Wednesday, September 17, 2008

help me to help her

Last week I got the following email from Sanna (for any new readers, Sanna is one of my best good friends since grade school days):

This was the email in its entirety:

i'm considering proposing to Dave.
what do you think

She sent this email to both me and her sister Johanna.

Dave is Sanna's boyfriend .

Here is some background on Dave and their relationship:

1) They met April 14 2007 on a camping trip set up by a mutual friend
2) Their first date was May 18 2007, she went to his house - he had tickets to see a concert but then lingered over dinner and opted to go to his house and have a firepit in his yard and drink wine
3) They are both 36
4) He was married for 4 years, no children, he's been divorced for 7 years
5) She has had several serious relationships
6) She lives in PA - he lives in VA
7) She makes more than he does
8) He is in interviews about a job in PA near hers
9) Which means they are talking about his moving in with her
10)He is well liked by her family and friends

When I read the email my first thought was to say "DON'T DO IT....WAIT FOR HIM TO ASK YOU"

And then my second thought was..... "don't offer your friend relationship advice....remember the whole Colin debacle?".

The Colin debacle was quite simply Susanna asking me for advice and I foolishly advising.


I am a pragmatic.

I think Sanna should wait and let it evolve naturally.

Johanna on the other hand, was all for it.

Her suggestion went something like this:
it seems like you are itchy to give him a special gift to show him how special he is to you, so, why don't you just buy him a ring and keep it on your person whenever you guys are together
and then when/if he proposes to you with a ring, you can have your beautiful moment and then say, 'wait, i have something for you too'.that way you both have a special token and you get to experience areal proposal from the boy who loves you so much and vice versa.

But she is a romantic.

There are two TV instances that stand out in my mind as reasons for the woman not to propose:

1) Gilmore Girls - Lorelai proposed to Luke and he accepted. He later flung that back in her face
2) Sex and the City - Charlotte inadvertently proposed to herself. She later got a huge Tiffany ring but still, it was a foreboding.

Have any of you ever proposed?

Would you propose?

How would you advise Sanna?


34 Years said...

I just re-watched that Sex/City episode...funny.

So, here's the thing - there's only two sides..A) it's 2008, women can propose if they want and B) some things should remain old-fashioned, and men should be the ones popping the big question.

I'm for 'B'...wait for it and don't get antsy. It sounds like they have a good thing going, but, in my opinion, they haven't been together for a long time yet. They seem to be working against long-distance at the often do they currently see each other? I think they need to spend some time under the same roof - and we definitely need to wait until he secures a job in PA.

Until all of that happens...enjoy the relationship! The only thing a ring will change at the moment is bringing in a whole lot of questions on when/where/how to get married. He might also be cooking something up for her - proposals are really the guy's big moment, give him a chance to get there.

Jess said...

Have they discussed marriage and his views on marriage. Have they ever lived together at all even short term? Does she know all of his family? Have they discussed finances and do they share similar financial goals and budgetary goals? Finances are the thing to sink more marriages than anything. I know its not romanitic, but marriage for the most part isn't... and if you are going to have a pleastant existance i think these things need to be worked up to... and maybe its a little soon. But then i don't know the details of the relationship and maybe they just click in all of the areas of life... If there is ANY doubt though, i would not rush it... you can't take back a proposal... and it could inherently change the relationship if one is less ready at this point to say yes... what could end up a go if allowed to progress naturally may be prematurely stalled by a too soon committment/rejection...
Have they discussed children? Do they want them?

Ami said...

The feminist in me wants to say, "Heck yeah, she should ask him." Unfortunately the romantic is winning right now (and also the tiny self-help voice in the back of my mind) and I'm leaning toward, wait for him. Based on all the questions by the other commenters it's clear we don't have all the details necessary to weigh in on this subject.

I like Joanna's idea, though, because it gives Sanna the ability to offer her own "proposal" of sorts without stealing Dave's potential thunder. Besides, I do think it's a bit selfish that the girl always get's the ring and the guy get's what? Oh, right. The wonderful privilege of marrying the love of his life.

Allknowingjen said...

No she should wait - mostly because it's only been a year and they haven't been living together and only a little bit because I am old fashioned. Now I certainly think she should discuss marriage with him and make sure they are on the same page and that it's something they are both heading towards, but she shouldn't propose. I agree that it's the guy's one big thing, so she should give him a chance. They should decide together, but let him have the formality.

Misty said...

this is a tough one... I guess I would say she should wait, BUT I don't know. They need to talk about it...

Jenster said...

It's 2008 and I'm all for women taking the initiative. Having said that, though, marriage is more than a romantic proposal and a wedding. Instead of proposing to him right away, I would advise Sanna to intiate a conversation about marriage (if they haven't already discussed it) first to find out his views on it and what he has planned for his future.

There is nothing sadder than a couple who gets engaged because the woman wants to get married and the man can't think of an excuse not to. I'm not saying this would be Sanna's situation, but it's happened to a few friends of mine and the prolonged drama was both tragic and irritating.

John said...

I'd say your other readers have the right idea. Too many questions about the relationship. I personally don't mind if the woman proposes. Although I did propose to my wife. Good luck and happiness to them both! And to you and yours as well.

Anonymous said...

I lealize this is somewhat after the fact but my question is what kinda guy is Dave. Is he the old fashioned type who thinks it's his place to do the proposing or is he more forward in his thinking and doesn't mind a woman who takes the initiative?

Then again, I happen to agree with you and think she should wait for him.