In a heterosexual relationship, the man traditionally proposes to the woman and the actual proposal often has a ritual quality, involving the presentation of a ring (an engagement ring) and the formalized asking of a question such as "Will you marry me?
This section is in advanced English and is only intended to be a guide, not to be taken too seriously! Marriage is usually initiated by a proposal of marriage, simply called "a proposal".
Still, when I met my first girlfriend in 2007, a ballerina who had recently moved from San Francisco, I was immediately taken aback by an overarching obsession with status and money.
She had a vision of the man she was going to marry: tall, dark, handsome, and a millionaire.
If the proposal is accepted, the couple become engaged.
After all, as she put it, "dancers don't make a lot of money." I wasn't the guy that could spoon feed her, so it ended.
But surely not all American girls thought British men had an endless supply of money?
And yet, the end game for every character turned out to be a conventional, heterosexual relationship.
The show, when it finished, saw the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte neatly tied up with the sort of happy ending that you don’t always get in life.