You’re in love. You’re happy that you found your soulmate. You want to spend the rest of your lives together. And that’s just fantastic- and I really mean that. The world needs more love amidst all the horrible things that are going on right now. Also, I think it’s wonderful that you want to take the next step in your relationship despite how difficult it is to actually get there.
But do you really have to bombard us with one post after the other with proclamations of your undying love? And only in the most flowery of language?
Here, I’m specifically talking about what seems to be the latest trend in relationships: the grand proposal. Because grand, lavish weddings and engagement parties were just not sufficient to show the world that 1. you’re deeply in love and 2. you have status.
We’re very quick to jump on trends and proposals are the newest element on the list after proms, bachelor parties, and baby showers.
I’m not really sure why proposals are suddenly everywhere and I can’t open my Facebook or Instagram accounts (especially now during the summer) without the typical ring selfie or a “She Said Yes” post.
It’s caught on so quickly that it has become part of the couple’s narrative: meaning that not only do you get asked how you met, but how he proposed.
Maybe it’s because we have more ways to interact with one another in the age of social media or maybe it’s because there’s no shortage of ideas coming at us from those very same channels.
But what I know is that what should be a romantic gesture between two partners affirming their relationship, has fast become just another cliche way to put yourself one step ahead of everyone else in your social circle. I say that because they have become as elaborate and require as much planning as tying the knot.
Instead of focusing on making it as personal as possible, highlighting what’s memorable and significant to the couple, it has become all about getting pictures up on time- as it seems rare that these things happen without a photo shoot and a video (either during or a very shortly after). I mean, he could have proposed just a few seconds ago but they’re already getting congratulatory messages. Those very same photos continue to be uploaded well after the proposal has happened, lest you forget that they are in love and getting married!
And it’s not even a surprise in most cases- at least not if the couple come from traditional backgrounds where it is essential to secure the approval of the family before anything can happen. Navigating those waters is stressful enough without having to worry about “surprising” your love.
Yet, they still go ahead with it because FOMO is horrible and they don’t want to stand out among their other couple friends as not having a proposal.
Well, speaking from experience, I don’t seem to be suffering from any fear of missing out because Ahmad didn’t get down on one knee with a set-up that involved my favorite books and music from the 80s and 90s. I don’t feel that our relationship is incomplete because instead of making a spectacle, we discussed our future like the two logical people we are and that conversation was done privately. There were no pictures to share after or announcements to make. That would come much, much later, much like everything else we did until we got to September 2015.
Because what really should matter the most in this situation is not what people think or how they will react or how a proposal is executed. It’s not about coming as close as possible to your own Disney story.
It’s about taking that step forward, while realizing that it is best to dedicate all that effort and time to making the marriage work and ensuring you spend a lifetime happy together.
After all, wasn’t that the point of asking someone to marry you?