Sheryl Sandberg is celebrating Valentine’s Day by urging women to take charge of their proposals, revealing that she helped plan her engagement to her fiancé Tom Bernthal.
The Facebook COO, who announced her engagement earlier this month, took to social media on Friday to share an empowering message about how women should be more proactive in their romantic relationships.
‘There’s a conversation I keep having. I meet an amazing young woman. We talk about her career and goals. She’s full of plans and energy. Then we talk about her relationship — and the vibe changes,’ Sandberg, 50, explained.
Taking charge: Sheryl Sandberg, 50, took to social media on Friday to post an empowering Valentine’s Day message about women being more proactive in their romantic relationships
Leaning in: Sandberg said she helped plan her own engagement to her fiancé Tom Bernthal, explaining that they picked the weekend together and he planned the trip
‘”I’m waiting for him to propose.” “I don’t want to pressure him.” “I hope I’ll be engaged soon.” It seems to me that many women take charge of their lives in every way except dating and marriage,’ she noted. ‘I mean dating between women and men. Same-sex couples aren’t bound by the idea that one gender should propose.’
Sandberg pointed out that women will plan their entire lives, but when it comes to marriage, they’re too ‘nervous’ to tell their boyfriends they want to say ‘I do.’
‘They don’t hand the reins of their educations or careers to someone else — but they wait for their boyfriends to make this huge decision for them,’ she said. ‘It’s like we want Prince Charming on a white horse.
‘We’re taught gender stereotypes: men are supposed to sweep us off our feet. Women learn that when we speak up for ourselves, we’re less likeable,’ she continued. ‘But Prince Charming has no horse. We need to walk into our futures on our own two feet.’
Sandberg said this topic has been on her mind because she had just gotten engaged, explaining that she believes women can have both romance and a say in their proposals.
Keeping it real: The businesswoman noted that many women ‘wait for their boyfriends to make this huge decision for them’ instead of telling them what they want
‘Part of me wanted the fairy tale,’ she admitted. ‘But I think you can have it without taking yourself out of the decision.’
The businesswoman said she and Bernthal, 46, said she talked about their engagement and planned it together, noting the conversations were ‘quite romantic.’
‘We chose the weekend together,’ she explained. ‘Then he planned the trip, hike, and picnic. Yes, he got down on one knee. And when he proposed, he had a letter for me — and I had a letter for him, because we took this step together.
‘Tradition can be beautiful. If you want that surprise proposal, I hope you get it,’ she added. ‘But if you can’t talk to your boyfriend about marriage, you’re either dating the wrong person or you’re not giving him credit for being the right person.’
Sandberg, who wrote about equality in her 2013 bestseller Lean In, reiterated that equality at home ‘starts with equality in dating.’
Look of love: Sandberg shared this photo to announce her engagement earlier this month, writing: ‘Engaged!!! Tom Bernthal, you are my everything. I could not love you more’
Finding love: The businesswoman was introduced to Bernthal by her late husband Dave Goldberg’s brother Rob. She is pictured with Goldberg in 2013, two years before his death
‘Equality is romantic,’ she stressed. ‘This Valentine’s Day, my wish is that half of candlelit dinners are prepared by men and half of proposals are made by women. And that Prince Charmings send their horses back to the barn.’
Sandberg and Bernthal, the co-founder and CEO of Kelton Global, announced on February 3 that they are engaged after less than a year of dating.
She posted the happy news online, writing: ‘Engaged!!! Tom Bernthal, you are my everything. I could not love you more.’
Their engagement comes five years after the death of her husband Dave Goldberg, who suffered a heart attack at age 47 while on vacation in Mexico to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
The couple, who were introduced by Goldberg’s brother, went public with their romance last summer. Bernthal is understood to have popped the question with a ring that has five diamonds to represent each of their five children.
A source told People that Bernthal proposed on February 1 after a hike in Vermejo Park Ranch on the border of New Mexico and Colorado that ‘recreated their first date.’
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg led the congratulations, replying to Sandberg’s post, writing: ‘Congrats! You’re wonderful for each other and I’m so happy for both of you.’