Wedding proposals from women: a weight off men's shoulders or an attack on manhood?

Wedding proposals have always been a male prerogative and when a woman proposes to her man, he may either be relieved, cornered, angry or embarrassed

Ajit Menon | Posted on 19 Jun 2016
Women Proposing To Men: Relieving or Offending? | Bonobology

“I pay all my own bills... I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me.” - Zsa Zsa Gàbor, Hungarian-American actress and socialite.

Similar sentiments could have inspired famous personalities such as Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears, Halle Berry and others to take that road less travelled. As those who popped that vital question, “Will you marry me?” to their men, these women personify a certain self-assurance and an egalitarian worldview. Traits highly desirable in one's partner.

Look at the Woman today. She is heading countries, running multinational corporations, flying fighter planes, exploring space…. I believe, in this world of stay-at-home dads, a woman proposing to her man is a perfectly natural act between two mature individuals who love each other. Plus, when the roles are reversed in this vital part of marriage, it makes for a most interesting topic of conversation among family and friends.

There are many reasons why women take charge of the wedding proposal. Frustration could be one. Sometimes even after being in an exclusive relationship for years, the man doesn't produce the ring. In such cases, it is only natural for the woman to take the initiative. For she can hear the ticking of her biological clock, and he doesn't seem to.

When a woman proposes to her man, something else happens too. The proposal works as a barometer of his commitment to their romantic relationship. Pop the question and both of them immediately know where they stand in the relationship. Which makes it easy for her to weed out the “can't, won't, don't” marry types from the marriage list and do the smart thing - start investing time, energy and money in finding someone who would not only love her but also be grateful to her for having agreed to marry him.

Let's look at another good thing that comes out of a woman proposing to her man. There is tremendous pressure on a man to make things perfect when he plans to propose to the girl of his dreams. With our whole lives being lived out on social media, the pressure to create that "unique" wedding proposal has reached nerve wracking proportions. So when the woman proposes to the man, in a single second she takes the load off  his shoulder. Isn't it understandable if he feels grateful and happy?

On the other hand, when a woman proposes to a man, it can be construed as a full-frontal attack on one of the last bastions of manhood. If seen in that light, it would be no surprise if he feels embarrassed and emasculated, often in equal degrees; twice as much if proposed to in a public place with lot of witnesses. There is also a real chance of the woman being seen as pushy. Not the hoped-for ending to a most romantic endeavour.

Another dampener on an otherwise uplifting idea is that being proposed to can make a man instantly hear the question, "Who wears the pants in the house?," like an ongoing bell in his head (not as precursors to wedding bells, but ominous warning bells). And no matter how hard he tries, he can't shake that question off his mind.

When a woman pops the question, a man could feel cornered and forced to answer. It makes him experience feelings of helplessness and serious loss of control. It leads to resentment towards the woman. Not an emotion you want to elicit when you are asking him to marry you.

When a woman proposes to her man the last thing she expects is an instant fall from grace. From being his “dearest woman” to being perceived as a “desperate woman” is, I would say, quite a rushed and reactionary judgment. The words "desperate" and "woman", when put together, scare men everywhere. When that happens, chances are, he will disappear for good before she can count to ten. And to make matters worse, self-doubt could raise its ugly head in her mind.

The big question now is - should the woman propose to the man or wait for him to propose to her?

There is no correct answer to that question, but there are pointers. It is always good to remember that every relationship is different and each individual unique. So, pop the question based on how well you know your man, how much faith you have in your relationship, and how much you love him. But if you are doing it to have a man in your life or because your children need a father or you are scared of growing old alone, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. 


Ajit Menon

Ajit Menon describes himself as a writer-of-sorts; champion of defensive lies and the broken spirit; playing Hamlet in the human story; recluse by nature, romantic by choice; admirer of all things beautiful and moving.

Comments : 1

Nila: to have a man in your life or because your children need a father or you are scared of growing old alone if these are wrong reasons.. then what is the right reason? is there a reason at all?


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