Daily Archives: October 4, 2011

Engagement Etiquette for Him and for Her

I just got really excited.  Not because I’m getting engaged (I’m not) and not because I know someone else who is (I don’t), but because the whole idea of engagements and marriage just makes me giddy as hell.

SO I was thinking, “What kinda theme could I do that would fit into my idea of gender roles, domesticity, and still help out men and women alike?”  AN ENGAGEMENT RING GUIDE!  Hell, an entire ENGAGEMENT GUIDE!  So this week, it’ll be about engagement, engagement rings, proposals, and all that stuff in between.

And what better person to do it than a person who’s never been engaged, right?  Oh shut up.  It’s for fun.  Also, I am only writing these rules to apply to heterosexual couples composed of a man and a woman.  This is your disclaimer,  so shut up or quit reading.

I’m going to break this down into points that apply to both the man and woman, specific advice for the woman, and specific advice for the man.


For Men and Women:
Talk about your future with each other:  If you think your relationship is heading toward the big M, then you should talk to each other about it.  You don’t have to plan/decide everything immediately, but it’s the perfect time to start seeing if you you both think that marriage is something you’d like to do, and what it means to you.  what about kids (and the # of them) and pets?  Where would you like to live?  What do you expect out of life?

For Men:
Don’t get all hibbity jibbity every time someone mentions marriage or engagements to you.  Don’t act like your bachelor days are so glorious.  And if you do truly enjoy being a bachelor, then make it known to women you play around with that you’re not interested in marriage.  It’ll save you a ton of trouble in the end.

If you do see yourself getting married, talk openly about it, and your expectations.  Don’t go overboard with excitement, though.  It makes you seem insanely girly and your lady will wonder why you’re so gung-ho about it.  Mostly, she’ll think, “Okay, he seemed great…but if he’s this excited about the idea of getting married, maybe he’s trying to pin me down.  Or he wants me to commit to him before I find out why all the other women left him.”  So do yourself a favor and show calm, genuine interest.

Also, it is YOUR duty to ask her father or guardian if you are allowed to marry her.  Don’t just take for granted that he’ll say yes.  He’ll respect you for coming to him man to man and talking it out.  It shows him that you’ll truly be responsible and take care of his daughter.  So build a relationship with your girlfriend’s dad if you see your relationship heading toward marriage.  That way that take isn’t so intimidating.

For Women:
Alright–I know you’ve been dreaming of this day since you were two.  Don’t act like a pre-bridezilla, but also express to the man you’re dating that you are interested in marriage.  Talk openly about what it means to you and what you want out of it.

Also, bust off your bras and get ready to burn them, feminists.  I don’t ever EVER think a woman should ask a man to marry her.  EVER.  Let him do it.  It’s a guy thing.

Hint around (not too obviously) that you’re okay with the idea of him proposing.  Saying things like, “I couldn’t imagine life without you” will be good indicators that give your guy the go-ahead.  But don’t rush him.

And don’t get ahead of yourself planning all the particulars if you think it’s coming.  It’ll just push it off longer.

Tomorrow, how to talk about engagement rings.


Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Domesticity, The Book of Love


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