HELL NO! Absolutely not! No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Ok now that I got that out, seriously I think in a majority of cases it’s a bad idea. I believe there are too many risks or negatives that come along with a woman taking it upon herself to propose. I won’t dismiss the fact that there are some women who have done it and all is ok. In my opinion those are exceptions, and for most it is still very risky business and something a woman should avoid doing. I’m sure you are wondering why I specifically think it is such a bad idea for a woman to propose. Well before I break that down let me explain what I do think is ok.
Last night I appeared on KISS 104.1 FM’s “The Jennifer Keitt Show” and “should a woman propose” was one of the questions asked. One of the other guests mentioned that the woman should be able to approach her man about the issue. She should be able to let him know that if he isn’t prepared to get married then maybe this relationship needs to end. This is something I completely agree with. If you know as a woman that you are looking to get married, then you should not have to be dragged along by some man who isn’t prepared to give you that. If you have reached a point where his unwillingness to take things to the next level is genuinely bothering you, then you should openly talk about it. It isn’t about pressuring him to do it, but it is about getting a clear picture on where his head is at and where he intends to take things. If he doesn’t have some sort of plan to spend the rest of his life with you, then maybe you need to plan on removing him from your life.
Some women see that their man is holding off on proposing. It’s been several years and he still has a million and one excuses why it isn’t time yet. In some cases the man isn’t even given the opportunity, but the women figures she wants to take matters into her own hands. STOP! If it has been a few years and plenty of discussions about getting married with no result then why would you want to take this route? The man is showing you he isn’t willing or prepared to take it there, so realize that if he says yes it is simply because you backed him into a corner. Is that what you really want? Honestly, I think that is exactly what you are willing to take at that point. You have become so obsessed with validating this relationship with a marriage, or simply achieving your dream of marriage that you have lost sight of what is really important; being with a man who truly wants to spend his life with you in this union of marriage. If he isn’t truly invested into that concept then what is the point. You will find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled when the smoke clears. You also may cause resentment or frustration in him because you put him in a position to “give in” with a situation he wasn’t man enough to handle correctly in the first place. It just isn’t worth it for you to take the initiative to propose.
If a man wants to truly marry you then he will propose and take the necessary action to make that happen. If he hasn’t then either he truly is not ready (which it is up to you to determine if he has had enough time) or he simply isn’t the one for you. Most of you know the answer to that deep down inside but you choose to ignore it for many different reasons. We all have to be honest with ourselves and accept our reality. Sometimes we spend years with someone who we should have never held on to for that long. His unwillingness to marry you is at times the confirmation that you refuse to acknowledge. It is better to walk away and prepare yourself for the man who will want to marry you, then for you to propose to the man who just isn’t prepared to take that step. At the end of the day the choice to propose is yours.
Side Note: If you want a man who is able to lead you and take initiative on things in life and your relationship, then don’t take that responsibility away from him by deciding to propose. You set the stage and the wrong standard by taking this action. He either mans up, or you have to accept that at this moment he isn’t man enough for you.
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51 thoughts on “Should A Woman Propose?”
Good blog. I totally agree, I say NO!
Thanks Dee : )
Asking a man to marry you you run the risk of not being happy because you will always wonder if he is happy or was he ever gonna ask you to marry him. He may not even be the right man for you.
Very good point. I have had several woman raise that same concern with taking it upon themselves to propose. They know that question will always haunt them.
Men on marriage: When God gave us dominion over the earth, did he really think we would buy the cow when the milk is free?
It sounds to me like you and Dee agree that a proposal should come from a man because a woman should put his happiness before her own, and she’s incapable of determining if a man is right for her or not.
IMO – “Will you marry me” and “Let’s get married” have two different meanings. “Let’s get married” suggests that both parties are confident about their relationship and therefore, it doesn’t matter who says it first. Proposing marriage has long been a tradition-based man ideology that many women have conformed to and most men are happy to wait.
I’m not sure how my words implied “a woman should put his happiness before her own, and she’s incapable of determining if a man is right for her or not.” because that is not at all what I am saying or have said. The point that was being made was if the woman takes it upon herself to ask that she may be left wondering for the rest of her life if the man would of ever stepped up on his own. For some women that may not bother them, but many women have admitted to me that this indeed would stick with them and that is not good.
Allow me to help Whittynote out here. You started off with “HELL NO! Absolutely not! No ifs, ands, or buts about it! ” I think that sums it up nicely that you are indeed saying that despite a woman maybe capable, she shouldn’t do it. There is a ton of facts that you left out of your article that should be in there. So hence it is one sided post (article).
If you can’t figure out if he is happy or not, then that is a clear sign the two of you should not be in a relationship together! Far to many women are socially conditioned to go with the status quo rather than thinking or acting in a way that best suits you. If after a year or two you say “he may not even be the right man for you” then I’m sure he has picked up on that from you that you maybe stringing him along.
Thats funny! SMH!….lol..I want to say that you blew it away once again.Congrats ;-).. Where you said “dream of marriage” is where a lot of women go wrong. They’re so hooked on MARRIAGE, they’re not focused on what comes with it. It can be like a fairytale at times and other times like a nightmare. All marriages have the good and the bad. So focus more on what you want in a marriage and not on marriage itself. Oh yeah! When you spoke about ” pressuring him to do it”. My thought is.. you wont have to pressure him in any way, because his mind will already be there. Some men already know what type of woman they want. And you’re speaking the truth on “His unwillingness to marry you.” That clearly tells you he has not thought about you in his foreverafter..Move on. Just a thought:-)~smile~
Exactly. Sometimes women believe a man is confused, but typically a man knows what he wants. he just isn’t always willing to be honest about it and that is when the perceived confusion kicks in. His actions speak louder than his words, so if a woman focuses on that (which in this case is his unwillingness to propose) then she can find the clarity she is looking for.
yup been there…no actions..no words..no marriage…its ok….moved on.
I agree with this blog but a part of me doesn’t.
My foriegn exchange sister’s parents had a REALLY bad marriage and my sister was always in the middle breaking up fights and such…they fought when I visited her even. She has been with this guy for 10 years now. He loves her SO much and she him and he’s been such a good match for her…When she had a skiing accident and had to have a rod put in from her upper thigh to her ankle he was there for her and helpped her get better. I couldn’t see anyone better for her…they truly are the saying “soul mates.” He HAS proposed numerous times but because of her parents horrible marriage she was afraid along with the fact that she didn’t feel it was the right time so they continued to date/live together. Going back to where she had her accident some months ago she realized how he she loved him and he never left her side through her healing after the accident and all those years he was such a good “help mate.” She felt ready and that she felt it was “right” now- so she surprised him and proposed…funny thing is that she picked on him about “never to propose without a ring.” A few moments before she proposed he left for a moment to try to make a ring out of twine or a twig because he was going to propose again. When she proposed he started crying and said yes:)
So after that story-I agree women should NOT propose to a man BUT in this instance of my exchange sister proposing I disagree because he had proposed many times before.
I agree, with the situation involving your exchange sister her proposing makes perfect sense. He already made it clear he wanted to marry her, and he did his part multiple times by taking action. I’m happy she was finally able to get past her fears and concerns. That is a great story : )
I think a woman who takes the initiative to propose is definitely strong in character and secure in her relationship. Honestly, I would never do it (on,e because I am already married) and (two, because I fear rejection.) What if he says NO?!! The damage would be devastating. In front of family and friends?!! No way. He is doesn’t ask you or give you the smallest hint that he is at least thinking it over, I wouldn’t say leave him but let it go until he is 100% ready!
Great article as always! :-).
Not to take anything away from the woman who is brave enough to do it, but I don’t think it is always a case of strong character. Sometimes there are very negative reasons that fuel a woman to take such an action. Funny you mention “in front of family and friends” because for some people that is the best setup to decrease a persons ability to say no. Some are banking on the fact that you aren’t willing to embarrass them, so it is in essence a perfect trap for some that do it….Thank you, glad you liked the article : )
Interesting perspective Stephan. I addressed this topic when Joseline, from Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta proposed to her boyfriend Stevie J. Here’s how I addressed it…
Brilliant post. You’ve made this so clear to everyone. If women still go ahead without taking heed, then all I can say is this ‘those who don’t hear will feel’
I loved the last paragraph subtitled: Side Note, this was the clincher for me, as I previously didn’t have an opinion on this topic. Now I do.
Thank you very much Rum Punch. I just hope those you have done it or are considering it don’t take this the wrong way. I hope they understand what is being said and why I truly believe it is not in their best interest.
I agree completely…I wrote about the same thing on my blog. My friend has been with her man for 8 years now and she does everything for him but I can tell she is at that breaking point. He always teases her and says she’s not acting like a wife even though she is but I can tell by her reactions that she is on that if he doesn’t do it by the end of the year she is leaving.
What does she really think is going to change in year 8? What incentive does he have to marry her if she is giving it all to him now? I don’t expect you to answer does questions, but she needs to ask herself those question and move in a better direction.
I dont think women should ask a man to marry her. I think she should wait until he ask her. An besides it much sweeter that way. Does this mean she buys him a diamond and is ok with the fact that she is not getting one. after all the rools have changed. and does he get to plan the wedding the way he wants. i would have all these things going through my head it would drive me crazy. and its only fair that he get to pick seen how she asked. so lady’s leave well enough alone and when he is ready and wants to marry you he will ask. Everything comes at its appointed time!!!!1
I agree, when a man is ready to get married, he pops the question, no one has to force him, trick him or anything else. When a man is ready he makes the move. If he never gets ready, these is nothing wrong with that, but a woman should be prepared to move if his schedule doesn’t match hers. If you do have to move on, realize it is a good thing. I am a liberated type woman and all that goes with that and I have been happily married 22 years. Another good article, thanks for sharing.
This is great, and so true. Many women need to read this
I usually find your blog very interesting. However, I don’t understand why a man has to propose. If a man proposes, does he not run the same risk if a woman proposes… rejection. Also if a woman makes it known that she is looking for him to commit and take the next step or else… does that not also force the man into a corner the same as if the woman proposes. My thoughts on this subject are simple. If a man wants to propose then he will… without threats or intimidation. Women need to be patient and quiet, even if they don’t think a man is moving fast enough. A women should also set a time limit in her mind and move on with her life if she is no longer satisfied with the relationship. Keep the marriage threats and intimidation out of the relationship. Pressuring a man to marry you after a few months, weeks , or days is crazy. Discussing marriage after a year is okay provided your relationship has grown and you are curious about what your man is thinking and you want to let him know that you want a real family. However, I know couples that have never married and are still together after twenty plus years.
Awesome comment and so so true!
I think both should mutually propose, in so far as letting the man know you want him right back but as far as the real proposal it's the one thing I think is really traditional and would take a man;s thunder away if the woman did it…
Well said and I can’t speak for all men, but instead of stealing my thunder, it gave me more! Behind a strong wise man is an even stronger and wiser woman who can support her man has the ability to step up in charge should her man stumble. Very well stated Jacquline!
I am glad you agree with me I am old fashion and believe a man is suppose to do what is suppose to do and be a man….I been single since 2004 and ppl say approach aman you like I tell them I am not a man….I am patience when my solider comes I will be ready…Thanks again keep it real#Realtalk
That is the thinking of sooo many women. Sit back and wait. You have been single for 9 yrs. Are you going to wait another 9 and be alone for nearly 20 yrs are you going to put that hogwash aside and go after what you want.
NOPE! ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO! IT IS NOT THE ORDER OF GOD! HE THAT "FINDS" A WIFE!
I can only speak for myself as a quirky, yet very strong woman. I take charge in my work life and I have been even told I am like a steam-roller at times. I have learned with men, to wait and see if the man is strong enough to make the moves AND likes me enough. When it comes to love and marriage, he needs to be able to ask me. Why? Because I want to see he has a lot of skin in the game. He’ll be dealing with my personality for many years and I need a man that can take the lead when it comes to affairs of the heart.
There is nothing wrong to steam rolling and getting things done. The problem is Mandy that we ALL have been socially conditioned. A Stephan pointed out many women maybe “dreaming” of marriage where that stage was set from an early age. Sadly, where we have gone wrong is “some” women getting greedy when things don’t work out. We have to look at the numbers as they never lie and I wish Stephan would have included. At an early we still give little girls love and affection. Boys, we tell them to suck it up, don’t cry and so on. So by the time we get to adulthood, we have been conditioned for 15 + yrs. When we look at divorce rates we see the real picture. However, in the past, courts tended to side with the woman with child support, the house, care etc. Over the past 25 I have seen far to many women abuse that and be despiteful to bleed the guy for every drop of life, love blood and money. In my state Mandy, if you get divorced now, you give up half of everything… period! I mean retirement too! So I’m 40 and we just met and we get married. For whatever reason it does work out. I started working at 16 and would you think I would enjoy giving up half of my retirement to you or any woman for the past 24 yrs when you were not around and I busted my ass? In Stephans words “HELL NO! Absolutely not! No ifs, ands, or buts about it!” While that was an example, see, Stephan fails to discuss that. Additionally, time have changed and today we have gay marriages that account for 1/3 of all marriages in the U.S. Moreover, with people waiting longer to get married and the fact that there are more indepentant women out there tha I think is awesome, the negative is that the stats are clearing showing that women are becoming more violent and aggressive with domestic violence. Don’t take my word for it but Google it. For years we have fallen victim that women or innocent, weak, and need help and protection. Bullshit! Men love a strong a strong woman secure woman physically, emotionally and mentally. Let me point out something else. Back when I was 23, I had the most amazing woman in the world. I hated her when we first met and I thought she was a bitch. But with some time I seen the real woman she was. I was going to propose to her and before I could, she had already asked my parents, got a ring and got all of my family and friends together to propose. I did say yes and I thought it was a joke and a dream. During my our engagement she quit her job to care for me and I had a serious eye injury and on heavy meds. I don’t remember 3 month of my life during that. But I loved her so much for that. We ended up spliting up because you women flock together and tell your friends everything when you shouldn’t. She had to return to work as a server and was around 3 other girls who had failed relationships, became men haters and loved to party. They took her down the road of drugs and alcohol and she left me for one of those girls who done the same to my ex as she done to me in 3 mons. Not let me ice the cake her. It took her 5 yrs to admit she totally messed up and another 5 yrs to before she broke down to check herself in the a rehab center to get clean of drugs and alcohol. At that point I consider getting back with her until she informed me that she had to have her uterus removed and was not able to have kids. That was a deal breaker for me! Despite all that has happened over the years we have stayed in touch and are still like brother and sister. But although she is part of my life as a friend she is not allowed to exist by any other woman. Many women and even female friends I dated allowed themselves to become jealous, envious and compare themselves. Not me! So my point is am I going to commit to you when you show signs of jealous of a female friend I have? No! Ironically, the woman I ended up meeting, she ended up proposing to me and I did say yes again. Now both of us are in our late 40’s, my wife may make a smart assed remark once in a blue moon, if I or any male loved an ex that much as most women let themselves believe, the guy wouldn’t have married the woman he is with. In short we share our stories in our siminars and workshops in hopes to break down the social conditioning way of thinking and if to love someone (male or female) propose and don’t let others or some 1902 way of thinking hold you back!
I agree with a woman not proposing. But I also think a woman needs to woman up and say she is looking for marriage from the beginning. I'm more interested in finding the person for me, and not necessarily for getting any man to put a ring on my finger. As is proven by the 2 out of 3 marriages that end in divorce, marriage does not mean unconditional love or a lasting relationship. Some women are SO CONCERNED about getting that ring, they'll do anything. Unconditional love doesn't have a time limit, especially one that's set by a stranger or their friends or family. That's why you seek God and let Him being your husband to you. Because even if it takes time to get married, you know that the man you're with has been given by God.
Well stated!!! I know a woman how has both little boys and girls. Sadly she is setting her girls up for failure. Her daughters are not really allowed to play outside with their brothers as they may get dirty. Please! Rather when we go over there, her 2 daughters run around saying they are princesses yet stuck playing with their doll house and helping mom in the kitchen. What happens when they get young adults? Like you said they’re going to so caught up with get a ring and that guys treat them like their mom demands… as princess. They will never propose to a man. You’re so right that true love has not time limits or traditional rules. Kudos!
This is so true. I stalled too long wuth an individual who stated after 9 months of dating that he did not believe in marriage. I stayed six unfulfilling years thinking the things I did would change his mind. Lessons learned, no regrets. Saving myself for who God is preparing and praying that I did not wait too long waiting on the wrong one
So what about when you first meet you both agree to a date of when you will be ready to marry and the women later because her situation changes wants to marry early but the man desires to stick with his plans originally agreed upon. Is he wrong?
This is so true a man should always propose
A good friend of mine asked her husband to marry her and they are very happily married. Worked for them….
Worked for me and mine too!
I have seen men in long term realtionships whose unfaithful to their partners, while the partner thinks he is committed to her!
It goes both ways!
I read your articles often! I wish this would have been out a couple months ago!! My Guy and I have been together for two years now.. He has brought up marriage a few times. But has never asked asked. He knows how I feel. I believe in marriage and God. He says he wants forever and marriage. Sooo I asked, he said yes. I said I'm serious- Vegas. He said he was too. Went to Vegas came home – not married… We are still together he now says he want a diffiarent kind of wedding. We live together. However I do not believe we will marry.. So I'm constantly batteling what I want what I need and what God says is right.. An the man that I love that says forever with out action on a wedding…
I read your articles often! I wish this would have been out a couple months ago!! My Guy and I have been together for two years now.. He has brought up marriage a few times. But has never asked asked. He knows how I feel. I believe in marriage and God. He says he wants forever and marriage. Sooo I asked, he said yes. I said I’m serious- Vegas. He said he was too. Went to Vegas came home – not married… We are still together he now says he want a diffiarent kind of wedding. We live together. However I do not believe we will marry.. So I’m constantly batteling what I want what I need and what God says is right.. An the man that I love that says forever with out action on a wedding…
I just totally agree wiv dis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good One Stephan
Amen. Reminds me of the quote: "Love is like a fart, if you have to force it, it's probably sh**."
Wow, this sucks.. VERY narrowsighted
Wow, you are one heteronormative, old fashioned asshole. Here’s my proposal, -and yes, I’m a girl who proposed to a man who said yes.
I just argued with my sister about this. I would never propose to a man. It is emasculating for him and embarrassing for the woman. It is not the natural order and not traditional for a reason. Who do we think we are that we can change traditions and natural order? And why do we think it’s okay to go against what feels right? Both majority women and men should prefer the men propose. As a leader, men should lead in the foundation and initiation of a relationship. Otherwise, this can most likely be a troubling sign of things to come. Taking away his leadership or him not deciding to lead in the beginning would likely be a sign of the same things in the future.
Also dating…will only be what you allow it to be. Being unmarried, but in a living situation that resembles marriage is unhealthy. This is a limbo between courtship and marriage. You should never allow yourself to get there. This is a stagnant state with no growth. No growth is very frustrating. Dating should be deliberate for your goals. If you want to be married make sure this guy is presenting himself as marriage material throughout dating. Is he a leader while dating? Is he reliable? Does he have his own goals and if he does, is he working towards them? Or is he someone you are simply filling your time with? The signs show in the beginning. Real men who are ready for you are unmistakable.
Dating is for getting to know someone better. Use that time wisely. And because it is only dating, set your boundaries of respect and stick to them. Also, this is not your husband, so don’t treat him as such. Especially when he’s not treating you as his wife. The problem is women seem to want this so bad that we compromise with our standards or over serve unworthy men just so we are not alone. Men know this about women. But, we hope for him to eventually become what he never was for us in the beginning. He will never be that, at least not in this same situation. Because he knows he doesn’t have to. He already has you with behaving below your standards and knows you are accepting it. If you lower standards in the beginning, the is never any reason for him to step up for you. You already gave yourself away. The good thing is we don’t have to continue to date or co-habitate with these men who are not interested in or concerned with our goals, needs and wants. It doesn’t make him a bad person or an evil villain, it’s just not the right direction for you.
It can work out in very few instances, but knowing that there still are high expectations of gender roles, it will not be wise in most cases to propose to a man.
I asked last night on Leap Year Day and he said no… not now. We have dated four and a half years and I've been a cancer patient and he's been my caregiver. He has been here when I needed him most. I was married for twenty years until I got cancer and everything fell apart. Now I find a man who is here for me and truly loves and supports me, and I desire to be a wife again. I've been through hell and back for four years with stage four breast cancer twice, lost my job, home, marriage… and I am tired of waking up alone. Do I continue to wait? People say why push it and why get married when things are going so well? Because I don't know how long I have on this earth, I've already been told this cancer will kill me, and I want to be a wife again. Is that so wrong?
Not really a good idea since the man is usually the one that does.
One of the most sexist things I’ve read lately. Your entire argument rests on the assumption that men are always the commitment-phobic partners (and thus the ones who also have the power to make a decision about marriage or not). But if you know any modern, educated women, you’ll realized many are not obsessed with being married. Oftentimes it’s the woman who is not so sure she wants to be committed. And so if a man proposes, to her, HE’LL never know if she was sure. The best thing to do is just wait until both parties clearly want to be together, and then one party or the other (preferably, the woman, if you actually ever want equality) does the asking or there is a mutual agreement. Anything else is just blind sexist tradition.