The hard part of modern marriage

This can lead to a sticky situation, which has become a pop culture trope: she loves him, is emotionally expressive, and wants to get married, but he struggles to articulate his emotions and equivocates on the matter of lifelong commitment. So, the trope goes, she drops hints, nags, and tries to convince him to propose.

Basically, it's like a Chipotle burrito of mixed messages, all wrapped up in a nice warm tortilla. (The guac will cost extra, but think of it like pre-marital counseling: it's awesome and everyone benefits, so it's worth the investment.)

On one hand, the cultural pressure for a woman not to propose is strong, even though other societal norms are radically shifting. And on the other hand, as Chicago-based couples counselor Julienne Derichs notes, "even though most of the legal and economic basis for a husband's dominion over this wife and her deferring to his needs is gone, there are passed down unconscious habits and emotional expectations that preserve a woman's disadvantage in marriage. A man being solely responsible for proposing is an unnecessary and antiquated norm."