How that whole "proposing to my boyfriend" thing turned out

Last month I was interviewed for an article in an Irish magazine called U Magazine about women proposing to their boyfriends as part of Leap Day. Granted, I didn't propose to Andreas on a Leap Day — I had no idea women needed a special day to propose. I proposed to him on New Year's, when I felt like it.

Anyway, for a look at the whole "proposing to your boyfriend" phenomenon (and some revealing truths about how it worked out for me), you can read the article.

(Oh and PS: and we've got lots more proposal stories.)

  1. THANK YOU! If I read one more story that goes, "My partner isn't ready to get married so I'm going to sit quietly and wait for a ring," I am going to barf.

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  2. As a born and reared Dublin girl I saw this and 'wooped' BIG TIME! I'm forever spreading the word of the OBB community among my peers, it was great to see some recognition in Ireland!

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  3. It boggles my mind that this is still considered unusual! I proposed to my boyfriend, and even my liberal, feminist, modern friends and coworkers assumed he'd done the proposing. I got questions like, "Were you surprised (when he asked)?" Um, no, because I asked *him*!

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    • Yes, I had the same thing. I proposed and then he proposed back with my ring. Well EVERYONE and their dog assumes he asked because they knew I was waiting. When I tell the story, most are happy but I do get some weird or sad looks. hahaha oh well.

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    • I usually get "Aww, how did he ask you?", and the only response I've come up with has been a confused "He didn't."

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  4. I don't even understand proposals, really. I mean, people have them! And they're romantic and awesome and sweet! And I get that it could be fun to make it a big deal? But, like… I dunno. I definitely just see me and my partner having a conversation and then being all, "Huh, I guess we'll get married, then!" And then we would go and get pretty rings for both of us. My partner likes proposals, but doesn't really care who proposes to whom. I think maybe I just get awkward about spectacles and want to keep everything low-key? But I enjoy other peoples' proposal stories while I secretly think "I am so glad that wasn't me! But it is so great that it was you!" … so. Yes.

    Also, I am BROKE-ASS-BROKE, so we both know that if I end up proposing, there will be no ring.

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    • I can appreciate this. We basically had that conversation of "Yeah, let's get married eventually". But it was a lot of fun setting up an elaborate proposal (at Disneyworld!) and made for good stories. :) It also kind of marked the starting point of planning the actual wedding, instead of just "let's get married in the future".

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    • This was totally us. We picked out the (inexpensive!) ring together, he told me as soon as it came in, and, while he had asked that I let *him* propose (which I thought was adorable, since he totally knew I'd ask him if he didn't), he did it while we were sitting together on the couch, face-to-face. No kneeling, no surprises, just us agreeing that we were ready – and being WICKED excited. It was perfect.

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    • From wikipedia: "The term post-feminism is ill-defined and is used in inconsistent ways."

      Just contributing to the inconsistency! :)

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  5. My boyfriend proposed to me with a ring and a couple months later I proposed to him with a ring. I think it's really cool that we both have engagement rings.

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    • That's what I did! I wanted to do mine on the same day, but his ring didn't arrive in time.

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    • This was us, too! It was important to my partner-in-crime to propose first, and I was okay with that. He had some serious ring-envy, so when I had money to spare, I bought him a ring and re-proposed! It was awesome.

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    • We did this too. The great part for me was when we ordered our rings they said his would take a month but, it only took a week. So he had no idea I had it. After he proposed I pulled out his ring box and asked him to marry me.

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  6. I proposed to my bf one morning before we got outta bed, "Blaine will you marry me?" "of course" "good I already got the ring" lol a ringtone aunt gave me love hand me down jewelry

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  7. Yea totally was a girl who wanted the guy to do it….and i told him there were 2 ways he could….at a Blue Man show….or LIVE on the air at Kidd Kraddick in the morning….take a wild guess which he chose? LOL *hint* we don't live anywhere near a BMG venue. *hint* he works within a few blocks of the radio studio. LOL :) It was so anti-climatic…it was hilarious. Didn't even have a ring yet…he bought a cheap band and we failed the "how well do you know your *boyfriend* test. Hey I can't help I really didn't know the guys' favorite movie, but I knew he wore a size 13 shoe!

    HAHAHAH!!! I love any story that brings people together. :) <3 Itz so cool to read everyone's take on what is what and that is that. :)

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  8. YAYZ for grrlies proposing! I was done waiting, so I decided this past Halloween was time, but I was afraid I was going to back out, or worse, not be able to spit out the words…so while he napped, I carved our pumpkin. The front was Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man meeting up, ad on the back I carved 'will you marry me'. It worked ;)

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  9. I am no woman to wait for something I want, so I proposed to my partner several times. And was always rebuffed. And then he proposed, and I said yes. The feminist in me is dying a little at how things turned out, but you couldn't say I didn't try (and anyway, he knew what I wanted!).

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    • Right there with you, in that same awkward position. Why didn't I propose? Because he made it clear that he was going to say "no" if I did, and if/when he was ready, he'd ask me.

      It hurt at the time, but fortunately we're in a better place now (and he feels bad about ever hesitating in the first place), but, yeah. Asking first doesn't always work.

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  10. On our first anniversary, after we'd already talked about getting married but were just waiting for an opportune moment, we were at a beer dinner and I leaned over and whispered to Himself "Will you marry me?" and he said, "Of course!" and then got this panicky look on his face and stammered, "But… but that's not, like, the real proposal! I mean, I'm proposing to you, like whenever I do it. Right?! Of course we're getting married, but this doesn't count!" It was hysterical. He had the ring and was waiting for nice weather to do a romantic outdoor proposal and when he finally did, after accepting, I said, "Let's not forget who proposed first!"

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  11. I've been agonizing over proposing to my boyfriend. Salt to earth, there are days where the question is just sitting in my mouth and I have to work at keeping it from bubbling out. Other days I go in circles wondering if I need to plan something crazy, should I have an engagement item for him, do I need to tell his family first?!

    It's weird because I feel like with all the talk of planning weddings that my lady friends have, they can't seem to offer feedback or advice on proposing. Well, other than saying, "Don't."

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    • I just learned that trying to talk to people with very traditional ideas about weddings (read: almost everyone in the midwest, or so it seems) is frustrating and pointless. I'm so glad there are places like this online where I can get my feminist-wedding fix.

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      • Amen! I always assumed growing up that marriage would never be for me 'cause I was always called weird and couldn't seem to fit in. Now I'm realizing that there are people like me and that concepts like being a wife and a mom are totally flexible.

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  12. I totally respect the women that propose because I am a feminist till death do us part but, I am sorry, I have to say "no thank you". We as women do A LOT. Taking care of the wedding (mostly) as well as husbands and children. The men help, sure but. women carry a lot in a family. We deserve a little fricking romance for CS!! The least they can do is man-up and ask for us to be their wives. Maybe I am old fashion, but proposing is a mans job. Personally, I do think that most men need a little "encouragement" like "Hellllooo, can we get engaged already?" before they get their crap together. There are exceptions to every rule, but a man that is ready for marriage is the man you want to marry, the man that has the cajones to get the ring and make it happen is the man for me. I waited three years for my fiance to propose and believe you me, I was more than ready. I would have never proposed to him….ever. I would have, however, not the let the door hit him on the ass on the way out if he waited another year (or more) to propose. I am a woman in high demand, and I have a man who was not going to watch me get away. Proposing is about timing. Sometimes both people are not ready at the same time. I mean, if you read the stories, it is clear that even if the guys said yes, they did not actually get married until THEY were ready, which is when they would have proposed. Who wants to be engaged for 5 years? It's about timing, some men will never be ready because they just won't and I have seen too many friends with THAT guy. Proposing is men's work. Just like football.

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    • You're entitled to your opinions, but if "proposing is men's work," then how are lesbian or trans couples supposed to get engaged?

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    • My comment is in response to the article which was about hetero couples.

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    • I respect your opinion also but, I find this attitude slightly judgmental and offensive. Please do not generalize men and make them all seem like slow witted idiots who have no clue their girlfriends may want to get married. No one should need to "man up" to anything. Also men deserve romance as much as woman do, and hey some women don't like romance or don't want it. I'm also not sure proposing should really be "work". For us it was more of making a decision we had made, together six months before, official.

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      • For many hetero couples–and I'm talking mainstream, fairly traditional couples, not so much "offbeat" ones–the proposal is the man's big chance to be romantic, the moment he's dreamt about just like the woman has been brought up, culturally, to dream about her wedding and to feel it's primarily hers to plan. It's fine–great, even!–to not do it that way, but in my case I would've felt I was robbing DH of *his* big moment if I'd beat him to the proposal! So I can see your side of it, Christine. Most of us grew up with the image of the man proposing in every movie, song, book, etc. We *have* been shown countless images of proposing as "man's work". Whether we add "…and I love it that way!" or "…and that doesn't work for me!" to that norm is an individual preference. S'all good. :)

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  13. My partner and I get to coast on a lot of straight privilege because on paper and in the most public of places, we're pretty clearly both holding up a side of the gender binary. However, we both hold pretty dearly to our own respective queer identities while both being adamantly feminist. Plus, he's a totally fancy princess, so I really *wanted* to propose to him. I knew it would make him super happy, so I made him an illustrated poem, bound into a book. It had elements of shit we both love – Adventure Time, Kate Beaton, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Totoro and octopuses. It was a lot of work and it showed. I bought him a gorgeous ring on Etsy, too. So we *both* got to have a mega romance moment, nothing was taken away at all from the fact that I did it, and everyone responded SUPER positively to how the exchange went down. LOVE IS AWESOME.

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  14. My first husband proposed to me. This past February I proposed to my future husband. As the person in the relationship with a divorce, the ball was on my court when it came to getting married. We had spoken of marriage many times, but he respected the fact that I needed to feel ready to do it again. It took me several months of planning before I popped the question. I ordered matching bracelets, convinced him to go to the hot springs to celebrate valentine's day and planned a picnic lunch. During the few weeks leading up to the proposal, I was consumed with nerves and anxiety. On February 18, we spent the morning soaking in the hotsprings. Then we headed over to the car to have lunch. After dessert, I gave him a card and asked him to marry me – voice all shaky and eyes full of tears… He said "yes," of course. We cried and held each other for what felt like hours. He said to me "it is nice to know that someone wants you for the rest of your life." I have never felt so vulnerable and overjoyed in my life…As a side note, I have always been a supporter of marriage equality. However, being able to ask my boyfriend to marry me – the happiness I derived from that moment – made me even more aware of how cruel it is to deprive gay and lesbian couples of that same right.

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  15. Okay well I feel pretty ready now. Up until now, I'd been quite unsure of what the point of marriage was…

    Especially since we've been together for seven years, already own an apartment together, have pets, decided not to breed, get along fabulously, share the same bank accounts and not really interested in parting anytime soon. Might as well make it official.

    But I am hesitating. Partially because I'm really not interested in an actual wedding (I'd be okay with throwing a small party or something), and of course the fact that you don't know how bad someone is for you until you leave them. Always doubting.

    But anyway, I'd like to get on with it but I don't want to have to propose. I mean, I would be too embarrassed by public displays or might even cringe by any sort of lovey dovey stuff… but seriously! I'm sick of being in charge of this stuff! I want to be surprised for once. He gets all the v-day gifts and thoughtful things, I get squat. Just gimme this one thing!

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  16. I disagree with the lack of romance. I proposed to Eric on Feb 12th. I was so very nervous. I tied his ring to a bow that I put around his cats neck. It took him 4 tries to even see the ring. But when he did he read the engraving which said "Marry Me". He said okay which is what is going to be engraved on my ring.
    If I had waited we would have been about 80 before he popped the question. (He is a bit of a procrastinator) I wasn't worried about tradition or what people would say I just wanted to marry him. And I knew I wanted to ask in a memorable way. I understand why women would want men to propose however there is something special about getting to ask the question in a way that will make your significant other go all mushy! The planning process was quite exciting for me. I was worried that he would say no but I knew he would appreciate the gesture. Especially since I included his favorite feline. I think that if you want marry someone you should ask them it doesn't matter what tradition says.

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  17. I proposed to my boyfriend on February 29th. Early on in the relationship, he told me that he used to dream that one day a woman would love him enough to propose to him. From then on, I wanted to do it.

    I only did it on Leap Day because I thought my mother might be less than thrilled, and I thought it might help to have tradition on my side. When I was in middle school, she would tell me, "Don't call the boy first, let him call you," and I would say, "Mom, we have a group project and if I don't call him I will end up doing to whole thing myself." And when I told her I planned to propose, her response was, "Well, why don't you wait for him to do it?" Because neither of us wanted that, actually. Plus St. Brigid said I could, supposedly.

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  18. I think waiting can be a valuable experience. We knew we wanted to get married two months into the relationship but waiting until he proposed to make it official. I decided to wait because I wanted to make sure he was ready. It was hard to be patient but it was good for us because I have to learn to slow things down sometimes and let him take things at his own pace. In a heteronormative relationship the woman is typically thinking about and ready for this stuff way before the guy is and waiting for him can be a good thing for both but it should never be a rule, each couple needs what's right for them.

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  19. When it was time my husband simply asked if I wanted to go ring shopping…..no proposal or anything movie-like, and I LOVED it. It was a mutual agreement and felt so natural and comfortable.

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  20. I subscribe to U Magazine here in Ireland so I was delighted to see your inclusion in one of their articles.

    Also love the photo of you both with baby Octavian !

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  21. I also proposed to my future husband on the 29th of Feb. We'd been talking about it a lot, and I'd been planning to propose for ages.

    My love loves penguins and so I set a path of pebbles from our front door to the bedroom, proposing when he got home from work. With a candy ring. (He also put one on me. We are having them varnished and framed.)

    He then produced a ring-box and said: You're awesome, will you marry me?

    So we asked each other and bought the ring and wedding bands two days later.

    Wonderful start/way to continue.

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  22. I proposed to my boyfriend oh….. 2-3 hours ago. We had a very nice doggie Easter egg hunt in the back yard, and a few hidden eggs in his room. One of his eggs had a ring with a green ribbon tied to it with the words "Will You Marry Me?" written on it. When he grabbed the egg, I started the song "Marry You" by Bruno Mars on my kindle. He opened the egg, and looked at me a moment while I was singing the song softly to him. He said "Of course, though I'm a little upset you beat me to it." He said he was planning to do it the first weekend in June, but there is NO WAY I would have wanted to wait that long. Super nervous, super in love, super fun!!

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  23. I felt a big wash of relief when I asked my dude. I wanted to be engaged since 1.2 years in but he wasn't ready. For our 5 year anniversary I didn't want to wait any longer. I gave him till 11pm to propose if he had been planning to (in case he spent more than 2 weeks coming up with the perfect plan). That was also the time we had our first kiss on our first date. I wrote a book about the story of us if we were a fairy tale and included pictures of us. Instead of a ring I presented him with a hookah since he would enjoy it more. Only problem with the proposal was that it broke him! He couldn't talk properly until the next day and couldn't give me an answer till about 3 weeks later. But after the question was out I didn't worry about why we weren't engaged or where we were heading. I knew that the question was out there and I could finaly relax.

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  24. I proposed to my husband as well. We had decided together that we wanted to get married, then we decided that since we have to wear the rings the rest of our lives we better love them so we designed our own rings. I had his custom made and he got mine custom made, but neither of us knew exact details of timing, so basically it was a race to see who would get the other's ring and propose first. Anyways, LONG story short, I won, and we actually ended up with 3 proposals (all answered with a "Yes" of course) and are now happily married. :)

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