I love my boyfriend and I’d even be open to marrying him one day. However, it’ll be his decision when that happens because no matter how much I believe in equality of the sexes, there’s no way I’ll ever propose to him.
Marriage is a huge decision. It’s a big thing to say you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. Divorce rates are on the rise, but I take those vows very seriously. Marriage isn’t something I would just jump into without a second thought. As a feminist, I get wanting to take matters into your own hands, but sometimes women can go a little too far with it. Basically, I’m aware that I may be jumping the gun if I get down on one knee before he does. It’s not a race and I want longevity, not a trophy for being first.
Proposing is a burden. The thought of proposing is cumbersome for me. Just thinking about all that goes into it, all the courage it requires, is tiring. If I can avoid that burden, I’ll do it at all costs. Even though I’m all for women feeling empowered to go after what they want in life, I’ll let my boyfriend shoulder that load.
I don’t do well with rejection. I refuse to put myself through a mortifying proposal. What if he says no? I honestly don’t think I’d be able to handle that kind of rejection. I don’t even know how couples stay together after someone rejects a proposal—that’s one of the biggest blows your ego can take. As a self-respecting woman, I’ll leave the ship for my boyfriend to sail.
I don’t like to rock the boat. If things are good, I like them to stay good; if things are bad, I like to skip out before they get worse. It’s this quality that wouldn’t allow me to propose even if I wanted to. Even if I found the gumption, and mustered up enough courage, my pacifist nature wouldn’t allow me to kick up that much dust in our relationship. It doesn’t make me weak—I believe it makes me wise because I know when to step forward and when to step back.
I don’t want to push him away. We all know men can be prideful, and society has reinforced time and time again that men should take the lead. With these kinds of values instilled in most of the guys we date and potentially want to marry, proposing may just push him away. He may feel inferior, and like I don’t trust him to lead the relationship in the right direction. By taking the reins here, I’d be forcing him to take the back seat, and he may not take too kindly to that.
He may not be ready. This is my biggest issue with proposing. Men can be fickle and take forever to make up their minds on something. Even if we’ve mentioned marriage in passing before, popping the question may not be something he’s ready for. Whether he says yes or no, I’ll have put him in a position he wasn’t expecting to be in and probably doesn’t want to be. Men don’t like to be told what to do or forced into a situation—any history book will tell you that.
I intend on planning the wedding. This is going to be very time-consuming, so I don’t want to have to plan the proposal too. While obviously proposing doesn’t take quite as much time and energy as putting together an actual wedding ceremony and reception, hopefully my boyfriend will take the time to make the occasion special.
I don’t want to have to explain why I did it for the rest of my life. This one is pretty self-explanatory. We like to pretend we don’t care what people think, but a part of us always will. We’re human, after all; we desire acceptance on our most basic level. I don’t think women proposing to men will ever become the standard. Plus, my family is stupid traditional. I’d prefer not to have to explain why I popped the question at every family gathering.
I’m lazy. Period. I don’t want to go out and find a ring, have it sized, make sure the packaging is perfect—because it has to be perfect—and then plan the moment. I don’t want to have to worry about making sure everything goes according to plan that day so we can have the Instagram-worthy moment. That’s just too much work for me. Sorry not sorry.
I just don’t have it in me. Because of the values ingrained in me and who I am at my core, I’m certain that proposing isn’t for me. It’s not what I’m supposed to do, nor is it what I think any woman should do. I’m all for the empowerment of women and don’t really believe in gender roles, but this is one I won’t take away from the men.
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