Ten years ago, when Piali joined college in standard 11, she attended her accounts lectures regularly. This had nothing to do with a love for the subject, but because she was smitten by the accounts professor. In standard 12, it was obvious to all that she was in love with the handsome ‘lecturer’. Eventually, she proposed to him much to the other students’ amazement.
Proposing to a man doesn’t seem such a big deal these days. But most women are reluctant to propose to men, because they are scared of coming across as ‘fast women’.
“I’m a little scared of proposing to a man, because of the fear of rejection,” says Shweta. “If the boy is not interested then I will not have the courage to face him or his friends again. Men discuss these things.”
Most men find the idea of women proposing to them a welcome change. “I don’t mind if a girl approaches me, especially if she’s cute. It makes my work simpler. Traditionally, a man had to propose with either a red rose or a gift. Thank god, now men don’t have to take the onus all the time,” says 20-year-old Rohit.
“I’m glad if a woman makes the first move. It shows that she’s very confident. I would respect her frankness. Even if I wouldn’t be interested in a relationship, I would want to be friends with a woman like that,” says Raghav.
But not all men are like Rohit and Raghav. Shekhar doesn’t think it’s such a great idea for a woman to take the intiative because some men might exploit them.
He says, “Some men may just have a fling with her. A few men are also scared of bold women. They fear that she will be very dominating in the relationship too.”
But for some, proposing to a man is a positive step forward. Bhavna says, “At times, it’s very frustrating to wait for a man to propose, especially when you know that the attraction is mutual but the man is too shy to make the first move. In my case, we were friends for two years. So it was easy for me to propose to him. Our relationship ended in marriage.”
Counsellors believe that if you want to get married to someone you know well, then it doesn’t matter who proposes first.
“Making the first move indicates a mature relationship. It also depends on how you put it across. A woman must convey her seriousness in the right manner, not in a flippant way,” advises marriage counsellor Vinaya Bhosekar.