Popping the question is a far too casual saying to describe what happens when you get engaged. For most couples, getting engaged is both a natural step and an emotional one – and probably many sleepless nights for the one who is planning the proposal. But like for other social scenarios – engagement is a step on the social ladder – getting engaged doesn’t happen without a list of expectations that the couple, the proposed or the proposer, have to meet. The easier way to prepare for them is to understand what these social expectations are, and maybe to decide for yourself whether you are happy to follow them … or to ignore them completely!
Expectation #1: The Proposal
According to most women’s magazines, every woman dreams to be asked The Question – or shall we call it The Ultimate Question to which the answer is not 42. So, if you’re a guy and thinking about proposing, no pressure at all: She’s only been dreaming about the perfect proposal all her life. If that wasn’t enough to make you nervous, it’s likely that she would have dreamed of a romantic place, such as a warm sandy beach in the sunset or one of the most expensive restaurants that you can afford. The ordinary scenario consists of the guy getting down on one knee and presenting the ring. However, in the end, as long as you are true to yourself and give the moment the importance it deserves, the emotion is all she will remember. You don’t need to book a table at your local Michelin-starred restaurant to ask her.
Expectation #2: The Ring
If you are keen to make the engagement ring special, you should consider ways to design your own ring. Like with any design project, this one begins with finding the raw material, which can be helped by browsing the jewellery market for round loose diamonds that you could use on the ring. It’s important to work with both a budget – and stick to it, as this will be a valuable lesson when you set to plan your wedding – and design inspirations. Magazines and vintage stores often have a lot of exciting ring designs that you could repurpose for your own engagement ring.
Expectation #3: In The Social Media Eye
There is no engagement without an official announcement, especially if you happen to be an avid Instagram or Facebook user. This means that there are indeed ways, let’s call it a social etiquette, to announce your engagement. Commonly, while the preferred social posts tend to tell the story of your relationship or to recreate the moment of the engagement. But more and more couples are using playful wordplays to bring a little cheek-in-tongue moment too. However, there are also serious mistakes that you should avoid on social media. For a start, while you can show your ring, you shouldn’t post a picture of just your ring. It’s a bit too showy. Similarly, try not to push it in the face of those who are going through a personal drama at the same time - just wait a bit before letting the world know.
Expectation #4: The Engagement Party
Engagement parties are a must have if you want to share the excitement with all your friends and relatives. Besides they’re a great practice board for the wedding day too. You can start testing decorative ideas such as rustic photo booth props and party favors that could be repurposed for your wedding day. Some couples like to plan a large and open engagement party, while they only invite their close relative circle to the wedding. What you choose is up to you. But remember that there will be plenty of people who will be excited for you and will want to share your joy. An engagement party might seem expensive, at first, but this is a great way of getting used to planning and organizing events. And this is exactly the kind of skills that you will need when you get married!
Welcome To The Alternative Engagement Universe
These were social expectations that are naturally at the back of most people’s mind. They belong to our upbringing in the western world. However, they, by no means, mean that there is no other way to get engaged and to celebrate your love. Social expectations are nothing but the standard processes that a society follows. As a result, it is expected that you do the same. But you are free to choose how you want to get engaged!
Beat The Genderist View
Numerous studies have tried to prove that the woman should not propose to the man. To do so, they have proceeded in the same way, by gathering candidates and asking their opinions. Yet, there is a problem with this way of approaching a social expectation. Most individuals tend to refer to their inbuilt knowledge, which is the socially accepted image that the woman is the one who is proposed to. In truth, it makes little difference in a couple, whether heterosexual or homosexual, who proposes to who. Presumably, if you are in a solid and loving relationship, you treat your partner as your equal. Therefore, in the end, men are just as emotional at the idea that a woman wants to marry them as women are. In short, ladies beat the genderist approach and propose to him for a change!
The Intimist Engagement
It is difficult to imagine an engagement without a ring, but in truth, some couples have actively chosen not to buy a ring. Why so? Because they didn’t want to spend money on it and prefer to save it for another purpose. Additionally, some women find that the engagement ring marks that they belong to a man, which creates an imbalance in the relationship as the man doesn’t have any ring at this point. In truth, you don’t need a ring to pop the question. It just helps if you have one.
How To Let The World Know?
Last, but not least what about the big announcement? Surprisingly enough, you can play it cool: There is no need to share it with your social media followers. If you don’t want to plan an engagement party, you should at least set the wedding date and send the invitations around.