An interesting question was posed to me on March 20, National Proposal Day, and that is this: should a woman ever propose to a man? My snap response was “HECK NO!”, and I’m sticking to it. Here are my reasons why.
- Uncertainty. If you are asking your boyfriend to marry you, how will you ever really know if he wanted it in the first place? It is scientifically proven that if a man really wants something, he’ll go after it. It’s John Gray‘s whole “love of the chase” theory. If you make it too easy on him, if he doesn’t have to work for it, who’s to say your marriage is something he’ll want forever? Sorry boys, but it’s a fact: you’re lazy. Gals, don’t you want your dude to stay up when it really counts?
- Romantic Loss. A proposal should, in theory, be one of the most romantic moments of your life. Men have pulled out all the stops over the ages, from carefully wrapped presents under the Christmas tree to floating a $10K diamond in a glass of champagne to popping the question during a picture-perfect holiday whilst walking past the Eiffel Tower. If it’s you who’s doing the proposing, it’s also you who has to come up with something special. This brings me back to reason #1: let him do the work. This is your moment.
- Gender Role Reversal. Men might think they like a woman who does the chasing, but every time I’ve argued the point with a male friend, they’ve agreed that they would like a woman to approach them, in fact, because they are tired of doing the work. When I assure them that something so easily caught isn’t something really worth having, they agreed. The same theory applies to the marriage proposal. Men don’t like to feel emasculated, or that you’re wearing the pants (even if you are). If you take on the man role in your relationship, don’t get all huffy when he expects it of you.
The University of California recently conducted a gender role study and 2/3 of the 277 students poled said that the man should “definitely” be the one to propose. Only 2.8 percent of women said they would want to be the proposer, and even those few weren’t certain that such a thing would be a good move, as the admitted to only “kind of” wanting to be the one to do the asking.
There are always exceptions to the rule. You may be one of the lucky few whose marriage works out after you propose. But keep in mind that most of you are the rule, not the exception. So next year on National Proposal Day, those of you who are sick and tired of waiting around for your boyfriend to ask you to say ‘I do’, don’t be the one to ask him instead. All good things come to those who wait — and if they don’t, then find something better than good for yourself; find GREAT for yourself. After all, you deserve a lifetime of happiness, don’t you?
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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.