It’s no coincidence one of the first actions of a newly engaged woman is to show off her wedding ring. For years a diamond on one’s ring finger has been a status symbol. But while in the past that status was mostly about money, these days an engagement ring has become a love status symbol of sorts. It’s a way for women to announce to the world that they are (allegedly) loveable, and not only that: someone loves them and not you (Read: you poor, lonely, single soul sitting at home pining over how to get a man).
No social media post illustrates this shift better than this overly zealous commentary from a recently engaged woman that didn’t sit too well with the single crowd.
After reading that, I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain why this didn’t go over well. But instead of getting into the Pandora’s Box of panty policing politics this woman opened, I’d prefer to focus on the motive behind her post — or question it rather.
Why is it so hard for women to celebrate an accomplishment (if you consider getting a man to propose to you an accomplishment, and many women do) without pissing on someone else? You hardly have to read between the lines to sense the undertone of shaming directed at women who, its assumed, sleep with every man who crosses their path and wonders why they can’t get a proposal. It’s great this woman found the one, which she clearly largely attributes to her abstinent lifestyle, but can we be honest about the fact that there are numerous celibate women walking around willing and ready to do support, uplift, and be a man’s best friend and it’s not happening for them? In other words, miss I’ve-been-engaged-for-two-seconds, you ain’t got the answers.
What is it with women these days that as soon as someone pops the question they suddenly think hold the key to life? All women, by and large, are somewhat responsible for this behavior because we incessantly probe bookstores, the internet, and anyone in our circles willing to listen for advice on how to catch or keep a man. But, likewise, we all seem to forget that what works for one lady and her relationship isn’t exactly the answer for the next. Given that fact, it would suit everyone to kill the pompous “I beat the odds” commentary that accompanies far to many “I said yes!” statuses and simply thank your lucky stars, God, or the universe that somehow you’ve found someone who’s willing to try to spend the rest of his life with you — because that’ about all a ring and a proposal really means. Ain’t no guarantees in this life boo boo, which is why you might want to be a little more humble coming out of the gate.
Sometimes I honestly can’t tell whether a woman is more excited about the prospect of being someone’s wife or bragging to other women that she’s got something they want and can’t have. Often times the race to the altar seems to be more about beating other women to the finish line than it is hastening one’s happily ever after — all of which illustrates how complicit we all are in society’s persistent single shaming.
I personally don’t believe there’s anything a woman can do to make a man propose. Sure, there are certain characteristics of a good lifelong partner one would be wise to demonstrate, but a man popping the question is no more the doings of a good woman than a guy cheating on his woman is the fault of his partner. A man is going to do what he wants to do and in our excitement to be eternally betrothed to someone, we need to stop making other women feel like they aren’t doing enough to achieve the same outcome. By all means, spread your good news. But know at the end of the day that the approach you take to your relationship is not gospel and there’s no need to make others feel ashamed for not following your love doctrine.