Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stop! Don't Propose!

I regret not thinking to do this before Christmas, but at least I'll get it posted before the New Year. In subsequent years I'll bump it up to repost it before Christmas.

Guys, if you're thinking about proposing as a holiday surprise or just because you think it is a romantic time of year to propose, DON'T DO IT.

Odds are, proposing is a mistake. This is a statistical fact.


1) 33-40% of first marriages end in divorce. It is well over 50% for second marriages (70% if stepchildren are involved).

2) Enough of the other marriages are problematic enough of the time that literally, between divorce and "bad" marriages (including marriages that effectively end but don't legally divorce, or in which one spouse dies or is killed by the other before divorce could take place) most marriages are a mistake.

3) On top of that, add in the engagements that don't make it to marriage that end with drama and/or bitterness.

So, statistically, proposing is a mistake, a very big mistake.

Can you even explain, logically, why you want to get married?

If the proposal is mostly a tactic to keep her from leaving you... let her leave! Many women who've implied or outright declared they'll leave without a proposal won't. And if your girlfriend does, well, you're probably better off anyway, and so is she; her find some other guy who really wants to marry her. You might not want to even be in a relationship when you really think about it.

Don't be pressured by her, by your family or friends, or her family and friends, or by jewelry commercials, or any talk of New Years resolutions.

Even if you do want to propose, proposing during Christmas, or New Year's  Eve, (or her birthday, or Valentine's Day, or Graduation Day, or any occasion on which someone might expect a gift.... it had better not be Mother's Day!) makes it legally possible for her to keep the ring after a breakup, as she can claim it was a gift tied to that occasion rather than a gift contingent on marriage.

In general, it's a bad idea to be in an exclusive relationship as Thanksgiving approaches. If you have a woman you've been seeing regularly for a while, it's best to become scarce (you're busy with work, OK?) as Thanksgiving Day approaches until about February 15. You don't want to deal with her family, you don't want to buy Christmas and Valentine's Day gifts for someone you're not going to marry, and you don't want to be with her at the turn of the year as she may get ridiculous ideas that you're meant to marry or whatever since you were together at the turn of a calendar page.

Now, maybe you do want to get married, despite all of the reasons not to, and maybe you think you've found the rare woman who is wife material and match for you. If you think so, take this quiz first. It can save you a lot of trouble.

Otherwise, consider why you are in a relationship to begin with. Did you just kind of let her attach to your life? Do you hate your own company? Have you been too lazy to do things yourself? These are things that can be overcome. Your friends and family can provide you with companionship, and without depleting your finances or placing restrictions on your life.

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