woman on her knees proposing to a man

Should women propose to men?

Ah. The big ‘I Do’ question: Can a woman propose to a man? Yes, of course, she can. Should she? Now that is where many roads diverge.

Google: ‘marriage proposal’. Sure enough, you will find thousands of nearly identical images: a man on one knee, holding out an engagement ring to his shocked, yet delighted, the bride-to-be. While there might be a few variables – sunset or sunrise, lake or mountains – for the most part, they all fit this pattern.

See, the best part about proposing to your man? You decide when it happens. There are no rules to guide you to, so you make your own rules too!

In today’s world, proposals have become a hot topic for debate. ‘On the one hand, women are being told “be empowered; take the lead in your relationship.”’ On the other hand, they’re also being told, ‘If you take the lead in your relationship and you’re pushing engagement, it’s because he’s not really committed. He doesn’t really love you enough to commit,’” The male ego is a real thing. 

Just like asking a man out on a date, the rules of asking him out for marriage are more or less the same: We are living in the 21st century, and definitely with empowerment comes fluidity in gender roles.

Top five tips to propose marriage:

  1. Be sure you’re ready: First things first. Analyze your relationship. Do you really think it’s time to make it official? Or are you just using marriage to paper over the relationship problems?
  2. Be clear about your intentions: What are your intentions? Be clear about that and don’t pop the question because you are testing the strength of the relationship. If you don’t know, wise up: Alarm bells, not wedding bells, are what you’re hearing in your head. Never propose out of desperation for feedback;
  3. Consider your partner’s position: Have you had conversations about the idea of marriage? What does their idea of a future together with you look like? Are they open to marriage? What kind of marriage? Tough questions need to be asked. 
  4. Watch out for his ego: Kudos to you for being the first to pledge faith in your future together, but keep in mind that he may be a little disappointed that you stole his thunder, whether he was planning a proposal or not. To be fair, you can leave it a bit open-ended so that he can come back with a proper proposal and a real ring! 
  5. Keep it simple: Disney romance may have shown you that you go all out, hire expensive wine and airplane banners, but the rule of thumb is to keep everything simple. Don’t be distracted. The point is to enjoy the moment! 

What are we saying?

You need to know your partner. You may be a woman proposing, but really, when push comes to shove, you’re really just you, proposing to the man or woman of your dreams. Shed off the gender roles and expectations and other peoples’ ideas of what you should or shouldn’t do. If proposing to your man feels right to you, then, by all means, get down on one knee and do your thing.

Over to you, should a woman propose to a man?

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LoveMatters Africa

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