- Mr. Bee
- 12 years ago
I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while…
The waiting boards are filled with extremely patient brides, and that is so inspirational! However, I’m a guy and I can tell you… sometimes patience can work against you. So I’ve decided to betray my gender, and write up a quick guide on how to get a guy to propose.
So without further ado, here is Mr. Bee’s Three Step Plan for getting engaged! It’s actually a Plan and then if that fails, there’s a Backup Plan.
First a caveat: if you are dating a wonderful person with whom you have an amazing connection and a mutual desire to make babies and share a future together… just ignore all this. This Plan is for commitment phobes, and for guys who claim to just need some more time before they’re ready to commit.
Both the Plan and the Backup Plan are based on watching the girlfriend of my guy friends attempt to get their bf’s to make lifelong commitments. I’ve cataloged all of their mistakes over the years… if they had followed my plan, they would’ve been engaged in months instead of years.
1) Never bring up marriage or engagement.
Actually, that’s not fair – talk of engagement is bound to come up naturally and organically a few times. These conversations are prime opportunities to discuss the future together in an open and honest way.
But I’ve noticed that a lot of ze ladies have trouble not bringing up engagement on a regular (monthly? weekly?) basis… especially as time goes by. (If this describes you, you may want to skip ahead to the Backup Plan.)
You can literally drive yourself crazy focusing on something you can’t control… and by bringing it up, you risk making engagement a loaded topic.
Basically, you want to avoid the trap of nagging. This article has a useful description of nagging: “The most obvious sign that you tend to nag: You’ve said the same thing five different ways, five different times, and yet you keep on going.”
If that describes you, then you may want to reconsider your approach.
2) Remove money from the equation
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen guys saving up to buy a ring, and then heard secondhand about how his girlfriend got frustrated while he saved up. I guess they weren’t sure exactly how long the savings process was gonna take… it’s tough to wait for an indefinite amount of time without any updates.
If you’re concerned that money/saving might be an issue, you can always make it clear that you don’t need a ring at all – or that you’d be happy with cubic zirconium or a non diamond. This can speed up an engagement by months or more!
Personally, I had to move some money around over the course of several months to buy Mrs. Bee her ring. Looking back, my number one regret about our engagement is that it didn’t happen sooner. Well we got engaged within six months, but if I had bought a CZ ring… it could’ve been three months and that would have been better.
I could always have upgraded to a real diamond or precious stone later. I didn’t know that Mrs. Bee would’ve been open to a CZ ring until after I had already proposed! What an idiot (me, not her).
3) Set a deadline to implement your backup plan
This is not the same thing as setting a deadline for an ultimatum. I mean, feel free to do that if you feel you must. (I strongly advise against it, but I’ve heard it works from time to time.)
But what I mean is, set a deadline… and then put committment out of your mind in that time period. Just relax and enjoy the relationship… without the expectations that build up from thinking about an engagement.
My sister once told me that expectations are the building blocks of resentment… I’ve watched a number of women spend years waiting for an engagement, and then slowly start resenting their SO.
One of my friend’s girlfriends would bitterly share in front of company (i.e. me) that she had been dating my friend for 8 years and had nothing to show for it. Umm… awkward silence.
Anyway, it’s only natural that you will feel the resentment start to build over time as you wait and wait. When you notice the resentment getting to a noticeable level, it may be time to consider the Backup Plan.
The Backup Plan
This backup plan is really just a series of techniques you can use to create a feeling of control over the uncontrollable.
PLEASE NOTE: the backup plan is not an attempt to manipulate your partner. It is a way that you can regain some control over your life, and prevent the curse of bitterness and resentment that can rip a long term relationship to shreds.
The fact that it also just HAPPENS to result in engagements is just icing on the cake. 🙂
Here’s the god’s honest truth: a lot of guys just fall into a comfort zone over time… and they don’t want things to change. They’re happy with the way things are… and they’re wondering, why aren’t you?
Before you go insane answering such a dumb question, consider this three step backup plan as a way to restore your sanity and your sense of control.
1) Pretend in your mind that you’ve just been through a breakup.
What would you do after a breakup? You’d probably cut your hair, join the gym, start meeting up with girlfriends more.
Do all of these things (except for cut your hair), and if your SO asks what’s up… just say that you’ve been in a funk and you’re trying to mix things up.
2) Start focusing on your own interests, especially if you’ve been super focused on the relationship.
Make it a point to meet with other people: meet up with your girlfriends more, go to book readings, check out that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to go to but your SO never wanted to go to – go with a friend instead.
(If your SO is super jealous, then you may want to do this with only girls…I don’t mean to suggest you sabotage your relationship).
3) Invest in yourself.
Buy that DSLR you’ve been thinking about getting, and take that Photoshop class you’ve been considering. Get that gym membership, and go every day even if you don’t feel like it.
The basic idea here is to focus on something you can control: your own needs and desires. Waiting for someone to propose is totally beyond your control, which is just exhausting. By focusing on things you can control, you can quickly regain control over your feelings and your life.
In the meantime, it just happens that there is a wonderful side effect of you focusing on your own interests and investing in yourself.
First of all, you start to become the person you were when your SO first fell in love with you! You probably had a lot more of your own interests and passions when you guys first met and fell in love… so this is a way to recapture that.
But even more than that, focusing on yourself breaks the relationship out of the comfort zone. The guy kinda wakes up and realizes, hey this fine lady isn’t going to stick around and wait for me forever. I need to make a decision here about whether or not to move on to the next level!
This is very different from an ultimatum. In an ultimatum, one person says to the other: “You need to decide on marriage by ___ or I will leave you.” Here, you’re just gently reminding the other person (and yourself!): “Hey, I’m an interesting person and I’m going to focus on myself for a while.”
Trust me, your partner will DEFINITELY notice a difference.
If you guys watch The Office, remember when Pam moved to New York to go to design school and Jim realizes that he’s losing her and that he can’t wait to marry her any more?
I was actually secretly advising Pam that whole time… she implemented every element of my three-step Backup Plan for getting engaged. True story.
Ok that’s it for my three step plan (and my three-step backup plan). My fundamental belief is that most men want to get married. All you have to do is get out of the way…
To any guys out there that are reading this… please forgive me for betraying our gender. I have only your long term happiness in mind… studies have shown that married men are happier than single men!
To all the Waiting ladies out there… I wish you all but the best of luck!
Much love and luck,