Popping the Question: No Longer a Man-Only Task

By Dr. Helen Fisher, PhD.

Woman Engagement Ring women proposing

On a mountain top? At a beach resort? In your hometown with all your friends around? Women spend a lot of time planning their weddings from start to finish, and this has always been culturally acceptable. But until now, it hasn’t been as acceptable for a woman to pop the big question and ask her loved one, “Will you marry me?” Women often drop weighty little bombs, like: “Is this serious?” “What are your plans?” “Are we in for the long haul?” But they don’t often get down on one knee and propose. Instead, they wait.

But is proposing still the man’s job? In our annual study of Singles in America, I and my colleagues at Match.com ask single Americans of every age and background about their dating lives. And each year we see the gender lines continue to blur – in fact, over 90% of men report that they are comfortable with a woman asking them out. So why shouldn’t a woman feel okay to propose as well?

People love to watch these meaningful moments. Certainly I do. There’s something incredibly special about the words: “Will you marry me.” I suspect they were used more than 200,000 years ago as the human brain took its modern shape, and a proposal is still so special. With this person you will build the core of your future social, economic and intimate life.  With this person, you may also bear young, parent, and pass your DNA on toward eternity. So why not make this moment of profound commitment dazzling? And why not encourage women to join the fun?

Indeed, as female planners join the festivities, the “ultimate proposal” might become the newest art form, one of many ways that singles are transforming modern courtship. And it’s a good idea. From the biological perspective, the more metabolic energy you invest in a partnership at the start, the more you are obliged to sustain it. And the ultimate proposal surely is the definitive way to tell the world: she (or he) is mine.

Ready to pop the question but need help on where to begin? Match.com is offering a Propose Perfectly contest, where you can enter to win the ultimate proposal concierge including professional proposal planning by Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner, a $5,000 ring from Robbins Brothers, The Engagement Store, and a videographer to capture the exhilarating moment for you to cherish. Enter to win now!

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