Don't let your girlfriend propose to you. If you wait so long to ask her that she ends up raising the subject with you or outright proposing , you have already lost her respect, even if she doesn't know it yet. I don't know what the numbers are on divorce among couples who married because the wife proposed, but I bet it's high.
No woman can feel sexually submissive to a man she had to chase. Sex doesn't work that way. Women like to be pursued, not to be the pursuer. If a woman thinks she is being modern and simply exercising her right as a liberated woman to ask her man to marry her, she's deluding herself. What she wants is to be wooed, to be seduced, to be proposed to. It's what allows her to submit totally to her man, as if granting him a well-earned reward for being the dominant man she desires.
If she reverses roles, if she has to adopt the masculine role and propose marriage, she won't feel that kind of willing submission for long. She will resent your apathy, your passiveness, your assuming the "feminine" role of accepting her proposal. She won't feel the satisfaction of being feminine herself, of allowing herself to submit to a masculine, dominant man who deserves her submission.
No woman will stay in such a marriage, or be at all happy in it if she does. She will seek out the ultra masculine outside her marriage, she will be drawn to men who represent true dominant masculinity. She will fantasize about the rugged, powerful man who will sweep her off her feet, claim her as his own, propose like a man should, and she will probably shed tears whenever she sees what she never had: a man on bended knee, asking a woman to be his wife.
She probably won't even know this about herself. Feminism has done a good job of dousing women's natural desire to be feminine by telling her that, as any man's equal, she should approach her relationships in the same manner they do, regardless of masculinity or femininity. She will think that if she loves her man, there's no reason why she shouldn't propose.
There is a reason. The reason is her very love for you, her respect and admiration for you, and her sexual satisfaction in marriage. If she has to propose to you, all that will disappear - perhaps not overnight, but soon.
So why does this happen? Why do so many women bring up the subject, or get down on their knees themselves?
Here is the problem. Our society, and even our own parents, provide us absolutely no guidance when it comes to making the decision to marry. Women in particular are left mystified as to whether it will ever happen to them or not. We dream about the day the man we love will propose marriage but we have absolutely no idea whether the man we're with wants to marry us, whether he wants to marry at all, or when we should start worrying that these things might be true. And we don't dare find out, either.
Marriage is probably the most taboo subject there is. Couples discuss previous sexual experience, experimentation with drugs, criminal records, and questionable decisions in life freely and usually on the first date, but the idea of talking openly about our thoughts or plans for marriage is often enough to scare our new date away. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our culture embraced marriage as a desirable thing we could aspire to? Wouldn't it be nice if, on a first date, we could freely discuss our hopes and dreams with the person we're interested in and find out whether they share our values in life or else have no intention of ever getting married at all? I think our culture would make great strides if we all understood that marriage was something to look forward to, that co-habitation was the first step, and that a proposal within about a year and a half, if not sooner, from the start of the relationship is appropriate, if you're with someone you love.
But we don't live in that world. What he have instead is a secretive, arms-length approach to the subject, so much so that marriage is a sensitive, not-to-be-mentioned subject even among couples who have been living together for a year. Women don't know whether to bring it up or leave it alone - after all, he might be planning some glorious proposal that will melt her heart. On the other hand, he might be avoiding the subject intentionally, out of plain yellow fear, hoping that if it remains an off-limits area of discussion, then she might forget that she's wanted to be married since she was six and content herself to just shacking up.
Countless women wait breathlessly for a proposal, never wanting to say anything to spoil it if it comes. Christmases pass by, special days, moonlit walks...nothing. Eventually, some of them get so tired of being on engagement alert all the time that they just give up and pop the question themselves.
I can guarantee you, none of them wanted it to be this way. They just couldn't be patient any longer without knowing if their patience would ever pay off.
Alright, but what if you're really not ready for marriage? What if you love her, would like to imagine a future for yourselves, but she is somehow light years ahead of you and is far more certain about you than you are about her? Should you just jump in and get married and forget about your hesitation?
Well, no. But there's more to it than that.
It's perfectly alright to be unsure about marriage. It's likely that when two people come together to form a couple, they won't always be on the same proverbial page at the same time. My suggestion is this: if, after a reasonable amount of time, you feel you aren't ready for marriage, ask yourself what, exactly, it is you aren't ready for. If you aren't ready to buy a house and start populating it with babies, fine. Tell your lover this. Maybe she isn't ready for all that domestic bliss just yet either. And if you're not ready to get married yet because you don't think you're ready to stop sleeping with other women...then you aren't with a woman you really love, and shouldn't string her along any further.
If you would really rather just wait a little longer before committing to marriage, I suggest you talk about it, candidly, with love. Tell her if you can see marriage in your future. And tell her that when the time is right, you envision proposing to her in a romantic way. Let her know that you want to be the man she's always hoped for, even if you don't adhere strictly to the schedule of her dreams. Just be sure you do what you say you will, and don't leave her waiting indefinitely.
Lastly...what happens if she beats you to it? What if you have every intention of proposing - eventually - and she surprises you with it first?
Don't say no!
Even if you do eventually give in and get married, that initial "no" is deadly. She'll remember that always. She'll remember that she went out on a limb, that she intentionally, and likely with a fair amount of discomfort, reversed the proper metaphysical roles, that she willingly suppressed her femininity and did what the kind of man she desires would do...that she swallowed her dreams and gave up her girlhood hope of being proposed to in a romantic way all because she loves you so much...and you say no? Do you really expect this woman to stay with you forever? You'll have to be one hell of a stellar husband for the rest of your life if you hope to make up for it and keep her.
If she proposes, stop her. Get down on your knees and beg her to marry you, tell her you don't want her to ask you. Tell her you want more than anything for her to be your wife...and if you absolutely must, if your heart isn't moved by her reckless declaration of love, beg her to indulge your hesitation for just a little while longer, long enough for you to propose to her.
Don't hesitate, don't grumble about it, don't call her the next day and complain of cold feet. Be the man. Be romantic, be dominant. Sweep her off her feet. Don't stretch out the relationship to the point where she proposes to you...it'll be the end of romantic love between you if you do.