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Public marriage proposals

(55 Posts)
ki0kA Sun 08-Jan-17 22:44:10

From time to time, we see on the news a man making a marriage proposal to his girlfriend in some event. I've reflected about that subject and I believe there are three kind of men who do that:

1 - Men who are well intentioned and want to make a surprise to their girlfriends that they think they will like and feel special;

2 - Men who do it basically to show off and have their 15 minutes of fame, so to speak;

3 - Men who are afraid that their girlfriends won't want to marry them and, by making their marriage proposal publicly, they will force them to accept, because all those people who are watching are waiting for the "right" answer (yes) and if she says "no", all people will think "poor guy, he made her such a beautiful surprise and she said no. How can she be so cruel?"

So what's your opinion about this? Do you agree with any of those categories I've mentioned? None of the above? What do you think about public marriage proposals?

SweetGrapes Sun 08-Jan-17 23:31:03

Hell yes. The only person I know personally who did this was a massive control freak. I can totally see his fiance on the relationship boards in a few years! sad

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 09-Jan-17 10:40:27

I don't like public proposals at all, for the reasons you have provided. I can't imagine ever being pleased to receive one. I hate surprises and the decision to marry should be based on mutual discussion not sprung on one party.

WhiskyChick Mon 09-Jan-17 10:49:21

Honestly I can't imagine anything worse. Always think it's a bit sad that some people prefer massive displays of attention, it's like they're making up for something missing in their lives.

Surprise parties are another thing I just can't bear the thought of. Maybe I'm just a weirdo!

bearfishdoodle Mon 09-Jan-17 10:51:29

I don't get the whole proposal thing at all tbh. It's a life partnership, why not discuss it like adults instead of waiting for one partner to decide its time? (I also hate surprises.)

deydododatdodontdeydo Mon 09-Jan-17 10:56:42

The ones I have witnessed, or known the couple well, the woman has been delighted and it has become a cherished memory for them.
If the couple know each other well, you shouldn't get the situation where the woman is uncomfortable. It would be a massive misjudgment for someone to propose to WhiskeyChick in this manner, for example, and you'd have to think "how well do they really know me".

kel12345 Mon 09-Jan-17 11:04:08

I'd of hated that. We got engaged just us, at home. No fancy meal, no long speech, me in my comfy tracksuit bottoms and t shirt and slippers. Sat listening to music and having a general chat.
Also agree about surprise parties- I'd miss most of it getting changed.

Beachcomber Mon 09-Jan-17 12:14:19

I think there is often an ego trip going on.

Man feels need to publicly declare he likes a woman enough to marry her. Woman will of course be Very Grateful and Appreciative not only of marriage offer but of man showing a bunch of strangers that he considers her marriageable. What a lucky lucky lady she is!

Not saying they all are but the only one I have had the misfortune to witness was like that.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Mon 09-Jan-17 12:21:29

I agree OP but would also add 4. Controlling man. It's becoming quite popular in China to use agencies that help you plan your 'spontaneous' perfect public proposal down to the smallest detail. All your 'unsuspecting' guests take part in rehearsals with the stand in bride.

SweetGrapes Mon 09-Jan-17 12:37:31

Isitjustme - that's exactly what the guy i knew did. He had a powerpoint with everyone's cues on it, music to play etc etc. - all down the last detail with rehersals and all. And this was him planning it - not some agency. (English guy in London). My boss actually.... definitely controlling!

Dervel Mon 09-Jan-17 13:50:50

I think it's a nice gesture for those who would appreciate it, and a terrible idea for those who would not. I'm not sure you can read all that much into the nature of the men who do it. Beyond maybe that they by definition have a degree of confidence.

There is nothing stopping a woman saying yes on the day to avert public embarrassment and then calling off the engagement when she reflects on it, so I would question how effective this strategy would be.

However it is never a bad idea to examine the pantomime of weddings. Things like who proposes to whom, engagement rings, married names etc etc. Better to make your proposals, wedding and the marriage itself a bespoke occasion based on the individual's and their preferences. Up to and including even being bothered to get married in the first place...

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 09-Jan-17 14:00:05

It's allllll about the controlling menz. Obvs.

WantToRunAgain Mon 09-Jan-17 14:01:45

Men really can't do right for doing wrong can they?!

deydododatdodontdeydo Mon 09-Jan-17 14:25:01

I would also add men who do it either because they think it's expected, or they know their partners expect, or are pressured by society or partner or friends.

BeyondTheStarryNight Mon 09-Jan-17 14:27:20

I agree with bearfish, I think proposals are weird full stop.

M0stlyHet Mon 09-Jan-17 14:46:30

Milk - but that's not what the OP says, is it? She clearly distinguishes those men who do it as a well-meaning grand gesture from those who are doing it as a means of control. And since the majority of marriages are heterosexual because the majority of people are heterosexual, and in heterosexual relationships the socially most prevalent way round for things to be is for the man to ask the woman, then statistically speaking most proposals are men proposing to women. One or two lesbian couples going down the public proposal route does not mean that it's not an interestingly gendered phenomenon to look at.

I agree with a PP who reckons that the sane, adult way of doing this would be for both partners to simply discuss it like grown-ups, but that's by the by. Most couples do seem to want/expect one partner to do the proposing. (I agree, deydodat, there will be an additional 4th category of men doing it because it's expected of them.)

BantyCustards Mon 09-Jan-17 14:47:41

Manipulative, controlling, full stop.

Batteriesallgone Mon 09-Jan-17 14:52:16

Every public proposal I've known has been because the girlfriend has made it VERY clear she expects a public proposal with everyone there.

They have also been women who would prefer to save for X number of years in order to have a princess wedding than to get married and be actually married for that time.

I don't understand it personally and it does annoy me because it perpetuates gender roles - the woman has demanded a proposal in a certain way, but instead of 'owning' they desire to get married or be engaged, in public she wants to be seen as demure, surprised, a prize to be won etc.

deydododatdodontdeydo Mon 09-Jan-17 14:53:50

MOstly - Indeed, I know of several women who have turned down proposals because it wasn't done "properly", and the guy has had to go away and come up with a grandiose gesture before being accepted.

DireTires Mon 09-Jan-17 14:59:25

Every public proposal I've known has been because the girlfriend has made it VERY clear she expects a public proposal with everyone there.

This is what I've seen too. A man may do this due to the overwhelming social pressure that he feels to make a public proposal.

ki0kA Mon 09-Jan-17 15:56:04

There's another factor which I didn't mention but was refered in some of the comments. Even if the intention is good, not all women feel confortable with that kind of exposure.

Two more categories were added: men who have a controlling personality and men who feel themselves pressured to do so. I think both cases also exist regarding marriage proposals with lots of relatives and friends, but when I started the thread I was thinking more about marriage proposals in big events (like in a stadium with thousands of people, with the permission of the organisation). Those cases which are big enough to reach the news. No man is pressured by anyone to do something like that.

twinklefoot Mon 09-Jan-17 15:59:05

I always feel incredibly uncomfortable when I see this happen. I do believe the man is incredbly controlling and is treating his partner with absolutely no respect.

Xenophile Mon 09-Jan-17 16:03:04

when I started the thread I was thinking more about marriage proposals in big events (like in a stadium with thousands of people, with the permission of the organisation). Those cases which are big enough to reach the news. No man is pressured by anyone to do something like that.

Nope, those are just dick swinging and generally fit into the categories you first wrote about along with an added one of "Look how incredibly rich I am", so yeah, dick swinging.

Batteriesallgone Mon 09-Jan-17 17:02:46

Ummm yes, yes they most certainly are pressured into proposals like that.

Those are exactly the kind of proposals I was thinking of.

What's more likely - some dick swinging bloke does it out of the blue, or some sweet bloke with a girlfriend keen to be a princess does it in the certainty she'll say yes?

Don't get me wrong the guys I knew wanted to get married, but the big elaborate proposal with cameras and dancing and hot air balloon rides?

Planned by the woman.

Batteriesallgone Mon 09-Jan-17 17:03:26

Dictated I should say, not exactly planned by her.

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