Jinx Marriage Proposals

As a chronic insomniac, I do my best to limit my nightly screen time. But I recently discovered one YouTube rabbit hole I can’t seem to climb out of…

Enter: simultaneous proposals.

The premise is simple. Two people, and in my viewing history, two women, are hanging out, at a zoo, let’s say. They go to pose for a picture when one of the women drops to her knees and pulls out a ring. Teary and stunned, the other woman doesn’t automatically say “Yes.” Instead, she goes into her purse, fishes out a ring, and ALSO proposes. And bam. Double the proposal, double the love.

From my screen-lit bed at 2 a.m., I can be seen sobbing wet, happy tears. Fellow weepy, romance schmoops, unite.

I’m not entirely sure where my affinity for jinx proposals came from. Perhaps I’m just a hopeless romantic whose heart melts at the sight of two people professing their love to each other. Maybe I’m utterly fascinated by the logistics of such an operation. Seriously, how can it be so perfectly unplanned? Do you carry a ring in your back pocket for months? (Is there a special tracking device you can keep on it? A Tile for diamonds? Because I’d definitely lose it.) Are you on such a freakishly similar wavelength as your partner that the desire to propose for both of you actually strikes at the exact same time?

Or maybe, it’s that I find comfort and joy in finally seeing myself portrayed in a narrative that has long been dominated by traditional, heteronormative stereotypes.

As a gay woman in a long-term relationship, I often get asked the age-old question, “BUT WHO WILL PROPOSE? Who’s the man?” And despite my initial facepalm, I can understand why people would wonder such a thing. For as long as I and, well, probably anyone can remember, it’s been an ingrained expectation that when two people want to get married, the man in the relationship will be the one to pop the question make the decision. But what happens if my own love story looks different?

My answer: WE’RE BOTH THE MAN. We’ll both propose.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure when I’ll get married. Maybe I’ll propose first, maybe not. Perhaps it won’t be spontaneous, at the same time, or grand at all. If anything though, isn’t it fun to consider all the possibilities?

This isn’t meant to be a veiled hint to my girlfriend that she should head to Catbird immediately and have a ring ready at any given moment. Nor is it to say that straight women have never proposed to their boyfriends before. Of course they have! Pinterest even suggests the trend is on the rise. But, the simultaneous proposal is a small, heartwarming way to challenge our perceptions of the way engagements are supposed to pan out and shift the paradigm to welcome all kinds of love into our cultural fabric.

So, for now, I’ll be the girl who stays up too late and dreams of jinxes.

Were you the one to propose to your partner? How did you do it? I’d love to hear.

P.S. A photo booth proposal, and 11 wedding dos and don’ts.

(Illustration by Kristen Solecki for Cup of Jo.)