The Proposal

by | Jul 15, 2021 | 2 comments

Wedding Ring Sitting in a Ring Box

[vc_row equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”top”][vc_column css_animation=”fadeIn” width=”1/12″ woodmart_sticky_column=”true” offset=”vc_hidden-sm vc_hidden-xs”][social_buttons size=”large” style=”colored” form=”square”][/vc_column][vc_column offset=”vc_col-md-11 vc_col-xs-12″ mobile_bg_img_hidden=”no” tablet_bg_img_hidden=”no” woodmart_parallax=”0″ woodmart_sticky_column=”false” parallax_scroll=”no” mobile_reset_margin=”no” tablet_reset_margin=”no”][woodmart_responsive_text_block font=”text” size=”small” font_weight=”400″ color_scheme=”dark” align=”left” woodmart_css_id=”63b71b324634e” content_width=”100″ inline=”no” woodmart_empty_space=”” responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2M2I3MWIzMjQ2MzRlIiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV90ZXh0X2Jsb2NrIiwiZGF0YSI6eyJ0YWJsZXQiOnt9LCJtb2JpbGUiOnt9fX0=”]His words were unlike any she’d expected to hear, and for a moment, she could hardly make sense of them.

“Marry you?” she asked as she lowered her head.

He withdrew the small velvet box he held in his hand and rose from his knee, looking utterly miserable.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured.

Staring at her, he uttered, “I thought you felt the same way about me as I do about you?.”

Suddenly, she felt cold and rubbed her bare shoulders and shivered, causing the skin on her neck to tingle. During the last six months, they’d slept together, eaten together, had picnics in the park, and walked on the beach at sunrise and sunset. Looking at him, she remembered how, after a hot spring day of hiking, a dark storm cloud rolled in over the mountain they’d just descended, and the sun’s rays cut below the darkness, setting parts of the sky in flames. It was then he told her he loved her? that she had set him on fire.

“So, you’ve changed your mind about us?” he said, breaking the awkward silence between them.

She answered with a frown. “I, I, I do love you, Phillip. But I’m not sure I’m ready for a lifetime commitment?”

“Susan,” he said, laying his hand on her cheek, “Is anyone ever sure when it comes to marriage” I mean, it’s always a risk that you’ll give your heart to someone, and they may break it. But my promise to you is that I would never do that to you. You have my assurance on that.”

Susan watched him uneasily. At last, she said, “I don’t think anyone can give an assurance like that. I mean, the only assurance we have is that we’ll change, and our feelings may as well.”

Looking pensively at her, he said, “And then we’d deal with it if that happens. Look, I’ve dated enough to know that you have everything I’m looking for in a life partner. We’re physically, sexually, and emotionally compatible. But if you don’t feel the same way, then?.” Phillip said, putting on his coat.

“Wait, Phillip,” she interrupted. “It isn’t that I don’t want to marry you. It’s that I don’t think I want to marry anyone,” she lied.

She shook her head and sighed as she remembered literally bumping into her ex-boyfriend, Brett, recently at a business function. She’d been at the bar and, with a wine glass in hand, turned and walked smack into him. Looking up into his face and feeling the warmth of his body against hers, she’d thought of how much she had wanted to marry him? but he was the one who hadn’t been interested in marriage.

“I see,” Phillip said, moving toward the door. “Well, aren’t I the fool.”

“No, Phillip, I am. You’re wonderful, and I do love you, but I just need time to ponder on forever.”

“Well then, I’ll leave you to ponder since there’s nothing left to talk about,” he said, dropping the key to her apartment on the table next to the door.

As the door clicked behind him, she rose from the chair she’d been sitting in and walked to the sofa. Sitting down cross-legged, she bent at the waist and began to cry as she wondered if it was normal to fluctuate so quickly between feeling confident that she’d done the right thing and thinking she’d just made the biggest mistake of her life. After all, Phillip was handsome, well educated, had a great job with a well-known software company” and he loved her.


According to a study by Superbreak, nearly 1 in 4 women turn down a proposal, with 23 percent of those women regretting it.

The main reason for rejecting the proposal was that the women didn’t feel the person proposing was “The One,” followed by the women feeling that the relationship lacked something. The third reason was that they didn’t want to get married in general. The study also found that 29 percent of women surveyed said they would turn down a proposal if it were poorly done, and 15 percent said they wanted the proposal to be unusual and something specifically created for them.

Oh, how expectations for a suitable spouse have undergone seismic changes. Fifty years ago, any woman interested in a heterosexual relationship would have rushed into this guy’s arms so fast her shoes would’ve been smoking. Are you kidding me? Someone like this guy would be her ticket to a two-story center hall Colonial and financial security for life. Which, by the way, was what every red-blooded American woman dreamed of in that era. I know because I lived it. But social and cultural transformations over the last fifty years have redefined what a modern couple expects from their life partner.

Today, people are encouraged, at times pressured, to break free of the past constraints imposed by religion, family duty, community obligation, and cultural expectations, and pursue personal fulfillment and sexual gratification.

Accordingly, in the past, when marriage was a more pragmatic proposition, love was not essential. What was essential was that each partner understood they were to meet their emotional needs elsewhere, primarily in same-sex relationships with men bonding over work and sports and women over child-rearing and coffee klatches. While in the past, marriage was a matter of economic sustenance for women and a way for men to propagate, marriage today is a free choice enterprise entered into on the basis of love.

The most recent survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 41 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. As the infinitely talented writer and psychologist Ester Perel suggests in her book Mating In Captivity, the rise in divorce rates may be attributed to the dismantling of the traditional resources which for centuries provided order, meaning, continuity, and emotional and social support to a couple. The result has created the need to turn to one person to provide what a multitude of resources traditionally provided.

Which brings us back to Susan. As she thinks about what to do, she remembers how Brett made her feel during sex, the sheer pleasure of it enough to forget all the rest of his bullshit and mind games which made their relationship oddly exciting, but also terribly traumatic. Then she thought about Phillip. He was well-grounded, open-hearted, and generous without any of Brett’s existential torment. Was she going to be stupid enough to turn down the chance to marry him and expect life to throw her another winning lottery ticket?

Please consider commenting in the box below and send me your thoughts on what you think you would do. “I’ll tell you in the next blog what she decides.[/woodmart_responsive_text_block][vc_raw_html]JTVCaHRtbF9ibG9jayUyMGlkJTNEJTIyODIzOSUyMiU1RA==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]


  1. I enjoyed reading this.

  2. Great article!


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The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. I am a writer who is also a lawyer, helping lay people learn about law-related issues. Consult a qualified lawyer in your jurisdiction for all legal opinions for your specific situation.

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