Of course, any picture or video of a man on one knee, holding up a ring, while the woman looks down at him, overwhelmed with emotion, who then says yes to the most probably poetic proposal, promising her a lifetime together—and then lifts him up, and embraces him in a tight hug while the crowd in the background cheers them on, is beautiful, right? However, a recent video that went viral on social media showed a guy on his knee in Kigali’s Central Business District’s Car Free Zone, proposing to a girl who appears annoyed and eager to leave him, at the mercy of all the phones’ cameras, with some empathising, but mostly loud mocking voices wasn’t that pretty. Fortunately, it was a movie set, and the poor guy was only acting. However, we have seen similar scenarios before, and there may be more in the future if some points are not clarified. And like everything else, the topic tends to be subjective. Take, for example, Carine Imboni, a 27-year-old resident of Kigali, who believes the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone is worthy of celebration and even getting emotional over. “It totally makes sense to make it a big surprise and invite everyone close to both of your hearts to come to witness the moment,” she says. Tom Kabaya, another resident of Kigali, on the other hand, has a different point of view. “The idea of wanting to marry someone shouldn’t be kept a surprise/secret in and of itself. Because if you intend to commit to them for the rest of your life, shouldn’t they be aware, confident, and ready to do the same?” he asked. But, whether you agree with Imboni or Kabaya, the truth is that anyone carrying out a proposal hopes their demand is met with enthusiasm. They want a confident ‘yes’ to their ‘would you marry me?’ question. Rather than saying, ‘Please stand up, you are embarrassing me, like the girl in the video replied. So, if different factors, including timing, must be considered, why not do the necessary? Communication, like any other aspect, is crucial. Whether the proposal is surprising or not, the project itself should be common to both partners. Then one can know when it is time to make the demand, put a ring on it, and eventually start planning for the big day, the wedding. As for those who have yet to understand the current appear-like concept of non-committal relationships, or as they call them ‘situationships’, where asking what the intentions are, is interpreted as moving too quickly and likely to scare them away, you may find yourself truly humiliated by your rushed demand. “Before we delve deep in, I’d like to have open discussions about our expectations and dreams to see if they are aligned. Because the fact that we are together doesn’t mean you’re going to rush me according to your timeline,” shares Nelly, who asked to have just one name used. The issue with surprise proposals is that there is no room for hesitation or discussion, especially when they are public displays. You are only expected to excitedly say yes, while those who are brave enough to say no become the subject of social media scrutiny, she adds. Whether or not, like Nelly, you dislike public displays, any untimely proposal is disquieting for both the proposer and the one who rejects it. To avoid this, it is best to indeed align with each other’s expectations. As for those who are concerned more about whether or not the man must kneel to the woman or not, these are minor details that are secondary to the real question of whether you are both ready to advance to the next level. Or should we just not have any proposals at all?