Why can’t a woman propose marriage to a man?
A few years back, while I was still a young beauty, it was almost unheard of for me to walk for more than 100 meters without getting piercing stares from boys around my neighborhood or that irritating whistle from male passers by.
With time, the hormones of a 25-year-old took their toll and I eventually, “fell in love.”
Of course the bliss, the silly but lovely ‘I love you’ messages, the sweet nothings and whatever goes along with falling in love for the first time is something I dare anyone to forget.
This usually goes on for days, weeks, months and maybe years and it’s natural for any girl at the time to believe that this will end up in marriage.
But guess what, tables just do turn upside down at a time when you are at the apex of enjoying what you thought was a perfect relationship. Sometime he might never pop that question. And you will never get the time to give that magical answer – YES.
This usually strains the patience of the lady and eventually takes its toll on the relationship.
And that is exactly what happened to me. Since I could not take it anymore, I decided to indirectly throw a few hints here and there, but they unbelievably fell on deaf ears. That phrase, ‘I am not ready yet’ became imprinted at the back of my mind.
What I heard from his friends though was that he had never heard of a woman proposing.
WHAT? After almost five years of a smooth relationship?
Since the dawn of time, it has always been a man’s duty to pursue a woman and subsequently make her his better half. As such, the notion of a woman chasing or proposing marriage to the opposite sex was – and still is – practically deemed as a sign of the apocalypse.
But in this modern era – where women are increasingly taking roles previously reserved for men – is it an anomaly for a lady to propose marriage to the man she loves? As is generally accepted, marriage is based on mutual love, respect, understanding, etc. As such, if a couple shares mutual affections, does it really matter who asks whom to join in ‘holy matrimony?’
There is a huge section of Rwandans who think it is very inappropriate for a woman to ask man to marry her.
“We women are meant to be chased, that is why God created man first and then a woman next as a suitable companion since he was lonely,” Patience Ingabire, a mother of three girls, all married, said.
That might be true, but we have to agree that the world continues to change and the values and morals that society once treasured so highly evolve.
Take for example what happened to having children after wedlock? What happened to the men who would wait and get married to a virgin? So much has changed, what made you a social pariah yesterday has today become normal.
A woman proposing to a man is no different. It s not yet that common, but according to research women are either becoming bold or are running out of patience.
In the early nineties and 2000s a boy and girl would date, probably from high school till university and strengthen the relationship after that. It was always obvious that marriage followed. But the trend has changed. In the past few years, women will wait even longer because of certain reasons. The most common being the prospective husband wants to build a house, start a business, then settle down with his wife. Why wouldn’t such a woman propose marriage?
By the time Faith Uwamahoro, a marketer, was 25 years old, all she could think about was a dream wedding but more importantly, a breathtaking proposal from the boyfriend she had dated for five years.
“Going down on one knee, under the moonlight and just asks, ‘will you marry me?’ is all I dreamed of.”
Well, it did not happen. And she is still unmarried, eight years later. So if a woman valued her man and suggested marriage, what difference does it make?
In my opinion, it does not make any difference, but several men I talked said they would reject the proposal because this would mean the woman has taken over their role. Others believe that if a woman proposes, it means she is desperate. And that a desperate woman is comes off as cheap.
Well, we are not desperate. It’s because half the time you take too long to pop that question.
According to Shivan Kayitesi, a banker, when one is in a relationship for over two or three years, it becomes obvious that the next step is marriage. “So if he is taking long, we start hinting indirectly,” she says.
This though is different from taking men hostage. There are instances when women force the men to marry them by saying ‘let’s get married if you love me, show me or prove it with a ring.’ This is the real turn off. Proposing, on the other hand, is not.