Letters to the Editor: Men asking women to marry them is a tradition? Not to these readers

Holding hands surrounded by hearts
(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thirty-two years ago I proposed to my husband, so maybe I am a pioneer on the subject of whether a woman should ask a man to marry her. (“Does it matter if a man or a woman proposes?” Opinion, Feb. 12)

It was toward the end of our third date when he looked at me quizzically and said, “What do you think is going to happen with us?” My instantaneous response: “I think we’re going to get married and live happily ever after,” although I’m still not sure where that came from.

His reply: “OK.”

“Happily ever after” may not have been prophetic, as we endured life’s tragedies, but who among us is immune to fate?


Along with the lows we watched our blended family grow and prosper and welcomed much-loved grandchildren into the world. We built a life, together, and were strengthened by our misfortunes.

My third-date proposal was impulsive, but I don’t regret it.

Jan Judah, Torrance


To the editor: Whether the man or the woman proposes didn’t matter much to those of us whose dating days extend back to the 1960s. In that era many women were known to take the initiative. But they didn’t bother getting down on one knee to convey a proposal.

No, it typically was issued as an ultimatum: “Marry me or we’re through.”

Not very romantic, but such a “proposal” was eminently pragmatic. Which helps explain why the median age for a woman’s first marriage was just 20 years then, versus 28 years now.

M. Edward Alston, Santa Monica



To the editor: Is this even a question today? My wife proposed to me 50 years ago this coming October.

Tradition wasn’t an obstacle for us. We announced our engagement on Halloween, and we were married in a funeral home (my sister-in-law’s residence at the time, back in their hometown).

It really shouldn’t matter, where love is concerned.

Gordon Seyffert, Altadena