Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

I’ve been seeing the man of my dreams for the past two years. He’s from Sweden. I thought everything was storybook perfect … until last week. He handed me a ring across the dinner table and asked me to marry him. Without thinking, I blurted out, “Aren’t you going to get down on one knee?”

He acted stunned, and it suddenly felt like somebody had poured a cold bucket of water over our heads.

We haven’t spoken in three days, and now I’m unsure whether or not we’re even engaged.

Can this relationship be saved?



Dear Maxine,

In many cultures, a man proposes on bended knee as a gesture of respect, humility and a desire to submit to the commitment of marriage. However, as charming as that gesture is, it’s not a worldwide convention. A lot of good men from a lot of cultures wouldn’t entertain the idea of proposing in this manner.

Put yourself in his shoes. Proposing is a vulnerable, intimate and emotional moment for any man. Suggesting or demanding it to happen in a specific way likely made him feel pressured or disrespected.

If you love him and want him in your life, I think it’s best for you to apologize for any unintentional offense and express your willingness to learn and understand his cultural perspective.

Hopefully, opening up this dialogue will strengthen your relationship and pave the way for years of open communication.

Wishing you many years of happiness.


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