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Home » Sexual Resources » Sex Articles » Relationships

Should Men Still Propose?
Is It An Outdated Tradition?

Maybe I am an overly practical and an independent female, but the idea of a man proposing marriage in this day and age seems outdated to me. When I was in college, I remember the hype that girlfriends of mine played into about getting married after graduation. It was a big focus.

Okay, I admit, I was thinking it would be romantic and wonderful too for a short time in my life, but then my boyfriend in college proposed. I remember him getting on his knee and presenting me with this large diamond ring. I was touched, but at the same time I really felt like this should have been a mutual moment... when in actuality it felt like it was just because he was ready to get married and I was getting put on the spot in this traditional, grand romantic gesture.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

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Would it be horrible to say no after this romantic and courageous act? I thought so... I really did not want to hurt him or make him feel like I did not appreciate such a beautiful gesture as my naïve 22 year old mind thought at the time. "Yes," I said, although uncertain, only to tell him my real feelings months later which eventually lead to our break up.

At my job on the following Monday after this proposal, the women went on and on about my ring and how he must really love me to get a diamond that big. Okay, let me pause here and say that this type of reaction is nauseating to me. What does it matter how big the diamond a man buys for his love interest is in comparison to how much he loves her? The woman in your office with nothing but a sliver of silver or 10 k gold on her finger may have a husband that loves her more than any husband your diamond encrusted co-workers have and to say differently based on a material possession means this society's values are a bit messed up in my opinion.

Also, since I had the eye opening discovery that many diamonds are actually trafficked by Rebel groups that brutally murder, rape, and mutilate civilians in Africa; I don't know about you, but it makes a cubic zirconia or gold band more appealing to me for such matters! Okay, I feel better now that I vented on that for a moment... back to the main point-

After three marriage proposals in my life from men on their knees, I decided that I had enough of this craziness and told my husband (when we were dating) that I did not want a fourth marriage proposal and that he could forget about that tradition with me, as I believe that a marriage should be something that occurs after many discussions and a mutual decision to take that path together.

I cannot tell you how many women I know that drive themselves crazy wondering when their love interest is going to pop the question. Could it be on this birthday, Christmas... surely this Valentines day... and often it makes their holidays horrible because it is as though they went through a kind of rejection for every special occasion that came and went with no proposal.

For men, all I can say is... you poor things; the pressure you guys must feel! No wonder the stereotype is for you to avoid it... it's all on your shoulders. Prove you love her by financing your life away on an expensive engagement ring so that all of her friends can gage how much you love her. Have the proposal be just right and figure out if you are expected to treat her like chattel and ask her father's permission. As if that were not enough insanity, make sure you do it on your knee on a special day you planned for her because apparently this wedding thing is really about the bride.

I honestly question many of the traditions we have in regard to weddings and all the events that lead up to them. From bachelor & bachelorette parties that encourage everything but the focus on celebrating the union of the couple to bridal showers and wedding planning where the focus is all about the bride and appearances.

I had a wedding that was grand and had many guests and truly found myself emotionally worn out and stressed from the whole thing. It felt like it was more for the guests. My husband and I decided that for our 'real' wedding we were doing it alone. Just he and I in a beautiful Colorado mountain resort and our personal vows. It was the most wonderful experience and I only wish that more couples, whether they get married alone or with many people, have the emotional connection that we shared that day and for the many years of wedded bliss thereafter.

Getting married is a choice that we must all come to on our own terms... I think it is time to expect couples to determine that mutually... so the question is, once you toss out traditional ways of thinking, what is your ultimate vision for the partnership you really want?


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