Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

She Asked Me to Marry Her!

In Love, Relationships on July 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

 Recently, it dawned on me how powerful cultural institutions are. If I were to ask a group of women, all in long-term serious relationships, how many of them were comfortable proposing marriage to their significant others, what would be the outcome? I’m going to go all-in and bet a good 75% of the women there would say no to outright proposal. Is this because of the fantasy of having him propose? Is it because they wouldn’t want to force a guy to marry them if he doesn’t want to? Why the uncomfortability with women proposing marriage?

Supposedly, women in western society weren’t first given the right to propose until Scotland passed a law in 1228. The story goes that, before it became law, the opportunity was only available on one day every 4 years. February 29th. Yes, that’s right. Females could propose on a day that only existed during leap year. Craziness, right? 

Ladies, what if a few years pass by while you are in a serious relationshp with someone? Are you not committed? Have you not played the role of wifey for a while now? Isn’t it time to move up a notch and get promoted to actual wife status? Why continue to wait? 

By now, you have probably made up your mind as to whether you want him to be your husband, right? So why can’t you ask? I wonder if it’s because the story of the woman asking a man to marry her just isn’t as romantic. In that light, marriage proposals seem to be for the attention and applause given when they are retold in fairytale fashion. Marriage proposals seem to carry more significance as stories (with rings) than as actual events. 

I know I sound a little harsh and maybe a bit demeaning but let me explain. None of this is to say that the marriage propsoal isn’t important, but the proposal just acts as a facilitator. It facilitates an explicit acknowledgement of commitment. The proposal in and of itself carries no value. What it creates is important. If someone asked you to marry them, and you said no, there wouldn’t be any reason to celebrate. A more appropriate response would be: “Let’s just forget it eeeever happened.” Proposals are only good for the opportunity they provide. The opportunity to explicitly state or affirm your commitment to someone. 

Are women more likely to put forth an ultimatum about marriage than a proposal? Are they more likely to say “You better marry me” than to ask “Will you marry me”? Let’s chew on the below points for a bit: 

1) Before getting serious in a relationship, isn’t it good to have a sense of when (what age) the other person expects to get married. While waiting 3-6months before inquiry is probably a safe bet, any information is good information. So feel free to ask your partner when he feels he would be ready for marriage. If you wait till you are absolutely sure of your commitment to him, he will know you are referring to yourself when you bring the topic up so be mindful of waiting too late as well. He may end up feeling pressured into answering the question in a politically correct fashion. 

2) A mature couple has discussed this topic on multiple occasions by the time they hit the two year mark so if  you have gotten this far and are still avoiding it, it’s best to get it out in open as soon as possible. Most (I emphasize most) women have a deadline age, afterwhich, they want to be married. Most guys, on the other hand, have an threshold age, before which, they can not get married. For some guys that age is well into their forties and fifties. Wouldn’t it be nice to know this ahead of time?

3) What if your partner of a few years asked you to marry him and you said no? What if you decided that marriage wasn’t what you wanted at that time? What would you expect to happen? Are you saying that you aren’t ready for marriage just yet or that you don’t want to marry him? If you just weren’t ready, would you make him wait until you were? Would you even want him to wait? Would you have said yes because you felt pressured? 

If you are with someone you love and you have made up your marital mind. Then what’s wrong with asking him to marry you? If you marrying the man you love is truly about manifesting your committment and not about a story to tell, then propose to him and see where that gets you? 



  1. Fascinating perspective. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to my situation, but I have a great proposal story (with rings) that is precious to me. Neither of us had any qualms with asking for that commitment; she just beat me to the punch.

    Love the new blog! Keep the wisdom coming!

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