It's the big climax -- him on one knee, your heart thumping so loudly you can hear it in your ears, then streaming, happy tears and frantic, gushing phone calls to family and friends. Or so I hear that's how a marriage proposal goes down. I know women who have been asked in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, on the beach, in the woods, and even while at Oktoberfest. But a new survey says one in four of those women HATES the way her would-be hubby proposed, according to a poll of 3,000 men and women on The Knot and Men's Health U.K. websites.
That's right. Twenty-six percent of brides-to-be said that they wished the moment had "been more romantic, original, or personal." Others confessed that they wished it had been more private or complained it was too "over-the-top," and one-third said the biggest problem was that he proposed without a ring.
Now, okay, ladies -- if this is as true here, across the pond, then I say we need to talk this out.
I get that we're all hoping (maybe even just in the back of our minds) that the moment will be Hollywood perfect. That even if we've never spelled it out for him -- maybe even better if we haven't! -- our partner will somehow magically know exactly what we want.
Uhm, now, why do some of us assume our men should be able to, well, ASSUME?! Yes, they know us and they love us, but that doesn't mean they should be expected to guess every romantic fantasy we've dreamed of since we were little girls. They aren't mind readers, and frankly, I don't think many straight men are super-intuitive with these little nonchalant, subtle hints we think we're dropping all along way down the Yellow Brick Road of a relationship.
Hey, even if we do spell out what kind of proposal we'd prefer, we assume he was actually listening when we told him what we want!
I don't think my boyfriend should have to assume, so I have distinctly noted that I would prefer a private, intimate proposal if/when that occurs. Truly, that's much more his style, so I guess I didn't really have to mention it. But I figured ... hey, I might as well, so that way we're on the same page when the day comes. Was he taking notes? HELL no. Does he even remember that conversation? Who knows!
The thing is, it doesn't matter. I trust him.
These whiny women with their "Boo hoo, I didn't get my Cinderella proposal!" make my head hurt. Do they not love their guy enough to forgive a proposal that wasn't perfect? I have a special bone to pick with those whining, "But he asked without a ring, waaah!" That's the WORST! How about a guy who can't quite afford your/his dream ring?
Or how many friends of yours had a dream ring in mind, but never really shared that info with her husband-to-be ... then she got a ring that wasn't to her liking during the proposal, and so they ended up having to go back and fix it? I've heard from jewelers that that happens ALL THE TIME. So, hello, maybe it's preferable if he proposes without a ring. That way, you go get one together and everyone will be happy!
Also, this isn't the Dark Ages; we don't NEED the big shiny rock immediately to ward off other suitors. We can tell people we're taken. Anyway, the ring is just the icing on the cake, and it's not the biggest deal if he'd like your help picking out the icing you crave the most. (Eh? Like that analogy? I know, hmmm ... now I want cake...)
I get it. We consciously or subconsciously believe THE PROPOSAL!!!! is somehow a reflection, an illustration of how well they know us, how much they GET us, how much they really care. It's built up to be this living, breathing epic moment in time that characterizes our ENTIRE relationship! ... GAH!
No WONDER guys psych themselves out for days, weeks, months, years about getting down on one knee! But, in the end, whenever they do bite the bullet and put themselves out there for us, they just do their best to make us happy. Then, I guess one in four of us complains that their best wasn't good enough.
Maybe the sad truth is one in four of us is saying "yes" to someone who isn't Mr. Right? Because if you're able to be somehow be such a Negative Nelly about how he proposed and aren't simply over the moon that he proposed ... maybe he doesn't know you as well as you thought. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
What was your marriage proposal like -- love it or loathe it? Do you think we put too much pressure on guys to deliver the "perfect" proposal?
Image via Andrew Abogado/Flickr