A recent study says that one in five women are hard to please and will go through the rest of their lives being sorely disappointed because they didn't marry a rich husband who catered to their every whim.
Actually, I'm paraphrasing a bit.
The study by Vashi, an online British diamond store, says that one in five women were disappointed by their marriage proposal. The other four are perfectly happy and well-adjusted women with reasonable expectations of life and their spouses.
According to the London Daily Mail (official motto: Classier than the National Enquirer because we have a British accent), 21 percent of engaged, married, or divorced women were disappointed when their man popped the question, but didn't say anything, and now wish they had.
The top five disappointments were: 1) a too small ring, 2) no ring at all, 3) not proposing on bended knee, 4) a proposal that wasn't very "special," and 5) not asking her parents' permission for their daughter's hand in marriage.
Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they were so disappointed by their proposals that they wanted to cry afterward.
Similarly, 29% of the men wanted to cry after their girlfriends said yes, because they realized what materialistic shrews they were marrying.
The statistic that really jumped out at me and made me despair for future generations are that more than a third of the women said that "an engagement ring matters because it is a symbol of how much their partner loves them."
Because nothing says "I'll love you forever" like spending thousands of dollars on a precious stone harvested by child laborers in third world countries.
But why should men have to do all the buying and giving? Why are women the only ones who receive a gift? Don't the men deserve the same kind of consideration?
When my wife and I got married, she gave me a beautiful watch because we (mostly me) thought it wasn't fair that only the women received something. As a modern couple fast approaching the 21st century, we didn't want to be bound by 19th century thinking.
Plus I really liked that watch.
Now, I'm not saying the practice of proposing marriage is outdated or unnecessary. It's completely necessary. This is a story you're going to tell to your friends and family, children and grandchildren over the years. You don't want that story to be "we were watching the game at O'Malley's Sports Bar, and had just finished a couple of burgers. He leans over to me at halftime, stifles a oniony belch, and says 'so, you wanna?'"
Just remember, the proposal is only the first step in the rest of your lives together, and it doesn't matter whether it's a major event, a quiet question asked in private, or someone saying "uh oh" as you both stare at a pregnancy test pee stick.
If you're disappointed, say something. You've got years and years to coach your future husband on how to understand you and sweep you off your feet. He's also got years and years to coach you on the same thing.
If you think the ring was too small, there are no rules that the woman can't chip in. You're going to be combining incomes anyway, so you might as well start now.
And if you're complaining because the proposal wasn't as expensive and extravagant as you've dreamed of since you were a little girl, then you just need to dump him, because something tells me you're going to be too spoiled and demanding for him to make you happy in the first place. Break up with him now because your divorce five years later will be expensive.
Similarly, while I think three of the "five disappointments" are made by shallow princesses who will spend their entire lives bitter and angry, I'm completely with them on number two.
I say that as someone who actually made his marriage proposal without a ring. I didn't have any money, because I was a poor graduate student at the time, and I couldn't afford it.
So I asked her in private, we then drove up to meet her family so I could ask their blessing, and we ended up taking a detour and buying the ring on the way.
Now that I think about it, I managed to nail four of those five disappointments right off the bat (I didn't do number one, the too small ring, since she helped me pick out "the right one"), which means I may have made the worst proposal in the entire history of marriage.
If you'll excuse me, I have to go buy some more jewelry. Which says "I'm sorry for 20 years ago" more, a diamond tiara or crown and scepter?
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