This post originally appeared here.
For many years, I’ve been bombarded with advertisements, articles, and general advice from the mainstream media about how to properly propose to a woman.
From the cut of the diamond, to how to craft the perfect proposal, and how to capture it all across every social media platform possible, the mainstream media has made sure I am prepared on any and all levels to make my soon to be bride as happy as can be. And if I don’t do all of these exactly right, you can be sure that I am not worthy of her love.
I expect the mainstream to tell me this, and I expect there not to be an escape from it, either. From my mother to the annoying commercials (“Every Kiss Begins with Kay”) shown during sporting events, I know that the world wants me to man up, marry, and carry out my duties. It’s easy enough to just look the other way.
Except now, as I’ve crossed the threshold into being closer to 30 than 20, I’m finding there is no escape from it in my personal life, either. Yes, that is “the thing” to do when you are about this age. Get married and settle down. And while I recognize this is a “coming of age” kind of deal, I also find it absolutely cringe-worthy, and somewhat terrifying at the lengths men are willing to go to get down on their knee and
beg ask for marriage. Take, for example, all of the engagement photos that are littered all over my Facebook page. There are thousands. Per album.
Or, worse—the one old acquaintance from college who decided to start a blog. One of his first posts is about how to buy the right engagement ring for your girl. It was so cringe-worthy that I dedicated an entire podcast to poking fun at it.
The Biggest Shit Test of All-Time
The phrase “shit test” has been around for many years now, used as a broad-level term to simply define how a woman tests how high you will jump. From the opening minutes when she asks what you do, all the way to getting down on one knee to propose—women are constantly testing how a man reacts and how this fits into her longer-term plan.
There is nothing you can do about this, except to expect it. Woman have confounded the latest generations of men for many years. They choose to accept it and simply say, “I don’t get women.” My way of thinking on this is different. I don’t claim to understand them all the time, but I do expect them to be women in their actions… all of the time.
Yes, this means I expect them to test constantly. I expect them to overstep their boundaries, and that I’ll have to enforce them. And finally, it means I expect them to swing occasionally with their moods and whims, and that I simply must not be blown by their winds. It’s the only way to retain sanity.
The problem with these tests is that they become more and more full of consequences over time. While the first date tests cost you nothing, the later tests (such as the proposal) have far more consequences if you get them “wrong”. It’s the equivalent to the teacher giving a pop test that has little bearing on your grades versus failing the bar and having your life plan of being a lawyer set off course.
Truthfully, this old acquaintance’s story on his blog just made me cringe. This was a guy who always had game. He always had cute girls around him. He’s quite successful. And here he was, giving advice about the cuts of diamonds, how much to save each month to afford a $10,000 ring, and how to size the ring correctly so that—heaven forbid—when you propose, it slides on smoothly to ensure your photos and video moments aren’t ruined. Simply put, he bought into the crap. Now he just has to hope it doesn’t blow up in his face.
But here was a guy who didn’t cater to every girl’s whim in college, at least from what I saw. And yet, judging by his photos, and that post—he was willing to jump pretty high for his girl, because he was told to jump.
The thing is, this moment—if you deem a girl worthy of it—should be a test for HER. Expect the question should not be how high you can jump, but how low she will go—because she should love you. And a lifelong commitment should be based around said love, not how flashy a fleeting moment is.
Is she okay with a low-level ring that signifies smart financial decisions as you move forward together? Is she cool with the setting being quiet and calm, or does she insist on being in an elaborate, exotic local? Is she okay with it not being plastered on every social media channel? Is she okay choosing to keep the moment intimate between the two of you, devoid of cameras?
I don’t know if someday I’ll go through with an engagement, but I do know this: If I do, it’ll be final test for her, not me.
To learn how to date multiple girls at the same time, get your copy of my book—King’s Code.