Stop asking me when I’m going to propose

Stop asking me when I'm going to propose | Joseph Burrows“So when are you going to propose?”

It happens whenever someone finds out I’ve been in a relationship with Rhianna for over 8 years. Actually, it’s been happening since I was 18, and we’d been in a relationships for around 3 years. It’s basically a form of greeting from my rarely seen relatives. It doesn’t matter whether it’s my family, friends, colleagues, or even total strangers – it feels like my relationships is everyone else’s business, plastered across the public domain.

Sure, the questions of “what’s taking so long?” should all be taken in jest, but who on earth made this an appropriate form of small talk? Do you think you’re being vaguely helpful by asking me, or that this dreadfully awkward small talk will get me closer to getting down on one knee? Like, ‘oh silly me, I forgot to propose again! Thank god you reminded me’.

You might think you’re being lovely, but you’re just forcing me to laugh and smile through gritted teeth whilst I think about how bloody annoying you are.¬†Sorry about it.

I know I’m a prime candidate for proposal question time – I’m in a long-term relationship, and I’m certainly not opposed to blowing my life savings on one huge party. But just because I tick the criteria, it doesn’t mean that I’m happy to share my private life with you.

I think the problem is expectations. When people know you’ve been in a relationship for a certain amount of time, they expect you to follow that traditional timeline that people have lived by for decades. You’ll get engaged, get married and have kids, and live happily ever after in domestic bliss. But here’s the thing – we’re in the 21st century now, and your timeline doesn’t work for everyone.

There could be so many reasons for why people don’t engaged. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Maybe they don’t like the idea of being engaged when they live in their parents’ basement. MAYBE they don’t actually want to get married. Who knows, but unless they’re actually having those conversations with you, it’s not your place to ask or pry.

If/when I do decide to propose, it will be because the time is right for us, whether we’ve been together 10 or 20 years. We’ll be happy, financially stable, we most definitely won’t be living in my parents’ basement like a hobbit, and it definitely won’t be because I feel constantly pressured into meeting other people’s standards and expectations.