Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why Does A Guy Drag His Heels On Proposing?

This post is written by Pete. For all his posts, check out this link.

Hey! Shhhh ... wait ... listen ... do you hear that? Kinda sounds like a scratching sound or something ... oh wait! Look! It's the sound of another person dragging their heels. I think it's safe to say that most couples know the story: Two people meet, start hanging out, then start dating, then start living together, then start driving each other insane because one is neat and organized and the other is a slob who scatters every single thing they own all over your common living space, then the old "we've been living together for (insert time here), where is this going?" or at least some permutation of that scenario. Regardless of the specifics, I think it is safe to say that many relationships follow that trajectory, and most, if not all, include one person in the relationship getting antsy about when the other will "pop the big question."

I will fully admit that until recently I was pretty jerky and obtuse when it came to this topic. My thinking was "Ah Christ man, gimmie a break, we're living together, what's the goddamn difference? Seriously, what difference does a round piece of metal and a piece of paper to prove our love make?"

Before you pass judgment and toss me in a cell with the rest of the selfish boys in your mind, let me just tell you that my outlook has changed ... a little. You see, I had to cross over to the other side of life, the married side, in order to be able to look back and examine how I got to where I'm at. And in doing so I've had a number of "Ah ha!" (aka "Oh damn I was a real selfish jackass") moments. Actually, I guarantee I have had dozens of these moments recently that hindsight will reveal very soon.

So today, let's examine the issue through the eyes of people on both sides and find out why some people drag their heels when it comes to popping the question to the one they love. First the "guy's" side. Notice the word guy's is in quotes. I do this because I will use this word from here on in as a pejorative term that refers to the traditional style of thinking women apply to men. Being cognizant of the fact that a marriage can exist between members of the same sex, in my experience there is always one person in a same-sex relationship who will assume the role of the "guy," so the following discourse uses the word guy's as a way of thinking, and does not refer to one's gender. I know of many women who think like a "guy," and many men who do not and instead are programmed to think in a more "womanly" manner.

Now, for those of you who haven't noticed, a man's mind is quite simple. Something is or it is not. It operates in accordance with a linear stimulus/response protocol that exists in a world that is black and white. Evolutionarily speaking, this is an asset -- but when it comes to more complicated decisions this line of thinking can be problematic. Decisions are made based on whether or not the issue in question is pleasurable or not. The end. Some call it selfish; I call it efficient. With that being said, when one applies this to the concept of marriage, a guy views marriage as something that is an unnecessary step. This is proven when such lines as "We live together, and that's the same thing as being married" are muttered. And in a way, guys are right. The highest form of dedication and commitment is to take the large step of two people sharing the same living space. Why spend thousands upon thousands of dollars buying rings and planning and conducting an elaborate and potentially stressfully planning a ceremony just to prove what we already know?

Now for the women's side. Now for those of you who haven't noticed, a woman's mind is far more convoluted. It consists of mazes that have no ending, exists in three dimensions, and is cast in a wide array of colors, some of which science has not even named yet. Connections are made between events that have occurred and statements made by others that may or may not be real. A woman's thinking can at times appear to give them a sort of sixth "sense" that can read things into a situation that may or may not exist. For a woman, marriage is something much greater and profound than just sharing a living space. From what I can gather from my research on these strange, confusing, and mysterious creatures, marriage appears to be more of a "divine promise" or something. The "ultimate proof" that you love them, despite the fact that many marriages end in divorce, hence making those a colossal waste of money.

A guy will many times hear the words: Where this is going? The "this" in that elusive and confounding statement refers to the relationship as it exists in an unmarried state. It is uttered when a woman feels as if the relationship in its unmarried state has gone on for longer than she is comfortable with and feels that the "next step" (aka marriage) needs to be taken. This amount of time varies from woman to woman, but rest assured that most guys will hear these words at some point. It is as this point that an invisible clock begins ticking and the guy now has a finite amount of time to initiate the marriage process by purchasing a ring and surprising his significant other with some sort of creative proposal. "This," to a woman is the first step towards proving that you love her. Never mind the fact that you live together, share each other's hard earned money, pay for your living expenses together, have probably taken expensive trips together, and put up with each other's strange and sometimes downright disgusting living habits. To her, it's buying a ring that beings to prove your eternal dedication.

I dunno about you, but as far as my understanding can lead me to believe, it appears as if dragging one's heels is a natural and completely understandable outcome of a situation like this. An arrangement like this (where each person has such differing views) puts undue pressure on a guy. When he is pressured, he cannot think clearly and make good, objective decisions. I believe that once he can truly think for himself and come to a personal understanding on what marriage means, his heel dragging will stop.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Do you have any advice for women who are waiting for a proposal?

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