Marriage is generally believed to be a lifelong commitment. One of my best friends recently turned down an engagement from her boyfriend of nearly three years. Her rejection of the proposal did not make sense to me, so I decided to look into some of the research on decision making and marriage proposals. After reading many articles, I found some particularly interesting reasons to explain why many proposals are rejected. The media often portrays a proposal as an obvious and automatic response, but this is not always the case for rational thinkers. A reason-based choice is the idea that people make a decision only when they detect what they believe to be a persuasive reason for making that choice. The article focuses on some people not being certain that they are ready for marriage, or if they want to be with this partner for the rest of their life. If there are no distinct reasons to agreeing to a marriage proposal, then it is more likely for a rejection to follow. Another aspect to consider is that proposals are often surprising, which can make it difficult to think rationally and reach an appropriate conclusion.
This article also points out that a rejection on the spot does not necessarily mean the marriage will never happen, but that more time is needed to be sure of commitment. The concept of problem-solving can also be applied. Problem solving refers to deciding on a goal and carrying out steps to reach that goal. In this case, the goal would be to decide if the partner has potential to be a life-long mate, or if there needs to be a breakup. Some steps to carry out the goal would be to share feelings, communicate effectively, and get opinions from other family or friends. After completing those steps, the goal of making a decision should be completed.
The article also illustrates that it is important to weigh the pros and cons of being in a relationship with someone when sitting on the fence of deciding to continue moving forward or not. According to utility maximization, many decisions are made by choosing the option with the greatest expected value. For this important decision, it would be important to think about if the positive aspects of the relationship are greater than the negatives. This article states that negative traits such as aggression and extreme dominance can be difficult to be outweighed by other positive traits such as status and passion.
I think it is important to rationallydecide on an answer to a marriage proposal. What do you think?