Although I wish it were not the case, I feel as if I must put a #1 along with the DBAD heading for this post - for I fear it will not be the last. I didn't set out to use this blog site for ranting and the like, but I am compelled to at this point. Thus, we have the premiere of DBAD - "Don't Be A Dick." We've all been privy to asinine behavior, whether directed toward us or merely in our proximity, and we've wanted to set things right.
So, for DBAD #1, the rule is this: When a friend of yours get engaged (this mostly applies to men, but I suppose it doesn't have to be gender specific), don't make disparaging comments about their decision or the institution of marriage. Quips about "Another one bites the dust" or "The old ball and chain" or questions about why they "want to throw their freedom away" - these all are in extremely poor taste, and so not the reaction someone is looking for after making such a big life decision.
Disclaimer: Now, if you are a close friend with legitimate questions regarding the character, heart, and soul of the person your friend is to marry, that is another case altogether. If you are truly trying to save your friend from choosing a selfish, inadequate, or otherwise poor partner, then you may be compelled to state your opinion.
No, I am talking about those of you who see marriage as the end of something rather than the beginning, a necessary evil, or a trap. Whether you are a single person still reveling in the excitement that life brings, or already married but struggling, or divorced with a nasty impression of married life, you are being a dick by bashing the notion for your friend.
The decision to get married is huge. It's pretty much the biggest decision you'll ever make. Far bigger than career or where you'll live. You are choosing a partner that will hopefully walk beside you through the rest of your journey in life. They will be your partner, your better half, your friend, your advisor, your coach, your taskmaster…the person that accepts you for who you are, yet also wants to help you become the person you want to be. Upon making this decision, the last thing one needs is some jackass ribbing him about the entire notion. On more than one occasion, I have personally witnessed recently engaged men become frustrated over the negative comments made upon sharing their news. You can see it in their eyes - like they bought the car they wanted, the one they've been dreaming about their entire lives. But when they show it to their friends, the response is - "what a lemon."
Regardless of your feelings and experience on the matter, be happy for them. It's the least you can do.