Marian is already 35 years old but her boyfriend of four years, Danny, still hasn’t proposed to her. She has been giving him hints about her readiness to start their life together. She wanted to get married before having a baby. Isn’t society’s “requirement” for women to bear a child before her 40s but not propose to men idiotic? If a woman feels that she’s ready to start a family and wants to get married before having a baby, why couldn’t she pop the question to her partner?
In the case of Marian, she’s already been waiting for the past couple of years. She knows she wants to settle down, but she’s afraid Danny has no plans of proposing to her soon. She’s stuck. What should she do?
In Ireland, February 29 is not just a leap year. They call it also The Ladies’ Privilege, where women “are allowed” to propose to men as a way to balance traditional gender roles. St. Brigid, an Irish nun, supposedly started this tradition. Later on, feminists see this as more of oppression than the freedom they seek to propose when and where they want to. Imagine only being able to think about proposing once every four years.
Times Are Changing
It is not too strange to see women going to the jeweler and buying a ring for their partners. Many still have qualms about the idea of proposing, but a lot have opened their minds to it already. Yes, including the men. A survey showed that 95% of men are open to the idea of women making the first move such as asking for their number or going in for a kiss.
But does it hold true for proposals? Surprisingly, yes. A survey of 500 respondents by Glamour showed that 70% of men would be thrilled at the idea of their girlfriends proposing to them. Society is still isn’t seeing the shift in women’s behavior, but that may not be too far off.
Marian, for example, started giving hints to Danny that she wants to get married. When he didn’t catch up, she sat down and talked to him about marriage. Danny said he was surprised there were hints, and that he didn’t notice it. He told her his plans, and they agreed to wait for some things to settle before tying the knot.
So, maybe Marian’s story isn’t trailblazing for women. She didn’t get down on one knee and proposed to Danny. She’s uncomfortable at the thought. But clearly, she isn’t uncomfortable to talk about marriage with him. She mustered the courage to sit down and have a good long talk about their future.
That’s the story for many women, too. They are starting to tell their partners what they want for the next years in their relationship. It is worth it to talk about these things as you wouldn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t hold the same values as you. If your partner doesn’t believe in getting married and you do, what is the point of staying together?
Same-sex Couples Are the Catalyst
Of course, the emergence of proposals in same-sex couples paved the way for heterosexual relationships to also start thinking about shifting the gender-assigned roles. In lesbian couples, one woman will be doing the proposing and the same happens with gay couples. This goes to show that non-traditional relationships are normalizing. People are finally seeing that there should not be any problem with women proposing and men receiving the proposal.
Empowered women will not wait around for men to ask them to get married. It’s time for men to stop making the decisions for women about when they are going to settle down. If a man asks too early and a woman says no, some will say that that might be the last chance she will get proposed to. But why should that matter? Why can men wait and women not? Or, why can men take the plunge and women not?
Traditions are important but only when they don’t stifle one’s creativity and growth. There is nothing wrong with women proposing, so why should she stop herself from buying an engagement ring for her boyfriend? Because society dictates it’s not the way it should be?
Women have more power now more than ever. The challenges they have to face in fighting for an equal chance strengthened them so now, they want more. They want to reverse traditional gender roles, too. If society now allows them to work and raise a family, why shouldn’t they propose when they are ready?
Meta title: Why Women Proposing to Men Shouldn’t Be a Taboo Subject Anymore
meta description: Many people still follow the traditional route of proposing where men fall on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. But women in heterosexual relationships are already starting to propose to their boyfriends, so maybe it is time to finally talk about it.