Sunday, June 4, 2017

On why I am going to propose to my boyfriend...

Yes, as the title suggests, I am planning on proposing to my beloved boyfriend. Don't worry, he knows that I will... some day... whenever I am certain that he is in fact the one I want to marry, so this post isn't really a spoiler alert. He also plans on proposing to me. Neither of us know who will propose first. Anyway, I've been getting a lot of positive feedback about my plan, which I won't disclose because that is a surprise, from young men, women, older professionals, stay-at-home moms, deans, people of all walks of life. However, there are a few that are still taken aback when I mention it and I figured I'd use this post as a chance to calmly explain my thoughts on the matter (written word has always been a good medium for me as I tend to get worked up/defensive about the subject, it's just in my nature to deal with all matters of marriage with high sincerity and emotion, for better or worse-- ha, pun intended.). In writing this, it also helped me process why exactly I want to do this and why it is so important to me...

And before you roll your eyes, I'm not doing this out of a feminist movement or anything. I just am tired of the fact that Pinterest literally has ZERO ideas for "how to propose to him"... Ain't nobody got time for that antiquated, jedi-mind trick shit.... (side note: everyone should watch this and the movie it's from He's Just Not That Into You... I think senior year of college I watched it like a dozen times... and then tried a dating app for like a year and then gave up on dating after too many ghosting, immature assholes, I assumed waiting until later 20s would be sufficient time for them to mature, then not long after that met the man this post is about-- funny how that works)

I think to understand why I want to propose, I should first explain what the act of proposing means to me and why it is significant. More so, what is NOT important is:
1) the amount of balloons/flowers/people/stuff/chaos involved nor
2) the size of the "rock".

In fact, I have specifically stated that I will say no when he asks if:
1) the diamond IS real (I have nothing against those who want a real diamond, but personally I do not. I would rather spend that money on a honeymoon and home improvement projects-- bring on the remodeling! Furthermore, the artificially inflated prices of the diamond industry, though I support a free market to some extent, pains me to think about not to mention the blood that inevitably resulted in that rock being pulled from the Earth. Call me a nerd, call me an environmentalist or a humanitarian, but these things weigh on my mind far more than any "sparkle" could distract...) and
2) I can predict he is about to propose before he actually does. (Like, greater than 2minutes before he gets down on one knee of course. I understand there is some reason here that I also can't constantly be guessing "you're about to propose! you're about to propose!" every time we go out somewhere or he makes me dinner etc. Fun fact, to help deter this possibility he has threatened to setup several flash mobs randomly so I'll never know when it's coming nor what to expect.)

Which leads me to explain what a proposal should be, in my opinion: a joyfully planned (not spur of the moment) event that shows significant attention to detail, consideration, care, and genuine selfless devotion to the other's desires. You are proposing to someone, so it should be as they would like, not what you want.

My mother always says that this is the story that kids and grandkids will ask about so you want to make sure it's memorable. I think there's a lot of truth in that statement. I've certainly asked a lot of happily married couples how they proposed and while their answers have all varied in elaborateness, the smile on their faces and reminiscent look in their eyes is uniform. They adored each other then, as they adore each other now.

For instance, he knows I want a lot a effort made in a way that will likely not include just the two of us. (Big caveat there: since the time we've started dating to now, what I've wanted in this moment has dramatically become a lot more intimate than what I've described in the past, so... all I gotta say is I'm glad I'm not him and he's the one having to figure out what I want since Lord knows I don't even know anymore! And don't even get me started on how impressed I am that he's designing a ring for me when I don't even know anymore what I want there... good thing there's always anniversaries! Ha!) However, for him, he wants it just the two of us. Quiet and calm with no crowds and noise. So as such, I've planned something that if he were to do it for me, I think I would be a little disappointed, but I know it is PERFECT for him.

Some say that proposal should be left to the guy as he's less likely to be ready to commit before the woman-- that was the narrative I grew up with and that is the narrative I've had battling my more true-to-self voice inside my head saying "but wait! I want to show him this level of love! so... why can't I?" If it were the case that my expression of love could do anything but good to our relationship, as may be true with other males, I would not be dating him. (I don't discredit the sentiment in its entirety, just as I don't think it applies to all, I also don't think it doesn't apply to anyone-- it's obviously a case by case situation.) Counter to what many shows and movies display, proposal isn't something out of the blue for us. It's something we've talked about, fought about, prayed about (so many freaking rosaries), read about, and talked some more. It's something we both take extremely seriously (marriage that is, proposal is a step in that process of course) and it's not something that has room, in this day and age, for those shitty ass mind games. A mature relationship doesn't require guessing if someone is ready or not. Instead of wondering, ask! But alas, I diverge...

So on to my final/original point-- why I want to propose. I know this is a lot to display in only one day, and will instead take a lifetime of daily commitment to the qualities below, but I figured it's worth starting off our marriage with my best foot forward...

I want to propose because gender has nothing to do with the level of commitment shown in the acting of proposing.
I want to propose because I want to display as publicly or privately as he wants how crazy about him I am and how excited, and scared shitless, I am to devote my life to him.
I want to propose because he deserves, just like I do, to be treated tenderly and to be in the position of "power" over my vulnerability in asking him to pledge his life to me. (he could always say no!)
I want to propose so that I can display the humility that will be required of me as not only a wife, but most importantly as a partner in life... to know when I am right and when I am not and to be humble enough to admit my wrongdoings.
I want to propose because I know that in doing so, I am opening myself up to the very same potential pain and soul-crushing "no" that he will be doing in asking me (we both acknowledge that at any point either of us could change our mind up to the wedding day).
I want to propose because so far he has been dealt a pretty shitty hand in life and he deserves to be doted on for once.
I want to propose because he is precious and a thing to be cherished and savored --just as I am -- and I want to show him that he is as such every chance I get -- just like he already expresses to me.
I want to propose to him because I try to live by the mantra "do to others whatever you would have them do to you"-- some wise words by a pretty neat guy many years ago.

Simply put: I want to propose because I love him.