The following DW Rant is a guest post from Dennis Hong.
Have you seen this heartwarming marriage proposal that made its rounds over the internet last week? In case you didn’t watch the video — because you’re at work… or have something better to do… or are an emotionless robot — basically, the boyfriend of a Chicago Bulls cheerleader wanted to propose to her, so he got all the other cheerleaders and the team mascot in on the plan. They stopped in the middle of a performance during the game, danced around her at center court, he jumped out of a mascot costume, and she broke down in tears of joy. Crazy-romantic, right?
Well, here’s my take on the whole thing:
Marriage proposals should not be done like this. Proposals are meant to be private. Sure, you might ask a few buddies to help you out… plant the ring for you… hide behind the bushes… capture the big moment on video… take you out to a local bar and get you shit-faced when she knees you in the groin and runs away. I get that. But when you turn your proposal into a public spectacle in front of tens of thousands of people, then you’re really just broadcasting your own ego and shamelessly congratulating yourself.
Did 20,000 basketball fans go to a game to watch some random dude propose to his girlfriend? No, damn it, they didn’t. They went to a game to watch a dozen scantily-clad women grind to the latest techno remixes of popular songs. And yet, some random dude thought it would be appropriate to subject 20,000 basketball fans to his private moment.
And look, before anyone calls me out, this has nothing to do with any impending thoughts of marriage that I may or may not have. Nor does it stem from some deep-seated fear that proposals like these make normal, everyday guys without access to an entire NBA arena look bad. No, I just don’t believe in public proposals. To me, proposals are kind of like sex. Both are intimate expressions of the love, lust, or sweat-drenched anxiety that two people have for one another. And they should stay intimate like that.
Do you know what happens when you take sex and make it public? You get porn – stuff that people who aren’t getting enough sex drool over, and stuff that people who are sexually fulfilled smirk at, because they know how unrealistic it is.
Similarly, do you know what happens when you take a proposal and make it public? You get engagement porn – stuff that people who aren’t happy with their own relationships drool over, and stuff that people in fulfilling relationships smirk at, because they know how unrealistic it is. Not that there’s anything wrong with porn. If you know it’s just a fantasy, if “Debbie Does Dallas” and viral public proposals give you the quick — ahem — “fix” that you need, good for you. Enjoy yourself. Bathe in that fleeting glow. Just don’t start thinking it’s reality in any way, though. You’ll never find a satisfying relationship if you expect your partner to perform like a porn star, whether down on one knee… or both.
By day, Dennis engineers happiness at WordPress.com. By night, he is a relationships and comedy writer, a statement that can be either redundant or an oxymoron, depending on your perspective. Dennis is the creator of the group blog Musings on Life and Love and the group dating advice site LemonVibe. You also can find him on Twitter (he is not the creator of Twitter).
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