The 21st century has brought a brand new era of technology, connection, and most importantly, equality. As a collective culture, we have made tremendous progress in the treatment of individuals. From the breaking of the Berlin Wall to the termination of international genocide, we have traversed most forms of bigotry, sexism, and discrimination.
However, despite our achievements, we still have a long way to go.
When it comes to relationships, there are certain unwritten rules we still live by. Men should be the protectors and breadwinners, women the comforters and child-rearers. Although the roles are changing a bit and a woman head of household is becoming more acceptable as is the stay at home father, there are still many seemingly biased decrees that govern an American relationship. Not to say that an old-fashioned approach is necessarily evil, because sometimes traditional roles are virtuous.
For example, true chivalry is not chauvinism – it demonstrates respect and courtesy. Opening doors, offering his jacket, and being held while crossing the street shows that he considers your feelings and safety. Women who sacrifice work to raise children are devoted and affectionate. These are all great aspects of any traditional relationship.
But what about the woman who wants to pay for dinner and the man who lets her? What about the Father who bakes for his children? The mother who decides to get her MBA? Are these changes acceptable; should they be encouraged or contested?
One of the most memorable parts of a relationship, or even a lifetime, is the proposal. A man on one knee asks the woman of his dreams for her hand in marriage. She, of course, accepts his offer, cries a bit, and gives him a great big smooch. With such a strong tradition, is it ever justifiable to switch roles and ask for his hand in marriage?
There is answer is…… it depends on your relationship. Your relationship should dictate who takes what action at what time. When it comes down to it, a proposal is a symbolization of your love . If you two unconditionally love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together, then it shouldn’t matter who proposes to who.
However, if your man will feel threatened, if he was planning on asking you, or if he was saving to buy an engagement ring, you shouldn’t propose.
On the other hand, if your man loves your independence, if he has already proposed and you turned him down, or if you think he wants to get married but is too afraid to ask, you should definitely think about taking the lead in the proposal.
Typically the proposal is reserved for the man, so unless there are special circumstances in your relationship that makes it unreasonable or impractical for him to pop the question, then by all means grab the reins.
Proposing is a huge moment in both of your lives, you are one of the biggest commitments that exists. Whoever proposes, the moment should be about signifying your love, not about the tradition and ego involved in traditional gender roles.