If you want to experience excruciating secondhand embarrassment, just google “woman proposes to man.”
The awkwardness is palpable in every video, and you end up feeling bad for both the man and the woman. Even if the man says yes, he looks like he’s only doing it because the cameras are aimed at him.
But why shouldn't it be this way? After all, it’s 2021 and gender relations are more equal than ever. What’s wrong with a woman popping the question to a man she’s in love with?
As our society’s ideas about marriage and relationships may have evolved, the appeal of female-led proposals has grown. After all, we’re empowered! We don’t need to wait for a man! But the uptick of proposals by women in the last few decades shouldn’t signal progress, but a lack of masculine responsibility. There is more than just tradition that demands that the man be the one to get down on one knee.
1. He Needs To Choose Monogamy and Commitment
This one gets back to good ole sex differences. Unlike women, who are driven biologically to seek out commitment, men are fundamentally driven to pursue variety in sexual partners. This is not an excuse for men to cheat or use and refuse women as they see fit. But it is a recognition that biologically, men are less motivated than women to pursue the benefits of commitment.
We don’t want a man who passively agrees to commit to gain access to sex or mollify his girlfriend.
This means that your future husband needs to consciously choose that he wants to commit himself only to you for the rest of your lives. We don’t want a man who passively agrees to commitment as a way to gain access to sex or mollify his girlfriend (you) temporarily. This guy may agree to the arrangement at first, but his heart isn’t in it for the long run. He doesn’t have any moral or spiritual reasons to keep him on the straight and narrow, which means he’s much more likely to stray when the going gets tough.
Instead, we’re looking for a man who understands what he’s choosing and is ready to embrace all the restrictions (and benefits) of the long-term monogamy that marriage demands to be successful.
2. He’s Taking On the Financial Responsibility for You and Your Future Kids
Despite the rhetoric thrown around these days, the biological reality remains that women are the only people who can give birth to children. The physical demands of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding only affect women. We’re the ones who will have to take time off work to physically recover or spend time with our newborn.
We could be angry about the inequity, or embrace these unique challenges as part of the beauty of womanhood. But whatever you decide, the fact remains that giving birth to a child will affect your life more than your husband’s. For example, you may choose to take several months or even a year off to care for your child. And what’s the father’s role at this time? Beyond providing you emotional support, you need a man who’s ready to take on the financial burden of his new child and the possibility that you may need to take time off work, or at least work less.
He doesn’t see providing for you as a drain on his resources, but rather as a fulfillment of his role as a father and husband.
Many men’s identity is wrapped up in their status, including how much money they make. What if this man you’re dating isn’t really willing to sacrifice his time or money to support you in the vulnerable time of having a newborn? Or perhaps he isn’t very motivated to earn good money, doesn’t like putting in the extra hours, or is simply stingy about sharing his money. Whatever the reason, he’s not the type of man who you want as the father of your children.
We want a man who understands the financial responsibilities he may be asked to assume and is ready to embrace those with open arms. He takes pride in being able to provide for his family and giving his wife the luxury to spend time with their children. He doesn’t see providing for you as a drain on his resources, but rather as a fulfillment of his role as a father and husband.
3. You’re Setting a Bad Precedent for the Future
Do you want to have a relationship where he does nothing, and you always end up having to pick up the slack? Probably not. After years of that, you’ll end up feeling exhausted and resentful. Not only can this dynamic drain your energy as you’re trying to do his job as well as yours, but it can actually erode your sexual intimacy over time as well.
It’s the polarity of masculine and feminine that creates desire. But that polarity cannot exist when the roles are reversed. If he embraces a passive, feminine role, you will end up stepping into the masculine, decisive role. This can leave you exhausted and out of touch with your feminine sensuality. We need a strong, decisive presence that allows us to be soft and feminine in return.
If he embraces a passive, feminine role, you will end up stepping into the masculine, decisive role.
Remember that a good marriage is a partnership where both spouses take the initiative. Marrying a passive man and taking on the masculine role in your relationship will only leave both of you resentful.
4. He’ll Feel Emasculated
Cue the angry women claiming this is a symptom of the fragile male ego. But men need to feel respected in a relationship – it’s even more important to them than feeling loved. It’s easy to see then why getting down on one knee in front of him, especially in a room full of people or on camera, could be humiliating to him.
In essence, your action accuses him of taking too long, because now you’ve been forced to do this. A manly guy doesn’t want to have his failures paraded around in front of his friends and family.
Your action accuses him of taking too long, because now you’ve been forced to do this.
If you’re proposing because you know he’ll never take the initiative, that’s a red flag for the tone of the rest of your relationship. But if you’re with a decisive, masculine man, and he hasn’t proposed yet, you probably need to start asking yourself why.
If you’re really feeling ready to get married, but he doesn’t seem to be on the same page, it’s time to have a serious conversation about the future of your relationship. Here’s a guide on how to talk to your boyfriend about marriage.
Transitioning from dating to marriage is a huge transition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By encouraging your boyfriend to step up to the plate and propose, you’re setting up a healthy dynamic between the two of you, for now and for the future. Resist the urge to do everything yourself and practice a little patience. Like everything in life, the best things are worth waiting for.
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