Love Letters: Indecent Proposal?

After a brief drought of submissions, Love Letters is back in action!

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Is it OK for a woman to ask a man to marry her?

Curious Question Popper

Not long before we were married, Javacia joked that she had considered proposing to me.

She likely wasn’t joking.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman proposing to a man. As long as the couple is committed to each other, financially stable – you know, the usual stuff – I can’t argue against it. So technically, yes, it’s OK for a woman to ask a man to marry her.

Here’s the bigger question – will the proposal make the man uncomfortable? And this is where things get tricky.

When Javacia asked me what I thought about her planned proposal I had no real reason to object – but I was relieved that she didn’t go through with it. Why? Once again, as we often do in Love Letters, I have to place blame at the feet of society itself. We’ve been programmed for decades to believe that when a man and woman decide they’re ready for holy matrimony, the man gets on one knee.

If Javacia had beaten me to the punch and proposed, I’m sure I would have accepted. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the woman – ALF could have proposed on her behalf and I would accepted. But honestly, if she had proposed I would have been disappointed – not because I had been proposed to by a girl (ewww, cooties) but because I had already mapped out my proposal plans and, truthfully, I didn’t want to be beaten to the punch.

As usual for me, it’s simply an ego thing. I didn’t want to be upstaged. I’d wager that many men in my position would agree with me.

Also, there’s the fear of emasculation. Ladies, I know it annoys you when this is brought up but it’s a fact you must face – many guys don’t like to be seen as “weak.” And if their girl proposes to them, it looks to some like the woman “is forcing” him into marriage. Clearly that’s not always the case but such bold moves go against society’s so-called gender roles – roles that most guys were raised to adhere to.

When a couple loves each other, it shouldn’t really matter who pops the question. But society says otherwise. Ladies, feel free to propose to your man but ONLY if you know he’s OK with you taking the lead. A surprise proposal could be very awkward for both parties.

And, ladies, if you’re gonna propose, you’d better hook that man up with a nice ring. Hey, if you wanna flip the script, you gotta pay the price.


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