I proposed to my boyfriend and here's why it was perfect for us…

September 21 | Guest post by Selena Luna
I proposed to my boyfriend and here's why it was perfect for us...
Engagement Card from TickTockPress

My totally awesome fiancé and I are engaged. It was so difficult for me to propose to him. I grew up with a ton of stories about how men are supposed to propose to women, how they should create the perfect, amazing story. I watched tons of flash mob proposals with internet videos. I watched opera proposals. And movie proposals. And same-sex hardware store proposals. Then I met my now fiancé and realized that none of those things worked for us, and that we needed to rewrite the story…

Why are you proposing? You're a girl!

My fiancé and I were together for three years. At about two years, he mentioned that he had proposed to his ex-wife, and that he thought he would like to be proposed to. This became something of a joke between the two of us, but it also made me begin to think — why shouldn't I propose to him? I knew that if I did so, it will happen sooner than if I wait for him, but I'm perfectly fine with that and I think he would be, too. We continued to talk about our ongoing life. We talked about the possibility of children (we both want them), about what a wedding might look like (small, not religious at all, inexpensive), about living together (we have actually moved in together, but it's super recent), and about our health as a couple.

We live in a place where it is almost impossible to get an apartment as a couple unless you are engaged, married, or knocked up. We didn't want to get married just to live together, and having kids this year is not an option for me for health reasons, but we saw no reason not to present ourselves as engaged. We had an added complication, however. We are both teachers, and in order to move in together, one of us would have to leave our current school. It wound up being me, and my students were distraught that I was leaving. I explained that I was engaged (even though I technically wasn't at the time) and they asked me how he proposed. My fiancé and I agreed that I would propose, and so I told them that I had done so. They asked THE QUESTION: "Why did you propose?! You're THE GIRL!"

Here is the answer: I love him. I want to spend my life loving him. I know he loves me and wants to spend his life with me. There is no good reason for me NOT to be the one to propose. I don't consider cultural or traditional reasons to be good enough reasons (I totally get that some people do see culture and tradition as great reasons and that is totally awesome). It's culture that demands that the man decides when he's ready to get married. So, instead of giving in to cultural demands, I did what was best for him and me as a couple, and I proposed to him.

How did you ask him?

It took forever to figure out how to propose. I get very nervous talking in front of groups of adults, and getting down on one knee isn't my thing anyway. In the end, I decided to write a letter explaining how amazing he is and ending with me asking him to marry me. I also bought a cheap ring with the intention of getting a nicer ring for each of us when it comes time to get married. I even dug out my grandmother's old wedding ring for me to wear, as a convenient prop for when I tell people I'm engaged.

I put his ring in a fairly complicated puzzle box, along with the letter. He didn't suspect the puzzle box was a ring at first because I've been giving him puzzle boxes for various presents for a while, but this one was much more difficult than the last one. I gave him the box a couple of nights before his birthday, and it took him until the night before his birthday to open it, but when he did, he read the note and he said, "You're silly. Of course I'll marry you." That was that.

What happened next?

I did this while we were on vacation. We were staying with his mom at that point, going to see my family over the next couple of days, and seeing other family and friends after that. We eventually told everyone and we got the same questions over and over about whether a friend can officiate, when the wedding is, how the pets feel about this new development, and what the colors are. All we know is we love each other, our pets, nerdiness, science, and books, and that's enough.

I think that every newly engaged couple gets these questions, so we're not too far outside of what is expected. We are ecstatic to be engaged for real. We are thrilled to have a story. The ring I got totally did not fit, so we ordered a better one that will fit, and we'll get professionally fitted when it comes time for the real rings. We're talking to our parents about finances and whether we can hold the ceremony in my parents' backyard. We're looking at the laws in Colorado to make sure we can still self-officiate if we need to, to be able to have whomever we want officiate at the ceremony.

We'll start answering the other questions when we're good and ready.

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  1. You have impressive patience! You had to wait until the NEXT DAY before he could even open the box the letter was in?! When I proposed I just said "Do you want to get married?"; I couldn't have waited that long for an answer! I don't know how you managed to act like everything was as usual for that long after giving him the letter/puzzle box. Congratulations on your engagement!

    1 agrees
    • Oh, I completely didn't act normal. I kept asking him, "Did you open the box yet? Did you open the box yet? How about that box? Is it open yet" all day long, except for the 90 or so minutes we were at dinner with his friends. I'm terrible at keeping secrets.

  2. I love this so much.
    My fiancé and I had been talking about getting engaged and he told me he was going to propose within the next year. And then every time we did a fun or "special" thing, the traditional, grown-up on Disney and rom-com voice in my head would wonder if he was going to propose then.
    It was frustratingly always in the back of my mind, so one day we went to an animal sanctuary and went on a steam train and had a perfectly lovely day and again I thought "oh gee, I thought maybe it was gunna be today". Then I though screw it, we've talked about it, we want to get married, why am I waiting for him to ask??
    So I asked him (on a bus, surrounded by tourists coming home from this perfect day. I put "our" song on my phone and made him listen and then asked him. There were happy tears and excitement and I am so glad I asked. But it's been so bizarre the amount of people who have said "so how did he do it?" I feel somehow proud of myself that I was the one that asked. 🙂

    1 agrees
  3. I proposed to my boyfriend of 8 years last month too! I turned our entire apartment into an escape room that ended with a box that required the word code "WYMM?" in order to open it (and his ring was inside). I totally get you, people are super taken aback when they find out that I was the one that proposed. But like you said, it makes sense. We are equal partners and have just as much say in this as our guys do. He has his ring and he got me my own engagement ring a few weeks later, so now we match. 🙂 congrats and hell yes, lady!

    1 agrees
    • That's a cool idea! I might have tried it, but we were in the middle of unpacking boxes when we went on vacation. It totally would not have worked out.

  4. Aaaand… Another group of kids, another set of sexist thoughts to weed out. I was just asked again today: isn't the guy supposed to propose. *shakes head* I just need to explain calmly and rationally why this kid is being ludicrous. All the time.

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