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'We All Proposed To Our Husbands - What's The Big Deal?'

'We All Proposed To Our Husbands - What's The Big Deal?'

Three women talk to Tyla about their decision to flip the script and propose to their partners

In 2022, it's no longer a given that women will wear white on her wedding day, promise to 'obey' her husband, or indeed get married at all.

So why do an estimated 70 per cent of women in heterosexual relationships still wait for their boyfriend to pop the question?

Actress Jodie Turner-Smith was recently forced to defend her decision to propose to now-husband Joshua Jackson, showing just how far society still has to come when it comes to gender norms.

We spoke to three women who chose to propose to their partners and have zero regrets.

'It's quite liberating to break the mould'

Daphne Beltran, 25, Los Angeles

"It all started with a Golden Girls episode," says Daphne Beltran, a 25-year-old social media specialist living in Los Angeles. "The one where Rose wins a honeymoon trip and then proposes to her boyfriend."

This sparked a discussion with her partner, now-husband, Miles, as the couple talked about the possibility of Daphne proposing, albeit jokingly at first. But the seed had been planted.

"I texted him the next day while he was at work, ‘What would you do if I did propose to you?’" Daphne says, "and he said, ‘I would say yes.’ And that's how our proposal story was born."

Daphne proposed to Miles on Valentine's Day (
Daphne Beltran

Daphne and Miles had met working at Disneyland and she planned to propose to him there, but these plans were scuppered by the covid-19 pandemic. Instead, she proposed at their new home on Valentine’s Day: “It was a three-month planning process and every single pay cheque went into different aspects of the proposal. I had bought a heart-shaped cake, heart balloons, flowers, confetti, cupcakes, macaroons, charcuterie, and of course a killer dress. It was truly a heart wonderland in our apartment on Valentine's Day.”

“I don't think any proposal goes exactly as planned,” she says. “I was running late on time to decorate… I cried midway through [her speech], but I don't think I would have had it happen any other way. It was such a beautiful day filled with love and it happened exactly the way it needed to.

“I think more women should become comfortable in expressing their wants and needs in any capacity. Society has made it so easy to make us feel that if we ask our partner to marry us, we are desperate. But it's actually quite liberating to break the mould and take control of your life and make your own decisions about it and not just your partner.”

She adds that: “With that said, I think it's a personal decision for every couple and/or individual to make. If you want your partner to get on one knee with a ring then I think that is just as wonderful as wanting to take the knee yourself!”

'Reverse proposals are still frowned upon'

Severine Ferrari, New York City

Severine made the decision to propose to her partner James in 2018. “My fiancé is an artist and a feminist, we do not take on conventional gender roles in everyday life,” she says, “So, it felt right that I proposed when we had informally agreed to get engaged.”

As the editor of Your Engagement 101, Severeine has previously written about her own proposal which was inspired by the couple’s shared interests. "We are both fans of Star Wars, Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings, [so] my proposal would pay homage to all our favourite sci-fi and fantasy stories.”

She ordered a number of decorations for the occasion, including a lifesize cardboard Tardis.

Severine has created an Instagram platform for women to share their stories of proposing (
Severine Ferrari)

Severine and James had already informally agreed they were planning to get engaged, and “during that time James told me that he was kind of getting anxious about the proposal. How could he make it a surprise? Should he bend the knee? What were my expectations?” Upon deciding she would propose, Severine decided to buy a custom proposal pendant for James, rather than a ring.

Shortly after her own proposal, Severine founded the Instagram account Propose Too, which seeks to showcase “women who flipped the proposal script” by either proposing to their boyfriend or by taking part in a dual proposal where both partners propose. Talking about creating this platform, Severine says “there was not a safe space to share stories, women proposing was a hush-hush affair.”

She understands a “reverse proposal” isn’t for everyone: “There are some communities where gender roles are very established and reverse proposals are still frowned upon. However, as the younger generations are questioning gender roles and identity, the number of women who decide to propose is going to grow exponentially and organically.”

'It was an amazing moment'

Charlotte Lauren, 28, Manchester

Charlotte proposed to her long-time partner Tom while the pair were on holiday in Sandbanks. “We've been together seven years and we have a three-year-old little girl who is the absolute centre of our world. I knew marriage was on the cards but after moving house and covid making an appearance, the timing was all wrong,” she says.

Charlotte proposed to Tom while the couple were on holiday (
Charlotte Lauren)

But that all changed when Charlotte read an article about a woman who proposed. “It was definitely something I'd never imagined, but in the article, she said, ‘we're equal, I have as much right to ask him as he has to ask me and if you feel it's right then why not ask. Make a new tradition.’ It really stuck with me.”

“I planned my proposal for the 31st August, the day after we arrived [on holiday]” Charlotte recalls. “But on the 30th August Tom took me to Lulworth Cove beach and got down on one knee so I followed by giving him a card from our daughter, followed by the ring I had made for him and I proposed. It was an amazing moment.”

Charlotte says she spoke to friends and family about her decision and they were all excited by it, although she did face criticism from one friend who “thought it should be then man's job” but didn’t let that bother her and just chalked it up to jealousy. She adds that “everyone else was thrilled and really enjoyed keeping the secret.”

Charlotte also suggests that perhaps more women should propose to their partners: “More women should definitely do it. I had so much fun planning the proposal and if I could go back in time I would 100 per cent do it all over again!”

Featured Image Credit: Daphne Beltran/Charlotte Lauren

Topics: Life, Real Life, Sex and Relationships, Wedding