Alison Taylor on relationships: I've become part of a new social phenomenon - the boyfriend proposal

We've become so non-committal that to become 'boyfriend and girlfriend' has all the build-up and pomp of an actual marriage proposal

Alison Taylor
Friday 01 May 2015 14:41

I've been proposed to. The setting was the upstairs bar at The Hawley Arms in Camden, that famous mid-noughties den of misbehavior. We perched on stools while the band (not Razorlight) clanged their way through what I think was a soundcheck and we tried to read each other's lips, conversation having been rendered nearly impossible. I was wearing jeans, my hair was second-day in as he gazed at me over his pint of lager and asked The Question: "will you be my girlfriend?"

Of course I said yes. Well actually, first I looked attractively surprised, bashful even. Then I arched my brow, dipped my chin and quizzed, "Really?" trying to figure if he really meant it and that he wasn't just drunk. "Yes, really!"

I think I've become part of a new social phenomenon: the boyfriend proposal. We've become so non-committal, so used to making romantic decisions based on a split-second finger swipe that to actually make it official and become 'boyfriend and girlfriend' (which, ironically, sounds rather high school) – it has all the build-up and pomp of an actual marriage proposal. It's A Big Deal.

I have a friend who'd been seeing her chap for close to six months and still no mention of the G-word, despite her playing it cool more often than not, wearing snazzy new outfits every time she saw him and enjoying a holiday together to a foreign country without once using the loo with the door open. In the end it turned out alright, though – she needn't have worried because he did ask her. By letter. Actual paper-form correspondence. I like to think that he was wearing breeches and using a quill, too. She said yes, via emoji, to keep it post post-modern.

Then, because everyone knows that if something happens three times it's a bona fide trend, there's Holly and Kyle from Geordie Shore. Their story doesn't have quite the same happy ending because they've not actually made it official yet but they're discussing it. At length. "It's a huge step, like living together," pondered Kyle, pecs twitching beneath his vest. Ultimately, they've decided to wait a bit longer, to be absolutely sure it's the right decision, though Kyle did offer some reassurance to Holly when he whispered: "I like you more than any bird I've ever got into"


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