Why I hate “will you marry me?” and other such loaded on-the-spot proposals

Loaded questions are okay to ask as long as they don’t demand an answer right away. When it comes to big decisions in your life, like getting married, such questions should not be approached with an “answer me now” attitude.

It’s perfectly fine to bring up a loaded question that needs to be talked about – in fact, I highly recommend it. If there is something on your mind that is burning at you, and you cannot continue to ignore it, then it must come out. But it’s quite another thing to demand that such things that you cannot answer inside yourself be answered immediately by the person to whom you address the question.

I get this bad feeling in my heart sometimes when I see those public marriage proposals. You know, where the whole family is around, or worse, in the middle of a game inside a huge stadium, with every intimate facial expression broadcast around the whole arena. Perhaps many of these couples have discussed beforehand that it’s only a matter of time before one proposes marriage to the other, and so perhaps the person receiving the proposal has some idea. It’s nice to think that way, because when a proposal like that comes in completely from the cold, it looks to me like an assault; any doubt that the person receiving such a proposal might have about accepting will be shown and exposed to everybody witnessing things, and of course it risks causing tremendous disappointment. That’s a lot of weight to put on someone’s shoulders!

The other thing about “will you marry me” and major proposals like this is that there are thought to be only two responses: YES and NO. No room for “not yet,” or “not now, but maybe at some point soon,” or “I don’t know.” Even “wait, can we sit down and talk about this?” seems like a rejection – which is totally ass-backwards, because most of the time, that’s exactly what is needed.

Society’s norms and media have a way of passively getting us to think of off-base ways of thinking as being normal. When emotions run hot and the stakes get high, the best things you can do to avoid future lingering doubt and regret are to:

There are those times when a marriage proposal or other great big proposal is accepted and works out really well, sure. But it’s important not to forget that while magic can carry a moment and feel just right … magic is not life. Magic is magic precisely because it isn’t the dominant, driving force of our lives – and while you want to welcome it into your life when it comes, you must not abandon the steering wheel to its whims.

You must temper any great magic that enters your life with some good, grounded reflection. And, if you get too serious and restlessly reflective, well – then you can always let some magic back in.

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This entry was posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Debate!, Love and compassion, Short posts, Staying strong and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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