Why I think public proposal is a bad idea

By Udeagha Miracle

Honestly, this wasn’t supposed to be the post for this week but it’s about time this issue is addressed. I’ve seen a lot of “proposal gone wrong” videos on the gram. So, yesterday, I was on Instagram when I saw this trending video of a guy that proposed to his girlfriend at the market(See video below).

Of course, I found the video funny. On second thought though, I wondered what had prompted the guy to even think that proposing publicly, in a market of all places, would be a good idea. Secondly, from what I can tell in this video, it seems the lady wouldn’t even have wanted a public proposal in the first place.

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While the multi-billion-dollar wedding industry may have romanticized the public proposal, I firmly believe that they are terrible.

I understand that many people today love the self-esteem they think they get from social media admiration or likes. Whatever outrageous stunt they have planned, they’re “doing it for the gram.”

Setting aside the misguided obsession with follower engagement, we really need to address the elephant in the room. I have one obvious but very important question: Is an Audience really necessary?

It doesn’t matter if you propose over dinner at a restaurant, in the middle of a stroll, or at the place where you first met, the question still stands: What does an audience bring to the table exactly?

Is it borne out of the fear that no one is going to believe you when you say you’re engaged? Hence, the need for a crowd to validate your story? Can’t you just take a picture of the ring, plaster it all over social media and await the influx of likes and comments with bated breath?

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Is it an effort to try to make other people feel jealous?

Or are you looking for applause and cheers? Have proposals become a performance? Do you need to bask in the warm glow of admiration from strangers? Is that really what makes the moment special? These are some of the questions that come to mind whenever I see yet another public proposal video.

To be honest, I would prefer a private proposal where the “going down on a knee” tradition is skipped and the question just comes up casually, with a beautiful ring, of course. The idea of a public proposal irks the hell out of me.

I’ll admit it certainly does feel good to be the centre of admiration and attention. I’ll bet that you agree. Even if you haven’t experienced it, I’m sure you can imagine the warm glow that comes with being cheered on and applauded. Well, that’s what an audience can give you. But it can also go sideways, which is bad. Take the video above for example, that guy will now be scarred for life.

Let’s assume the proposal goes off without a hitch. You get the applause. You get the “awwwws.” You see other couples kiss each other. People snap photographs, and tag you on social media congratulating you. It all feels so amazing, right?

The problem is all of that praise and admiration is external. It’s not related to the whole point of the proposal.

In my opinion, a proposal is a special moment between two people. It’s the strengthening of the connection and between you and your partner. It’s a promise. It’s a decision to move forward with the relationship and commit to each other for life.

The audience doesn’t enhance that special moment. They only pose as a distraction. It makes you focus on how you feel. It’s not about the other person at all, which is selfish.

Now let’s flash back to the lady in the video. She’s not the only one who’s been stuck in this situation. I’m sure many women have had similar experiences where they are stuck between saying yes or no. Saying “No” would mean disappointing not just the guy, but the family and a room full of strangers.

This is what an audience does. They add pressure. Suddenly, your girlfriend isn’t just letting you down, she’s letting down a room full of people as well. And if she says no, then she makes you look like a fool.

Let’s just be totally honest. The public proposal can be a manipulative situation. A lady can feel pressured to say “Yes” just so she doesn’t embarrass the guy in front of the audience when deep down she may not even be sure she’s ready to settle down.

Is this kind of power dynamic really how you want to enter into a partnership for life? What kind of example does that set? Isn’t marriage supposed to be a partnership where both parties can comfortably voice their opinions without unnecessary pressure and expectations?

I’m pretty sure by now you know what I think: a proposal is about two people and only two people. Don’t confuse public validation and approval with a genuine, special connection to your partner. Not only is a forced “Yes” unfair, it’s a decision that’s unlikely to last for long.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you prefer a public proposal or a private one with just you and the one you love? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

This post first appeared on Mira’s-Not-So-Secret Diary. CRISPNG obtained permission to publish it.

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