The Grand Gesture

I’ve been seeing a lot of this thing called ‘the grand gesture’ in social media. A video where usually a man sneaks up on his love and surprises her with a garish and ostentatious display of singing and dancing and cinematography, normally ending with a proposal of marriage. It’s sweet, and nice to watch, but I have some reservations about this kind of huge sweeping romantic display. 

(I admit from personal experience that sometimes the woman likes this type of thing. However, in my experience it wasn’t really the grand gesture itself that she liked. It was something once removed – the attention, envy, jealousy, accolades, the idea that other people were watching her receive something and they wanted what she had, the image of the gesture is what made her happy. Not the grand gesture itself, or the relationship it represented. I hope that’s a rare thing. I think it is. On with the usual!)

Occasionally I have seen other videos where people are friends and one of them wants to be more, or people are dating and one of them wants to move in, or they live in different parts of the country or the world and one of them wants to be closer. Any sort of increase in exclusivity and closeness could be the spark for one of these videos, one of these productions. Since most of the time it’s about a proposal, from a man to a woman, I’ll approach it here from that perspective.

We see a headline, or a teaser, and we’re curious, so we watch the video. It strikes us as so romantic and sweet, and everyone is happy, and the comments are so positive, and she always seems to say yes. She’s pleased, absolutely chuffed to be on the receiving end of this lavish attention. Right?

Is she really?

I watched many of these for the feels, and for fun and entertainment, but something occurred to me. Who is this for? So I watched many of them again, and this time I focused on just the woman. Wherever possible, I watched the woman’s face and body language, and that alone. Surprisingly, I saw many instances where she didn’t seem pleased at all. She seemed annoyed, pressured, even horrified at times. Not every video, not most of the time, but in most videos at least part of the time, the woman was not happy. So who is this for?

It seems to me that in the worst case, the grand gesture is for show, a melodrama for public consumption. The neon, the rainbows, the glitter, the presentation. The flash pots, the pyrotechnics, the highly-trained well-rehearsed marriage proposal flash mobs. The time, effort, expense, the assistance from family, friends and other accomplices, the production and the ostentatious display. The grand gesture appears to be for everyone else EXCEPT her.

In the best case, it’s for him. It’s his idea of devotion or love, shown publicly and openly, with little regard for what she may want. By its nature, this grand gesture has to be kept secret, so consultation is nearly impossible. The grand gesture is for him at bare minimum, plus whoever he’s coerced into assisting him with this little number. She’s going to love it!  Right?

Will she really?

Either way, for him or for public consumption, it puts pressure on her. It can be uncomfortable, as I’ve seen in many a woman’s eyes while I focused on her. She may feel anxious because of the attention, and afraid of saying no while all the eyes are upon her. She may feel obligated to say something she really doesn’t want to say. Instead of making her happy and elated, it could be making her sad and terrified and annoyed. The more I looked at the women’s faces, the more I wondered ‘did anyone really think this all the way through?”

It seems to me that if you care about a woman, you would want to talk to her and feel her. Find out what her preferences are, what her comfort level is, what her thoughts and feelings are. Know her! Make sure of it. Make sure you’re not doing something that will actually have the exact opposite effect from what you intend. 

In short, find out the things she likes, and…
Just. 
Do. 
Them.
  
Do them a lot! Do them deliberately. Do them intentionally. Do them quietly and demurely. Do as many of the things she likes as well and as often as you can. 

Doesn’t that sound like the grandest gesture you could make?

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19 thoughts on “The Grand Gesture”

  1. I think knowing the person you’re planning on giving a romantic loving gesture to is imperative. lol 😉

    But sincerely, you make perfect points.

    For myself? Because I’m sure you want me to make this about me! :p
    If someone wanted to propose or share anything of a similar expression the relationship itself is primary. I’d prefer something private, vulnerable, sensitive and heartfelt. As you mentioned, the grandiose show is obviously for others to see. That would take away from the sentiment for me and the magnitude of whatever is being shared or express.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uh oh… I have a lot of calls to make… 🙂
      I agree completely. The relationship is at the center. For me, anything deeply expressive should not be a show for others.
      I cannot improve on what you have said, so I will just agree. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve done the same thing, I mean watched the women and wondered. I think it puts the woman in a very difficult position really…it would be a lot of pressure. I’ve never even celebrated Valentine’s Day. I think, if it really is something they do want, and they genuinely want to share their joy with others, then that’s wonderful. But I’m not convinced that’s often the case.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s rare for some that gestures are processed according to image generation (what I refer to as ‘playing well in the flyover states’), but not for me.

        What’s not rare, apparently, is the ‘Bridezilla’. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha Bridezilla!!! O dear Lord spare us. It truly amazes me how people change around weddings. My husband has done a lot of weddings, his least favourite thing, and I look back now and realise what an awesomely laid back bride I was lol.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I know, right? Thank you!
              I stumbked on it once while visiting here (and it shows in Australia now) and I couldn’t believe it was real. Or that you would want people watching you be such a monster. I’ve always, almost wanted someone to explain it to me! Haha

              Liked by 1 person

                1. A mystery involving very real money I’m guessing! 🙂
                  My cousin had a friend on Survivor. She was devastated at how edited it was to look like she said things she didn’t etc. But, why go on it in the first place? Yep. Mystery.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree with Soliloquoy… For me personally, connection, getting to know each other, and just…going for a drive, lol. Driving and listening to music with people is my favorite. I let them be DJ’s and I just go with it, get on the same vibe, BS, get lost going to Cinnabon, lol

    To me, romance is about understanding someone. I remember, my ex, Evan… I put on this massive surprise party for him. I knew he was bummed, so I wanted to just rock his world with all his friends partying it up. I accidentally got everyone drunk, lol, but he ended up in bed with a bunch of naked women. I’m not gonna brag, but come on.. nailed it 😉 When he proposed to me, it was on our favorite show P&S, and like…he was so nervous, but his intention, putting himself out there like he did despite his anxiety was too sweet for words. To me, love is about time, energy, devotion. Romance is more of a fairy tale, because the simplest things can be romantic. I love sending songs as much romantic gesture 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly. It’s not giving up on someone. Do you have any idea how many people gave up on me? Myself included. No more. You are so beautiful – I’m so glad we connected

        Liked by 1 person

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