Flipping the Script on Proposing: Tips for the Woman Looking To Pop the Question
Gender roles often seem quite peculiar in modern life. When it comes to weddings, there are dozens upon dozens of tasks associated with the groom and the bride. More often than not, these responsibilities have nothing to do with a person’s actual abilities and more about antiquated notions surrounding customs. Proposing, for example, has long been a job thrust upon men. Naturally, this responsibility creates confusion in LGBT relationships and most modern heterosexual romances where the man and woman play equal parts. While there’s nothing unusual about a woman popping the question, there are questions that might need answering.
Know How To Take Charge
Like many marital customs, the task of proposing typically fell on men because women were frequently forced into passive roles in a marriage. Though these old notions have fallen away for the most part, the rituals live on as relics of these bygone times. Men nowadays will take on the task of proposing simply because it is expected. However, there are countless couples who have opted to flip the script. No matter what you want from your relationship, taking charge and proposing should always come from a place of love and involve a lot of communication.
If you know your partner is not ready to get hitched and you decide to surprise him with a sudden proposal at a public event, you could be sowing the seeds of your relationship’s destruction. Talking about the idea of marriage before making any concrete decisions is the best way to maintain a healthy connection with your partner.
Think About What You Both Want
By design, romantic relationships are fraught with complicated questions and time-sensitive decisions. With a potential engagement, you need to sit with your own thoughts and consider the future. Are you ready for this level of commitment, or are you simply caught up in the intoxication love can bring? Outside of your own feelings, you must talk openly with your partner about what he or she desires. Again, deciding to put your significant other on the spot without consulting about future goals can be a disaster.
Consider the Ego Factor
Even men with open minds fall prey to bruised egos from time to time. While your partner might be open to every aspect of gender equality, he still could feel slighted if you decide to pop the question. This is another reason why a preliminary discussion can be beneficial. Your partner shouldn’t allow himself to be overcome with petty emotions, but it can save yourself a headache to talk about his stance on the matter early. You know your partner better than anyone, so you should be able to figure out an appropriate way to approach the topic.
Determine the “How”
Once you feel confident that proposing is the right choice, you can tackle the “how” of it all. This is a fun task, as you can start to get as creative or personal as you’d like. The future of your relationship begins when you get down on a proverbial knee, so consider what setting and tone make sense for your love story. From isolated beach settings to surprise parties with family and friends, there are endless locations to explore.
Remove Proposing Perfection
Taking on the task of proposing can put a lot of pressure on you. In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, it is easy to get caught up in the notion that your engagement needs to be worthy of sharing on social sites. Though it might be stressful, remember that you don’t need to make the moment perfect for anyone other than you and your partner.
Though popping the question has long been viewed as a man’s job, modern relationships often ditch these old roles for more progressive options. Figure out what works best for your partner and you to come up with a plan that satisfies you both.
Why Women Propose on Leap Year Day
The year 2020 is a leap year, and there are many traditions and folklore surrounding both leap years and the date of February 29th.
A leap year only comes around every four years ostensibly to synchronize the calendar year with the season, and 2020 is one of them. Non-leap years are called common years. The Gregorian calendar is not the only one that adds days to keep it on track. The Hebrew calendar adds a 13th month within its cycles to keep the seasons and calendar synchronous. On February 29, there are many traditions and folklore that make it fun.
Gender Role Reversals
Traditionally, men have proposed to women when it comes to marriage. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that a woman might appear desperate or too aggressive if they were the ones who proposed. The first legend of a woman having the option to propose is from the fifth century, when the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, granted permission to single women who had shy suitors to propose marriage. It’s thought that St. Brigid of Kildare requested that this tradition happen every leap year.
There’s another tradition that says Queen Margaret put a law on the books requiring a man to pay a fine if he turned the lady down, typically in the form of a pair of gloves, a flower and one pound. However, it’s unlikely that Queen Margaret actually did put the law into motion, because she was only five at the time the said law went into effect.
In Finland, the custom is that the man buys the woman fabrics for a skirt. In the 17th century, it is thought that women would wear a scarlet petticoat if they were going to take advantage of leap year and propose. This gave the potential groom fair warning.
These traditions are most likely the precursor to Sadie Hawkins Day, which is the United States’ folk tradition celebrated on the first Saturday after November 9th. It’s a gender role reversal day when women and girls take the initiative to invite men on a date or even to propose marriage. Feminists of today believe the holiday is outdated, but some actually say that the tradition can empower women.
In 2010, Amy Adams starred in “Leap Year,” a movie that relates to the tradition of leap year. The character, Anna, follows her boyfriend to Dublin to propose on February 29. Through twists and turns, Anna is of course foiled, travels throughout Ireland and must face the truth about her relationship. It’s a fun and interesting movie.
Leap Year Traditions
In Greece, it’s considered unlucky to get married during the leap year. That must be rough on the wedding industry, because at least 20 percent of couples will avoid getting married during a leap year. In Greek culture, it’s also considered bad luck to start anything new during the leap year, whether it be baptizing a child, starting a business, or taking off on a journey. According to superstition, a marriage or engagement that begins in a leap year will undoubtedly end in a tragedy, such as divorce or death.
In Ukraine, the saint for February 29 is Cassian, who is said to have brought sickness to animals and people with a single gaze. According to legend, Cassian once refused to help a peasant get his cart out of the mud, which prompted God to limit Cassian to one saint’s day every four years. Ukrainians protect their animals and their families by staying inside on February 29. They also won’t marry on the day.
In Today’s Culture
Many people wonder if women really need a special day or year to propose to their partner. There have been some interesting proposals that have reached fame on the television and radio. Women just get tired of waiting for their partner to take the first step. Depending on what your cultural background is, this will ultimately determine whether you feel comfortable taking the step toward marriage during a leap year.