Should Men Propose During Graduation Celebrations?

May 14, 2018  |  


I’m nosey so while I like to see people propose in public, the thought of that actually happening to me sounds cringe-worthy. Making the decision to marry is such a huge commitment, such a serious decision to consider that I would like to think I would be given the chance to decide and declare my choice in private. Obviously, not all women think like that.

Now that the Spring is here, and students all over the country are graduating, I’ve been seeing videos not only celebrating commencement but also longtime boyfriends using this day of celebration as an opportunity to ask a woman to marry him. There are some women who seem elated at the idea and then there are others who seem to be processing the situation a bit differently.

This past week, The Shade Room posted a video of a man who proposed to his girlfriend during her graduation party.

Homegirl was on cloud nine with this proposal.

But in a similar situation, another woman who’d just received her degree and had, what appears to be, a different reaction.

Immediately, people were asking if this was really what this woman wanted. But apparently, the graduate herself came through with a reply.

She’s good. So this is really not about her as much as it’s a question to you all. I remember my graduation day vividly. I remember the pride I felt walking across that stage and the emotions I experienced once I reunited with my family afterward. With so much going on internally, I don’t know if I could have handled another big, life moment. It would have been sensory overload, resulting in shock. And when I think about being proposed to, that’s not the preferred emotion I want to experience. I want to feel present, to know that all the emotions I’m filling are directly linked to the commitment I’m about to make.

Not to mention, it’s nice to have a day devoted entirely to you, like a birthday party. I don’t think it’s hard for us to understand that someone stealing the attention at your birthday party would have you feeling a way. In the same way birthday parties celebrate the individual’s transition into the next year of life, graduation celebrations an individuals transition into the next phase.

Honestly, in this life, the days when people recognize you and your accomplishments in isolation, are few and far between. If we’re lucky, we get graduations, some birthdays and then a funeral…and that last one we’re not there, physically, to express our appreciation. Meanwhile, there are several days that are designed to celebrate a couple, engagement parties, wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, the actual wedding, possibly baby showers and then anniversary parties, vow renewals etc. People will be celebrating the two of you as a couple for decades to come.

For me, one of the best days of my life came when I had my book release party. People celebrated my accomplishment, they reflected on their pride and love for me and I felt it, deeply. I know how much my family and friends love me. But those moments where many of those people are in the same room are rare. If you ask me, I think we should enjoy them for what they are and enjoy the shared celebrations for what they are.

Personally, it comes down to time and place. In the same way I wouldn’t appreciate someone proposing at my wedding, is the same way I wouldn’t want my man to take the gathering of my family and friends and turn the attention from me to we.

That’s just me. In the case of this woman, she’s happy and it’s a moot point. But as for you and your preferences, how would you feel about a man using a graduation or special event to turn it into a proposal? Would you feel like you had been slighted or would you appreciate two major life moments happening at the same time?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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