Saturday, September 15, 2012

Girls : To Propose or Not to

I read a very interesting blog entry today ( about a conversation on why a girl should be able to propose to a guy. It provoked a stream of thoughts and brought to the fore a series of memories. It was like a film reel of a portion of my life and I watched it and recalled it from afar. It also made me rethink and consider whether my views have changed.

Ten years ago I would've totally agreed with the view that a girl should be able to propose to a guy. Using tact and style I believed that a woman should be empowered enough to take charge of her relationships. After all, as strong independent women we take charge of our careers, our decisions, our finances, we should also be able to take charge of who we believe we want to spend the rest of our lives with. I used to find it ironic that society gives us the freedom to pursue our desires in other arenas yet conditions us into submission by waiting for the guy to take that step. It just didn't fit in with the persona of a modern day woman. I looked up at the role model of Lady Khadijah, our prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) first wife. A strong independent woman, she had proposed to him in a tactful and respectful way and their marriage was the happiest and greatest love story in history. I believed I could follow in her footsteps but I was wrong. Those were ideal people and whereas that had happened during an era when life was simpler, today such ideals are a rarity.

Fast forward ten years later. Yes I still believe a woman should be empowered enough to pursue her interests, goals and dreams when it comes to all aspects of her life. But I halt when it comes to applying that to that special person. It might be the dreamer and the little girl in me who still believes in the fairy tale that most girls grow up with. Prince Charming who will come and sweep us off our feet and take the step for us (to propose) and live happily ever after. Prince Charming may or may not exist but that's not the issue here.

I was one of those girls who did propose to my ex-husband. I did it with tact and style. We had known each other for two years and, being the type of person with strong faith and beliefs, I thought that the natural progression for our relationship would be marriage as I never believed in a girlfriend-boyfriend type of relationship and I was and still am religious. Two years had been enough time for us to get to know each other's personalities and I believed we were both ready to start a life together. So I broached the subject and suggested that we get married and make our relationship complete. It took a few months of consideration before we did. Two years later I was divorced. The reasons are not important but something I was told by him gave me a shocking lightbulb moment. When we got married, he had liked me but hadn't loved me. He had been under pressure at the time to get married and he decided to go ahead with it with me being available and after he had been presented with such an opportunity. He added that after marriage, he did gradually start to fall in love with me. The whole conversation was shocking to say the least. Had I misread the signs? Had my intuition and feelings been wrong all along? Needless to say that I realised that I had wronged myself and sold myself short.

Guys, when presented with an opportunity will jump at it. After my experience I was totally against the idea of a girl proposing to a guy. Perhaps it is wrong to generalise from one failed experience. There are probably many successful marriages out there as a result of the girl proposing. It all comes down to the background of the girl and the guy. It relates to upbringing and expectations and the level of open mindedness and maturity. It has to do with the seriousness of the relationship and the stage it is at. But again I will say that guys, when presented with an opportunity will jump at it. Even if the guy is open minded and mature enough, a guy who finds a girl hinting or offering herself in marriage to him will seriously consider it an opportunity. If he does go through with it, there will always be a lingering expectation that other things will be initiated by the girl too.

Girls like to feel cherished, appreciated and adored by the man they love. Girls who propose miss out on fulfilling that need. They miss out on the feeling that their man had the courage to take the step to declare their love to them, to have chosen them amongst all others. They miss out on the chance to know that their man has thought things through and decided that this is the person whom they want to spend the rest of their life with. The proposal is by far the most romantic and important step for any girl in a relationship because it's a declaration. The first true declaration of how special she is to him.

Women by their very nature are givers and nurturers. We are made that way to contain the people we love. We have this innate tendency within us to care and nourish souls. It is natural for a woman to feel the need to want to care for and nurture the guy she loves. But girls who propose miss out on that form of appreciation of that feminine aspect of themselves. Instead they choose to frog leap and place themselves in a position where they will always be expected to forever be in a form of caring and nurturing. And even after successfully proposing and a happy marriage, there will always be those moments, wondering, during those grey moments when things are not as rosy as they seem, whether he would've even taken that step at all.

Today my view is that if I feel a certain way about someone I express it to them and make it known. But I leave the proposing to him to do. If he feels the same way too he would be miles ahead taking all steps to make it happen because guys are pursuers.

In a sense it is waiting for one's destiny to be fulfilled. As the age old adage says: all in good time and whatever is meant to be will be.