The Ring in the Champagne Glass

January 7, 2010

I was thinking about weddings earlier today. (I can’t even remember why; a movie on TV I think.) But it suddenly dawned on me how different the whole proposal process is perceived by guys and girls. I mean I always understood the guy half. And to me it’s fairly straightforward: You meet a girl, you fall in love, you date a while, then you propose. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of stress involved(the proposal part I mean, there’s definitely a little stress in the relationship part). I mean yes… I suppose you’d be nervous about finding the right time and place. But realistically if you’ve been dating long enough, the time/place doesn’t make a huge difference as long as you made an honest effort, and the chances of you getting rejected is very low. I’d wager that most guys know for sure by the 3rd or 4th year of dating if they’re going to propose or not. After that it’s more or less an issue of timing(Are we too young?) or stability(Can we handle the stress of a wedding/marriage with X going on?).

What I realized today, though, is that this is probably a very different mindset from girls. This is not to say that they don’t worry about timing and stability, I’m sure that goes into their decision. But overall, for them it’s more of a waiting game. While most girls can be pretty confident that they will get proposed to if they’ve been dating for like 4 or 5 years, there’s probably still some doubt. It makes sense I guess, because in the end it comes down to the amount of control you have over the situation. It’s very easy for guys to be nonchalant about it, because in their minds they can be 100% percent sure that they’ll propose in the future. Girls don’t have that luxury, because you can never be 100% sure about someone else’s actions. It’s always much easier to be relaxed about something you haven’t done, than about something that you’re waiting to happen. Also, I kind of get the feeling that weddings are a much bigger deal for girls than guys.

This is all assuming, of course, that you’re traditional. Although I don’t know anyone personally that’s done this, there’s definitely girls out there who would probably have no problems with doing the proposing themselves.

To close I’ll list some interesting stories/facts related to the topic:
-My debate teacher’s husband proposed to her by putting a ring in a paper bag in the toilet and calling her to look at it.
-I have received 6(probably soon 7) wedding invitations so far from friends I’ve gone to school with, and zero from people related to me.
-I am pretty sure 90% of the girls I knew in high school are married by now.
-Mean marriage age in US is M:27 & F:26. Mean marriage age in Utah is M:24 & F:22.
-The longest I’ve heard of a couple dating was from a guy I worked for at Philips. He and his wife dated for 7 years before his wife  told him she’s moving out of the state if he didn’t propose. (And this was not like a 3 years in high school, 4 in college kind of thing. They were in their 30-40’s.)
-The shortest I’ve heard of was 6 weeks(from first meeting to proposal).
-The longest I’ve heard of someone dating and then breaking up is 5 years. Although 3 of those  years were long distance, and I feel for long distance, it’s less about the time, and more about how often you see each other. These guys only met up like 2-3 times a year(as far as I know) and didn’t spend any of their breaks together.
-I’ve only been to one wedding that I can remember of.


7 Responses to “The Ring in the Champagne Glass”

  1. Eric Mesa Says:

    I think you def need to know the girl. For example, Danielle said she would not be happy with a public proposal.

  2. klaygenie Says:

    On a slightly feminist note, in terms of differences between females and males, girls usually clump in the balancing of family and career with those marriage thoughts. I mean, I’m sitting here trying to decide the best time for me to get married, which is mostly based off when I think it’ll be best to have kids, which is based off when I’m pretty much ready to be done with my career.

    I’ve thought of proposing to the boyfriend. I’m getting antsy. But other than the fact that he’d probably be a little mad, it also means I’d have to have a plan for being in the same state. I don’t have that yet.

    And the longest couple dating I’ve known is going on about 9 years now. They’re engaged, getting married in the later half of 2010.

    • Eric Mesa Says:

      Just to add a little something in the mix. You don’t have to think about marriage in terms of whether you are ready for kids. I’ve been married for nearly five years without having kids. It’s the olden days when getting married meant having kids right away.

      • klaygenie Says:

        I know marriage doesn’t mean have kids right away. But when you factor in how old you want to be as a parent, how old you want to be when your kids get out of the house, increased risk of problematic births as women get older, and how long you want to be married before having kids…

        On a side note – I had no idea you were married almost 5 years. Are kids in the plan at all?

    • Min Says:

      You know.. I never really took you to be the kind of girl that’d be willing to give up your career and be a sit-home mom. I alway saw you as the type that’d find a job with flexible hours and lets you work from home a lot, so you can do both.

      If you’re willing to give up your career, wouldn’t that make getting into the same state super easy? Just quit and move whenever you feel like you’re ready.

      • klaygenie Says:

        Haha. I feel like you’re judging me. I don’t really want to give up working, but I also really think one parent needs to stay home.
        The problem with quitting and moving when I’m ready is that I want to be married for a while before having kids.

      • Min Says:

        Oh no, quite the opposite actually. I think it’s great if you’re willing to put your ambitions aside to care for your kids.

        Can’t say I know many people that’d be willing to do that after going through the trouble of getting an Ivy League education.

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