I was a girl who didn’t dream about her wedding day, but instead envisioned her proposal story. Since high school, I have wanted a romantic story to tell others and show the worth of my relationship. Once I got into adulthood, I loved hearing other’s proposal stories. When I saw a glittery ring on another girl’s hand, I would feel compelled to ask about her story, and relished in living vicariously through her.
A little over five and a half years ago, I met the person that I would spend the rest of my life with. After about six months, I started thinking about the proposal. My partner was getting deployed and I started to wonder if he would propose before he was shipped out. After driving myself insane thinking about it, I finally got up the courage to ask if there was to be a proposal in the works before he left. He said “no” and asked me if I really wanted to spend the first year of our engagement apart from each other. He also pointed out that after a year deployed he wasn’t sure how either of would have changed and especially expressed concern about coming back with trauma. I understood and was thankful to have my mind put to rest for a while.
My partner returned from deployment, and we went on living our lives and being in love. My sister got engaged to her husband and I was thrilled. Except for the fact that she didn’t have a proposal story. After months of waiting for a proposal, my brother-in-law didn’t “pop the question,” instead there was an adult conversation about marriage and they decided to get married.
I finished graduate school and we moved back closer to our families. Our relationship continued on with loving support and open communication. The only issue was marriage, and it became a dirty word that I didn’t feel like I could say. Over time, the word marriage became less of a dirty word and more of an idea that would happen at some point, but still no proposal.
In December, I thought my partner was going to propose, but when he brought out Christmas gifts instead of a little box, I was perplexed. We ended up discussing my disappointment, and it turned out that he was thinking about proposing but was unable to get the finances for a ring together. However, this opened the door to be able to start talking about rings and wedding plans.
I continued to wait for my proposal, and began to get frustrated with my partner and myself. I felt angry with my partner for not proposing, and I was angry with myself for wanting it and being angry with my partner.
At one point, my sister sent me a an article about women proposing. This started me thinking about taking matters into my own hands, and I started researching women's proposal stories, thinking about how I would propose and what this would mean for my relationship. Then one day, I decided that I was going to do it because I loved this person and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with them, and who cares what other people think.
I was able to plan my story and make it a special moment. It wasn’t over-the-top, but it was sweet and fit us, and he said YES! I got to call my family and friends and tell them the good news. My sister had the best response and expressed how romantic she thought it was.
Everyone was supportive and no one seemed to care that I proposed, well expect maybe one…
My partner and I have since discussed the proposal, and he has expressed guilt that he couldn’t give me what I wanted. I assure him that I got what I wanted, and the important thing is that we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together.
Through these experiences, I have learned a lot. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter who proposes, how or where they propose, or what the ring looks like. What matters is that you are lucky enough to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! Everything else is just fluff and icing on the cake.