Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns
Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns



One of the things I learned from my reader survey was how many of you identified yourselves as "ladies in waiting," i.e. women biding their time until their boyfriends propose. Well, girls: STOP WAITING! If you're into questioning traditions, start by questioning the very first assumption about weddings: that a woman's role is waiting for a man to pick her.

I know: it's scary right? You're thinking, "What if he says no?" Well, no one said taking your life by the reins would be easy, and the anxieties and fears of rejection that come up around proposing give you great insight into some of the cultural pressures men traditionally experience.

Proposing is definitely scary, and I'm speaking from personal experience here. As those of you who've read my book know, I actually proposed to Andreas …

On our third anniversary, we went to this pottery painting place. As I'd planned, I painted a big plate with a picture of us holding hands. (Yes, we were naked in the painting. I like painting butts!)

Above the little people, I painted the words "Psst: will you marry me?" Then I put my grandmother's diamond wedding ring onto the plate and slid it across the table to Andreas.

He looked at the plate. He looked up at me.

I looked at him. Nothing happened.

"…Well, will you?" I said.

"Of course!" he said, and I exhaled in relief.

"…But you don't mean, like, IMMEDIATELY, right?" he said. "I mean, of course we're spending the rest of our lives together. But there's no rush, right?"

"Er, I guess not…" I said.

"Awesome!" he said. "I love you!" And then he went back to painting.

I sat and freaked out a bit, but nothing had really changed: we were still just as committed and someday we would get married. Just not quite yet, evidently.

"No rush," in our case, meant getting married three years later.

Grab the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and tell it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way.

This is all to say that I know that it's scary and intimidating and hard. (It should be noted that Andreas has expressed feeling sort of bad for how he handled the proposal. I mean, it all worked out ok, but it wasn't the stuff of swelling violins and magical twinkly lights.)

Of course not all men want to be proposed to, and you know your boyfriend best … I'm thinking that chances are good that if he loves you for being a sassy independently-minded offbeat girlfriend, he's the kind of guy who would appreciate tipping an old tradition on its ear.

When you propose to your boyfriend, you're taking a huge first step toward grabbing the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and telling it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way. It's an exercise in taking ownership of your life and your journey through it. It's your way of saying, "I'm not going to drop hints to get what I want — I'm going to apply that energy to building the courage to do it myself." This isn't just about proposals. It's about knowing what you want and feeling strong enough in yourself to just go get it.

This isn't to say that it's not a wonderful thing when men propose. Ideally, any proposal is the result of many conversations about what marriage means to both you, why you're committed to each other, etc. It should never really be "popping the question."

But if you've had conversations about commitment and you're ready to get married — STOP WAITING!

Read part 2: How to propose to your boyfriend

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  1. In theory, I agree entirely. In practice, there are varying levels of offbeatness in any relationship – I've always been pretty stridently feminist and unique in my gender and relationship ideals. And although he's the most caring, genuine-equality-treating man (or woman) I've ever dated, he's also Southern and only slowly openning up to more lefty self-identification. Frankly, it's not the titles that are inportant but how you're treated (and my male "feminist" ex was a total ass.)

    So we work to balance the things that are important to each other: I didn't want a ring, but it's important to him, so I made him agree to recycled metals and no diamonds (and also to wearing an e-ring himself!). I'm ready to get married but not bothered with waiting, so I'll wait till he's ready to propose.

    And in this case, his age and Southern background mean a more traditional proposal process. Since we're certain on the life-partner front, I'm willing to wait and smile when I recieve a ring and bended knee proposal.

  2. Being a lady-in-waiting isn't all bad. I guess I feel a little defensive about this because it came up in a comment I made about the changes being made to the site here.

    I'm the breadwinner of our family, and the cook. As far as we're concerned, we're "married in Kansas already" (since they have common-law marriage and we plan to make it official next time we go home) but to my Bear, it's important to keep some things egalitarian, and not swing the pendulum too far the other way… he wants to do something special to propose "officially" and I refuse to take that from him. "Sometime this year" now that it's 2009, and he's been saving for a while and wants to take a trip to Montana to mine our own sapphires for our engagement rings and swords, we'll have our "official" engagement. So yes, we're planning, and I'm waiting, and I think it's beautiful, and nothing to be sad about. I don't want anyone feeling sad for me because I'm planning and not "officially engaged."

    If anything, I'm a little saddened that in a place I felt it was safer than most to be in this position, there's pressure to "just do it already" myself, or to be different, but in a certain way.

    I liked that reading your book, Ariel, and your blog, and being a part of the OBBT made me feel like I was among a smaller but supportive group than the traditional WIC. I hope that doesn't change – creation of an Offbeat Wedding Industrial Complex just adds a letter to an already uncomfortable acronym.

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  3. I asked my guy what he would say if I proposed. He said he would say no! I'm pretty sure he said that because he knew that I really wanted him to propose to me. I was patient. I waited. And he finally proposed while on vacation in Mexico and we got married in August. 🙂

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you wrote about this. I was really thinking about this when people were commenting that they couldn't buy the book because they were waiting to get engaged. The waiting message over and over again seemed weird.

    In our case I was ready before he was ready… so I needed to give him space and time to get ready, so he did the asking. Of course, by that point, many a discussion had been had, and rings had even been looked at. That was how we knew we were really ready 🙂

    Great great post. And I too love the plate.

  5. This is my first comment on OBB and I just wanted to say, Fuck Yeah!

    I proposed to my boyfriend last month with vampire rings (although I considered doing it with jelly ones from a vending machine). A lot of people were confused and apprehensive, as if I had somehow committed sacrilege, but Boy was so happy. I think he still might propose to me with a more traditional ring at a later time, I'm more than happy when I tell people I'm engaged to show them our interlocking teeth rings 😀

  6. I proposed … twice. Once, years ago, as a lark (via email) and again, the weekend before Thanksgiving (2008.) The second time, I was serious and heartfelt. He said yes.

    Since I was the one who freaked out every time the "m-word" even came out, it seemed appropriate that I should be the one to propose. It was worth the risk and stress and pit-of-stomach knot to see his face light up with delight when, after my rambling and hesitation-filled speech, I finally got to the question.

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  7. Liz: I think your situation sounds lovely! Waiting for your man to propose because you love and respect him and his desire to do something special for you – that's just as offbeat as any other proposal here. You're not a lady-in-waiting because it's what tradition dictates, you're waiting because it's what YOU want and have decided is best for you as a couple.

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  8. I am one of the ladies-in-waiting from the survey, and you know, I am happy with that. You see, all my guy friends tell me that "you don't propose unless you are SURE the girl will say yes", and while I know i am ready to say yes, I also know he isn't. Once I know he is ready to say yes I am more than happy to ask (have the cuff links ready and waiting and everything), but I am hoping he asks first, because I want the proposal, and I am not ashamed of that either.

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  9. I proposed to my fiance — but I chose to do it several months after he first proposed to me. He proposed to me on New Year's Eve 2007 and I went to study abroad two weeks later. When he came to visit me in London for 10 days, I wanted to make it extra-special and to take an opportunity to give a long and romantic schpeil of my own. I even got him an engagement ring with a small diamond embedded in the band. He may not remember the name of the bridge we were sitting on when I whipped it out and kneeled before him, but he'll always remember the way my eyes sparkled when he said yes.

  10. I proposed to my FH on Valentine's Day last year. Yes, it was completely cheesy, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.. it was just so us 🙂 . I cooked us a nice dinner at home, bought him a ring, and we had a nice candle light dinner. Even though I ended up burning our dessert AND spilling my wine because I was so nervous, it was a funny story to tell our family later. He's super shy, so I knew that he'd take FOREVER if I didn't just go for it. He bought be a ring in 2007, but he never really asked, so I just made it official. Now I wear his ring (it didn't fit) on my right hand, and my ring on my left 🙂

  11. We had been talking about getting married for years, and he always said that he wanted to be the one to propose, so I let him, and he took his sweet ass time doing it too! Seriously, it look nearly 3 years after he first said he would until he finally did it, but it turns out he wasn't ready to be married when I was, and looking back I guess trying to get a 17 then 18 then 19 when he proposed year old guy to settle down, even someone like him, was alot to ask. Especially considering the huge chore taking care of my crippled ass for the rest of my life will be, I'm glad I didn't propose cause he needed to be ready, and he would have said yes just because I asked, not because he was ready. When he realised that taking care of me was a small price to be with me, he was ready, and I'm glad I didn't take that away from him.

  12. PS, althought I did give him a little wooden heart with "yes" on it in a ring box a year or 2 before he proposed, he still keeps it in his car 😀

  13. Color me shocked. My boyfriend comes from a very closed minded family and he has pretty traditional beliefs. I assumed that he would be weirded out by having the woman ask, but tonight over dinner I asked him his thoughts on it. He thought for a moment and said, "That wouldn't bother me." I also assured him I wouldn't be doing that but I was curious about his open-mind. I love him even more knowing that he wouldn't care if it were something I really wanted to do.

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  14. Totally hearing what you're saying about communication. My girlfriend and I (we're both girls, btw) had talked over marriage and indeed even wedding planning loads of times during our relationship before we got engaged. I waited for her to propose – but only because I'd realised that she wanted to find a great moment and propose, and I thought it sounded sweet. (She ended up asking me one Friday night in our local Indian restaurant – just after we'd been talking about where we fancied getting married, hilariously enough. She changed the subject, then snuck a proposal in. Then we had some Cobra beer.)

    Different arrangements suit different couples, but what's struck me really powerfully is that the straight couples I know where the girl is waiting and anxious about it, one or both of the couple is a bit of a non-talker. Compulsively talking over everything, the way my future wife and I do, of course isn't always great and can bring its own problems. But I've definitely noticed in my own engagement that issues a couple or a person has that come to a head about marriage are usually issues that are already around in the relationship.

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  15. My sweetie and I got engaged at least twice, and possible three (four?) times. I proposed to him while riding bikes up a mountain. I said, "do you think we should get married?" He said, "are you asking?" I replied, "Yes I am, will you marry me?" Happily, the answer was yes.

    But he's got a traditional streak, this one. He insisted on asking my dad for his permission. This meant waiting two months after my proposal, flying across the country, and a nerve-wracking evening that ended fantastically with many beers drunk and songs sung. The next day, I jumped off a friend's boat into a sparkly lake, and a ring box bobbed up. It was his turn to ask, and my turn to reply!

    Later that day I called his mom to ask for his hand, and I had barely finished asking before she yelled "yes, yes, hooray!" down the line.

    I love our many engagement stories, and I'm looking forward to some equally anachronistic wedding stories. Life is what you make it!

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  16. We'd talked about getting married LONG before I finally said, "Okay, let's just do it then!" In fact, we bought a house together over a year before deciding that we would just get married.

    In our case, we were on an all-day hike in the Black Hills, midway through a 10 day road trip. I asked, he was picking his nose, and made me ask again.

    It would never occur to me to wait around until he got me some ring that he couldn't afford on his grad student stipend, or think of some elaborate setup. In fact, we'd spent the previous few months thinking of all of the worst ways we could possibly propose to one another, because that's just the kind of jerks we are!

  17. Last year on New Year's Eve our resolution was to get married and have a baby. Well, as it happened, I got pregnant really easily. Having never tried before, I didn't know how fast it would happen!
    I'm due in February-one month to go-PHEW!
    So rather than getting me an engagement ring, we joked that we got an "engagement baby" instead.
    We did go ahead and get legally married by a Justice of the Peace downtown because that was important to our moms, but the "real" WEDDING is set for this March so that friends and relatives who travel to be a part of our wedding will also get to meet the new baby.
    I will say that planning a wedding while both working full time, working on a baby room ,raising his son (from a previous marriage-all while being heavily pregnant is kind of an ordeal-but it's really fun, too.

    So nobody really proposed to anybody. We just talked about it, said "hey, let's do this" and now we're making it happen! Yay!
    And this year on New Year's Eve we got to bask in the joy of having achieved last year's resolutions!

  18. I, too, proposed to my boyfriend. October 17, 2008. We had discussed it over and over, but I was just kind of hanging out and waiting. My best friend and I were talking about it one day and she jokingly said, "I'm surprised YOU haven't popped the question." We initially laughed and then I stopped, and thought, "Yeah… why HAVEN'T I done that???" It's just so… ME.

    So I went to a local jeweler, had them engrave a compass with "She Asked. He Said Yes. 2008" That was his engagement "ring", so to speak. I popped the question after dinner. And, he did in fact say, "YES!" We're getting married on 10/10/10 🙂

    I've never been so proud of myself or more courageous. It's a scary thing, for sure.

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  19. For me, when I made a comment stating I was waiting to buy the book until I was engaged, or had a conversation about seriously getting married, I simply meant until one of us had proposed or we both had the conversation. I've only been with my partner for about 3 months. While I find him completely amazing and at this point want to be with him for as long as possible, I don't feel ready to propose or to have him propose, or to have a serious conversation yet!

    But with so many of my close friends engaged (I have an engagement party to go to this Sunday and a roommate that asks me a new question about planning her wedding every night when I come home) I can't help but day dream about my own wedding!

    PS I gave my roommate OBB for Christmas and I'm giving the other newly engaged couple OBB on Sunday! 🙂

  20. For us, I had considered proposing, mostly out of impatience, but in the end held off because he really wanted to propose. To him, this was something he thought about growing up, how he might propose, and it was a big deal to him. I grew up with parents who never had a big fancy proposal (meaning dad slipped and said "when we're married" and that was that). Because of this, I let him have it his way. But I do think that I was the first one to say that I wanted to be his wife. 🙂

  21. When I proposed, it was supposed to be a complete surprise. We'd been together almost 9 years and I'd always said that I'd marry him if I was allowed to have my own apartment. We had shared bank accounts and plans to have kids, but I wasn't interested in marriage. Then, a switch flipped and I decided I'd ask him on his birthday. When the champagne came out at the end of our fancy dinner and I stopped him from taking a sip by saying that I wanted to say something, he said, "what, are you going to ask me to marry you?" He's pretty proud of himself that he had me figured out. Since he's generally the more romantic, effusive one, I think he liked that I took control of this situation.

  22. A friend of ours was recently asked by his girlfriend and he was thrilled – when I brought the subject up with my beloved – he was less than thrilled.

    While, at first I was incensed and full of "don't you think women equally have a say in whether or not they want to get married?" – He explained his reasoning this way.

    While many young women "dream" of their future wedding planning it out down to the last detail, what boys think about is how they will propose. For him this was a traditional role that he has thought about and wants to do right.

    He still hasn't proposed, and I still may, but if he isn't ready to ask, then I'm not sure I'm ready to answer. I like previous posts that talk about how when one of you is ready – they should ask. If I get there before him – I'll definately keep my option to do the asking open.

  23. Speaking of your book, I just ordered in on Amazon with some Christmas money. I bought a used version in "New condition". I opened it today, and it's an autographed copy! I had no idea. Hooray! Can't wait to read it!

  24. Megan, that's hilarious — I'm guessing I know where those books came from. 🙂 I did a book event in Vancouver BC, and spent the entire day promoting the event with two tv appearances and a radio interview.

    The bookstore owner who'd organized the event had ordered a TOOOOOON of books anticipating a huge crowd from all the publicity. He had me sign all 50 books, and then maybe 10 people showed up (HELLO, DEPRESSING) and even better? They were all my friends! And some of them already had books. So poor bookstore owner sold almost no books, and had a huge pile of signed ones that he probably eventually returned to the publisher for resale.

    In fact, your book may be in this photo, taken that night:
    Signing copies of OBB at Sophia Books

  25. My Mother Proposed to my father and then the day before the wedding my father proposed to my mother. the 27/12/08 was their 24th wedding anniversary. My parents have had quite an "offbeat" marriage. I didnt realise that until last year when my friend and i were browsing this site and she mentioned how traditional her parents had been. I'd like to think when it comes time i'll propose…I'd like to propose and be proposed to I think haha

  26. I like the idea of the girl asking, and my boyfriend loves me for being offbeat and independent, but he's told me that he won't let me propose because he's been planning how he's going to do it since soon after we started dating (we're both in college still so it makes sense to wait). I find it really romantic that he wants to sweep me off my feet with a proposal, and I know that he's not doing it out of tradition at all, he just loves the shmooze 🙂

  27. I'm with a couple other people here, waiting, and I'm fine with waiting for him to ask, because I'm ready and he's not.

    We've been together almost 10 years, we've talked about marriage often, he knows it's something important to me, and at this point the only fears he has are his own hang-ups about marriage, not of me saying no. So when he asks, it's like him saying "Yeah, I've worked through that stuff and I'm ready now."

    So that's why it's important to me that he asks, otherwise I'd have done it like four years ago! I really wish it was as easy a problem to fix as just me asking! Right now, I'm just focusing on supporting him in any way I can while he works through what he needs to.

  28. When my then-boyfriend went on a two week vacation to Scotland with his uncle I was left with a lot of time on my hands to think. In that time I realized that of course, I had to marry him. I planned on talking about it with him when he got home, but not right away. I picked him up at the airport, brought him home, fed him, got into bed and all my patience flew out the window. I started talking about how I had missed him and how glad I was to have him back home. And told him that I just HAD to marry him and would he please marry me. He didn't quite get it at first and said, of course, someday. That made me tear up a little and then he suddenly realized that I meant it as an ass-backwards proposal. He said "yes, yes of course!" and then we hugged a long, long hug and started making goofy plans well into the night. It was awesome.
    He wanted in on some of the tradiation so the next day he got me a stand-in ring at the mall and proposed to me that night.
    We then spent the next several weeks popping the question to eachother at random times. Perhaps I'll ask him again tonight…..

    If you have found the right person to spend your life with, it doesn't matter who does the asking. Go for it, ladies!

    • I smiled so wide to think of you two randomly popping the question many times over the next several weeks 😀 Congratulations!

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  29. I'm doing it. I've decided! I posted earlier about being conflicted, but we are both ready and life is too short, right?

    We're big travelers and are living overseas right now (he moved halfway around the world for me, that's commitment!) So I was thinking of getting a pewter compass engraved with "No matter where we go, you are always home to me. Will you marry me?" I gave him a ring with "you are home to me" a couple of years ago, and he wears it everyday. It is a line from one of our favorite love songs.

  30. i proposed to my fiance, and he didn't mind at all! he was surprised but he loved it 🙂

  31. I've been thinking for a while about proposing. I have always joked that I would be the one to ask, since he's kind of the absent minded professor type, and hate to decide anything. I don't want to get him a ring, but I want to get him something! and I want to wait till may 1, which is one of our special days, but that is months away! Not sure I can wait that long! But I do feel much better about it after reading all of your great stories.

  32. Sounds really utopian, but I know that my guy would not want this. He'd probably be mad at me, though I am getting impatient with him. We have talked about marriage so much it's ridiculous. We know that we want to be together, and there is a family situation that makes things complex, but we still want a life together. Unfortunately for me, I will have to be a "lady in waiting" because I know he won't like it. He does like the fact that I'm very independent, but he has already told me that he loves it when I need him. Taking the "tradition" away from him wouldn't be a good idea for me. I wish! Otherwise I'd do it, but I'm almost certain he'd say something like "Not yet", which would just break my heart and make it worse. End result? Still waiting, so there's no point.

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  33. I proposed to my fiance. We've also both getting engagement rings soon (because we didn't have them at the actual proposal).

    We were already "committed" to marriage, but we weren't officially engaged. When I asked him later if he was bummed he didn't get to pop the question…err…statement, he was more relieved than anything else.

  34. My fiance and I have quite the love story behind us and so after we finally got together getting married was never a question but simply a fact. So we've talked through planning of all different sorts and his family is very traditional and mine is not. After stumbling upon OBB, my mindset completely changed. I now view my wedding as a blank canvas waiting to be painted. I was almost firmly against having a traditional wedding.

    Because he is in the military and is currently stationed overseas, it's a little tough to get everyone together for a huge family wedding. So we've decided that having two weddings would work out wonderfully.

    After dinner one evening we went to the bridge to people watch. We had just watched the cutest old couple walk past and it was then that I leaned in for a kiss and asked him to marry me instead. He stared at me in disbelief, his expression said "Did that really just happen?". After it finally sunk in he shouted "YES! Of course!" I figured it only appropriate since we would be having our offbeat wedding first where I could implement my hearts every desire. =)

    As happy as he was that I proposed, he shared that he's been planning my proposal since we got together. I told him it wasn't too late, so when we decide to have our traditional wedding in front of everyone, he'll be the one to ask the question and have most of the say in the traditional wedding planning. =)

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  35. So…when a girl proposes to there guy, does the girl buy the ring for the guy? I seen in a previous post where the girl proposed with a ring for her. So, would I pay for my ring and he would pay for his? Hmmm…I think the girl proposing is a GREAT idea but I was just unsure. Any feed back would be helpful! Thanks!

  36. I'd love to propose to my guy; but he's already told me that if I did, he'd say no. He certainly loves me for being off beat (he knows I will be keeping my name, and not wearing a veil, and we've talked about him being the stay-at-home dad with the future kiddos) but the proposal is really important to him.

    Also, I'm something of a junky for surpsises, so it just makes sense.

    It's not a matter of if, but when for us. We've been together for over 5 years, but we're only 24 and so we've decided to wait until we're older and more financially stable. This was a mutual decision on our parts, but (as you can tell from the fact that I am reading OBB) part of me is a wee bit impatient.

  37. I proposed using fridge magnets when he was making dinner, then scuttled off to wait for him to discover them… Needless to say, he didn't notice instantly and given I was a *teensy* bit edgy, I then firmly instructed him to look at the fridge. He said yes (using fridge magnets) and a year and an half later, the evidence is still there for all to see!

  38. Both me and mine are offbeat for sure, and I had gotten out of a bad relationship 6 months before I met him. Then, just as I thought my world was beginning to right itself, the bad relationship reared it's ugly head again and my hun has been there for me through thick and thin, helping deal with the bad relationship strings. (My ex filed for divorce in our state because we live in a state that recognizes common law marriage. And we have kids together.) I used to have panic attacks at him calling me his fiance in public and with our friends, so I got ther balls one day to tell him that he could only call me his fiance if he managed to pin me to the ground long enough to put a ring on my finger. Lo and behold, he managed! So while we were out ring shopping one day, we were at the mall with the kids, and everybody got hungry, so we went to taco bell.
    We got our food, and grabbed some sauce packets, and while we were quietly eating, both he and I tossed a sauce packet at each other….. one that said "will you marry me?"! Now I've got a scrapboook page with two taco bell sauce packets on it! I love it, because nobody knows that day quite like we do!

  39. My fiance is offbeat, its what drew me to him. And vice versa. He asked me to marry him rather inpromptu, against the fridge while we were bringing in the groceries lol, so we decided to buy rings for each other and then he'd ask me again 'properly'. I had the ring on layby and I paid it off and got it engraved, but I didn't tell him I had it. I'd worked hard to get it paid off before his birthday so I could propose to him too. I asked just as it turned midnight on the eve of his birthday, and he cried and was absolutely stunned and happy, it was just so amazing. Its one of my fondest memories of that time, but anyone I tell just respons with how odd it is and wasn't that rude or arrogant to ask the man? It makes me sad, because it was such a sweet moment in our history that he loved me for. And when it comes to love, there are no rules… or at least, there shouldn't be.

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  40. i proposed to my boyfriend completely out of the blue!! ack!! he said yes, double ack!! we have been on/off for 8 years, and i finally asked him if he actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. he said "i do", and so a few minutes later i asked him if he would marry me, and he said yes. yay 😀 to be fair, i told him i knew he wanted to ask me, and that i wouldn't consider it "official" until he asked me as well, not because he's the guy, but because i want us both to have a say in it. so we're half way there 😀

  41. After we had both been in previous long term relationships, I decided after a year I had found the man I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. Yes I always wanted the surprise of being proposed to, but I wasn't willing to wait anymore. So I plan a full night of romance and proposed to him on our 1 year anniversary, complete with a custom made ring, which his best friend designed. After the shock wore off, he said yes, but that he wanted to propose to me as well.

    Finally 6 months later, after getting into a big fight of when he was going to give me my ring, he managed to catch me off guard and proposed back to me in the most beautiful surprising way.

    While growing up, the only thing I ever wanted out of a proposal was a one hell of a story, now I have two!

  42. After reading the few and limited advice columns and especially THIS POST, i decided to propose to my boyfriend. I knew the feelings were there- i had no doubt in my mind that he was not in this for the long haul (even after only 6 months of dating) but knew there were other factors as well that might not look so good from the outside in such as him being very traditional and probably wanted to be the one who asked and I havent met his parents since his family is scattered across the states.. BUT i decided to ask ANYWAYS. (My bf loves me for being quirky, strong and loving so this was just proof) I love him and just couldnt hold it in any longer!

    we had gotten in the habit of doing work on our laptops before bed and I made him this video

    he opened, watched and was quite suprised! His first reaction was yes of course i will marry you
    but then his logical side appealed to the above stated issues- him wanting to ask and the social decorum with his family. He didn't say yes but made it very clear that it was DEFINETLY not a NO.
    I think the effort of me asking him put us both on the same page- even after many talks of marriage, kids and life together- we both had fears of those evil 'what-if' questions'. He said he has no doubt that we will be engaged in a couple months but nothing has changed in our relationship. The love is still there and we live each day like its our last.

    So to all you women out there pondering this question- if it feels right GO FOR IT! Know your boyfriend well enough to anticipate some possible reactions and go from there! this experience definitely opened my eyes to follow my heart and to go get whatever it is that i want and love!

  43. I proposed to my guy earlier this year, and several of my girlfriends also proposed to their guys. We had talked of getting engaged for a while, and even looked at rings. I was impatient, and since he had quit his job to go back to school- it would have probably been years before he could afford a nice ring which he would have wanted before proposing.

    It was late one night after I came home from school (I'm getting my MBA part time while working) and we were sitting on the floor just chatting. We were discussing engagement stuff, so I figured I'd just 'make it official' and ask him. He said yes. It was sweet and casual, and the lack of specific planning meant I had no time to get nervous. A month or so later we went to shopping together for my engagement ring.

    There are time I wish I had been proposed to, but I'm also happy I 'popped' the question. I'm thrilled to be engaged. Plus, I adore my engagement ring- its center stone is a star sapphire that belonged to my mom, and I liked having a say in a piece of jewelry I plan on wearing for the rest of my life. We aren't getting married for 2 years (till I finish school), but I love being engaged and planning on spending my life with this guy.

  44. My finance and I have been together for almost four years now and yes he did ask first but. (quite awhile ago).. every few months (six months or so) I find some silly romantic way to ask him back. We're considered too young within our families to get married yet but we've been enjoying keeping our tradition going. 🙂

  45. Oh man. I would *totally* ask – he certainly doesn't have an ego about any of that (honestly, he's more of a feminist than I am) and no one would ever accuse us of being heternormative – but, as much as I often want to, I could never take it away from him to ask me. I mean, we 'sort of' ask each other, but the actual question is reserved for him. As someone else mentioned, it's not a fear of commitment thing, it's a getting-his-shit-together thing. I know that he wants to better be able to provide for us as a family, and I respect that. Even if I get a little impatient…

    [We did just get our domestic partnership license in Cambridge, MA, though. It gives us both rights as a non-married couple that we wouldn't otherwise have, which is awesome. For the occasion, we're having pre-engagement rings custom made (his idea. we both wear cheapy rings we got each other in the beginning of the relationship). They will also end probably end up engagement rings, at which point maybe we'll engrave them. So, it's a step!]

    More power to you all who plunged in and did it! I think it's wonderful and sexy and I'm a little jealous!

  46. I proposed to my husband. I'm a spontaneous, goofy girl that jumps on any opportunity when it comes her way, even if it seems totally impossible or impractical or dumb, because in my opinion, something can only be considered that way if you don't give it at least one try. I'm like Trillian in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when she asked Arthur Dent if he would go to Madagascar with her immediately that night for no reason at all.

    I made the proposal extremely meaningful for him, something that he would know right away what it meant for us, and to show him that I was not trying to one-up him as "proposal bearer". We both obsess over the Harvest Moon game series on Nintendo and Playstation. You take care of a farm, animals, crops, and stuff, and solve quests, and as a major side quest you can choose a girl to woo over time and eventually marry her. There were a couple revised versions of the game where a girl is managing the farm and can find a boy to marry. Learning about the new revised version gave me a lot of confidence to pull this little stunt.

    In the game, a person does not propose marriage with a ring, they instead must get a rare expensive blue feather from a traveling vendor. On Christmas Day 2004, my husband opened the presents I got him: the newest Harvest Moon game, the GameCube to play it on, and a blue ostrich feather from a craft store, which cost me a dollar, but has so much more meaning to the two of us. He gave a small smile of recognition. "Is this what I think it is?" I scooted closer to him cause we were sitting on the floor and took the feather from him gently and presented it back to him with my proposal. He was in shock for a few, but he eventually gave me a "Yes". Mom asked if I was serious or just playing around cause she didn't understand the significance of an ostrich feather dyed blue, so I explained and she teared up a little.

    (Continued)

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