Like most U-Haulers, shortly after my girlfriend and I moved in together, we started discussing our future and whether or not we wanted to get married, move to the suburbs, have children, etc. Having been raised in pretty conservative households, we both decided that we definitely wanted a traditional wedding for our family and friends.
About six months after we moved in together, I was having dinner with a straight friend and the marriage topic came up. I mentioned to her, that I had been thinking about popping the question. While she was extremely excited for me and wanted to help, she didn’t totally understand the whole situation. Her main question was how it was decided that I was going to propose, instead of the other way around.
In my experience, it seems that many heterosexuals, unless the gender roles are visibly recognizable, have a hard time compartmentalizing the complexity of a lesbian relationship. (Hell, sometimes we don’t even understand our own.) In my friend’s mind, I’m just a girl that she grew up with and had always pictured someone (probably a dude) proposing to me. And to tell you the truth, for a long time, I pictured the same thing (including the guy), except mine usually accompanied a mini-breakdown and anxiety attack.
As a self-aware control freak, by nature and technically by trade, it just made sense for me to make the decision to propose and plan out every detail. The idea of being completely surprised by someone and expected to make a quick decision, without first weighing out every pro and con, would have sent me into a state of utter panic. It wouldn’t have mattered that I knew without a doubt I wanted to marry my girlfriend; it would have been having to make that on-the-spot decision, one that would change the rest of my life, that would have been terrifying.
Since getting engaged, my fiancée has mentioned that before we get married, she wants to propose back to me so that neither of us loses out on the experience of asking or being asked. While having to give up some control of the situation is going to be challenging for me, the pressure of the decision is off and I’m surprised to say I’m actually looking forward to the surprise.
It hadn’t even occurred to me at first that we could both propose or that I wanted that, but perhaps that was because I had held onto the narrow-minded image of marriage that most of us were raised with. As no two couples (gay or straight) are the same, neither are their experiences.
Everyone has their own story to tell and on The L Stop, we encourage you all to share your story! Email your proposal story, engagement pictures, or Civil Union/Wedding pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your love featured on The L Stop!