Opinion: Defending my decision to propose


I proposed to my boyfriend this week. I read him a poem, got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of my pocket, and held it up to the camera.

Because my boyfriend wasn’t actually there.

He was at work, 800 miles away, completely unaware of what had just happened.
He will be aware, of course. Before this editorial gets printed in the paper, hopefully, he will have gotten the envelope I mailed him with a ring and a flashdrive that contains the video of my proposal. And then we’ll be engaged. And I couldn’t be more excited.

I know it’s a little unconventional. The weird thing is, though, that the fact that I did it through the mail isn’t the most unconventional part. The most unconventional part is that I did it.
My parents were surprised. Supportive, but surprised. “It’s leap year!” I told them, mostly as a joke. They know I would have done this regardless of what year it was.

And yet, I still felt the need to provide an excuse. I still feel like I need to have a reason for proposing. As if the fact that I love him and want to spend eternity with him isn’t enough. If he had proposed, no one would have asked why. Can you imagine? “Why didn’t you wait for her to do it?” “If you don’t let her propose, how do you know she’s really committed?” “You proposed? She’s getting herself a man who really knows what he wants, isn’t she?”

I guess this whole thing is a little hypocritical. I’m arguing that I shouldn’t feel the need to defend my decision, and yet here I am, publicly defending my decision.

I think the point I’m trying to make — my call to action, you might say — isn’t that all women should propose to their boyfriends. I just hope that if I have a daughter someday, she never feels the need to justify her decisions to anyone but God.

— Emily Andersen
Universe Features Editor

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