Women should ask for what they want rather than put pressure on partners to propose, says Karleen Nevery is a relationship counsellor in Vancouver.
Sexy Typewriter, Special to QMI Agency
, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET
Hey, single ladies — if you like it, maybe you should put a ring on it.
Wedding proposals are not just the terrain of men. As gender roles become increasingly less defined, women are more likely to pop the question.
Dr. Cristina Stasia asked her now-husband to marry her at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Stasia arranged for a boatload of flowers, candles and a cellist to accompany the proposal, which she delivered down on bended knee.
“It was a touching, intimate moment,” recalls Stasia, who says she always knew she wanted to be the one to propose in a relationship.
“With women achieving equality in numerous areas and all this rhetoric about strong and independent women, what I was not seeing was equality in courtship and dating rituals,” she says. “I was waiting for the man confident and secure enough — and patient enough — to have me propose.”
A recent survey from online dating site Zoosk revealed surprising results to the question “Do you think it’s okay for the woman to propose marriage?” Men were overwhelmingly in favour, with 76% agreeing that it’s totally cool for a woman to take the lead. Interestingly enough, only 49% of women felt the same way.
“Men seem very open to non-traditional proposals, though the majority of women still think men should do the asking,” says Jane Barrett, marketing director at Zoosk. “By the time your relationship has reached the point where you’re proposing marriage, I think you will have an idea about your partner’s stance on this front.”
Karleen Nevery is a relationship counsellor in Vancouver.
“I find the concept of proposing rather old-fashioned in itself,” she says. “But if we are calling it this, I applaud the concept of women proposing to men.
“My experience is often the men propose to their girlfriends because of spoken or unspoken pressure from her in any event. It seems rather antiquated to me that women are hinting and perhaps subtly rewarding or punishing their male partners instead of asking for what they want.”
Nevery says the rules in bedrooms and boardrooms have changed, yet many women are still fantasizing about a proposal fit for a Disney princess or southern belle.
“By the time I raised the subject, we had a 6-year-old daughter and the diamond ring had yet to appear in my champagne glass. He readily and enthusiastically agreed.”
Still, Nevery understands the female reluctance to take charge and propose.
“It’s difficult for some people to break age-old ways of thinking. For women, there’s something inherently more romantic in the idea of having a man ask for our hand in marriage.”
Dr. Stasia says she blames the Katherine Heigl films.
“Romantic comedies (portray) beautiful, successful and popular female protagonists as actually miserable because (they do) not have a man,” she says. “Enter the man and the proposal and she is finally truly happy. It is the man that reveals her as special. You can’t blame women for wanting that.
“But if you are with the right man — an equal partner — he shows you that you are special every day, and creates countless beautiful moments for you, and you do the same for him.”