By now we all know, I am not a feminist. I’ll let a man open a door for me. I’ll accept a whistle if I’m looking good. I’m not all about supporting women-owned business solely because I’m a woman or supporting a politician because she’s a woman. I don’t follow the herd. I think for myself. If I like a politician and it happens that she is a “she,” great. If I happen to love shopping in a store and it’s owned by women, even better. But I’ll also shop at men-owned businesses and vote for men. I am all for people: people supporting people because it’s the right thing to do. I draw the line at halachah. That is where things are clearly black and white re: men and women. And I’ll accept that a woman can’t ______ because “The Torah says so.” To me, that’s a good enough reason.

Now, everywhere you look, women seem to be taking over and “taking back” their truth/narrative, their whatever. A few weeks ago, I was watching a talk show female celebrity discuss that she proposed to her fiancé. Of course, the question was asked, “Why were you the one to propose? Why not wait for him?” Her answer made sense. She said they had been dating for years, and knew the relationship was heading towards marriage, so she moved things along. She didn’t want to wait for her life with this man to begin. She took charge and proposed. Good for her. She grabbed the bull by the horns and got what she wanted. Luckily, she received the response she was looking for, which I think helped her decide to initiate the asking.

How many women are dating or have dated someone for a few months or years, knew they were eventually going to get married, but had to wait for the man to finally propose? Me included. My husband and I discussed getting married. I knew it was going to happen, but I waited until he asked (and yes, I understand that sometimes the man has a plan, wants to set the scene, etc. I get that).

I didn’t believe it the other day when I opened an email and read the following email. I guess I’m not the only one listening to celebrity news. All I was able to think of was “good for her.” And I told her so in my response.



My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half (a year and seven months, to be exact). We’ve discussed getting married. We are going in that direction, have discussed it a dozen times. But because of our student loans, we decided to wait to make it official. We don’t need the extra expense of a ring or wedding now, or even planning a wedding, because deposits are needed. We are a couple. But recently I decided that I want the “official” now. I don’t want to keep waiting. I’m still all about saving money, but sometimes a girl wants what a girl wants.

I was watching TV the other day and heard that Rita Ora [a celebrity] proposed to her longtime boyfriend. She said she was tired of waiting for it to happen, so she planned it, got down on one knee, and did it. Why can’t I do that? I thought. We know we’re getting married. No question about it. I’m tired of people asking to “see my ring,” or “did you get a ring yet?” Yes, being practical is nice, but I want the ring. I want something that shows the world: “I am engaged and belong to someone. Someone loves me enough to make me his own.” And I don’t care how archaic or sexist that sounds.

So I planned. I bought myself a nice CZ ring. I wanted the symbol. I wanted to wear it. But I also wanted the question asked, and at this point I didn’t mind if I was the one doing it. My bf wasn’t scared or stalling. We had a plan. It’s not his fault I changed my mind. But I wanted to be fair and not corner him into buying the ring now. So, we went out for a nice dinner, a rarity saved for special occasions because, as I mentioned, we are repaying loans and trying to save for a wedding. After dinner, we went for a nice walk and ended up sitting on a bench, which was all part of my plan. I was ready to ask. I was prepared. I had the ring in my pocket, but for a second, I had cold feet. What if he gets angry that I took control, that I changed the plan?

Now or never, right? I took a breath, said some beautiful things that I rehearsed, and then pulled the ring out. I asked him to officially make it official with the ring I bought myself. But I let him know as soon as I get the real ring, this one will be put in the drawer. The look on his face was priceless. He was stunned. It took a few seconds and then he...laughed. He laughed and laughed for a few minutes while I stood there with the ring in my hand, asking him to make us officially engaged. After a few minutes and me asking “Seriously?” when the laughter kept coming, he said yes. He said he was shocked and didn’t know that my feelings about waiting changed. He was more than happy to make it official. He didn’t mind me buying a ring or proposing. He said it was the sweetest (weirdest) thing that ever happened to him.

So here I sit, writing to you as an officially engaged woman. Why didn’t I think of this months ago. Yes, money was an issue, but getting engaged is so much more than the money spent on a ring or anything else. Maybe because I knew I would get a “yes” helped me decide to go forward with my plan, but I was still nervous. I didn’t want my (now) fiancé to feel emasculated or that I jumped the gun. Maybe I can inspire another woman out there who knows she is heading towards the chupah with her bashert, but she doesn’t want to wait anymore for whatever the reason. Maybe she can think about asking him to marry her. Sure, it’s a modern thing to do, but I got what I wanted – just sooner than if I waited around. We have not set a date or picked out a real ring, but now I feel like an “engaged woman.” I have the symbol that society has dictated to prove it. So, what if I had to do the asking. It isn’t for everyone, but for those who are sure of the answer, why not?



Thank you for your email, Rachel.

Wow! Quite an email! I guess we both pay attention to celebrity news. Rita knew she’d get a “yes” to her proposal, but it still took guts for her to actually ask. You had a moment of cold feet, but deep in your heart you knew what you wanted and how to go about getting it. Good for you.

It’s odd to read that you asked your boyfriend to make it official, because you were asking him. You were making it official. You bought the symbol of engagement that you wanted. You did it all. And I’m so happy it worked out for you. Do I think your story will inspire others, probably not. But I’m not saying that in a bad way. It’s just that the old-fashioned way of doing things is still in fashion.

I think about myself and my husband. I had known him for two years, dated for months. Yes, we were going to get married. But, I still wanted him to ask me. I don’t think I ever would have asked him. I may have said, “When are you going to ask me?” but that is as far as I think I would have gone. Some women may do the same thing – ask when it’s happening because they want it to happen; this lets him know she’s waiting. Then again, making her wait for the proposal may be part of his plan. Very few women would follow in your footsteps, but again, that’s not a bad thing. This is a new world with new things being accepted as normal when they were once taboo (and no I’m not getting into that discussion. I’m staying on topic.) It could be one day in the future women will be asking men to marry, but until then, we wait. Maybe those who are in the same situation as you will propose to their boyfriend; those dating for years, discussed it, but are holding it off for a real and practical reason.

Hatzlachah to you all.

Goldy Krantz  is an LMSW and a lifelong Queens resident, guest lecturer, and author of the shidduch dating book, The Best of My Worst and children’s book Where Has Zaidy Gone?
She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.