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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Leap Year tradition?
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random12 posted:
Hi all,

So I've been with my boyfriend for just over 4 years. We've discussed our future together and we've both pretty much decided we like being with each other and helping/supporting each other through the good and bad times. We were discussing the idea of getting married the other day and we played with the idea of me asking him to marry him versus him asking me. He said he thought I should do it since I'm the one with a more secure financial situation (I work full time, he works part time in an attempt to start a small business the rest of the time). I told him I wanted him to ask me, because "if I'm going to be the bread winner, you need to ask me to marry you." (My words.) But I've been toying with the idea of asking him anyway, surprising him, as it were. We've looked at wedding bands and engagement rings and we've both told each other what kind of rings we like, and I've browsed some decent-looking rings for fun. But I'm on the fence about this. Obviously, I'm nervous about appearing intimidating or pushy, but I know that he does want to marry me some time in the future, as I do him. I guess I'm just nervous that it'll put too much pressure on him, or something... I think I'm not making much sense right now.

The thing is, I would still want him to ask me, too. Is that weird? I mean, no, that's it, is that weird? I want to ask him, but I also want the chance to say yes. He knows I'll say yes, I told him he could feel free to ask me anytime, and I would act surprised. Argh. I guess I kind of want to have my cake and eat it too, as the saying goes. When we talked about proposing and stuff, he told me he was a traditional kind of guy, and he would want to take me to a nice restaurant and ask me and all this stuff, so I was kind of surprised when the other day he said I should ask. I'm open to the idea, but... I still kinda want my shining day, too. Although, I guess the wedding would be my shining day?

So my question is, what are opinions on women asking men to marry them? Am I crazy for wanting to ask him? Is it selfish of me to want to ask him and have him ask me, too? Someone talk some sense into me so I can understand what I'm saying!
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BalconyBelle responded:
Relationships are about being a partnership...and if the dynamics of yours were a little bit different, I'd have no problem with you asking him. Role-reversal proposals can be fun--especially during Leap Year when there's a tradition behind it.

It's just that in this situation...something's hitting me wrong. It's like he's expecting you to do all the heavy-lifting in your relationship. He's already planning to use you as the breadwinner, and now he wants you to talk him into marrying you as well? I think he needs to show some initiative and not expect you to take the lead in everything. I'd hold off on asking him; you've already told him how you feel. If he actually wants to get married he'll ask you--otherwise it will be just one more thing in your relationship where he sits back and lets you do the work...and I think it will set a bad precedent.

If I'm reading something into your post that wasn't there, I sincerely apologize. I don't think you're crazy for wanting to ask to marry the one you love; I think everyone who's ever been in love and wanting to marry has had those thoughts, regardless of gender...But in this particular occasion, I think it's not unreasonable to expect your boyfriend to step up to the plate and declare his intentions.
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fcl responded:
I think you are idealizing the whole situation way too much and wonder whether, if you are putting so much importance on who asks who (when you've already both decided you want to get married), you really have a realistic grip on what marriage really is.


Why would you seem pushy if you asked given you've both already decided? It's not as if you'd be holding a gun to his head. Why does either of you have to "ask"? Why not just set a date?
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.


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