They say to “give the people what they want”. According to the stats, the fine people of the Internet want to hear what I have to say about such things as “When to Propose”. Despite the fact that the post is over two and a half years old and I remain as single today as I was then it is the number one post read on my blog. In fact, a quick Google search reveals that I am number 3 on the list when you search for “when to propose”. These posts have also seen the highest number of comments from people I don’t know.
This tells me three important things:
- I should write more posts about proposing, relationships, etc
- There must be a shortage of good information on the Internet about this topic
- The people of the Internet will listen to anyone for advice
With that out of the way, let’s start to explore this topic that the Internet seems to deem me an authority on, proposing.
I am a student of film and television (in the sense that I watch a lot of it). Most of what I’ve learnt about life I have picked up from movies and TV. Most importantly I have learnt that life is not at all like what I see on movies and television. There is no guarantee of a happy ending. Indeed, things don’t seem to quite end or wrap up nicely as they do on film. That’s why I like film and television. I watch it because it isn’t what I see around me every day, but I can still apply broad concepts.
Proposing is all about managing risk. Indeed, everything about life is about managing risk. Risk is what makes life enjoyable. Knowing the answer to every problem is not quite as gratifying as solving the problem.
So where was I? Right, proposing and risk. The trick I suppose to dealing with the risk of proposing is to break it down in to the factors that contribute most to the risk. By recognising these factors, it should become easier to pick the best time to propose, or even if you should.
Factors are likely to be different for each person, but it is probably best to look at the long term goals and aspirations of each side to see how well they combine. If sleeping with as many people as possible is your goal and your partner’s is to be involved in a committed monogamous relationship, perhaps your long term prospects aren’t tied well together. Similarly, if you are looking to travel and explore the world and you partner wants to settle down and start a family you might also be on the wrong track.
Ideally you want to find a partner whose life path travels parallel or intertwines with yours. There is obviously going to be some compromises along the way, but when one path winds to the left, so must the other for the relationship to continue. Of course, compromise has to go both ways.
Perhaps the hardest part of accepting the risk of proposing is to accept that there is no right answer to the question (the question being “will you marry me?” if you have lost track). A “no” can be a positive step as it may make it clearer that your paths are diverging. Similarly a “yes” may lead to further trouble down the road if those paths diverge.
But as I was saying earlier, the risks in life are what make it interesting. Importantly, these risks can come with great rewards. So if you are prepared and ready, take the plunge and best of luck to you.