Post # 1
Q. Secret Engagement Plans Driving Me Crazy: My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost four years and both feel very strongly that we want to get married and spend our lives together. However, every time I bring up actually getting engaged (starting about a year ago), he tells me I’m ruining the surprise element of the proposal and that I have to just be patient. I am strongly feminist and believe getting engaged should be a joint decision and not just the man’s. I know he’s saving for the ring but I absolutely don’t care about that stuff. I’d be equally happy with a $250 ring as with a $2,500 ring. I am 32 and want to start a family. I feel like we are at an impasse and I have to just wait until he’s got all his ducks in a row, however I feel incredibly out of the loop on a very important life decision. How can I bring this up yet again without him shooting me down? Or should I just accept that this is an important moment for him and grin and bear it?
A: I know the proposal has become an ever more elaborate ritual: billboards, fake movie trailers, Jackass-style surprises. But I’m with you that this should be a joint decision between two equals, not something the man controls. I also hate how the ability to buy a big rock has come to dictate this life decision. I know there’s a general feeling that people should avoid ultimatums, but life presents us with its own ultimatums—one of them being your fertility. Yes, you’ve still got plenty of time, but not endless time and after four years you should be past the games and ready to move forward—or not. Calmly sit down with your boyfriend and say you are very torn because turning into a nag is not your style, but waiting for someone else to make all the decisions is not your style either. Tell him you don’t care about rings or “surprise” proposals. You do care about him because you love him and can’t imagine not spending your lives together. Add that you’ve never been the kind of woman who imagined a guy on his knee and a ring box, so you hope that if he’s ready, you two can make some decisions about getting married.
Post # 3
The advice sounds pretty spot on. I would be annoyed too especially if I was concerned about having children.
Post # 4
Good advice. If two adults can look at each other and think “I just want to marry you”, a grand surprise/expensive ring should not hold up that decision.
Post # 5
Is it wrong that my first thought on reading that yesterday was to wonder if that letter was written by a waiting Bee?
Post # 6
@oneofthesethings: Just like ring size shouldn’t dictate proposal timelines (unless you want it to) fertility shouldn’t either. I realize I am in the minority for this, but I’ve told my boo many times that at 32 I’m having a baby with or without him. This doesn’t mean I would leave him; I will just use someone elses sperm and he can adopt it if he wants.
I know I want a baby and I feel that though I can wait for marriage as long as it takes, I can’t wait for that. I am not saying anyone should be as extreme or stubborn as I am willing to be, but it is something to think about
note: I say this now knowing my boo will propose befoer march after 10mnths together so it really is a moot point now.
Post # 7
I agree that it should be a joint decision. Before Hubby and I got engaged we talked about getting married….A LOT. It is his family’s tradition to have an engagement party where he formally says that he wants to marry me and asks my parents permission to do so & then we’re technically engaged. But the decsion to get engaged was 100% a joint decision.It’s not like he showed up at my family’s house and out of the blue asked me. I knew it was coming, we decided on the date to do this together.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to give your girlfriend an amazing proposal, but if a diamond ring and a cool scheme is standing in the way (for 4 years) …come on man!!! You gotta ask yourself at some point if a shmacy proposal or if getting engaged and getting the show on the road is more important.
Sounds like this could be an excuse because of some cold tootsies………
Post # 8
I think it should be a joint decision, but I also think that if the grand romantic gesture and surprise is very important to either partner, both partners need to respect this.
A lot of these things come down to sharing and showing love in different ways.
If your partner places a high value on the ritual of it all, take care not to force their hand. You may end up regrettng it in the long run.
Post # 9
@Neva: LOL! Me too! When I read it yesterday, I was wondering if this was a Bee.
Btw, I just want to say that I love Emily Yoffe aka Prudence.