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Tamra Judge has witnessed Vicki Gunvalson go through multiple relationships during their time on The Real Housewives of Orange County. When they met, Vicki was still married to her ex-husband, Donn Gunvalson. Vicki’s now been with her current boyfriend, Steve Lodge, for more than two years, and whoops a tipsy Tamra decided to tell Steve it’s time to propose.
And why is this her business? Because Steve’s not having it.
Well, for one, Tamra told The Daily Dish podcast that with Steve’s influence, she’s seen some significant changes in Vicki. So she is coming from a good place.
”I think she's really trying as a person to be more caring for others and she's doing a pretty good job. I think maybe Steve has a lot to do with it. I think he's a pretty good influence on her. He seems like a really nice guy," she said.
But trying to convince someone to propose is still crossing the line, no matter what your motives are.
It happened again on RHOC this season when Vicki asked her son, Michael Wolfsmith, if he’s going to propose to his girlfriend, Dani. Michael admits he isn’t sure he or Dani believe in marriage. Vicki insists “every girl wants to get married” — “every girl” (most likely) meaning “Vicki.
Rachel A. Sussman, New York City-based therapist and relationship expert tells Personal Space that feeling pressured to get married and start a family is very common, and explains how to tell loved ones you’re comfortable with your relationship status.
“Well obviously it’s uncomfortable for anyone going through that, it is uncomfortable,” she says. “We do much to launch our children into the world as adults and we want them to feel comfortable making adult decisions. In many ways [pressuring someone you love to get engaged] is saying we don’t trust you’re capable of making your own decisions.”
If you are the one being pressured, Sussman advises the following:
“Say ‘thanks for showing me that you love me and that you care, but if it comes up more than once, it’s ‘this is my life and this feels intrusive.’ It might even make someone want to go in the opposite direction than what’s being advised. You’re really asking them in a nice way to back off. If they don’t back off you create boundaries, and that may mean not seeing the for a while.”
If you’re the one doing the pressuring:
“Marriage is hard and the divorce rate is high, you’d never want to feel responsible if you pressured them and they weren’t ready, that would be a terrible experience,” Sussman says. “A parent has every right to say ‘you’ve been dating him or her for a very long time and you’re such a great couple, do you ever talk about making it more permanent?’ But that’s it. Outside of that, stay out of it.”
Sussman says the only time you should ever voice concern about someone’s partner is if you think a loved one may be in an abusive relationship or you have a serious concern.
“Otherwise there are only ever two ways to talk about it,” she adds. “One, ‘I just want you to know we really love this person, do you talk about making it more permanent?’ and two, ‘I’m not putting pressure on you at all, we just want you to know we're supportive of this relationship.’”
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