended family of my now fiancé went to Thredbo for their annual week-long holiday, and as a soon-to-be-member of the family, I had scored my first invitation.

It was a big deal.

Due to work commitments at Nova I was only able to go Friday-Saturday-Sunday. It wasn’t ideal… but less is better than none.

Until I received two days’ corporate box tickets to the ASHES cricket on the Friday and Saturday.

When it comes to relationships compromise is really the key. Source: Getty

I had a decision to make: Do I stick with the family who have extended a first-ever invite to their revered family holiday? Or do I spend two days getting pissed at the cricket in a corporate box watching the ASHES?

Matt De Groot: 'The Art of Stashing.'

As any guy will tell you, it was a cruel ‘what your heart says versus what your head says’ choice to have to make.
Emboldened by my engagement grace-period, I ditched Thredbo and went to the cricket.

I was confident I’d secured enough goodwill within the family that even my mother-in-law-to-be could only hold it against me so much.

But I also knew that the ‘grace period’ was over. These points aren’t earned easily (and are spent quickly)… and I had spent them all.

So to any soon-to-be fiancé out there, trust that you too will get to enjoy these kudos, but choose how you use them wisely.

Because once you’ve cashed them in, they’re gone.

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