Who Should Propose in a Same-Sex Relationship?

Two women hugging and smiling together.

Proposals are so exciting, and many times they are long-awaited and carefully planned and executed. Especially in recent years, proposals have become seemingly even more elaborate and highly shared thanks to the presence of social media. For same-sex couples, the excitement around proposals remains—but a question that doesn’t plague straight couples may be weighing on them: who is responsible for proposing? While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, there are definitely some thoughts to help steer you in the direction of who should pop the question in your own relationship.

Talk About It

It’s very possible that this topic merits a conversation between you and your partner to decipher who is “expected” to propose marriage. It could be the case that one person has their heart set on proposing and the other doesn’t, or that neither of you have a strong desire to be the one to propose or be proposed to. This is totally normal, and it’s why these conversations are a good idea. At this time, it’s also a good opportunity to talk about the timeline you’re thinking of as far as getting engaged to ensure that you’re both on the same page.

Consider Your Natural Roles

A woman proposing to her girlfriend.

Another possibility surrounding who should propose to whom in a same-sex relationship is that the gender roles are so natural that it goes without saying. This is certainly not true in all same-sex relationships, but if it is true in yours, think through if these natural roles dictate what could happen. If you’re confident in that thought, just let it happen naturally and go with the flow.

Agree on a Joint Proposal

One option that seems to be gaining popularity for same-sex couples is for both partners to discuss and agree on doing a joint proposal. For this, both parties can choose a special day where they will conduct their proposal and even plan something special to do together. This makes for a memorable day and gives each individual time to prepare what they’ll do, wear, and say to commemorate this special occasion.

What About Rings?

A man proposing to his boyfriend.

Another question that’s pretty common relating to same-sex proposals is about who gets an engagement ring. Similar to the other questions we’ve already tackled, there are many answers to this one. The first option is for both parties to get a ring; after all, who doesn’t love a shiny new accessory that symbolizes love and commitment? This is extremely common, especially in lesbian relationships. This is also very common in proposals where both individuals agree to propose to one another jointly, and it only makes sense for both parties to get engagement rings. Another option is for just the person who is being proposed to to receive a ring, as in a traditional marriage proposal. Finally, there’s the possibility of neither party getting an engagement ring. If this is the case, both parties will each just have one ring—their wedding bands—which will be exchanged on their wedding day. Like everything else on this topic, this is all about personal preference and how traditional you want your proposal to be.

Above all, remember that your proposal is exactly that: yours. This is something special between yourself and your partner, so make it what you want it to be and remember that there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. After all, it’s a celebration of your love as well as the kick-off for a long and prosperous life together as a married couple.

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