November 22, 2017

Prom? Homecoming? When did asking become like a marriage proposal?

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I’ve been fascinated by a trend that’s growing stronger every formal dance season- Boys asking girls to prom and homecoming dances with the kind of over-the-top tactics many grown men don’t even think of when they’re proposing marriage to someone they want to devote their lives to, let alone one hours-long evening. I’m hearing stories of fireworks, costumes, an arena-size array of witnesses and lots of documentation on You Tube. Perhaps the latter is the point?

Check this one out:

The poor guy starts off by saying it’s a satire because other people take the asking so seriously, but he seems to have put a lot of time and effort on the line too, right?


Apparently several years ago reality teen stars on the show “Laguna Beach” first aired this dance proposal idea. The idea caught on and kids across America have followed suit, making it the norm today. Too bad for that shy guy who just wants to call up a girl he likes from Algebra.


One mom of teens I spoke to likened it to a practice marriage proposal. “One kid did something cool and then everyone has to follow suit or they’re the loser,” she said.


It’s nice to see chivalry isn’t dead, but this places a lot of pressure on boys and girls too. Another mom I spoke to said her ninth grade son would like to go to the homecoming dance this year, but he’s too nervous to go to such lengths to ask someone. I’d bet a lot of kids feel the same.


It makes sense that another trend is now equally prevalent: groups of girls going to these dances without dates.


What are your thoughts on this? Do you think boys pulling out all the bells and whistles to ask a girl to a dance is good gentlemanly practice or is it all too much?

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  1. Ann Van De Water says:

    I wonder if some of the desire for romantic gestures comes from living in a very casual world now. People rarely dress up, dating & relationships are casual, communication is casual with texting, etc. Maybe girls (and possibly some boys) yearn for more romance, so thus we have one place where romantic gestures are acceptable – the dance “proposal.”

    • Excellent point, Ann. I’ve often thought that about holidays. The world has become so casual, and much more secular around religious holidays especially, I’ve wondered if this is why people go over-the-top with decorations, etc. when they get a chance.

  2. Ann Van De Water says:

    I agree.

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