FOLLOWING four months of dating, a young Kilkenny couple have entered the stage of their relationship in which they will be asked “Any rings yet?” an average of 9 times a week by their friends and relatives.
Owen Hanlon, 28, and Marie Ferris, 27, met each other while socialising in their hometown of Kilkenny in January. The couple hit it off and began seeing each other regularly in the following months.
As the couple crossed the four month mark without breaking up, they enter the ‘any rings yet?’ (ARY) phase, which is expected to last until Marie recieves an engagement ring from Owen, or they break up.
The ARY phase, one of the most detested aspects of an Irish relationship, sees a couple harassed by people who seem determined to see them married as quickly as possible. Couples are then forced to smile through gritted teeth and offer answers as to why there are no rings yet, as everyone in the vicinity grows uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Periods of ARY activity peak throughout the year, specifically around Valentines Day, Christmas, either parties’ Birthday, or when the couple return home from a holiday or weekend away. ARY harassment is also known to spike should the couple attend a wedding, at which time they will be subjected to the additional stress of YBN (“you’ll be next”) from those around them.
“We’re not even going out that fucking long,” sighed Hanlon, who claims the ARY persecution really ramped up when he and Ferris changed their Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’.
“But we can’t go a day without someone asking if there’s ‘any rings yet?’, or when will there be “rings on fingers”. I really like Marie and she likes me, but this ARY shit is so stressful that we may have to break up just to get a bit of peace”.
Should the duo succumb to the wishes of those around them and finally get married, they will then leave the ARY phase and enter the ABY phase, lasting until Marie gets pregnant.