How to Help Your Kids Through Engagement Dilemmas

Tips for when to step in … with caution

With the holiday season — a prime time for engagements — behind us, some parents and young women are left wondering when and if the question will ever be popped. Even in an age of gender equality, many young women still expect the beau not only to propose but to pull out all the stops.

Why don’t women propose? That idea is “utter horror” to them, says Ellen Lamont, a sociology professor at Appalachian State University. “There is still a strong stigma against women proposing because they are then seen as desperate — the belief is that a man will propose when he is ready,” she says. “If a woman pushes that, she is getting a man who is not ready for the relationship to move forward.”

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