Long gone are the days when men romantically got on bended knee and asked for their partner’s hand in marriage. In fact, those days disappeared so fast, I barely saw their dust settle as they rode frantically off into the sunset.

Today, the typical Singaporean marriage proposal is denoted by the completely unacceptable: “Shall we buy a house together?”, or “We should decide now because the hotel ballroom needs to be booked one year in advance!” 

While these essentially mean the same thing as the old-fashioned (and notably sweeter), “Will you marry me?”, they lack the heartfelt emotion that should come with lifelong commitment.

And in all likelihood, the madness won’t stop there. Next, he’ll be asking you to make a baby (or two) with him because of the $4,000 cash gift the government hands out for each child.

No – I’m not blinded by fairytale notions to assimilate with reality; I simply believe that marriage is a serious affair, and should come with a mind-blowing proposal.

Not convinced? Here are some other reasons to chew on:

Marriage isn’t about the house or the hotel
It’s not about the house you’re going to buy with your partner, the combined funds you’ll have to build said home or the hotel you’ll hold your wedding in. If it was, I’d be marrying the Sultan of Brunei.

The meaning behind marriage
So, if it isn’t about the house or hotel, what is the meaning of marriage? I’ll give you a hint: it’s serious. And such a serious commitment should start with just as serious a gesture!

It’s better on bended knee
The idea of proposing on bended knee has unclear historical origins, but it is distinctly  similar to other rituals which are conducted likewise, for example, religious ceremonies or honours from distinguished persons. Basically, it signifies a humble, earnest action or request. There’s no better way to make a play for your partner’s hand in marriage than on bended knee.

Marriage should start with good ole’ fashioned romance
Over time, lust fizzles and love becomes a very difficult daily decision. When he starts to treat the house floor like a universal laundry basket, you’re going to wish for a hefty dose of romance. Starting marriage with heart-fluttering proposal means you’ll have a better chance at re-enacting the romance when the going gets tough.

We should be made to feel special when saying ‘yes’
Let’s be honest – we feel most special when we’re being cuddled, wined and dined or being told repeatedly how special we really are. Needless to say, we’re more likely to say ‘yes’ when we are feeling these warm and fluffy emotions.

Wonderful memories last forever
To make good memories last, they actually have to happen. Make a great memory with some quality time together and a romantic dinner before popping the life-altering question.

You need to have a good story to tell the kids
Imagine the doom you’ll feel when your little tots ask, “How did daddy propose to you?” Sadly, you’ll have to tell them the truth. And if that truth isn’t fluffy and romantic, you’ll just be stealing all the faith, trust and pixie dust from their childhood.

As for me, I’ll have a marvellous story to tell our children. Mr. Right whisked me away to Australia, and popped the question (on bended knee) after a romantic dinner and walk by a river. And you know what? I love and respect him all the more for it.

Alisa Chopard is a writer and a lover of all things satisfying, including good food and fabulous fashion.