dating + love

Random Musings: LDRs & Marriage Proposals

December 5, 2012
Uh oh oh

Uh oh oh

My beau and I regularly talk about the future. Though we have dating for a relatively short period of time, we openly discuss issues concerning marriage and children. Both of us want to establish our careers in the DC area, but neither of us currently live there. Problem was, shortly before we started dating I made the decision to make a pit stop in Portland, OR – the exact opposite side of the country from Beau – on my way to DC.  Beau had no interest in moving out to the foreign Pacific NW, but wanted to move to the DC area, with hopes that I would make my way out there in a few years. Yeah, making our relationship one expensive frequent flyer promo. 

Anyway… one day, out of the clear blue sky, Beau tells me [paraphrased, “I don’t want to stay in NY another year. But I probably won’t go straight to DC after. I’m open to other places.” Now, I think it’s safe to say we alllll know what he meant was, “babe, I wanna be with YOU in random arse Portland!!” But nonetheless, I played my part, and begged him to consider the Land of Port! So lately, many of our conversations have been centered around him relocating here in the near future. I, of course, would be THRILLED to have him here, living in the same city, but I also want him to find a job where he can be happy and productive and jump start his career. I want him here, but I want him to be happy with his job situation more. So ya girl has been hard at work trying to make dreams come true!

As the universe would have it, there has been lots of talk about various avenues (namely the blogosphere) on LDRs and who should move and at what point in the relationship. In the last month, Beau as made the following comments to me: “Babe… if I move to Portland, we’re never breaking up!” & Babe… if you want me to move to Portland, you have to put a ring on it!

LOL ummm aight then! As funny and silly as I thought there comments were, I couldn’t help but think more seriously about these statements. I have questions!

In serious long distance relationships, should a person only relocate only if they’re talking “forever”?
I’m inclined to say yes. This has been a topic I’ve discussed a lot with a couple friends who are in LDRs too. The consensus seems to be they’ll only move if a ring is involved. I mean, physically, moving is a pain in the butt and can be very costly depending on where you’re moving. I find moving to also be very emotionally and mentally taxing. Unless there is job opportunity in the new city that is too good to pass up, and the city was a place I’d move with or without #him in the picture, I don’t think I could/would do it. If the relationship didn’t work out AND you were in a city you hate AND your job was whack?? Oh hell no! Ain’t gon be no “let’s just see how it goes.” I need to know how its going to go a.k.a. you and me us never part… All that to say, it looks like me and Beau are gonna be together forever, and that’s fine with me!

Should a woman ever be expected to put a ring on her man?
After he told me I had to put a ring on it, I asked Beau if he would even wear an engagement ring. His response? “You know I’m too traditional for all that.” LOL well why you ask then?! For the most part, I’m pretty traditional about marriage too. But I’m not opposed to going against tradition either. I only know one man who was proposed to by his [now] wife and had an engagement ring (in fact, he told me he accepted the proposal with the understanding he would get a ring to symbolize it). Oddly enough, I liked the idea. I admire that a woman would be bold enough to propose to her man, and that a man would be secure enough to rock an engagement ring from his woman. I’m too vain and enjoy surprises too much to take the leap to be the one to propose, but I really want to see this woman putting a ring on it trend emerge. Independent chicks out here wanna be the head of the household but can’t ask her partner for his hand in marriage?? SMH I want to know what feminists have to say about this! LOL no but seriously..

So my good friends, what do y’all think?? How do you feel about moving for LDRs? Any thoughts or feelings about a woman putting a ring on it? Do people over thing these details?

Needing answers,

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  • Reply Muze December 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    i love how everyone is saying Beau now. I BROUGHT IT BACK! lol

    anyhoo. LDRs are tough. they can work, obviously, but the logistics of it all… lawd. I was kind of in this situation but Beau and i decided not to be officially official until i was actually in NYC (even though we were pretty much official and exchanging the L word), and he didn’t really start trying to “lock me down” per se until he knew i was going to NYU (which i’d known for a while but hadn’t told anyone lol) so, it’s a little different.

    still, i would definitely only advise moving if you know that you know that you knowww, or it’s somewhere you were already planning to be, like myself. i can’t imagine being in some city solely because of a significant other and we hadn’t discussed love, marriage and baby carriage.

    as far as a woman proposing, cool for others but nawwwwl for me. lol. like you i am too vain and pride wouldn’t let me lol. plus i tend to think (and have had the conversation with men that confirms it) that planning the proposal and actually proposing is special to a man and something he takes pride in, and i wouldn’t want to deprive him of that.

    i’m pretty easy going though. i don’t like diamonds so i’m not picky about the ring as long as it shows that he pays attention to what i like. i do think women over think those things. Beau has said he knows what kind of wedding dress he wants me to wear though. o__o. now that i WILL be picking out myself. lol.

    good post. as long as i have a wedding invite Portland or DC is fine with me. hahaha. 🙂

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      lol whoa there nelly – i’ve been using the term “beau” for as long as i can remember. that said, you totally inspired me to use it as a proper noun in my writing. it flows so much better than Boyfriend, Boothang, or SigO.

      some men take pride in the proposal. and if a woman is dating such a man, she should def let him have it. but what if its not that important who pops the question? why shouldnt a woman propose to a man when they both want to be married to each other? *shrug*

      ’m pretty easy going though. i don’t like diamonds so i’m not picky about the ring as long as it shows that he pays attention to what i like.
      exactly this! habibi and i have spent an entire afternoon browsing pictures of rings online. when the time comes, i know he’ll make a decision that will make me happy.

      girl i def am NOT getting married in Portland – this aint my home lol. habibi is rejecting SD so we’ll prob have a destination wedding. if you can afford to get wherever we go, you and Baldy are more than welcome to be in attendance 🙂

      • Reply fourpageletter December 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

        what? sd is off the list??
        *amends client file. sheesh

      • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        LOL! its gonna be San Diego OR destination. we havent gotten that far in the planning as we havent established a formal proposal lol.

  • Reply Mo-VSS December 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Putting a ring on it shouldn’t be gender specific…meaning if you want to ask you should.

    I’ve moved for an LDR before…I’d say you need to like the city on the off chance that y’all break up. We were talking forever and it didn’t work, but i stayed for a while. You have to consider all that before doing so. And moving is fun…at least to me lol. Its nice to experience something unique as a couple and a new city could be a great adventure. Good luck!

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      girl you are the only one who is feeling me on this proposal thing! lol *daps*

      i know youve moved for an LDR before – thats how we met! lol but i guess it really depends on your personality. it seems to me you moved because you wanted to, not because you felt the pressure of maintaining the relationship (correct me if im wrong). i think if you’re up for a new adventure, and you’ll deal if it works out or not, go for it. dont think its for me though without marriage being certain.

      • Reply movss December 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

        Lol, I know that since I’m super unconventional, I might have been the only lady feeling the proposal thing. Folks just need to break out of their box sometimes. If you want it, ask. The worst that can be said is, “no.”

        And I did move because I wanted to. I was willing to take that risk. It didn’t work but I learned a lot and had fun…and met some great folks 😉

  • Reply Darrk Gable December 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’m inclined to agree that to move for a LDR, a ring is a requirement. Then too, I’m a traditionalist. That being said, a woman asking me to marry her probably wouldn’t workout because if she’s asking me, and not the inverse, I’m not sure about a “forever” with her.

    As far as over thinking the details; that’s the problem. People nowadays don’t think things through enough.

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      if she’s asking me, and not the inverse, I’m not sure about a “forever” with her.
      do people outside of the movies really ask some one to marry them without having had this discussion first?? the notion that a woman or man would propose without some certainty that they want to be married to each other is ridiculous. that conversation should be had numerous times before an engagement takes place. engagements should be a formal way of saying”we bout to get married on this day in the near future” not “we’re getting married! can you believe it?!” the manner in which the act occurs should be the surprise, not that it happens at all.

      People nowadays don’t think things through enough.
      exactly my point. i dont think you can be too soon or too much on any matters that concern your future.

      thanks for commenting!

  • Reply Phidelity15 December 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

    LDRs are TOUGH oh em gee I shake my head just thinking about trying to make it work, but when it does its such a beautiful thing. Moving is such a big decision in and of itself, let alone for someone else, but for love and happiness people will do any and everything.

    Personally, I would move for love…not to any place that penguins frequent and inhabit, but I’d move. and I would never ask my mate to move somewhere that he and I both couldn’t thrive and/or love. At that point we both should have our minds on our collective happiness, survival and a good length of long term togetherness.

    Now would I propose to my future Mr…nope! I’m not about that life. Its not because I know its important to him or about tradition, its a totally selfish decision. Its a rare occasion that I get to celebrate a moment in time solely dedicated to/for/about me (I’m a twin and a sister so I’ve shared something all my life) so I’m letting that man do him. If he wants to marry me and go all out to make that engagement one of the happiest moments in his and my life then I refuse to stop him.

    As far as over thinking details… I’m a chronic overthinker and planner. This stage in a person’s life should not be an “impulse buy”. Happiness, life, career and money are at stake so no, there is no such thing as over thinking it.

    Anyways, I’m with Muse…I don’t care where the wedding is just as long as I get an invite. Besides don’t you want to go down in the record books as having the biggest Sweetheart Song circle at a Coleman Wedding?!?! Yeahhhhhh think about it LOL

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      i think LDRs are tough if its not the right one. you dont know this until you know this but like you said, once you find the one, its like “hey, this isnt so bad” lol

      sis – what habitable places have penguins?!?!?! lmboooo you are crazy! but i hear you. if the rolls were reversed, i would def move – as long as their were some promise AND i found a job that would make me happy. the city could be whack but if i got my man and a valid id (to travel lol), im good. as you so eloquently put, our individual and collective happiness and well being should be priorities. and thats how i feel about habibi moving here – i want him to be in the same city, but only if he has something else meaningful to him career wise so he doesnt feel like he’s sacrificing everything (job, proximity to family/friends) for me. i mean, im awesome and all but i cant and shouldnt be his EVERYTHING.

      This stage in a person’s life should not be an “impulse buy”. Happiness, life, career and money are at stake so no, there is no such thing as over thinking it.
      1000% agree! preach!

      LOLOL @ the biggest Sweetheart song circle. well we’re going to have a destination wedding. but an east coast reception will be held in DC so we can have the sweetheart circle there 🙂

  • Reply madscientist7 December 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

    i’m with muze’s friends on the subject of women proposing to men. i have this idea/scene in my head of how i want it to go down. i may not have all the details but i have an idea and i wouldn’t want that taken from me.

    as far as moving for LDRs i remember a time when i said i wouldn’t be in one period after my last one. then i thought i definitely wouldn’t move for one. now i’m completely open to the idea. two people can’t be in a LDR with the expectation that it will stay that way forever. eventually one or both parties involved has to move to make it work.

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      well if YOU want to propose, i dont think your woman should take that away from you. but that being said, not all men feel that strongly about it. like with anything else, i think ppl should have these types of convos. if a woman doesnt like pear shaped diamonds, she should tell her man and he should respect her wishes. if a man wants to be the one to propose, he should make that clear too. simple.

      no, an LDR shouldnt be that way forever. but i actualy know quite a few couples who were in LDRs for YEARS and even got married while living in separate cities. thats not for ME and mine, but ppl find a way to do what they gotta do.

  • Reply miss t-lee December 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    “In serious long distance relationships, should a person only relocate only if they’re talking “forever”?
    I’m inclined to say yes. This has been a topic I’ve discussed a lot with a couple friends who are in LDRs too. The consensus seems to be they’ll only move if a ring is involved.”

    I’m inclined to agree. This is pretty much the reason why me and mr. on again/off again are at an impasse. He’s in ATL for his career, and while I would be open to moving, i’m not uprooting my life on some maybe, we’ll see type sh*t. The only way I would consider moving is if we’re jumping the broom. So meanwhile, we’re off again, and I’m fine with that. *snickers*

    As far as proposing to a dude? Yeah…no. Something in my spirit would never quite feel settled about that. I’ve also known women who’ve proposed and even bought their own rings. The thought is always, did he really want to marry her if she had to do all that?
    Maybe they are much better women than me…lol

    • Reply gemmieboo December 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      ohhhh i didnt realize that was the reason for the on/off sitch. makes sense. it happens. i dont think anyone should move just because. it has to be right on all fronts.

      The thought is always, did he really want to marry her if she had to do all that?
      as i mentioned in another comment, i dont think any 2 ppl should get engaged if they havent talked about marriage and agreed that they want to be married to each other. to me, the proposal is a formality. the engagement itself shouldnt come as a surprise.

  • Reply Christina (@oaklanista) December 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I moved without a ring or much time under our belt, and, with all honesty, became quite resentful. Most of this stemmed from not being where I want to be education and career-wise, and coming from the Bay Area to Little Rock was a culture shock, financial shock, and an overwhelming “wait – I have no friends out here and I’m used to constant mutual adoration in social settings but women think I’m stuck up and/or won’t talk to me out here” shock.
    When questioned, “what the hell brought you from California to Arkansas?!” throughout the day, everyday, I HATED answering, “…my boyfriend.” Hated it. And so, in the least ultimatum way possible, including several very serious yet casual proposals, I let it be known I needed permanence. Not (just) a ring – but security.
    It’s still hard, I’m still girlfriendless, but it was worth it. And I wouldn’t change anything.

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      thanks for sharing, Christina!

      i knew you had moved for the now fiance but i had no idea all the circumstances behind it. thats so bold!!! i def dont think i could have made that kind of move. im really glad things worked out for you and im so happy for you guys 🙂

      I let it be known I needed permanence. Not (just) a ring – but security.

  • Reply max December 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Here’s a tip on LDR’s straight from me to you:

    don’t get pregnant until you’re both living in the same city 😉

    • Reply fourpageletter December 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm


    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      LOL! i have no plans on getting pregnant anytime soon so that wont be a problem 🙂

  • Reply Jackie December 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    The Bible says when a man finds a wife he has found a good thing…. Not when a woman finds a husband. Hence, i’m totally with the school of thought: Let your husband find you! Men are meant to be the heads of the household (not necessarily speaking financially), and this duty begins with him finding his wife and asking for her hand in marriage. Let a man do what he is supposed to do, women should not be proposing. Besides, who really wants a man that won’t take the initiative to propose to them?

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      thanks for commenting, jackie!

      i dont think a woman proposing to a man means HE doesnt have the initiative. as ive said many times upthread, i dont think anyone should propose unless the conversation of marriage has been discussed several times over, and its clear that both parties want to be married to each other. under those circumstances, i think its dope if a woman is bold enough to pop the question. in my opinion, i dont think that takes anything away from a Christian-founded relationship. *shrug*

  • Reply Dr.D December 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Girl…this is a heavy topic! You know i have done long distance relationships on various occasions and am a believer of their ability to work. However as I become older I can’t see myself in a 3 or 5 year LDR so the move becomes a better idea than ever especially to an area where both parties could be professionally, personally, emotionally and spiritually happy. As for the ring deal, for all intense purposes I am a good ol’ southern girl though I fancy myself to be way independent and wanting to run some ( ok lots of) stuff. In contrast, I still want no scratch that NEED the traditional getting to know you, courting and proposal leading up to that special day. Geesh these big girl problems 🙂

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      hey DD, thanks for commenting 🙂

      i think as we get older, we KNOW sooner if a person is going to be a long-term fit. we are less inclined to casually date and be more serious about weeding out weak prospects. so theres no need to be in a 3-5 year relationship, period. i see ppl in their 30s start making plans sooner, and starting their lives with some one sooner. so you’re right, you’re more willing to move when you’re committed to some one because you are trying to get a start on “together forever”

      lol i know YOU wouldnt propose. besides, i think Daddy would have a heart-attack if a man didnt come to him for your hand in marriage. dude would be banned from your life LOL

  • Reply betroit December 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I absolutely loved this post! I have been in that situation before (presented with moving for a boo) and at the time, I did not (I was 22 and wasn’t hip to the DMV at the time) even though I did see a forever with that particular woman…we didn’t last. As I have gotten older, I have come to the realization that this is something that has to be up for serious consideration given the nature of the transient work place of today. I have also realized that I would probably be the one moving, if that was to occur, with the nature of my profession and the types of women I am attracted to (I work in non-profits and tend to date women in the math and sciences…go figure).

    In terms of the proposal, I wish a woman WOULD attempt to take that away from me!!! How does it look when my son or grandson comes asking about that day and I have to say “well…she proposed to me..” Nah son! Like madscientist, I already have in mind how I would want to do it (with variations that reflect the person that I am with, when I get there) and that is very important to me. I love bold and confident women but that would be too much for me.

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      B, i had no idea you liked us STEM gals! lol learn something new everyday…

      i think its awesome you are open to moving for a relationship. for some ppl it’s still taboo but i dont understand why. i dont think it has anything to do with gender roles – its about feasibility. the person who is most flexible to move should move. a man being the most flexible to relocate and making that move doesnt make him weak, a sucker, or emasculated.

      lol i know i know, there are some men who are still very traditional when it comes to marriage proposals. and like i mentioned before, if YOU really wanted to make that move, your mate should let you have it. but i know some couples who arent as traditional and a big proposal isnt a big deal. idk. maybe we’re not THAT progressive yet lol

  • Reply That Damn African December 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve been thinking about the fact that I might have to deal with a LDR in the next few years, depending on where me and the Misses end up moving to after graduation. It’s likely to be a big city, which should mean good job opportunities and a nice atmosphere, which we both like, but you never know. I know we’d hate a LDR, so we’re gonna do our best not to have that happen. But I agree that if you’re going to move for a LDR, you better be sure it’s gonna be forever or at least enjoy the area/job/people you’re moving to in case forever doesn’t happen.

    I don’t want my woman proposing to me. Period.

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      unfortunately, the med/science life is sooo unpredictable. she has no control over where she’ll get matched (some of the top programs are in whack places). and she may likely have to move again for fellowships and then perm job. but whatever happens, if its meant to be it will be. you never know. but God willing, yall will make it happen regardless. long distance isnt a death sentence. you do what you gotta do. i wish you both the best 🙂 yall are so cute.

      and not to worry, i dont think Mahi is the type to not have a big spectacle made of being proposed to lol

  • Reply fourpageletter December 6, 2012 at 12:11 am

    well you already know my answer! lol. xo.

    • Reply Gem December 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      do i??????? lol

      • Reply fourpageletter December 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        were you not paying attention during our skype date? sheesh! LOL

  • Reply Are you man enough to move? | Through the eyes of Betroit December 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    […] read a blog post from one of my homies speaking about LDR and who should move within them recently that sparked some thoughts. In the blog, she spoke about how her current beau (only using […]

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