Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

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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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Comments on Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

  1. I think women proposing to their boyfriends is a fantastic idea, but I don’t know how well that would fly with most men folk. I am always surprised when my young hip heterosexual friends hit snags when it comes to things like taking your husband’s name, which last name to give the kids, and wives that make more money than their husbands. I thought we were over all that?
    The male ego is a delicate thing, so I would agree with you when you say you know your boyfriend best and how he might take a proposal.

  2. My wife proposed to me. We had pretty much decided to get married by then and I guess I was dragging my feet. So she got me a ring and one day while we were snowboarding at Mt. Baker (a very special place for us) she asked me to take a break on the side of a slope and then pulled out the ring and asked.

    I thought it was incredibly cool, romantic and a great surprise. I almost lost the ring in the snow while showing it to my snowboarding buddies later in the day :O

    All the male friends I was with at the time also thought it was cool.

  3. Last year, on February 29, I asked him to marry me, shyly, after explaining that Feb 29 is the one day women are “allowed” to propose. He said no. 🙁

    Don’t get me wrong, it was good! I was looking to commit, but I think I was more in fantasy land than reality at the time. That rejection precluded a very bad spot in our relationship where we almost split. I spent that time staring at the proverbial mirror, and I found I wasn’t happy with the way I was, and I set to make some changes; and so did he. We learned we couldn’t live without each other.

    Then, nearly 8 months later, he asked. And this time we were both ready. 🙂

    I really like that plate!

  4. I asked my guy to marry me. I knew he would say yes — we lived together, he kept slipping and calling me his wife when introducing me, etc — but I was still terrified doing it. And impatient. It was supposed to be on a beach in a place that meant a lot to me, I wound up doing it the night of my brother’s wedding, when we were in varying stages of undress.

    Had he been the type to take offense at it or have his ego wounded by this gender-role switcheroo, I don’t think he’d be the guy I want to marry.

    • Hello,

      My name is Brooklyn Bagwell and I’m a Casting Director for Sharp Entertainment. We’re casting for a new groundbreaking documentary series about women proposing to men! We’re currently looking for women who are planning to propose to their boyfriends in the near future. Is this you?

      I would love to chat with you more about this! Please let me know if you or anyone you know would be interested in this casting call.

      You can email me back on [email protected]

      Brooklyn Bagwell

  5. Although there wasn’t much of a proposal, and he bought me a ring, if I had waited for my husband to point out that we should get married, I’d still be waiting. It pretty much went like this.

    Me: “I want to get married in California. Let’s get married.”
    Him: “OK, let’s do it sometime.”
    Me: “How ’bout next summer?”
    Him: “OK.”
    Me: “I want a ring, or people at work will bother me about it.”
    Him: “Great, I’ll buy a cheat one on ebay.”
    Chorus: “Yay!”

  6. Also: “Had he been the type to take offense at it or have his ego wounded by this gender-role switcheroo, I don’t think he’d be the guy I want to marry.”


  7. I was considering proposing to my Man about six months ago and after going to a wedding where he had a little too much to drink, he let it slip that he “had a plan.” I decided that I wanted a plan too, so I went and bought him a ring and waited for him to ask first (I didn’t want to step on his toes). On New Years Eve (i.e. last week), he proposed to me in New York (at the Cloister’s Museum), after about five minutes of giddy excitement and picture taking, I got down on one knee and asked him back. He was so surprised he forgot to answer and put the ring on his finger. I reminded him, and of course he said yes. We are now in the throws of wedding planning! It all worked out quite well.

  8. I was on the verge of proposing to my mister, but he beat me to it =] We’re offbeat, yes, but the traditional part of me was kinda happy to have that moment.
    Several of my female friends proposed to their misters, and I think it’s wonderful. As you said, why should women wait to be picked? Sure, it’s nerve-wracking, but it’s the same for the men out there who propose.

  9. I WAS planning on proposing to my boyfriend. We had been talking about it (marriage) for awhile but I knew how he could be about making decisions so I figured I should take the lead on this one. But I have a big mouth and I let it slip that I wanted to propose to him. Turns out HE wanted to propose to ME too. So we have decided to have a super secret engagement ceremony weekend. We’ll say a few words and exchange gifts and then announce it to the world. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

  10. I proposed to my husband. We hadn’t talked about marriage at all, and I surprised even myself with the proposal. We had just started a conversation about all the mushy things we like about each other and he asked me if I would change anything about him. I told him I would change one thing. I said I would make him my husband instead of my boyfriend and that was that! He clarified that I was actually proposing and when I said I was, he accepted! rules, schmoolz

  11. Me proposing was actually a relief to my fiance. Since there isn’t a social standard of the “right” ways for a woman to propose to a man, the pressure was off. He’s the romantic of the relationship and got really caught up in doing something special and meaningful and blah blah blah so eventually I just asked if I could do the proposal and he said ok. I proposed 5 days later via a note in his favorite burrito that I brought back from a trip to San Francisco. It was perfect, and several of our friends (male and female) are very jealous of our role-switch. 🙂

  12. My partner and I are approaching six years and I’m thinking of proposing. I’m very ready and I know he is too, but he has some anxiety issues that are holding him back. Still, I have a selfish desire for HIM to be the one who takes the risk and does the “work” for once. I tend to do all the planning of dates and events and such, and I can’t get over that feeling that it’s his turn to do something special for me this time. That said, I probably shouldn’t let a childish temper tantrum hold me back from something that is so important to me.

    • I can relate. As someone in a relationship with similar dynamics and now engaged, I would like to offer some advice: Decide if you are waiting for him to propose simply because you want it to be his turn to do "something special" or if there are additional reasons. For me, I felt it was 'his turn,' but not just because I wanted something special.. I was the one to suggest moving in together and I just wanted him to take the next step, so I would feel that he was equally interested in being permanent life partners.
      What ended up happening is that we did a lot of talking and I ended up feeling like I did a lot coaxing.. I got a special proposal and an expensive ring, but ultimately realized that all I really wanted was his expression of love and desire to marry as well.

    • My point? I really did feel like I had already proposed and we could have done without the formalities (or the expense – in retrospect, I would prefer that we bought simple wedding bands together). Additionally, we had already talked extensively about plans for the future (jobs, relocation?, kids? etc.), which I realized was, if not *special*, still an expression of his desire for a future together. I know, however, that we needed to have the conversations that "the proposal" inspired (i.e. the importance of "something special" to me, appreciation, balance, etc.), but that can AND SHOULD be manifested in so many other ways. So forget about the formalities, and if you haven't already, start talking (and listening) about ideas for the future, and then see when it might be a good time to slip in a ceremony. Assuming you have both been monogamous for 6 years, the commitment is already there, right? Just tell him there's got to be a good time to celebrate your commitment (with or without a large group involved)! That's how I "proposed" before he "proposed"….

    • Oh and one more thing: If you/he is feeling anxious because of "other people," don't think a proposal will get them to relent. These are often the traditionalists that launch into an inquisition for wedding plans, bridal showers, babies!… the list will continue to expand I'm sure.

  13. I proposed, too, and as someone else said before, I was so impatient that I just kind of did it on a random day instead of making any real solid plan.

    he said yes, and it was great. but I have to say that I did find myself wondering what it would have been like to be proposed to, and some little traditional part of me was a little sad I hadn’t waited to give him the chance (although I was thrilled to be engaged to him regardless).

    he definitely caught on to this, so he got me a ring and he proposed back to me. so I guess the way we’re offbeat is that we both proposed to each other at one time or another!

  14. Count me as another impatient proposer.

    I had planned to wait for a nice evening down at the river with the Man and the Dog – only once the ring arrived from Etsy it just wouldn’t stop raining.

    So I exercised all my willpower and managed to wait until the episode of Stargate he was watching had finished, and proposed on the couch. In a bathrobe, with my hair in a towel – pretty flash hey!

    As someone else said, no way I would marry a man who had some problem with the idea of his gal proposing. That’s just weird.

  15. I think this is all a great idea. I think that some times we do tend to think about men being just as romantic as we are and getting all gooey eyed and and gushing “Of course I will” but just as you wrote, it was like not even a question in his mind… there are a lot of times that I have to tell myself that my husband is not a girlfriend and will probably not care/get excited over half of the things I like. 😛 Kind of like going to the store is an in & out mission for him and for me it is so many levels of therapy/luxury etc. 😀

  16. I proposed on NYE, and I just have to second everything that’s been said. It’s a total load off my mind to not have to question how he feels about the relationship, and we’re both really excited about it.

    But, secretly, it would have been nice to have a big ordeal made about me. 😉

  17. hmm. My fiance was definitely the one to do the proposal, but not until after I blurted out one afternoon while we were both reading books in the sunshine, “I do want to get married.” He looked up and said, “OK.” I kind of thought this was a proposal, so I said something about planning a trip to Vegas soon because I was impatient. He vetoed it and said that we had to have a proper wedding with all of our family. I said “OK.” After further discussion, we figured we wouldn’t have the engagement/announcement for another year (friends of ours were getting married already and we didn’t want to step on any toes). Six months later, he proposed. Turns out, he gets impatient, too. : )

  18. My amazing girlfriend surprised me last week at the ‘Rink’ at Rockefeller center. We had talked about marriage at pretty good length and it has been a question of “when” and not “if” for some time. I was totally surprised by the proposal I was absolutely ecstatic to accept it. A applaud her bravery for not only beating me to the punch but doing it in such a grand perfectly cheesy and spectacular way. Oh and for the record, I’m taking her last name a: it rules b: thems the rules!

    Here’s the video:

  19. Always a great idea, I say! A lot of guys are just intimidated by proposal…as is my boyfriend. I had asked him to marry me a few months back. I got him a nice ring with “LOVE” spelled out in binary code. I asked him and he looked up at me and said “Some day, of course.” Now I told some of my traditional friends this and they freaked. They went ape crap and asked if I kicked him in the genitals. No! I was relieved…it wasn’t a straight up “NO!”, it was just kind of a reality check for me. One day…yes!

  20. I identified as one of the ladies in waiting, but I’m actually waiting to propose to him!

    And as for how menfolk react, that’s fine. I’d never step on someone’s toes on something so important. But personally I also wouldn’t marry someone so traditional as to not consider their desire.

    • LMAO…it was kind of my idea, the whole marriage thing. I was thinking about marriage and found a great date and told my FH. so then I bugged him for a few days (we do that to each other) but didn’t know he would do it until we actually drove to the pawn shop and he said for me to pick out what i want. we got home and he asked me 🙂 so, it was a nice balance…he still did the official proposal and I submitted the idea. I liked how it went, truthfully. Like a decision of equals.

      So, yes, ladies…be brave and break with tradition!

  21. Hey, you know what, I proposed to my fella, it was totally unromantic because we were on the phone to each other (I am currently working as a volunteer in another country), and THEN I made him propose back. He got surprisingly emotional about it, which was kind of nice. But I did feel like a bit of a freak for having done it – especially when people asked about “How did he propose?” and such. But then I found Offbeat Bride, and realised that there’s a whole community of individual women who have also proposed to their men, for one reason or another, and it has been AWESOME! Your existance is a puddle of sanity amidst an ocean of wedding industry madness, which I have chosen largely to ignore in favour of honouring my own Offbeat. You continue to inspire – thank you!

  22. I struggled with this one myself. I wanted to be asked. Hey, I had asked for his number first, said “i love you” first, so I figured it was his turn, right?
    I was waiting and I wasn’t. We talked about getting married all the time. I figured he was about to ask me. But the moment I decided that I wanted to ask him, I was surprised by how amazing I felt. I wasn’t waiting anymore. I knew exactly who I wanted to spend my life with and how I wanted to let him know!
    I hid his concrete ring (he’s a contractor so it was fitting) in my luggage when we went on vacation. And before I could figure out when I would show him, he went ahead and asked me himself. It was wonderful, it was sweet, and I told him I had been planning this myself.
    But when we got back to the hotel and he said “now I’m gonna go to the bathroom and when I come out–you ask!” that was my favorite part. Because that felt like us.

  23. My other half & I have talked marriage and know we want to get married – once we’re actually living in the same zip code again, because LDR is a bit rough. Last week on NYE we were with friends listening to a fav band and we were all mushy and loving and said “Let’s get rings tomorrow!”

    Just a commitment ring, but we had fun shopping, looking at the designs, till he got this cool tribal band to compliment my thin celtic design band. Next day the friends asked if we got hitched! We told them not yet, but we will!

  24. Oh man, I don’t know how many times we’ve proposed to each other, and I don’t know how many times we’re going to propose again. The first one took place by accident, three weeks after we met, at a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, before we’d even said “I love you.” Maybe there’ll be an official proposal when, in a few years, we get our engagement tattoos.

    …GodDAMMIT I’m in love.

  25. Ariel is my HERO! I adored this post. I too feel sad when I see so many girls “waiting” for a proposal. (Not talking about OBT here, just in general.) Also, a friend of mine recently called me, ecstatic, to say that her boyfriend “told her” to turn her Claddagh ring around to “indicate she is taken.” I was like, what? He TOLD you to turn it around because HE decided the two of you were finally in a committed relationship? Why didn’t YOU turn it around and tell HIM. Or better yet, come to an adult decision together after some communication. Ugh it makes me sick.

    Anyway, it’s a sad truth that most men — most non-offbeat men anway — don’t have the balls to be proposed to by their girlfriends. But as an offbeat feminist, I wouldn’t have any other guy than one who would totally dig this.

    Also, there was no proposal at all for FH and me. We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.

    • Maybe the reason some women are ‘in waiting’ isn’t sad at all. Perhaps they are waiting not simply because they are women, but because they feel their partner is not the one ready to commit yet, and they want him to propose when he is ready.

      • I’m going to be the proposer if there is one (we’ve discussed this) but I’m also waiting until I feel he would be comfortable being proposed to. He wants his ducks in a row a bit more than I do when we get married, and I don’t want him to feel bad about not being ready when I make “the ask”, or feel pressured to say he’s ready until he’s not. So I’m waiting for him to either indicate to me subtly or explicitly that he’s ready to be asked. It’s not sad, it’s about making sure we get married when we are BOTH ready, and only then.

  26. “We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.”

    Ah, this sounds so very familiar! 🙂

  27. I am in the waiting stages now, and I think it will be another couple of years. We are very young still(23)- so its really a matter of finishing school/getting settled, etc. But I think the important thing is we discuss what we want the marriage to be like- and have set goals and aspirations we will achieve together when we eventually get married. I think too many people put the emphasis on the ring, the moment and the party when the emphasis should be on creating a marriage that works forever.

    • Liz, in response to your, “I think too many people put the emphasis on the ring, the moment and the party when the emphasis should be on creating a marriage that works forever. “, I couldn’t agree more.

  28. My boyfriend proposed to me while we were vacationing in Italy (pretty romantic right?) and I said told him I needed more time. Even though I knew he was “the one” and it was the traditional way to do things, I am not a traditional gal and it was a terrifying moment. I have always been an independent woman and a commitmentphobe, and I wanted to make sure I was marrying the person I loved because of our emotional bond, not because of the shiny ring or the tourists watching. I’m currently preparing to knock his socks off with a proposal of my own. This is my way of showing him I’m ready to make the commitment 🙂

  29. my man and i had also talked the whole thing to death. when and where and why, but neither of us got round to actually proposing. we decided to order the ring off of etsy, but before it even arrived (it still hasnt, were procrastinators) he just started telling everybody i was his wife. people were congratulating us left right and centre, and it wasnt even official yet.
    so there doesnt even need to be a ring, just so long as you are happy together.

  30. I proposed to my boy early in the morning on a walk along the beach. We wrote messages to each other in the sand, ending with mine of “will you marry me?”. I brought out the ring I had carefully hidden for months and promptly burst into tears while he gently told me he would and kissed me.

    On the surface, my guy is not the most off-beat guy out there, but he was happy with me proposing (and not all that surprised) – it’s just who he is and why I love him. He now encourages all his female friends to be the ones to do the proposing and chastises his male friends who find the idea weird. I know it’s pretty dorky, but he makes me so proud!

  31. I was GOING to ask my husband to marry me. I had a lego board made up with ‘Will You Marry Me?’ written in lego blocks, and I’d hidden it under the bed, ready to pull out in the morning.

    And then he slipped a ring on my finger in the middle of the night. I woke up at four am and wondered what that strange feeling on my hand was.

    True story. Totally awesome post, love the plate!

  32. I proposed to my husband and it was the most nervewracking feeling in the world…come on ladies, guys shouldn’t bear that burden completely alone! 🙂 It was weird feeling what guys must go through–picking out a ring, holding it in my sweaty hand in my pocket, wondering if it’s the perfect moment yet. After it was all done and he said yes, I realized that any moment would have been perfect.

    Get it gurl

  33. I proposed to my husband. He knew that he was sure that he wanted to marry me before I was completely sure. He didn’t want to propose when he wasn’t sure that he’d get a ‘yes’ and I couldn’t be bothered with the whole palaver of hinting that it was time for him to propose and he’d get the right answer. So once I was sure that I wanted to marry him I planned to propose to him. He was incredibly shocked because I’d been throwing him off the sent for the past month so that it would be a surprise.

    I think that it makes sense for whoever is the last to know that they want to get married to do the proposing. That way it’s a surprise and you get a yes.

  34. I proposed to my boyfriend in Nov. 2007. We had been together since 1997 and had decided for a multitude of reasons that we were deeply committed to eachother, but did not feel the need to get married. In September of 2007 my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and a few other things made it clear that while FH was fine with our decission not to get married, he actually was not as anti marriage as I was at the time. I took a while for some personal introspection. I wrestled with my thoughts, beliefs, issues… you name it and we wrestled, and then I decided that yeah, marriage wasn’t so bad after all if you do it right 🙂
    I knew I was going to ask him, but I didn’t know when. Then one day we were watching Ace of Cakes and they were making a jungle cake. So, on the spur of the moment I leaned over to FH and said “will you get a big cake with 2 lemurs on top with me?” (I did my grad research on lemur behavior in the rainforest in Madagascar, so that makes more sense than it seems.) FH looked at me like I had suddently grown a few extra heads and said “Did you just ask me to marry you?” I said “yes”, and I’ve never seen him more happy and bewildered in my whole life.
    Some how I managed to propose to my boyfriend and be the one to say yes. I got the best of both worlds.
    I definitely say go for the proposal. I didn’t give him a ring or anything, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t a big production, but it was personal and we’ll both love that memory forever.

  35. I am waiting for my boyfriend to propose. We have discussed it and he knows that I want to get married, that I love him and I’m ready. But he has been previously married and had a painful divorce so we both want to make sure he is 100% ready. So basically I’ve put the proposal on him, because he is the one with the concerns.

    In addition to that, I’m pretty aggressive most of the time. We met online so I initiated the first email, the first date, the first kiss. He moves much slower than I do. I want to be the one who is surprised. I think that for a lot of women, they simply put forth a bit more effort in their relationships than men do. The onus is on us to ask for what we want in bed, ask for what we want in romance, ask for what we want around the house. I don’t know many guys who do that back, either because they don’t think to ask or they really don’t care about that stuff. So while an engagement and a wedding should be fifty/fifty, I personally don’t want to ask. I ask plenty of other things. I want to be asked for once. I don’t think that makes me traditional or old fashioned. I picked him. It’s up to him to say he’s ready for a party to celebrate that.

  36. Tell Andreas not to feel too bad. When I got proposed to, the first words out of my mouth were “Shut up.” (Is it any wonder that relationship didn’t last? LOL)

  37. Tom’s aunt proposed to her long time live-in boyfriend on Thanksgiving in front of all of us right when we sat down to dinner. She had a very cool ring for him. He of course said yes.

    That was the night we were going to announce to his family our engagement. Talk about stealing someone’s thunder!

  38. I have been asking my guy to marry me since we had been dating about 4 months. 😀 His answer has always been a smile and a “someday, sure”…we’ve been dating over 7 years, so I think I’ve proposed to him about…6 times?

    He finally asked me on Halloween of this year, and I was tempted to say “Someday”, but he looked really nervous like he might puke….so I said “of course!” and there was much kissing and crying and joy.

    I asked him later and he said he felt he needed to be the one to ask me to make it official. I wasn’t upset, I was happy I finally got more than a ‘someday’.

  39. First of all: the new site design is amazing Arial!

    Second of all, I am totally feeling what many of you are feeling. I definitely agree with the “Wouldn’t marry a guy who was offended by my proposal,” and “Taliking to death and just deciding to make plans” sounds so, so familiar to me too.

    Rather than anyone proposing to anyone we made a mutual decision together that this was the right time, and since that moment have made every decision together (even the engagement ring which we designed together). Even though I didn’t get a big proposal, I’m not really a big fan of them (especially not after making my way through the first season of Dexter over the holidays – those who’ve seen it will know what I’m talking about). Making decisions together seems so much more romantic in a way – much more collaborative – and a really good indicator of the marriage we want to have.

  40. i also proposed to my fiance mike, we joke i wear the pants because he’s not the type to make decisions, lol. i had it all planned out to be based around our motorcycles.

    we met at a riding safety class and both ride, so i thought a carbon fiber ring would be perfect. i picked one out online but didn’t get it because i was stuck between two so i figured if he’s going to wear it, he should pick it.

    on a trip to mexico last september, we went jewelry shopping for pretty silver stuff & he says ‘hey, check this out, this is awesome’… yup, the same EXACT ring. ‘WHAAA???’. i planned on waiting until we got back to go on a romantic ride through the backroads on a favorite route of ours, but it got cut short because of this.

    for two days he kept trying to find one in his size, and i was trying to get him not to buy it. eventually, i blurt out ‘no, you can’t have it!!’
    him: ‘why not?’
    me *sniffly/blubbery*: ‘because i was going to buy you the same one, and ask you to marry me’
    him: ‘ok’ (smile)
    me: ‘really?’
    him: ‘yeah!’
    we both laughed our butts off, and when we got back i told my mom at the airport i brought her back a souvenir… a son in law, lolol.

    all in all it was awesome, and we knew it was going to happen, so it wasn’t a matter of traditional roles.

  41. I proposed to my hubby. I called him while I was on my way to my friends house (to see 27 dresses) and told him I wanted to get married this year. He said we’ll talk when I got home.
    The next day, we put a deposit on the venue and ordered the ring. I’m impulsive 🙂

  42. My girlfriend and I both wanted the pleasure of proposing to one another, so that’s what we did. And each proposal was so much fun and even though we knew it was coming, it didn’t change how special it was.

    I proposed last New Year’s Eve in a fancy hotel room, right at midnight.

    She took me to a 4-story used bookstore on our anniversary and proposed in the poetry section (I’m a poet).

    This also handled the detail that we both wanted to wear e-rings. So we both proposed to one another with a ring, and both rings are perfect, and very different and don’t match anything at all, not even our wedding rings.

    Just because you’ve already been proposed to, doesn’t mean you can’t still propose, so for the guys who really wanted to plan a proposal, tell them they totally still can just because you asked them to marry you doesn’t mean they can’t still ask you back.

  43. “Also, there was no proposal at all for FH and me. We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.”

    Same here. We were laying in bed talking about our future plans and decided to get married. When people ask, “How did he propose?” I respond, “He didn’t, we both decided to get married.” I agree completely that the ascribed roles of women and men in relationships (women as waiting to be picked and men as deciding) disempowers both. I didn’t feel that it was fair that my fiance has to panic, and I have to wait. We wanted a relationship built on a partnership, not a dictationship.

    With that being said, there isn’t anything wrong with men proposing, just the idea that they are the only ones with a right to do so!

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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. 🙂

  47. 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.

  48. 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 😀

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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 🙂

  54. 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.

  55. 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 😀

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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!

  60. 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!

  61. 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.

  62. 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! 🙂

  63. 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. 🙂

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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!

  67. 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

  68. 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

  69. 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 🙂

  70. 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.

  71. 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!

  72. 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.

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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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. =)

  78. 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!

  79. 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.

  80. 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!

  81. 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!

  82. 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.

  83. 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 😀

  84. 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!

  85. 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!

  86. 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.

  87. 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. 🙂

  88. 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!

  89. 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.


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