These days, many of us look at our world through a social media filter. Some of us stage our lives for the perfect Instagram photo, and engagement photos are no exception. Flawless, vivid, otherworldly, and in love.
I invite you to glance through the lens of two disparate marriage proposals: a fellow co-worker’s elaborate display and Amy Schumer’s hilariously simple (and some would say “unromantic”) invitation to legally bind her love.
Elaborately Planned Proposal
A colleague at my day job (at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) brought his girlfriend on a private lab tour. He showed her the usual highlights and eventually landed at the main Spacecraft Assembly Facility, where engineers build spacecraft like the Curiosity Mars Rover currently on the Red Planet.
There are a few short films to watch in the viewing gallery, and somehow he slipped in a special clip asking her to marry him. When that clip arrived, she was confused and looked at him so.
“Barb, you mean the universe to me. Will you marry me?” He asked.
She nodded misty eyed.
“Remember I told you that if we were meant to be, there would be a sign?” He said.
He pointed to one of the engineers on the other side of the glass, who held up a sign reading “Say yes!”
She said yes, and the rest was history.
Hilariously Simple Proposal
I watch a little too much stand-up comedy and recently saw Amy Schumer’s latest Netflix special.
In it, she describes how her autism spectrum husband “proposed.” They were in bed one morning, and then he crawled out and rummaged through his things. She was still lying there in her “cocoon” (sleeping mask and earplugs).
Then she felt something small and box-like land next to her.
“I got you this,” he said.
She lifted her mask and opened the box to find an engagement ring. I can’t remember what she said next, but I think it was along the lines of “yes” or “cool,” or they wouldn’t be married today.
She went back to sleep, and the rest was history.
So, why did I open with commentary about social media? Easy: Social media gives us an oh-so-fun opportunity to compare ourselves to others in a staged, doctored world, almost like when we compare our bodies to photoshopped supermodels we see in magazines. It can aggravate our deepest insecurities, like picking a scab.
In a quick Google search, I noticed several articles providing (what I consider) over-the-top ideas for men to propose to their girlfriends, as if the goal is to one-up everyone else and get a bajillion “likes” instead of simply asking the woman who “means the universe” to you to take the next step.
In the end, I’d argue it doesn’t matter how it’s done, as long as it’s done with love and intention, not for attention. That’s why I told the story of two different marriage proposals and particularly love Amy’s. It seems real and true to herself; unfiltered.
But if you’re a dude and reading this, and you still want to go above and beyond, here’s my “proposal” proposal that’ll catch her off guard (like way off guard):
Have a bro dress up sketchy-like and kidnap her in his trunk. Drive to a cliff with several speed bumps and sharp turns along the way. Take her out of the trunk and hold her at gunpoint until her man shows up and gets down on one knee…
I’m SO kidding! Please. Don’t. Ever. Do. This!
Is social media your kryptonite when it comes to your self-worth and romantic relationships? Have you and your man been together a long time and he still hasn’t proposed? A certified relationship coach is at your service!
Also, I encourage you to take my relationship insecurity quiz to serve as a launchpad for turning your love life around. Afterward, you’re welcome to email me your feedback (or as some say, “feedforward”) at firstname.lastname@example.org.