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Open Mike           July/August 2000

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Open Mike is a forum for readers on a specific topic that will change every one or two months. The forum includes Your Turn, an opportunity for readers to share anecdotes and opinions related to the chosen topic. Conversely editors and writers select the most interesting entries and post them the following month In This Corner!

For our readers who don't have time to write but want to share their opinions, Open Mike also features a Three-Minute Survey - not the typical, simplistic Internet poll, but a set of five questions related to the monthly topic. When the survey is completed, we will publish Survey Says: a brief article analyzing the results.
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Survey Says:

Is the romantic marriage proposal dead?
Results from our July/August 2000 Three-Minute Survey

Not surprisingly, everyone wants to be practical and romantic at the same time. The large majority of respondents were in favor of discussing a proposal ahead of time, and setting at least a rough time frame for it to happen - but they still wanted the proposer (not necessarily the man, as many pointed out) to go for maximum romantic impact.

Nearly every respondent agreed that some discussion must take place before a proposal, nearly half wanted "extensive" conversation before the fact. With regard to timing, most men and women appear to like the notion of having at least a rough idea of when the actual golden moment will take place. However, a not-trivial number of ladies were willing to forego any notice and leave it all up to the men.

Moving into the question of surprise, there were very few that considered proposals gimmicky. Men were roughly split between those that would like to go for "maximum impact" and those that would prefer something more modest and dignified. Twice as many women preferred the idea of an elaborate, very surprising setup vs. that of a more laid-back, and perhaps less romantic moment.

Overall, men and women expressed similar views in all questions, with one exception. When asked if they thought the prior discussion of proposals diminished their "romantic" nature, most men said no, but over a third of women said yes, discussion makes the proposal a charade. Interestingly, these "yes" women - with virtually no exceptions - also wanted men to try very, very hard to surprise them. It would appear that, charade or not, the ladies will still hold out for the super romantic proposal, on the off chance they might get it...

Note: Numeric results are not quoted, so as to preclude the appearance that this is anything else other than an entirely non-scientific survey.

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