Why do guys propose (offer marriage) to girls?

My best friend is an attorney. He makes over $380,000 a year. My girlfriend is an administrative assistant. She makes about $38,000 a year. I'm a licensed architect and civil engineer. I make about $94,000 a year.

Offering marriage to someone is, all soft and mushy fluffy stuff aside, a business proposal. Otherwise, nobody is stopping you from just staying together for the rest of your lives and in love. It's a legal entitlement to a portion of our income and assets. Over the long-run, the person who earns more has more to lose, and the person who earns less has more to gain. As a joke, I grabbed by friend and asked him to get married. He laughed in my face, and then told me that it's not "worth" getting married to me, because I would make out like a bandit at the end of the day.

I'm never getting married, but I'm wondering, of the guys who do get married or haven't excluded marriage as a possibility in the future, what's the reason you propose or offer marriage to a girl?

  • I'm religious
    Vote A
  • Traditionally, that's what people just do
    Vote B
  • I'm afraid if I don't, she'll leave me
    Vote C
  • Because it's something she really wants
    Vote D
  • Because it's something I really want
    Vote E
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy


Most Helpful Girl

  • I hope that my boyfriend will propose to me because he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. (Not necessarily my current boyfriend, but whichever one I end up marrying). I hope to make at least 50,000 a year in whatever I end up going in to, which is plenty of money for my kind of life style. I'm expecting to marry someone who makes around that, though if it's higher or lower I wouldn't really care (I wouldn't mind being the breadwinner). Marrying isn't just about religion and tradition and sharing finances, there are also legal things that come with marriage (hospital visitation, your taxes change) and if you want to start a family (which I don't) that makes a more stable environment for your child.

    Though I'm not a guy, I want to get married because I want that commitment. I want a guy to love me enough that he's willing to stay with me until we're one of those cute old bickering couples that go to the same pizza place each Sunday afternoon. I want the stability of a relationship, knowing that every day when I go home I'll have someone to talk to and someone to share a bed with. I want to always have someone to take care of me when I'm sick and kill spiders for me. And though it would never be my first motivation, I want the financial stability that comes from being a couple, so that if I lost my job or if something happened we would still have money enough not to panic.

    Like the guy said before, if there is a large earning gap, sign a prenup to agree that each person keeps their own money. I think you're just too young to think of settling down and too cynical. I'm sure some day you'll meet a nice girl (or guy) who'll charm a ring out of you. At the very least you'll be tired of having to work for sex.


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What Girls Said 3

  • it can be for many reasons but it should be because he wants to be with that person

  • I think its just a tradition

  • Anyone who thinks divorce is a valid solution to marital problems and thinks they (or their spouse) will take their money is obviously not mature enough for marriage in the first place.

    If people simply went into marriage thinking divorce was not an option, this whole money thing wouldn't be a problem.


What Guys Said 7

  • I feel sorry for people who think of dollar signs when it comes to love. Unless you're a super rich person worth zillions get over yourself.

    • Emotional blackmail fail, but thank you for your opinion.

  • I want to get married, I said B but the main reason is probly kids, that way if anything does happen to go south I still get partial custody.

    • That's interesting. Well, thanks for explaining. The only time being married would help with child custody is by marital estoppel (a wife's child is presumptively the husband's child, even if a DNA test later confirms he is not the father). Otherwise, for as long as you're the biological father, custody is determined by what's in the best interest of the child, and all states have done away with the tender years doctrine, which presumed the mother got full custody.

    • But that's very interesting. I wonder how many guys get married because they're afraid of their parental rights or child custody issues, even though the law of child custody is obviously well-developed for unmarried persons too.

    • yeah, but I don't know why but I think id have it easier when married or whatever, and yeah but mother still typically gets custody.. just saying

  • If you live with a girl long enough she can still take your stuff. It's called a common law wife.

    • common law marriage is abolished in most states, and even where it still exists, you must "both" "voluntarily" hold yourselves out as "husband and wife." The fact that two people live together, by itself, is insufficient to create a common law marriage.

  • 70 percent of divorces are female initiated. Women also benefit from alimony the overwhelming majority of the time. It's not immature to protect you assets, its smart. I'm not getting married for the very reason, I've seen several very successful men financially ruined by divorce, while the women made away with his money. Obviously this is not all women, but better safe than sorry.

  • Guys do it because they're tired of playing games, and want to be with a single woman for the rest of their lives.

  • Marriage isn't nearly as risky if you marry someone making about the same, or more money than you are. The bread winner is always the one that suffers in a divorce. Being married should mean you have a partner in life you can always count on. I don't really have anyone else that I can count on, so having a wife to help me when I need help like if I get sick or something would be nice. I also want to have children someday and believe it is best to raise children in a home with the father and mother. There are very practical reasons to get married, but they don't apply to everyone.

    • Very interesting. You don't actually need to be married to have any or all of those things you mentioned, but it's interesting to see the emotional reasoning behind it. Thank you.

  • Prenup. I'd get married because I wanted to.