For Nigerian women who want to get married, there are certain expectations of how their proposal should go. For some, it should be an intimate experience to connect with their partner and for others, they don’t mind fanfare. In this article, we asked five Nigerian women what they really thought about their proposals.
Mine happened in June 2020. It was an unusual proposal because it was during the pandemic, and he wasn’t in Nigeria at the time. I have always pictured how my proposal would be. I even had a set of rules. He had to have asked for my father’s blessing before going down on one knee. I wanted to be outside Nigeria. I also wanted to make sure my nails and hair were done. It went nothing like I imagined. It was really private. I got to pick my ring. The initial plan was I would fly out to his city but thanks to corona, we couldn’t do either.
So one day he told me he sent a package home and he needed me to help him pick it up from UPS. Inside the package was a love letter and a lot of gifts — shoes, bags, clothes, skincare products, perfumes and more. I video-called him immediately, and he was playing my favourite love song in the background and reciting what he wrote in the love letter. When he asked the big question, I was already with the ring. My answer was yes, obviously. I love that I got to pick out my ring myself. I think it’s perfect that I knew it was going to happen but I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did.
I don’t think I was proposed to. You decide. The first time I met him, he said, “I don’t like the way your hair is not covered as my future wife.”. We didn’t talk about marriage after that, the parents just kinda took over and I found myself selecting blind colours. We got married three months after that.
We were together for 10 years, but we’re not anymore. I was indifferent about the proposal. If I were to try marriage again though, I don’t think I would want a formal proposal. It seems performative to me. I will like to be asked in bed like, “What are your thoughts on us getting married?”
He had already come with his dad to see my dad about “plucking a flower”, so I told him he didn’t need to propose — just give me the darn ring and get it over with.
He ignored me. We were on a weekend getaway and in the middle of an argument we were having at around 11 pm, he tossed the ring box at me. I bawled out my eyes. I didn’t hear the actual proposal. He was on one knee and all that. I was just giddy. After everything, he was like let’s watch a movie and I’m like, yeah sure, shining my teeth anyhow. The television comes on and it’s videos of my family, friends and my colleagues saying congratulations- to us. Let’s just say I emptied out my tear ducts that night.
I loved every moment of mine. It happened at a public place, but it was intimate. It was just me, my fiance, three of our friends and the photographer. My friends made sure I got my nails and makeup done that day by a professional. They told me we were going for a girls night out. Before then, I had done my nails just once in my life. Only for me to step into my engagement party. I was gassed up. I can’t think of any other way it could have been better. They caught me completely off guard.
It was weird because he proposed without a ring and we had two proposals. The first one was in September, the second proposal was in November, on my birthday. The first one was private. We were talking one night and he started saying all the right words. He said he couldn’t wait any longer to ask me. I said yes. On my birthday, he surprised me with the ring. I really liked both but the private one was the best thing ever. I like how intimate it was. I couldn’t stop laughing but I wish he had the ring the first time.
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