Over in the forums there are a couple of discussions going on regarding engagements (and proposals) and engagement rings, and I thought it was worth bringing the topics over to the main page for deeper thought. First: engagements. It’s the 21st century. What do you think about this idea of women waiting around for their men to propose to them? I mean, on one hand there’s a place for tradition and, if both partners like the idea of the dude down on bended knee (or if one is really into the idea and the other is willing to go along with it), then they should go for it.
I myself had a traditional proposal where Drew popped the question to me, but we had had numerous conversations leading up to it and were on the same page — and I’d even given him my great-grandmother’s engagement ring and told him to give it back to me when he was ready (knowing very well he was ready and it was just a matter of his figuring out a way to propose; we’d also discussed a summer wedding, so I knew I wouldn’t be waiting very long for a proposal). I may be wrong about this, but I think we were both wanting a traditional proposal and thought of it more as a fun way to celebrate the milestone than a formality making it official. That said, if it had seemed like Drew wanted to get married but had no interest in a traditional proposal or whatever, I’d have just said, “Fine. Let’s set a date,” and we’d be engaged. Maybe not as “fun” (for us), but we’d still be on the road to marriage, and isn’t that the whole point?
Anyway, I get so many letters and see so many forum threads about women feeling completely frustrated with waiting for their boyfriends to propose (and I’m using heteronormative terms here because it is almost exclusively in straight couples where I see this issue). Is it really a proposal they’re waiting for, or is it an agreement to get married? They’re different things, after all. I feel that, if your guy isn’t willing to even discuss a timeline for marriage and you are ready, like, yesterday to walk down the aisle, then maybe you two are at different places and it’s time to move on. Or, you decide how much longer you’re willing to wait — a month, three months, six months max — and move on if the discussion hasn’t progressed at all.
But if you’re both in agreement and it’s just a proposal that’s standing in the way of making it official, why not just do the proposing yourself? Or, say, “Hey, let’s be engaged now!” And then you’re engaged. Maybe that’s not as fun and festive, but, if the waiting, waiting, waiting is really driving you nuts, cut it out. Take some ownership of the situation and make yourself a fiancée. And if you need a ring to make it feel real, here are some more non-traditional ones that I love, ranging from the price of a movie ticket and milk duds to the price of a new Nissan: