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Proposals? Why/why not?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar MaggieB 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #727704 Reply
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    Emmy

    Hi All,

    I’m curious about why people do/don’t want partners to propose/to propose themselves? I find the whole concept weird: why should a massive life-decision be made in one 5 minute conversation? Why is it supposed to be a surprise? Why (oh god, why?) should he ask my parents before asking me?? That said, I know that it’s really important to a lot of people, possibly including my boyfriend, who looked surprised when I disapproved of his brother asking his now-sister-in-law’s father’s permission to propose.

    I’m trying to understand why people think it’s important/ a good gesture, so I can approach our talking about it with a more open mind, and less of a prejudice that if he wants to propose he must think I’m chattel (he doesn’t). Any thoughts?

    #727711 Reply
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    Ale
    Member

    I feel the same way you do. I don’t want to be proposed to. If I ever get married, I want it to be decided together, not pushed to say yes in an over the top proposal. And also, I hate surprises and I also hate places or times when I’m the center of attention. So, my two boyfriends knew that I never wanted to be proposed to.
    I also hate engagement rings, they are like a sign of possession to me. I don’t want to feel like that ever. So I don’t want an engagement ring either.
    Just my thoughts.

    #727721 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    I only know one person who wanted her engagement to be a total surprise. Like, she wanted to be completely blindsided by it. I found it weird. Like, don’t you want to know what marriage to that person would look like? I think just about every other couple I know talked about a joint future and engagement quite a bit before the actual proposal. So, I don’t really know anyone who made a massive life decision in a five-minute conversation. I think a lot of women still want to be somewhat surprised by the proposal itself, even though they know it’s coming in the not-too-distant future, because it makes it more romantic. I’d personally like that, I think, but I’m nowhere near being engaged and may feel differently if it ever becomes a reality for me. As far as asking for permission to marry, I dislike that — I’m the only one who needs to approve! But, again, I think most people I know who have spoken to the parents first do it as more of a heads up to let them know what’s going on, rather than literally asking permission. Two of my cousins (sisters) both got married last year, and I think they’re the only two I know whose then-boyfriends actually asked *permission* — but their families are traditional, so I’m sure my cousins liked it. To each their own, I suppose, but I think most people do a modern take on traditions when it comes to engagements.

    #727728 Reply
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    TheHizzy

    As someone who literally JUST went through this –

    I was ultra – don’t propose, I don’t want a ring, I don’t want a DIAMOND ring, I don’t want a big fuss, we should make this decision together.

    THAT SAID!
    We discussed getting married at length. Getting engaged wasn’t a shocker and wasn’t a 5 minute conversation. It was a conversation we’ve had since month 6. Making sure we were on the same path with each other. We are now 1.5 years into our relationship. (Time sure has flown).
    Getting a ring wasn’t a shocker – we shopped together. We picked something out that I loved and he was good with giving to me. Getting rings was important to HIM, I didn’t care much either way. I was willing to compromise for that one. I’m struggling to adjust but I think 10 years down the road I’ll be happy we have rings.
    He asked my family’s blessing. Told them his plan, showed them the ring, and told them he just wanted their support. My parents ate that shit up. Dad even cried. They know it’s up to me to say yes or no, but Future MrHizzy just wanted them to be included. Wanted them to know their only daughter found a great MAN to love her and support her (emotionally, physically and if need be financially because I make my own moolah!).

    I felt very differently about all the items when single. And felt very strongly one way when I was younger. Now, I feel like things worked out exactly how they were supposed to.

    #727731 Reply
    othy
    othy
    Participant

    I’ve always felt that a proposal should only be asked if the asker already knows the answer will be yes. As in, you should have talked extensively about the subject before asking. You’ve essentially agreed that you both want to marry, and a proposal is merely a way to formalize previously held discussions. Yes, a proposal can be a surprise, but the surprise should be the time and place, not the question itself.

    #727767 Reply
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    bondgirl

    I’m in total agreement with Othy. Both people in the couple should at least be in agreement about engagement before asking…the proposal itself though can be a surprise.

    First time I was engaged, it was completely sprung on me. Like, it was never even discussed once. Didn’t see it coming. And it was in public, so it did feel like an obligation to say yes. Obviously, that relationship didn’t work out. After that one though, I swore that if I ever got to that point again (aka talking marriage), my future betrothed and I would have to discuss it a few times and agree on engagement being the next step for us. We’ve shopped for rings together and talked about timelines, so now I know it’ll be coming within the next few months. I’m also a person that doesn’t exactly like surprises — I feel like anxious people tend to be that way lol.

    #727777 Reply
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    Fyodor

    I refused to let my wife take a pregnancy test or see an OBGYN because I wanted the birth to be a surprise to her.

    #727785 Reply
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    bondgirl

    You know, there was an entire show on TLC based on women who were literally surprised by the birth of their children. It was called, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”….

    #727788 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    @Fyodor I love your sense of humor.

    #727814 Reply
    Portia
    Portia
    Participant

    @bondgirl, I always thought of that as a horror show, it is a pretty terrifying idea…

    #727818 Reply
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    Ange

    For us the proposal was just a culmination of a long, involved conversation. If it had taken 5 minutes I wouldn’t have been doing my due diligence. We knew we wanted to get married, we discussed what that would look like and how it would work and what roadblocks might come up and then he proposed. It was still somewhat a surprise even though we’d had the ring made together and it was exactly how we both wanted it.

    The thing is if the proposal is so far away from what you envisioned or would have wanted perhaps that’s a good indicator you still have some work to do as a couple. If my husband had gone to my parents first I would have been furious and he knew that and respected it because I too don’t think it’s a decision either of them have anything to do with. But on the flip side if it was something I wanted I’m sure he would have already known that as well. If you two are so far apart on how you are seeing things rather than rail against proposals figure out what your common ground is and see if you can make it there together.

    #727821 Reply
    freckles
    freckles
    Participant

    I knew we were going to get engaged. We’d talked about it at length and we’d gone to pick out a ring together. I just didn’t know when or how, and I wanted it to be a surprise. Like someone else mentioned, I thought it was romantic. That said, I told him in no uncertain terms was he to propose in public, nor was he to ask my parents’ permission. I get the asking of the parents means different things to different people, but to me it’s permission, and I don’t need my parents’ permission to get married. Just no.

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