Inducing "I Do": A Machiavellian Guide to Marriage


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Faking a pregnancy is so 1990’s! If you want to get engaged, there are plenty of simple ways to wrangle a proposal, and none of them involve a pink colored pencil or forging your physician’s signature! Indeed, by applying the Machiavellian “ends justify the means” mindset to your marriage proposal, it is much easier to achieve said marriage proposal in a timely and pleasing fashion.
After all, once you are happily married and living in a suburban mansion with a Suburban parked in the garage and a bunch of rose-cheeked rugrats hanging off your every appendage, you won’t waste time quibbling over mere marriage proposal regulations. Bridezillas know when it comes to life perspectives, it is the outcome that counts, not the minor machinations that occur along the way!

Case in Point: We all remember the scene in Sex and the City in which Charlotte gazes meaningfully into Trey’s eyes, rubs his arm and says, “We should get married.” Whether we remember it due to his unforgettably unfortunate response, (” ‘Alrighty!’ Seriously?”) or because it’s the first media instance of a woman successfully negotiating marriage is anyone’s guess. The point is, it worked, and soon our Charlotte was blissfully engagement- ring- shopping and china-registering like the blushing bride she always knew she could be. Taking a cue from the true Bridezilla of the SATC crew, you too can be engaged in no time! Here’s how it’s done:
Step One: Spot your Opponent’s Engagement Achilles Heel. Charlotte first hatches her get-him-to-propose plot after watching the way Trey’s mother masterfully manipulates him into obeying her every command, from medicine to meal choices. Charlotte, like any wise warrior, memorizes her meddling mother-in-law’s beguiling tactics, and then seamlessly matches her, arm stroke for arm stroke.
Lesson: every person has a unique way of being approached that they find irresistible. When you address said person in this mesmerizing manner, they can’t help but melt. So, to secure an engagement, simply find out what communication technique your lover is loathe to withstand, use it, and a marriage proposal will ensue.
If you aren’t sure what this approach is, pull a Charlotte and find the one person for whom your fella is always bending over backwards. Is he silly putty in the hands of a demanding boss? Is he a sitting duck for those cell phone kiosk guys? Whoever it is, simply observe the tactics these master communicators use to garner your guy’s constant submission, and then employ them for yourself. Brilliant!
Step Two: Build up to the proposal with a series of smaller “yes” questions.
When Charlotte gets engaged to Trey, she doesn’t just burst out and ask him to propose. She starts out with a series of smaller suggestions, aka “Maybe you should get the brie instead of the gorgonzola,” to which Trey happily agrees. By the time she launches the big question, “Maybe we should get married,” they’re already past the salad course, and her affable fellow sensibly realizes that casting a big, ominous, “holy-oh-my-gosh-are-you-out-of-your-mind-no” might cast a wrench into an otherwise agreeable lunch date. Being a conventions-conscious kind of guy, he says yes so as to not put a wrinkle in their linen-napkin lunch-and because he deeply loves and cares about her anyways, of course!
To make this marriage proposal maneuver work for you, you must employ identical tactics. Begin the conversation with a stream of seemingly innocuous questions, aka “Do you like my hair like this,” followed by “Do you like me?” followed by “Do you like everything about me?” followed by “Do you want to marry me?” This is foolproof because the man in question will be unable to answer “no” to the final question without seeming to discount his responses to the earlier queries. And because any man worth his margarita salt will stand by his word, he’ll gladly agree to marry you rather than suggest he was being untruthful about his earlier assertions. Note: this isn’t manipulative! It’s just using deductive chronological reasoning to help your fellow reach a logical conclusion he simply hadn’t previously realized.
Step 3: Sit back and wait for him to implement your idea. As we see in Sex and the City, despite Charlotte instigating the proposal, it is Trey who catches on and actually executes the engagement by taking her into Tiffany’s for “the prettiest engagement ring they can find.”
Moral of the story? Every guy has a chivalry chip embedded deep inside him; sometimes it’s just up to you to activate it. All you have to do is initiate the informal proposal, because after you get the ball rolling your man will inevitably rise to the occasion and begin planning the real deal. Why? Simple! Because men unfailingly need to believe that everything is their idea, so in no time at all they will block out the fact that you ever mentioned the word “marriage” and adopt it entirely as their own decision.
This is ideal because, by blocking out your ‘i-want-to-take-your-last-name’ dropping, not only will he never resent your trickery, but you also won’t deprive yourself of the whole down-on-one-knee, full-name-uttered, eye-blinding-rock presentation we women so dearly need. At this point you happily morph into Demure Bride (a guise Bridezilla deftly adapts when it suits her purposes) crying buckets and bashfully accepting your intricately-extracted marriage proposal from the man you want to spend your life with.
Bonus Step: Invoke Engagement Alzheimers.
The Sex and the City episode merrily concludes with Trey and Charlotte entering Tiffany’s to the final line “From this day forward, Charlotte would tell everyone of the time Trey proposed to her at Tiffany’s.”
To ensure your own unhampered joy, similarly rearrange your engagement story in your own brain, keeping the parts you like and omitting those you don’t. Bridezillas are natural word masseuses, it’s in our DNA, so simply dig in those pedicured talons and knead your time-told engagement tale into a happily-ever-after tearjerker to remember, while simultaneously discarding any undesirable parts. Chances are your grandchildren will prefer the fairytale version anyway!
Speaking of fairytales, remember, Bridezillas don’t sit around woefully waiting for a knight in shining armor to get off his white horse (aka backside) and propose! Bridezilla grabs the bull by the horns, flitters her every feminine wile like a sultry red flag and ushers in marriage proposals, matador-style, by the truckload.
Bridezilla fully supports the Machiavellian approach to obtaining a marriage proposal, and believes that you too can induce “I Do.” As long as you don’t allow yourself to get caught up in sentimental semantics, you can be engaged just as soon as you like! Bravo!

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