If proposing is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions here’s some inspiration for getting it right, for the right reasons.
Yep. I knew it was coming. I bet you did too. It seems that every single year, between Christmas Eve and the New Year, people find themselves getting engaged left and right. Literally.
Just this past week alone, I read about rapper/actor Ludacris getting engaged to his sweetheart Eudoxie Mbouguiengue while aboard a private jet with friends and American Idol Philip Phillips put a ring on his beloved Hannah Blackwell’s hand too. Then I saw a cute proposal that went viral of a man giving his girlfriend-now-fiance’ an engagement ring as a Christmas present.
Love is definitely in the air and jewelers are definitely making a killing right about now.
So, if you’re someone who is contemplating getting on one knee over the next few days (or even between now and Valentine’s Day), I hope you’ll take out a moment to read this article. As someone who sits in more counseling sessions than I would like with people who, in hindsight, ended up being much more into the engagement/wedding/honeymoon than the marriage itself, it’s a good idea to put the warm-and-fuzzy feelings of the holiday season aside and really think about if this is the time to pop the big question—or not.
After all, it’s a really big deal. It’s a good idea to get it right, the first time and one time if you can help it. (I mean your marriage more than your proposal, by the way.)
Be honest about if it really is the right time. My mother used to say to me often “The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing.” It’s just another way of basically saying that timing is everything. And it is. Connact is one website that has (count it) 276 questions that they feel you should ask before getting married. That might sound like a lot, but if you’re not someone who is planning on going to premarital counseling before saying “I do”, it’s worth at least taking a glimpse at. If covers everything from “Have you ever been called a workaholic?” and “How often do you need or expect sex?” to “Is weight control important to you?” and “Would you feel unfulfilled if you were able to have children?” It’s not always the stuff that couples in love want to talk about but trust me, it’s going to come up one way or another, at one time or another. Better to get it out in the open sooner as a dating couple rather than later as husband and wife.
Make sure that you can afford more than just the ring. I literally know of a couple who spent so much money on their wedding that immediately following it, they had to move in with the bride’s parents. Look, whether you’re religious or not, the concept of leaving and cleaving is an awesome one. It’s basically about joining with your life partner and starting a new set of traditions together; not in your parents’ (or their parents’) home but your own. If you’re currently in a situation where even buying an engagement ring is going to be a stretch, this is probably not the best or wisest time to propose. A woman worth her weight would rather wait until you can make a life together after the honeymoon instead of you going into debt for some huge diamond. (By the way, not all gals like diamonds. Do some investigating on if she would prefer another kind stone. Another by the way, not all gals want an engagement ring either. Sometimes a down payment on a house or car would be preferred. Just sayin’.)
Rethink proposing in public. About a week ago, someone sent me a proposal that really was beautiful. The guy was a filmmaker and his now-bride was his muse. In every sense of the word. I don’t want to give the proposal away in case you want to check it out (it’s about 30 minutes long but it’s worth the time), but I’ll say this: Yes, sometimes modern-day technology can make a proposal truly awesome. And then there are times when the pressure is equivalent to a deer that’s caught in headlights in the front and then gets hit by a Mack truck from another direction. Translation: Contrary to all of the YouTube proposal links with women looking all giddy, not every female wants to be proposed to in public. And honestly, before you go through some big elaborate planning, it’s a good idea to check your true motives anyway. Is it about asking the one whom you love to share the rest of her life with you or is it more about getting 15 minutes (seconds…days…whatever) from your proposal going viral? I also deal with wives who say “He asked me in a football stadium” or “He asked me in front of my entire family” or “He had a video camera in my face” followed by “What did he expect me to say?” A woman shouldn’t feel pressured into saying “Yes.” Think about as you’re putting your “best proposal ever!” plan into place.
Ask yourself if you’re simply caught up in the holiday hype. Christmas. New Year’s. Valentine’s Day. Yes, they are all awesome times to want to transition someone from being your girlfriend into being your fiancé. But here’s the thing. Holiday hype can be really…mesmerizing. Suddenly, you find yourself secretly watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, listening to family members and friends talk about their first Christmas with their spouses and then looking over at the one you love and thinking “It would be so romantic to propose right now.” Maybe. I’ll say this. Did you know that according to Dictionary, one definition of romantic is “fanciful; impractical; unrealistic”? I know, right? That’s not to say that there’s not a need for romance from the perspective of another definition (“being preoccupied with love”). Just don’t be so into to the season that you’re not being reason-able. Proposing needs to be about more than “This would be a great time of the year” to do it. The best time is when you’re sober- minded and really ready. Correction: When both of you are sober minded (not just when it comes to being off of the eggnog but understanding what you’re getting yourself into) and really ready.
Remember that proposing is about you too. I went to see Chris Rock’s Top Five movie recently. There was something that he said that I jotted down: “There’s no groom’s magazine, registry. Weddings aren’t for guys.” Eh. I get why he—or rather his character—feels that way. I tend to disagree, though. If you’ve ever watched even one episode of WE tv’s Bridezillas and you heard them throwing fits about it being their day, be warned about a woman who echoes those sentiments. Women can’t get engaged alone. Women can’t get married alone either. Therefore, the engagement, the wedding and especially the marriage are things that should take your needs and feelings into account too. You also deserve to look back on the day that you asked someone to marry you and feel like it wasn’t just about making her happy, but making you smile too. So, if after reading all of this, you still want to get engaged soon, please take this last point into account. Proposals are a really big deal, on so many levels. For both people involved. Plan wisely.
Also by Shellie R. Warren –