A Proposal

A Proposal: What is a Proposal?

When it comes to making the right moves in life, it’s important to mark out the things considered the most important in life, to you. To nearly everyone, these items on a life list include marriage and family, in about equal numbers for men and women in reliable national surveys.

No matter the sexual orientation and gender identity. No issue of the religious identification, or not. No concern to the ethnic background. No thinking about the political affiliation. No thought to the ‘morrow nor the yesteryear of this person, this life-hitch. 

Only on the fact of that which is most self-evident to all: the internal instinct towards love, and the exchange of love with another on the most intimate terms. An entirely sincere sense of one person lost, as experienced through two people merely needing to discover one another once more, and then have a capstone in a ceremonial rite of passage.

The other issues simply, as a matter of the tide of personal and collective history, remain secondary. Although connected to the most integral part of most people’s daily lives, the facts of marriage and family.

These, truly, remain the outcome of love played to the tune of personal history. What comes before these outcomes, though? It’s an individual, interdependent assurance of a commitment to make these happen, together. 

A sense of sureness in the relationship where the promise is the love will end well by not halting at all. It’s a singular moment of taking a risk, a chance, a leap of hope. This single instance for most will be the proposal, not the times, after it, of a leaky pipe needing fixing on a rainy Fall Sunday at home during the Christmas holidays.

A fleeting period with assorted accoutrements of symbolic love, while centered on the subject of most intense, close desire: the love of someone’s life. While, in truth, a true love, in this framing, amounts to a house of mirrors illuminated by the aperture of the light of love in each others’ lives. 

Something speaking to neither the seasonal nor the hormonal, but the instinctive, as if transcendent. The undeniable, ineffable quality of knowing that one knows this person’s worth the drag-out-and-brawl and dine-and-cuddle of a lifelong commitment through the hardships and softships, respectively, of life.

Because the proposal represents both a moment in time and a lifetime. A moment in time of a conscious choice to commit to this person as expressed in a profoundly loving act, as an offer of one’s whole self: ripe, open, belly-up, vulnerable, heart out.

A lifetime as represented in the possibilities of this moment in time cherished, projected into some fantastic future of the ordinary made into the extraordinary. Simply and solely because it’s with the most wonderful other, the half missing needing to be made complete, again. For most people most of the time, it’ll be a guy proposing to a gal. But it doesn’t have to be so.

A proposal represents neither a moment of whimsy nor a culmination of brooding. From the mundane proposal at a late dinner in the local restaurant for young twilight lovers on a tight budget, to a sky-diving extravaganza with a fulminous conclusion of the proposal written on the ground as the twin-souls-in-one land aground, a proposal simply represents a one experienced as a two, asking, “Are you me, too?” 

To which an answer, “Yes,” means the single person experienced as two has ended the search, the instinctive love in either has realized its aim, and the tune of personal history may move forward with the assurance of the drag-out-and-brawl and dine-and-cuddle called lifelong love.

Photo by Esther Tuttle on Unsplash

Author: Scott Douglas Jacobsen