Monday, January 30, 2012

Man, You Blew It

She has had this planned since she was 10. Everything has been picked out since she was 16. Under her bed sits a cute little folder with all of her ideas neatly cut out and organized. Her life was working out exactly as she wanted it to. She met you. She fell in love. It was perfect. One day she walked into a basketball game expecting what she always has. It was going to be a normal, perfect day. Then it happened. In front of thousands of people you took her out to the center of the court. You got down on one knee, and then you pulled out a ring. You asked her to marry you. For a spilt second you caught the panic that flitted across her face. Then you saw the fear in her eyes and sensed the mortification in her heart. You blew it. You had thought proposing this way was a good idea, but what you did not think about was what she was going to think and, more importantly, how she was going to feel. Although you may receive the right answer, public marriage proposals are a completely unacceptable way to propose because they have the potential to hurt you and the woman you claim to love.

A man will never, and can never, understand the weight that a wedding carries in the female mind. Her brain works in an entirely different way than yours does. Every girl wants her perfect storybook ending. It’s not just a fairytale for us; it’s a dream that could come true. To a woman picking out a wedding cake is like picking out a new car. Finding “the dress” is like winning “the big tournament”. To a woman a wedding is one of the apexes of her life. This is her territory and not yours. When it comes to a wedding you have to do it the way she wants which includes the proposal. It is not something that can be taken lightly because it has to be done right. Not in front of a million strangers. Not in an American Heritage class. Not at a halftime of any sporting event. There are so many other more romantic and more meaningful ways to pop the question. Why then would you resort to such an inconsiderate, embarrassing, and risky act as a public proposal?
Exposing what should be an intimate moment is setting yourself up for failure. Unless you are completely certain that she will say yes, you are putting yourself in a position of great risk. Even when it seems like there is no doubt, pressure puts people in an abnormal state of mind. An angel may have told you that she is the one, but that does not mean that an angel has told her the same thing. With the stares of thousands of people burning through her, she is unable to focus on your question alone. This pressure can feel like torture. If you're okay with putting your future spouse through such an agonizing experience, you should not have the privilege of having her for time and all eternity.  
The pressure put on a woman during a public proposal forces disaster. Pressure is defined as the exertionof force. By kneeling down on one knee and pulling out a ring, you are asking the woman of your dreams for her hand in marriage. When that act is done in a public setting you are no longer asking: you are forcing. This force may not encourage the result you were hoping for. When put in a dangerous or a stressful situation our animal instincts kick in and we must choose either fight or flight. Years of social conditioning have programed women to choose the less aggressive form and flee. Next to her actually accepting your barbaric plea, this is the best outcome for you. In other outcomes your pressure may result in an acceptance of your proposal but then later, when you are in private setting, as you should have been before, she tells you the truth and declines your offer. Making this choice and living with the consequences is a difficult burden to bear and inevitably villainizes your woman. Again, if your love for her is true, this is not something that you want to do. Needless to say, it would be a devastating blow to you as well. Every girl, while in playful conversation with her friends, has shared a response to a “what if” question about how she would turn someone down in such a situation. I have announced that I would rather say yes and then tell him no later than put him through the pain of saying no in front of so many ridiculing eyes. Is this any better than the alternative though? These situations can be avoided easily by simply not proposing in public. It is the wrong approach to such a life altering moment.
Some say that this method is right for them because of the effort and grandeur involved in such an act. They say that this makes it special. I say that if by special you mean memorable then yes, but this is not memorable in the right way. A proposal can be flashy and extravagant and require a great amount of effort and still be done in a private intimate way. You do not need an audience of thousands to ask the woman you love to marry you, and if you do then you might be asking her for the wrong reasons. If you want to protect her from humiliation and embarrassment, and you want to protect yourself from heartache, then stay away from crowds.
You can save yourself the hurt by simply being smart. When proposing marriage to the girl of your dreams, do not forget about her dreams. She has waited and thought about this moment for the better part of her life, and you do not want to be the one to ruin it. Take a moment and plan it out. Ask a few friends. Do some research. Prepare yourself for the moment that will open the door to the rest of your life. Don’t blow it.


  1. You did an amazing job on this "blog" post/paper! Great use of other forms of rhetoric; they really helped strengthen and support your opinion. You mentioned people proposing in American Heritage. I heard that happened last semester, were you there to witness it?!

    1. Thanks Tiffany! Unfortunately yes, I was there to witness it, and I hate to say it so brutally, but it was pathetic.

  2. You totally ruined my plan to propose in American Heritage... I just thought it would be romantic. I liked the section about gender differences. Guys will never understand what romance means to girls. Your article clearly establishes what a guy should do, and why.
    I learned a lot from reading this article. ShaZam.

    1. Good! I'm glad I could help. As far as your proposal goes, I'm sure you could pull it off- or maybe not.