Can we get married? The answer to this straightforward question has significant ramifications. There are specific standards on how a marriage proposal should appear, regardless of who is asking or being asked. This means that we (people from the same culture) have shared expectations about how life should unfold, including the timing, location, and sequence of important events (Berntsen & Rubin, 2004). These opinions cover topics including the timing of the proposal, who makes the request, who should be present or not, and if a ring is required. Although marriage proposals mark a significant turning point in a person’s life and a relationship, the nature of successful and unsuccessful proposals has not been well studied in research. Researchers Lisa Hoplock and Danu Stinson from the University of Victoria in Canada looked through 400 descriptions of marriage proposals that were made in internet forums to understand more about heterosexual marriage proposals in Western society (e.g., Reddit.com and Weddingbee.com). Seven skilled coders analysed each proposal description to extract pertinent information (such as the partners’ ages, length of the relationship, if they had previously talked marriage, whether the proposal followed the script, the location of the proposal, etc). (Hoplock & Stinson, 2021). According to established cultural scripts, men made the vast majority of proposals, as was expected (94 percent). Due to the size of that number, the 374 conventional ideas were the only ones considered in the final study.
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