Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I Propose To Him?

July 31, 2013  |  

 

Hey Damon,

My boyfriend and I have been living together for 3 years now. We’ve talked about marriage throughout our relationship and he says that he sees himself spending the rest of his life with me. But it’s been nearly a year since we’ve had this conversation and nothing. No more conversations and no proposal. I know that we’re supposed to be together and at this point I’m wondering if I should take matters into my own hands. We went on our first date because I asked for his number. And now I’m thinking maybe I should just ask him myself. Do you think there’s anything wrong, aside from traditional norms, with proposing to a man?

Proposing To My Man

 

Dear Proposing to My Man,

There’s popular piece of advice passed on by grandmothers, great aunts, and randomly creepy old women at bus stations to younger women that a man should love his woman more than she loves him. Since elders don’t exactly go around sharing this with young boys, I wasn’t aware this saying even existed until I was already grown.

When I first heard about it, I was incredulous. What happened to fairness? What man in his right mind would even want to be in a long-term relationship with someone who wasn’t head over heels for him? I mean, isn’t that basically setting men up for an extended version of the “friend’s zone”?

Thing is, once I got over the initial shock of hearing that—and once I got over myself—I started to realize it was actually good advice…for both genders. It’s not saying that women should marry men they’ll never be in love with. Just that, when you consider that the approaching and courting process is (usually) led by men, it makes sense that a guy should be the one who falls first since he’s the one who’s trying to “win” her. And, in the optimal situation, she eventually “allows” herself to be won. Basically, she “catches up” love-wise. And why this way and not the other way around? Why should men have to “prove” ourselves to convince women to be with us? Easy. Women have more to lose. Between the drastic effect pregnancy has on woman’s bodies and overall health and the fact that fact that (generally speaking) women have a smaller reproductive window than men do, making a bad relationship-related decision just has more severe consequences for a woman than it does for a man. Because of this, it makes perfect sense for women to make sure men are thoroughly vetted before they make a long-term decision about him. And, in order for a man to willingly volunteer for that process, he likely has to be very, very into her.

Anyway, I’m bringing this all up as a context to understand why I think it’s a bad idea for a woman to propose to a man. If he’s not into you enough to propose to you, I doubt he’ll be into you enough to stay committed in your relationship. I mean, do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a man didn’t make any real effort to prove he wanted to be with you?

Sincerely,

Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com. Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com.   

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