By MIA FREEDMAN
I have some bad news for every single bloke in the world: marriage proposals have become a competitive sport. Romance and a ring worth the price of a small car don’t cut it anymore. Now you must also include choreography and capture it all on a youtube video viewed by seven million people. This, Gentlemen, is the new benchmark for a successful proposal and it’s making me want to cry for every man who must sleep in its impossible shadow.
But why? Now that most couples live together before marriage, proposals are rarely a total shock. So with the surprise factor gone, the goal posts have shifted towards effort.
The latest intimidating example is the viral video of a guy who choreographed a five-minute lip synching masterpiece involving 60 members of the couple’s family and friends dancing down a suburban street.
Isaac Lamb knows he’s set the bar to cruel and unsustainable heights. “Guys, I’m sorry,” he said in a TV interview this week. “That wasn’t my intention.” But he didn’t look sorry, he looked smug. Guess how much I love you? Seven million times.
Are women demanding these OTT proposals or are some men embracing them as a creative outlet in the same way women do with wedding planning?
Either way, it’s a crushing development for every straight person who wants to get married (don’t get me started on how crushing every day is for same-sex couples who want to marry because I will nod my head until it falls off).
Men are freaked out about finding enough cash for a ring AND the services of Baz Luhrman while women are scared that men will get performance anxiety and shelve the whole idea.
“Unmarried guys always cower when we tell our proposal story” admits one friend whose husband spelled out a giant “MARRY ME EMMA” in large rocks on a Bryon Bay beach and then took her for a walk high above the sand to surprise her. “It’s become very competitive and it’s making guys very anxious”.
It’s not a fear of rejection so much. Blokes don’t usually ask unless ‘yes’ is pretty much guaranteed. But they do stress about living up to their future wife’s expectations of the MAGIC MOMENT. And fair enough. Because often, it falls short. One friend was proposed to when she had a raging cold sore. Another was doubled over with cystitis. In both cases, the bloke had elaborate surprise plans locked in (including a helicopter and I’m not even kidding) that couldn’t accommodate our heroines’ unexpected (and slightly disfiguring) ailments.