Men fear commitment the way that dogs fear vacuum cleaners. And actually, men kind of fear vacuum cleaners, too. But marriage is a scary prospect for any person, and guys tend to ridicule friends who take the plunge and decide to propose. Yeah, it’s completely juvenile and undeniably silly. Guys try not to show their emotions, and since marriage is associated with one of the strongest emotions around, some guys associate all aspects of marriage — particularly proposals — with a sort of loss of dignity. It’s even worse if a guy proposes and his girlfriend says no. That’s a lot of egg to wipe off of your face. After the jump are a few ways that guys can propose and come off like a hero … no matter what his girl says. Private proposals. There’s something subtly romantic about a private proposal during a walk on the beach, a picnic on a starlit night or any one of a thousand other romance movie clichés. The big advantage for guys who choose this proposal route is that their friends and families aren’t there in case we screw up. Also, if we get a “no,” we can just yell, “Ha, psyche! Like I’d want to marry you!” Then we can awkwardly walk away.
Shock and awe. Some proposals are really more pranks than proposals — a building appears to be on fire, and the fireman beats down a door with an axe, then hands the groom-to-be a wedding ring that he uses to propose to his hysterical, crying girlfriend. Or armed robbers enter the bedroom and interrupt the lovebirds by spraying bullets over the headboard. The bullets write out, “Will You Marry Me?” The cool thing about shock and awe proposals is they humiliate the potential bride, so the potential groom doesn’t have to be humiliated. The bad part is the chances of getting a “yes” are diminished significantly with each potential threat to the bride’s life.
Getting friends and family in on it. There’s something to be said for getting friends and family involved in a proposal, as long as the crazy relatives are left out of the picture. Nobody wants a pants-less uncle ruining a perfectly good proposal. Of course, there’s more risk here; if a woman says no, the guy is going to suffer some pretty massive humiliation. If he’s sure she’ll say yes, then bringing in the bride’s family to watch the proposal can score some major points and make the dude look like a complete hero, provided that the bride actually likes her family.
The unmistakable proposal. Extremely nervous guys should look into this proposal. The idea is that every step you take on the proposal’s accompanying date indicates that the question is about to be popped. The guy will nonchalantly ask something like, “Where do you want to eat tonight? Because I’d like it to be some place special. Really special. Even more special than the Olive Garden.” The guy will then reveal that he’s rented a blimp, you know, just because. No reason. There’s certainly no sort of question painstakingly mowed into a 5-acre lawn. When a proposal’s obviously coming down the pike, it gives the girlfriend a ton of chances to hit the brakes on the date. There’s no good way to get a “no,” but getting the “no” before the question is even asked is pretty close to the best you can get.
The most masculine approach. Guys with huge self-confidence issues might look into ways to inject a whole load of testosterone into their proposals. For instance, the date begins as the man asks the woman to go hunting. While hunting, they see a bear. The man flies at the bear, ripping off his shirt, and forces it to tap out with an ankle hold. Then, as the bear cries, the man reaches down its throat to pull out an engagement ring. A camouflage engagement ring. As the man proposes, the Blue Angels fly by, and Sam Elliott parachutes down to shake the lucky couple’s hands. Honestly, my biceps just inadvertently flexed while typing that.
What’s the best (or worst) proposal story that you’ve ever heard? Share your stories in the comments.