Nick and Priyanka's Whirlwind Engagement Is a Sign of our Times

They're part of a larger trend of super-quick engagements...and that says everything about the state of the world in 2018

Priyanka Chopra and Nicke Jonas

Credit: Instagram

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are (reportedly) engaged after just two months of dating, and well, we’re not surprised. In fact, it all makes a lot of sense. And no, it’s not because today is a Blood Moon.

Nick and Priyanka are not the first—or even the second—high-profile couple to rapidly fast-forward to the put-a-ring-on-it phase of a relationship in 2018. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber, Michelle Williams (and her now husband!) Phil Elverum are all part of a co-hort of famous people who have eschewed several years of dating in favour of rapidly locking it down. They say three’s a trend, and friends, we’re well beyond that. So what’s up with the A-list’s sudden rush to the altar?

In a nutshell: because 2018. The perception, whether true or not, is that the world is basically ending—between climate change, Trump and all those bloody plastic straws it feels like our planet has but little time left to it. All is chaos, and the news cycle is a ravenous beast that both consumes us and which we endlessly feed. The sort of story that would have occupied front pages for weeks is broken, hot-take-d, and ‘over’ within in a Twitter minute. We’re all used to an endlessly updating Instagram feed of novelty and news, so no wonder things feel like they have to happen faster and faster. Nick and Priyanka dating was interesting (to us, and perhaps them) for approx three seconds. The machine needs to be fed, and so onto the next thing, which in this case, went from meeting the parents to an engagement in a matter of weeks. This is not to say that Nick and Priyanka’s relationship is staged (although this is Hollywood so nothing’s off the table). It’s more a case that perhaps, even within their own bubble of infatuation, all of these couples are as bad at “living in the moment” as the rest of us, and felt that pressure to be onto the next thing like, yesterday. Or alternatively, it’s all about living in the now because who knows, in the words of “Up Where We Belong,” what tomorrow brings? (That song, part of the soundtrack to An Officer and A Gentleman, is from a movie about an aviator who decides to throw caution to the wind and marry the girl he loves after his brother’s death, and so could not not be a more apt of a theme song to this phenomenon, BTW.)

Of course, couples diving into marriage is hardly anything new. In many ways, there’s a parallel to be drawn to our times and the spike in quickie engagements during the Second World War. In the US, for example, marriages in 1942 were up 83 percent decade-over-decade. That’s the year, of course, after the States entered the war, and so of course young couples were rushing headlong into marriage because, hey, why wouldn’t you when you could all literally be dead the next day? Of course, we’re not at war (yet) but the stakes all just feel very high at the moment. There’s also an interesting argument to be made for the fact that at the loneliest time in history (in Canada, for example, a record number of people are living alone) we’re all just so exhausted from Tindering that when we find someone we actually aren’t repulsed by, we leap into things because if anywhere is a war zone, it’s the dating landscape RN.

The Nick (25) and Priyanka (36) scenario is also an interesting merging of two separate phenomenons within this Rush to the Ring (we’re trademarking that). Ariana Grande/Pete Davidson and Justin Bieber/Hailey Baldwin are both very young couples who are committing in hyper-speed, whereas Michelle Williams (and Amy Schumer too) are both women in their thirties who recently tied the knot after super-quick engagements following equally speedy “courtships.” There’s clearly some kind of generational pendulum-swing at play here: These Gen Z-ers getting married at the early age that their grandparents perhaps did, which—who knows—might be a reaction to the drawn-out dating lives of the Gen X/Gen Y men and women they watched coming up ahead of them. (There are also, of course, counter-examples of this in the celebrity world; see: Karlie Kloss dating her BF for seven years before this week’s announcement of her engagement). Williams and Schumer, perhaps, are doing a little of the same: after years of being told by Carrie Bradshaw et al that there was no fate worse than getting married before you were 30, these women are now countering the Gospel of the Single Girl by going old-school in their very traditional paths to coupledom. It’s relevant too that Priyanka’s BFF, Meghan Markle, married that redhead she’s with after a comparatively brief dating story.

But hey, maybe it’s all just a case of “When you know, you know” and they’re all going to live happily ever after…until the Apocalypse comes, of course.


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