There are a lot of questions I’m genuinely very sick of hearing in life.
“Hey, can you tell me how to get to George St?”
Ummm. Sure. Pick up your phone, put your destination in maps and press ‘Go’. Pls.
“How are you?”
“What’s that stain on your top?”
But the question that’s been haunting me lately is different. It’s rarer, but just as distressing.
You see, I’ve discovered that once you turn a certain age (26? 27?) and happen to have a partner of the male variety (because heteronormativity), you can’t go on a holiday, or do anything moderately exciting, really, without being asked one very specific question:
“Do you think he’s going to propose????”
Um, well, I didn’t.
Until you said it.
And now even though I'm not really thinking about marriage I feel like I should be and maybe he really doesn't love me and that's why he hasn't proposed? I mean we also don't have any money and are kinda just fine how we are and I'm not even sure I believe in marriage but SURELY SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE AND WHY AM I ALL OF A SUDDEN ACTING LIKE A MARRIAGE-OBSESSED-MANIAC.
I was at work before a trip with my partner recently when a colleague casually asked the dreaded question. And I found myself intentionally putting in an obscene effort with my appearance every day because the seed had been planted. And if you're going to be proposed to, you should probably look nice?
I came home feeling a strange sense of disappointment, despite not being genuinely interested in the idea of marriage and a wedding anyway.
Listen: Another relationship dilemma - can you have a drink with a male friend if you're in a relationship? Post continues after audio.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME.
Ultimately, the question itself isn't helpful. Is someone ever going to say, 'yes, I think he will propose, because I'm psychic and also have no fear of getting my hopes up'. NO. NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO SAY THAT.
What response do people want? What are they looking for?
"Do you think he's going to propose?" is the new "When are you going to have a baby?"
It's a question with no purpose, that can make someone feel far more uncomfortable than intended. Maybe there are complications in the relationship. Maybe one person wants marriage and one doesn't. Maybe the couple just a huge fight, and tbh, they don't really know if they'll be together in a month let alone for the rest of their lives.
Or maybe that's a conversation THAT DOESN'T INVOLVE YOU.
When your friend goes on holiday, or books a fancy hotel room, or is going out to a classy restaurant, don't ask whether they think they'll be proposed to.
Because it's a question they don't know the answer to, and that's none of your business anyway.