Engagement Stories (Men, I Encourage You to Complain)

So, in the same vein of the ever-lovin’ why-does-a-single-girl-have-five-wedding-dresses, a story for the boys (but ladies, listen up too). (yes that was a tenacious d reference. no, don’t look it up if you don’t know about what I speak).


I’d like to begin by saying that no, I did not intend to spend an evening on a couch with three DUDES, watching football. I intended to spend the night with two or three other ladies, entertaining ourselves whilst the dudes watched football. But the wives stayed home or went out or whatever so it was just me and the dudes.

Luckily, they are very kind, chillax dudes, who put up with all my questions  and actually taught me about the game. Turns out i like watching sports. However (comma) I think I do it wrong….another post for another time.


So i’m sittin’ on the couch with the dudes (again, NOTMYFAULT) and get a call from another friend about a proposal gone horribly, terribly awry. If there were an Alexander book about proposals, this would be the story it told. So while I’m managing that crisis, the dudes listen in and ask me to explain after the call is over.

Dude one: So what’s the big deal?

Dude two: Man, every girl wants some amazing story she can tell everyone, and it’s STUPID. (sidenote, this dude is married. I’m sure he came up with some elaborate scheme but it seems he wasn’t totes excited about it)

Dude one: Isn’t the point just to get engaged?

Dude three: No, dude, it’s a thing.

Me: Hmmmm….. interesting.


And so I found myself pondering. I’m used to engagement stories. It’s one of the things I ask about when i’m getting to know married couples. It’s true, I love them. Well, I love stories in general I just think this one is a gimme because it seems everyone has a story.


And I’ve helped plenty of dudes plan their proposals. (It occurs to me that people allow me to help a lot with their nuptial issues. I love that!) It just never occurred to me that a dude would find the whole planning of the thing offensive.


Tough to accomplish, sure. Stressing over the ring, i can see. But disdain for the proposal planning process? Never thought of it before.


So I ask you: how do you feel about the current atmosphere surrounding proposals? Are we off the mark? Are we missing the point? (And by we I mean everyone, not just ladies.) Because thinking about it, this frustrated dude, he’s a winner. He is kind and caring and considerate to people in general but especially to his wife, and he’s not a complainer. So if he saw something wrong, I saw room to investigate.


And I thought about my friend Angela’s post about why her husband loves her.  I thought of the value of a love where you do things just because it’s right and true and not because of some emotional or physical response. Yeah, I value those responses, but i also value the idea of a man and a woman (and yes i see the socio-cultural boundaries I’m placing and we can talk about it later) to see that they love each other, that they are better and holier together than they are apart, and choosing to get married in some simple, easy conversation.


I’m saying I can see the romance in a man asking without feeling like he needs to convince.

I’m just saying that I see now that there are multiple angles from which to view this issue.


So, knowing that I’ve got no agenda and nothing to lose, I ask:


What’s your take on the big proposal kick?


4 thoughts on “Engagement Stories (Men, I Encourage You to Complain)

  1. After some thought, I decided to post my two cents.

    I have always taken very seriously the proposal for engagement, but I
    think I began to take it even more seriously when I become a believer.
    The reason why I think it is imperative to take things like engagement
    seriously is because the relationship that marriage reflects (Christ
    and the church) is to be taken seriously. I take engagement seriously
    because I take Jesus seriously.

    This occurred to me this weekend while I was at a wedding. What is
    very fascinating about engagement periods is that they most reflect
    the “both/and” (or also “already/not yet”) relationship of God’s
    promises as portrayed in the NT. This idea that the kingdom of God is
    here, yet the consummation of all things is still to come. The idea
    that I am both totally justified in the eyes of God, yet I am still
    waging war against this sinful body. The idea that I am counted as
    adopted in Christ, yet my adoption is not yet complete. And for the
    sake of the subject at hand: the church is Christ’s, yet consummation
    of all of His promises will not occur until the final days.

    So understanding that, let’s look at the “both/and” nature of the
    things above. Whenever someone repents of sin and becomes a believer:
    there is a promise that is made between that person and Jesus. This is
    worth celebrating. Yet, that person will not reap all of the benefits
    of the relationship until Jesus returns and establishes his new and
    better kingdom on earth.

    So understanding that, let’s look at engagement and marriage. Similar
    to the example above, engagement should be something WORTH celebrating
    and something WORTH making special because it begins the process of
    eager anticipation that one person is promised to another person, YET
    the consummation of that everlasting relationship has not been
    established… yet. Catch the “already/not yet” yet? ;-)

    The engagement period builds the anticipation for the wedding. The
    engagement period is what builds the anticipation for the husband for
    his bride. The engagement period is responsible for that glorious
    moment when the doors open at the church, the husband meets eyes with
    his bride for the first time. The waiting is over. The consummation of
    the promise has come. Hallelujah. Does the consummation overshadow the
    establishment of the promise in engagement? Yes. Does that then mean
    that the establishment of the promise shouldn’t then be celebrated.
    Absolutely, positively no.

    Therefore, the engagement period should be celebrated because it is
    the beginning of the wondrous season of expectation and beautifully
    portrays one of the aspects of the gospel that ought to be celebrated,
    appreciated, and meditated on: the longing expectation of the bride
    for her Groom.

    “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

  2. Pingback: Ahem «

  3. When I was with someone that wasn’t right for me, I wanted an elaborate proposal with bling bling and a big wedding.

    Now, I truly do NOT care about any of that stuff. All I care about is being with the man I love. I don’t need a ceremony, I don’t need a ring, and I DEFINITELY don’t need, or even WANT some big crazy elaborate proposal. If he just proposed to me while watching Malcom in the MIddle as i’m laughing with bits of food spitting out of my mouth, it would be just as well as some fancy show. Either way if that day ever comes, I will be the happiest woman in the world.

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