Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

A Third of Married Women Secretly Disappointed With Their Proposal!

1382445813000-Kim-Kanye-ringA recent study found that a third of married women were secretly disappointed by the way their partner proposed. Among the list of complaints they shared where:

* The location wasn’t right
* Not enough romance
* It wasn’t a surprise
* Wasn’t personalized enough
* Didn’t love the ring. “Some said they would have preferred a larger gemstone, a different band shape or a ring of better ‘quality’.”

Some proposal traditions have been falling out of favor among those who do the proposing, which seems to be ok with a majority of women. For example, 58% of women said they didn’t care if their parents’ permission was asked before the proposal. And 56% of the women polled said they didn’t care if their partner popped the question on one knee. Basically: stand on your head, jump up and down or yell in from the roof top; just get ‘er done. (Oh, but make sure it’s a surprise and the ring is awesome and the proposal is totally personalized and the location is perfect and it’s super duper romantic).

For the record, I loved Drew’s proposal. It was as much of a surprise as it could be given that I chose the ring (my great-grandmother’s) and gave it to him to have sized, telling him to give it back to me, “when he was ready.” A week later, he called me after work one snowy Friday afternoon in early February and asked me to come meet him in Central Park for a walk. I had a hunch he was up to something and took extra care getting ready, but by the time I got to the park, I had forgotten my hunch and was only thinking about how cold I was and how we should make it a brief walk through the park en route to a warm bar for happy hour.


But then we started strolling through the park and had only made it just past the entrance when we crossed over a small bridge and Drew peered over the side and said, “Oh! Look!” And so I did, and written on the concrete below in sidewalk chalk was: “Wendy, Will you marry me? โ€” Drew” And then I turned back around and Drew had my great-grandmother’s ring in his hand (sized correctly for my finger), and I can’t honestly remember if he was down on one knee or not. I don’t think he was. I remember that I was waiting for him to say something and he was waiting for me to say something and finally he said, “Well?” And I said, “Yes!” And then he put the ring on my finger and we hugged and kissed and then we walked to a warm bar and drank champagne. (Actually, we walked to a bar in a fancy hotel where Drew had reserved a room for the night.) Before we went out to dinner, we walked home to get an overnight bag and to tell the cats the good news and they were so excited, little Simone leapt about 8 feet straight in the air. It was one of the happiest nights. The end.

144 comments… add one
  • Bunnycsp October 24, 2013, 1:43 pm

    I am someone who is secretly disappointed. I have been married forever so it isn’t a big deal but it was only cute because he was so nervous. My husband bought my engagement ring in April but didn’t have the guts to ask my parents until August. The problem was that he told everyone he bought a ring so we kept getting congratulated. So when he finally got the ok from my parents, he asked me to come over to his apartment. He was so nervous that when I said, “Is everything ok, you are acting weird.” he just said, “close your eyes.” He then got on one knee and asked in his gross, bachelor apartment. At the end of the day, it is a small thing but every time I hear about all this effort that some guys put into proposals, I feel disappointed.

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  • katie October 24, 2013, 1:49 pm

    this stuff makes me so sad. people suck.

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  • cdobbs October 24, 2013, 1:49 pm

    i’ve never been engaged, but i was dating this guy and i was on the verge of breaking up with him….he must have had a gut feeling that i wasn’t happy, because he handed me a ring box and when i opened it (thinking it was an engagement ring) it was empty!….he told me he just wanted to see my reaction to confirm what he had been worried about….i guess the horrified look on my face when i saw the box sort of confirmed his fears that i didn’t want to be with him anymore….still thought that was a pretty immature thing for him to do!

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    • rieux October 24, 2013, 1:55 pm

      That is an amazing story. I mean, good call on breaking up with him and I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time, but I have to say it gave me a laugh!

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      • cdobbs October 24, 2013, 2:06 pm

        my friends tell me constantly to write a book about all the guys i have dated! the sad thing is this story doesn’t even come close to some of the guys i have dated! i’m hoping that phase of my life is finally over ๐Ÿ˜€

    • ktfran October 24, 2013, 2:12 pm

      Oh my god. My jaw dropped in disbelief. Wow. Awesome story!

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    • rachel October 24, 2013, 2:16 pm

      That’s kind of hilarious.

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    • j2 October 24, 2013, 3:00 pm


      That guy was an idiot! What if it had been the empty box that had been the deal breaker?!

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    • Tinywormhole October 24, 2013, 11:58 pm

      OMFG what an ass!

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  • lets_be_honest October 24, 2013, 1:57 pm

    If I were to go through a proposal again, I’d want to be in my PJs at home. However, I can’t get enough of the over the top ones for other people. I just love all the stories. So far, I think rachel’s was my personal favorite though…over coffee.

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    • bethany October 24, 2013, 1:59 pm

      AGAIN?!? Did I miss something?!?!?!

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      • lets_be_honest October 24, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Oh, haha. Not really. Peter proposed once a few years ago and I said no. And my greatest friend proposed, seriously, in the hospital right after I had Lil.

      • bethany October 24, 2013, 2:01 pm

        I thought something happened while I was away last month!

      • lets_be_honest October 24, 2013, 2:02 pm

        No, no. Nothing new here! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lets_be_honest October 24, 2013, 2:03 pm

      I could understand not liking the ring. Not for the rock being too small, but just the ring in general. I mean, if you want to wear it for the rest of your life and its just not something you really like? I get that.

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      • bethany October 24, 2013, 2:09 pm

        That’s why I made sure my 3 best friends knew EXACTLY what I wanted, so if they were asked for their opinions, they knew what to say. He asked one of them, and she helped him pick the perfect ring!

      • Christy October 24, 2013, 3:16 pm

        Oh man, gf and I are nowhere near DISCUSSING marriage or living together, and I make sure she knows my ring preferences. Benefit of dating a girl I guess – we discuss wedding and engagement rings.

      • applescruffs October 24, 2013, 6:45 pm

        I’ve done the same, except in my case it’s making sure they know that when I say I only want a wedding band, I’m not being coy or difficult. I really only want a wedding band!

      • kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 3:43 pm

        I totally understand not liking the ring. Since we just went ring shopping (sorry if this sounds braggy), rings look so different in person/on your hand then they do online. And some guys/girls would have NO idea what to pick out. I think someone can know you really well but not know what looks best on your hand or if you want a simple/ornate design. My boyfriend and I learned so much ring shopping and I’m really glad we picked out some styles that we liked together. I thought I wanted up to X amount of carats, and then I tried it on and it looked so gaudy on my tiny fingers. Just stuff like that. Like I would really suggest ring shopping to anyone looking to get engaged because you learn a lot (and its fun!).

  • bethany October 24, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Wendy, I love your proposal story!!

    The only thing that disappointed me was that I was kind of hoping for “the speech”– Like, “Bethany, the past 4 years have been the best of my life, I can’t imagine life without you.. blah blah blah…”, before the “Will you marry me?” My husband is a man of few words, so I figured he wouldn’t get all long winded about it, and I was right.

    He took me on a walk in a National Park, and asked me to marry him by the river. It sounds sweet, but it was starting to get dark, and I saw a Raccoon that I thought was rabid, and there were bugs everywhere, and I was being a brat about wanting to go home! It was worth it though! And the ring was perfect, and I couldn’t have asked for a better guy.

    Oh, and two days after our wedding, while I was asleep on the ferry ride home, he took my phone and wrote me a note (and didn’t tell me), that was basically the speech I had hoped for with the proposal. It was awesome.

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    • kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 3:44 pm

      that’s really sweet about the speech you were hoping for!

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  • Kate B. October 24, 2013, 1:59 pm

    While I don’t particularly care about the size of the rock, I am picky about my jewelry and I would like to like the ring. It also shows that he took the time to think about my preferences and went to the trouble to choose something I would like. It’s like choosing a gift: do you really know me or am I just a warm body to you? I’m a big romantic sap, too, so that would be a plus. But overall, as long as it reflects some thought on his part, I’d probably be happy (says the never married one). I certainly would never expect him to bankrupt himself.

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  • GatorGirl October 24, 2013, 2:05 pm

    I personally love our proposal story. It was April Fools Day, I had a beer before, and I cried like a maniac and remember absolutely nothing he said. Shortly there after we went into a candy store and I was still sniffling/in shock and the little like 18 year old kid working goes “Don’t cry ma’am, you can have all the candy you want!” and I lost it again.

    People who think their proposal sucks suck.

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    • Kate October 24, 2013, 2:08 pm

      Oh yeah? How about being 19 years old and receiving a long-distance phone call on the landline at Claire’s where you have a job piercing ears, and it’s your boyfriend at Basic Training asking “hey, do you wanna get married?”

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      • bethany October 24, 2013, 2:09 pm


      • Kate October 24, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Yeah, and I married him! (Divorced after 7 years). Got to live in Italy for a couple awesome years, so there’s that. Now he calls me to give me big updates on his life like he’s sober, found Jesus, is doing stand-up comedy, etc. And he texts me a joke every Monday. Some of them are pretty good!

      • katie October 24, 2013, 2:15 pm

        that does suck at all, thats hilarious!

      • ChemE October 24, 2013, 2:18 pm

        At least mine wrote it in a letter ๐Ÿ™‚

    • missliss October 24, 2013, 2:21 pm

      I love this! I’ve turned into a happy crier and can appreciate what this would have felt like.

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  • ktfran October 24, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I had no idea my ex-fiance was going to propose to me. He kept trying to schedule dinners, three times, but the first time I was sick. The second, I think I was stressed at work. Maybe we finally got it right the third. We went to dinner at a fancy little Italian restaurant then we went for a walk on the beach. Once we came to the end of the walk, where it started getting rocky, he said “hey, what’s that shiny thing over there?” When I looked, didn’t see anything and turned around, he had the ring out and proposed. He had also asked my dad, which I thought was sweet.

    That’s my proposal.

    If it ever happens again, I want something simple, like at home. Maybe in the morning. A :hey, I love you, will you marry me kind of thing.” And that’s it. So, LBH style.

    Also, my first ring was pretty badass. Not big. Just beautiful and super shiny. Not sure if I really want another one. I would be happy with just a band, once married. Maybe some diamond engagement earrings though ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Christy October 24, 2013, 3:20 pm

      I wonder about engagement rings. Do women wear them after getting married? Do you wear both rings? Like, shouldn’t the wedding band matter more?

      Just curious. I went ring shopping for myself last night (shitty day) and I keep being drawn towards the pretty (and expensive) bands. And I wouldn’t want another ring to go with that. But then what would I be proposed to with? What would I wear while engaged?

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      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 3:27 pm

        You wear both of them together as a set with the wedding band on the inside of the finger (closer to the heart) and the engagement ring closer to the end of the finger. Many people get them fused ( I don’t know if that is the right word) into one ring. I’ve never gotten mine fused so wear both rings at the same time and I think that will work nicely because one day one of the rings can go to my son and one can go to my daughter.

      • othy October 24, 2013, 4:07 pm

        I wear both, usually with the band on the inside. However, I’ve lost a bit of weight lately, and my engagement ring is quite loose on my finger but my wedding band fits fine. So I have to switch them to keep them secure. And it’s really messing with me.

        And, for the record, I wouldn’t fuse mine. I like to be able to wear just the band if I’m traveling or doing something where I might lose the diamond ring (the band was infinitely cheaper).

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 4:27 pm

        My wedding band would look strange by itself just because of the way it loops around the engagement ring but you’re right that you can wear it alone. My friends all wear both together and two now have anniversary bands that they also wear. I think they wear the wedding band closest to the heart, then the engagement ring in the middle with the anniversary band on the outside.

      • ktfran October 24, 2013, 3:29 pm

        I’ve seen some women just wear a band, and others wear both (engagement and band) together.

        So, if I guess if there is no engagement ring, you get nothing to flash? But to me, yes, the band is more important.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 3:32 pm

        Some cultures buy the wedding band and wear it on the right hand while engaged and then move it to the left hand when they get married. As long as it makes you happy, you can do it however you like. You could also get a wedding band and call it your engagement ring while engaged and then call it your wedding ring when married and wear it on your left hand the entire time. The ring is the symbol of your commitment and you can choose any ring you want to show the commitment.

      • eljay October 24, 2013, 3:36 pm

        I had an engagement ring and wedding band. On the day of the wedding, I removed the engagement ring – I didn’t want anything on that finger at the time of vows – and after the wedding, I added the engagement ring (never removing the band, just adding the engagement ring). I loved the look of them both, but the band, was the most important part of the two.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 3:58 pm

        I wore my engagement ring during the wedding. My wedding band wraps half-way around my engagement ring with a band of small diamonds. When it came time for the ring the priest whispered to me asking which way the band went because it obviously wasn’t the same on both sides and would fit with the engagement ring only one way. I took off the engagement ring, put them together and gave it back to him. Then he gave it to my husband and my husband put them on my finger together while says the words that go with the ring. I guess in some ways that makes them both my wedding ring.

      • eljay October 24, 2013, 4:03 pm

        Aaawwww, I love that! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 3:48 pm

        Depends on the person! My mom just wears her wedding ring (pretty plain gold band). My sister will throw on her engagement ring for nice occasions or holidays. I plan to wear both, but I forsee a lot of days where I just want to wear the wedding band. And then you have to pick out the engagement ring to match what wedding band you envision and yadda yadda ya. On your wedding day most people switch the engagement ring to the right hand so that their wedding band can go on an empty finger.

      • bethany October 24, 2013, 3:57 pm

        I wear both rings about 80% of the time. Sometimes I like just wearing my wedding band. Even though I LOVE my engagement ring, my wedding band means so much more to me. I love it and what it means.

      • Fabelle October 24, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Do you guys have “spare sets”? Because this one girl on my FB friends list that I love to hate posted a side-by-side picture of her hand recently— wearing engagement ring/wedding ring sets in both pics, but in the one pic the set was noticeably smaller. And she captioned it like, “UGH hate when my main set is getting dipped”—-which, what even is that—-“boo to having to wear my spare set, I feel naked LOL”

        (Sorry I don’t know where to put this…)

      • bethany October 24, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Umm. No. I don’t know anyone who has a spare set!

        I’ve heard of people getting fake/cheap rings to wear when traveling overseas, but never spare rings.

      • kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 4:33 pm

        She probably has it for when she’s getting the ring dipped. White gold eventually gets a yellowish sheen to it. I probably would just go without a ring for those few days/week, but whatever floats your boat! I don’t really understand people who wear a fake one for more than traveling.

      • Kate October 24, 2013, 4:38 pm

        What the fuck kind of a thing is that to post on Facebook? Wow.

      • Fabelle October 24, 2013, 4:58 pm


      • Red_Lady October 24, 2013, 10:06 pm

        My husband has a spare ring. He chose a very inexpensive ring, and we bought it online. When it arrived, it was a bit too big, so we ordered another one in a smaller side. He decided to keep the bigger one, just in case he needed a bigger ring some day.

      • GatorGirl October 24, 2013, 4:36 pm

        I wear both with my wedding band closer to my hand. I may stop wearing my engagement ring one day because it’s from the 1930s.

      • kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 5:08 pm

        I have a ring from the 20s that I got from an antique store that is still goin strong. It needs to be dipped, but that’s about it.

    • Red_Lady October 24, 2013, 9:57 pm

      My engagement ring is my wedding ring. A few of my friends did this too. Apparently my husband didn’t even realize that you were supposed to have an engagement ring and wedding band to go together. Luckily, I didn’t want another ring anyways.

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  • Copa October 24, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Have y’all seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Maybe it’s dumb, but that’s my favorite movie proposal… well, I guess I don’t really have a favorite movie proposal, but for some reason that’s always the scene that pops to mind when I think about proposals. That, and a commercial that I’m blanking on. Haha. (I think I’m weird? But I have never been proposed to so. This is where my mind goes.)

    Proposals seem to have become kinda commercialized? gimmicky? (struggling to find the right word) and I think it’s tacky. I’d be super content with a My Big Fat Greek Wedding proposal. I’d be horrified by a public proposal.

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    • AliceInDairyland October 24, 2013, 8:41 pm

      I hope you are thinking of the fancy feast commercial where the guy gets his gf a kitten… and then they get married…

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      • AliceInDairyland October 24, 2013, 8:49 pm

        OMG I just saw below!!!

      • AliceInDairyland October 24, 2013, 9:00 pm

        I am so late to this party because I was making jam…. Buuut….

        I think I proposed to Benjamin, sort of. The other night we were talking about the house we are building and budgeting for the next few years, la la la. And I had been feeling kind of anxious about it because we had never really vocally solidified that we were in this for the long haul. So I started crying, and I said something along the lines of…

        “I just need to make sure that if we are building this house, and we are planning this farm that we are on the forever-train together. Because I don’t want to be in love with you, and fall in love with this house, and this farm and our life together if you aren’t on the forever-train with me.” (I fucking said Forever-Train like it was a thing, and I definitely said it more than once, all while crying)

        He reassured me that he was indeed on the forever-train with me, and that he had assumed we were on the same page (boys). However he didn’t want to make anything official until we were living not with his mom and such. So. There’s that. I imagine we will marry one another in an official-type way at some point but for now we are on the forever-train which is good enough for me.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 9:15 pm

        You’ve got commitment and that’s the only thing that really counts!

      • lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 11:15 am

        Alice, I hear ya! I’m late to everything because I’m so busy making jam! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Copa October 24, 2013, 10:40 pm

        There’s actually another commercial that I saw maybe a year ago that I really liked. I’m Googling all kinds of weird things right now but can’t find it. Basically it shows the relationship from nervous first kiss through proposal, where the boyfriend is taking photos of her and tells her to close her eyes, then we she opens them he has a ring & she’s all shocked. I like that one because I think it’s sweet that he proposes when they’re just goofing around by themselves.

  • painted_lady October 24, 2013, 2:29 pm

    As long as the proposal felt heartfelt, it’d be fine. But I have a friend whose now-husband tossed it at her while they were in bed after sex. I know she didn’t mind (obviously…) but I’d have felt like shit. I don’t need a huge production, but I would like for him to act like he gives a shit, you know?

    Also, it’s one thing to think your ring isn’t big enough (UGH), but I don’t think it’s a crime to want a ring you like. I have a friend who was proposed to with an intentionally hideous gag ring. It was hilarious – she still said yes, and was like, “Um, about the ring….?” He played with her for a little bit (I know, isn’t it gorgeous? I knew it was you the moment I saw it!) and then gave her the real ring.

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    • rieux October 24, 2013, 3:11 pm


      Was it like a funny joke because they both think it’s fun to play pranks on each other, or like a test to make sure she wasn’t too shallow to marry?

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      • Banana October 24, 2013, 3:17 pm

        I hope it was a joke, not a test! I think tests are really manipulative. If I’d been in that situation and found out later that it had been a “test” not a joke, THAT would have been the dealbreaker for me, not the ring itself.

      • rieux October 24, 2013, 3:22 pm

        Oh yeah that was definitely what I was thinking. Like, if it was a funny prank b/c they’re an offbeat couple that likes to play sick jokes on each other, ADORBS. If it was him testing her, TERRIBLE.

      • painted_lady October 25, 2013, 12:33 am

        Oh, no, it was TOTALLY a joke. She thought it was so funny.

    • Kate B. October 24, 2013, 4:59 pm

      I know someone who did that with a toy ring for the fake ring. She got a real one later.

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    • oldie October 24, 2013, 5:23 pm

      I think anyone who volunteers to spend the rest of his life with you and asks you to marry him can be presumed to give a shit. It is the life together that counts, not the rom-com proposal or the salute to the wedding industry with a totally awesome ring, gigundo wedding, which of course has to be just perfect, and all the other societal trappings. Sounds like the friend was on board with this proposal. Reading that a third of wives harbor lingering disappointment at the quality of their proposal/ring just points out that there are a third of women whom men would be well advised to simply avoid.

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      • painted_lady October 25, 2013, 12:42 am

        Well…I think I was thinking more the worst-case scenario like my friend who got the ring tossed at her. I’d be fine with Diablo’s version – it’s kind of awesome. But I just don’t want a “Hey, here, I got you this…” which is honestly probably what a couple guys I’ve dated would have done. I want him to be happy and maybe excited to be marrying me, not obligated and browbeaten into it.

      • painted_lady October 25, 2013, 12:44 am

        And honestly, I think the gag ring was a brilliant proposal. I’d have no problem with it being funny. Actually, if I have an official proposal, I would prefer it be funny.

    • Red_Lady October 24, 2013, 10:11 pm

      One of my friends got proposed to w/ a rubber band! Apparently it was an inside joke between them that came up when they were shopping for rings, so when he proposed, she opened the ring box to a rubber band. Then he gave her the real ring.

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  • honeybeenicki October 24, 2013, 2:33 pm

    A lot of people think I should be disappointed in my proposal, but it was oddly fitting. When my husband and I got serious, we were working opposite shifts (me 3rd shift, him 1st shift) and rarely saw each other, so we texted all the time. My sister-in-law ended up in the hospital during her pregnancy and I took time off work to be there with her for a few weeks.

    One day, I was texting him while he was at work and mentioned that my ex-stepmother had said something about her then boyfriend becoming her fiance. My husband had been planning on asking me that day to marry him but didn’t know how to do it, so he said something like “well, would you want to be called that?” and I got really confused because I thought he was asking me if I wanted to be my ex-stepmother’s fiance and that just went into a realm of weird I didn’t want to touch. Finally he got his thoughts together and asked (via TEXT mind you) if I would marry him.

    When we had started dating, I told him that I wanted to be engaged by a certain time (6 years after we started dating was my end date for that) and it had only been a year and a half. I thought he was joking so I kept telling him that it wasn’t funny. Apparently he was sitting at work surrounded by friends who were waiting for my answer and he was so embarrassed because I was not making life easy for him by not giving an answer to what I thought was a joke. He told me he wasn’t joking and that he did want to marry me and got me so flustered that I didn’t even answer. I just told him to go back to work and that we’d talk when we both got home.

    I got home before he did and was in the kitchen making dinner when he came in, blocked the kitchen door, got down on one knee and proposed… with a round ring-shaped piece of metal that is used in making large fan boxes (he worked at a place that manufactured them). He knew better than to pick out a ring for me (I’m particular about jewelry) but his friends told him he couldn’t propose empty-handed. I apparently said yes (or so I assume, since we got married almost 5 years ago) and we went and picked out a ring. I do; however, still have that strange piece of metal and plan to always keep it.

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    • Jess October 24, 2013, 2:49 pm

      That’s actually super cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • honeybeenicki October 24, 2013, 2:51 pm

        That’s why I actually liked it ๐Ÿ™‚ But usually when I tell people they look at me like I should have said no. I do think it’s funny that he was with friends waiting for what he thought would be a yes and I just was not cooperating ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bittergaymark October 24, 2013, 2:45 pm

    This just in! New polling data reveals 1/3 of all new brides to be self important bitches whose marriages have less than a snowball’s chance in hell…

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    • Diablo October 24, 2013, 5:27 pm

      Gotta disagree with your math, Mark. Suggest you add the phrase “at least” before “1/3.”

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  • Lo October 24, 2013, 2:57 pm

    This is why shows like the Bachelor and all this damn Kim and Kayne coverage gives me rage attacks. People think its supposed to be this big grand event all about you and all that BS and spectacle trumps the ACTUAL point of the whole thing (ya know… loving someone enough to want to be a family together).

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  • Callifax October 24, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Boyfriend (fiance?) and I got engaged just a few weeks ago. He asked me, sans ring, while we were lying in bed and watching TV on vacation in the Carribean. He’s a really shy person, and I knew that even asking was a big deal for him, so I was touched and really happy with the gesture. A few days later, back at home, we were watching Modern Family, and it was the episode where Sophia Vergara’s character is obsessing over not having a nice engagement story. For some reason, I think that made my boyfriend feel badly, or like I was missing out on something, because a few days later, he wrote a website that could only be accessed from our home internet when I tried to access my favorite website with a proposal on it. It was super sweet, and I really didn’t need the extra second engagement, but it meant a lot to me that he went out of his way to do something special. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Banana October 24, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I’m going to speak in defense of the disappointed brides! I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be disappointed by a proposal, as long as you put it in perspective, like the first comment on this post, who has had a long and happy marriage and doesn’t hold it against her husband, but just privately longed for something different. There’s a big difference between being a spoiled bitch and just being a regular old human being, someone who is capable of being a little let down without making it a big deal. As long as you acknowledge that the proposal is not as important as the marriage, it’s okay to be a little disappointed in it, then shrug and move on with life.

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    • katie October 24, 2013, 3:21 pm

      but why is a proposal something that you can even be disappointed by in the first place? that is whats wrong. that is what needs to change in society.

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      • Banana October 24, 2013, 3:32 pm

        Yeah, I get that as a society we put way too much importance on the proposal. But even if it weren’t like that…it’s still possible to be disappointed in it. If I can be disappointed in an egg salad sandwich, I can be disappointed in a proposal. It doesn’t even have to be a reflection of how “important” you think the proposal is supposed to be. If it’s not what you were expecting or you were just underwhelmed, it’s okay to feel that. Just don’t blow it out of proportion. I wouldn’t say my life was ruined by one bad egg salad sandwich (unless it gave me salmonella and I died, I guess).

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 3:33 pm


      • Banana October 24, 2013, 3:36 pm

        Put another way: to me, it’s like birthdays. Some people love, and look forward to, big blowout birthdays. Other people like quiet, small ones. I don’t judge either type. I just judge people who act like not getting what they wanted for their birthday celebration is the end of the world.

        But if I knew someone who loved big blowout birthday celebrations, and didn’t get one one year, and they said privately to me, “You know, I was kinda bummed with my birthday celebration this year. But whatever, life goes on!” and they were genuinely that chill about it afterward, I wouldn’t hold it against them for being disappointed. As long as they’re not being a brat about it. Same with engagements. Some people like them big and crazy. Others like them quiet and intimate. If you don’t get the kind that you want, it’s okay to feel privately a little disappointed, as long as you’re not a brat and you acknowledge that it’s just one small, relatively insignificant moment in life (compared to the marriage itself).

      • katie October 24, 2013, 3:53 pm

        i disagree. the point of a proposal is to tell someone else you want to marry them. if that is a happy occasion, the method of proposal shouldnt matter in the slightest.

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 4:18 pm

        Yeah, that’s beautiful in theory. But people are more complicated than that. We can’t always force ourselves to be 100% okay with whatever happens because it’s *supposed* to be a happy occasion. We can’t always force ourselves not to care in the slightest about the method of a proposal if it was different from what we’d hoped for. And those hopes might not even be formed by pop culture or what society tells us we should expect. For example, honeybeeneki’s story is AWESOME. I love it, and clearly it was great for both of them. But if I knew someone who was a different kind of romantic, who had at least hoped for an in-person proposal and got a text proposal, I wouldn’t blame them for being disappointed. I’d judge them if they then acted like it was the end of the world. But I can’t blame them for feeling disappointed. Sometimes life disappoints you in strange, unpredictable, little ways that aren’t that big a deal in the long run.

        I’m not saying it’s okay to throw a fit or dwell on it — I’m just saying, we’re all human, and I don’t like universally calling anyone who felt any kind of disappointment at all a materialistic bitch or a sucky person.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 4:24 pm

        I think that’s why it works best to plan things together rather than expecting someone to put something together that reflects you personally. Why not have something that you both like that reflects both of you equally. Then no one is disappointed.

      • katie October 24, 2013, 4:27 pm

        yep, totally this.

        i cant wait til proposals die.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 4:31 pm

        I think part of the problem with expecting someone to know you so perfectly that they make everything exactly how you would make it for yourself is that it starts the relationship with unrealistic expectations. There is the idea that if you know me you know me so well I don’t need to communicate with you and it also says everything should be done around me and my expectations. Neither works well for marriage.

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 4:52 pm

        I agree! I didn’t mean to sound like it was okay for women to expect men to read their minds and then put together something impossibly perfect. I agree that proposals should be planned together, expectations should be voiced, and expectations should also be realistic.

        But sometimes shit just doesn’t turn out as planned. And that’s okay too. It’s okay to feel a little blue about that, momentarily. All I’m trying to say is, I don’t think it’s fair to make a blanket statement that anyone who was disappointed in a proposal sucks. Everyone’s human.

      • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 4:55 pm

        You’re right that things don’t always turn out as you planned and it is fine to be disappointed. Your feelings are your feelings and they happen naturally.

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 4:56 pm

        katie, I just don’t get why it has to be so black and white. Clearly you don’t like proposals (or at least not the “traditional” kind). But that doesn’t have to mean no one else is allowed to like them. Why can’t you do it your way, and they do it theirs? And if they planned theirs to go one way, and it turned out not as great as they’d planned, it’s okay for them to feel a little disappointed. As long as they understand that the proposal itself isn’t a big deal. Like I said, if we can be disappointed in an egg salad sandwich, we can be disappointed in proposals. I don’t get why proposals have to be something you’re never allowed to be disappointed in, when it’s possible to be disappointed by so many other things in life.

      • kerrycontrary October 24, 2013, 5:06 pm

        I’m with you, Banana. I also think that proposals ARE a big deal. I mean nowadays the couple has most likely already decided they are getting married, so it is a joint decision. But when someone proposes to another person, they are starting their engagement. They are making that public commitment to each other. So that’s a big deal. So I think that a woman (or man) can hope that the proposal goes nicely. I don’t think someone should be a brat about their disappointment (or even vocalize it), but they can think “oh…that wasn’t what I envisioned but I sure am happy we’re engaged now. Oh well”

      • katie October 24, 2013, 5:27 pm

        its not that i hate proposals or i think everyone should think like me- i just hate a culture that pressures men to live up to some absolutely made up and, unattainable and absolutely sexist public showing of money, buying a woman’s vagina (because thats what a proposal is), that is then on the other end fed to women to want, brag about, and “grade” their husbands based on. then they pressure men, and the whole cycle restarts.

        so yes, i do think that you cant be disappointed if you ultimately are just happy to married, which is what matters. if your disappointed you have bought into the whole bullshit cycle and judged your husband on… what? on something made up that has literally no bearing on your relationship. im not all about judging men based on their ability to create a perfect proposal. thats ridiculous.

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 5:31 pm

        But that’s not what I’m talking about at all. I’m not saying that it’s okay for women to expect men live up to impossible standards that they never communicate or that proposals have to be all about the effort the man, and the man alone, puts in.

        I’m just saying that proposals, like anything else in life, can stray from the plan both people had in mind. And it’s possible to be disappointed by that. Being disappointed in that doesn’t mean those people are sexist pigs who believe a proposal is buying a woman’s vagina. Maybe it just means they’re normal human beings who planned something nice that didn’t turn out quite like they’d wanted it to. Maybe their disappointment has nothing to do with the culture at all. You’re implying that anyone who’s disappointed in a proposal must be disappointed because of the pressure they feel from cultural expectations. Maybe that’s not actually the case every time. It’s not always political.

      • Banana October 24, 2013, 5:36 pm

        Being disappointed doesn’t mean you’re judging your husband!!! Shit, you can be disappointed that it rained that day. That has nothing to do with him. Or you can be disappointed that you didn’t say something more eloquent in response because you were so flustered. That’s not on him, either. Why do you keep assuming that women are the only ones who could be disappointed by a proposal, or that their disappointment could ONLY be due to cultural pressure, or that their disappointment MUST OF COURSE be directed at the man?

        I keep saying: people are people. Life is life. Stuff comes up. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the culture. Maybe sometimes it’s just life being weird like that, and not quite what anybody expects. I just really, really object to any blanket statement about how people aren’t “allowed” or “supposed” to feel a way about something. Who are you to tell them they can’t feel that way? To tell them that feeling that way is a sign they’ve bought into a sexist hegemony? Knowing nothing at all about their reasons or the context, just on principle? You’re writing really vitriolically about how terrible cultural expectations are, but YOUR expectations sound pretty harsh, too.

      • katie October 24, 2013, 5:41 pm

        if you you are disappointed in your own proposal, yes i am going to say you are judging your husband on not being good enough.

        and, remember- these were the reasons given in the survey:
        * The location wasnโ€™t right
        * Not enough romance
        * It wasnโ€™t a surprise
        * Wasnโ€™t personalized enough
        * Didnโ€™t love the ring. โ€œSome said they would have preferred a larger gemstone, a different band shape or a ring of better โ€˜qualityโ€™.

        those arent just, oh i was disappointed it rained that day kind of things.

      • Kate B. October 24, 2013, 6:18 pm

        A man can only buy your vagina if you’re selling it. Just because I say yes to a man doesn’t mean I give up ownership of my body. It’s still mine. I share it with him, he does not get it on demand. I know there are women who judge their husband by the size of his wallet, but those are the shallow ones. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making an effort to do something your partner will remember all her life if that’s important to her, and it doesn’t have to materialistic. It just has to be special. If special is eating Spaghetti-Os out of a can while sitting in a tent during a downpour, then that’s what it is. Deciding to get married is a big deal, it should be marked with a special occasion, I think, but that’s just me.

      • Diablo October 24, 2013, 6:39 pm

        katie, I didn’t “buy” M’s vag – she was sharing it liberally for years by then. What I “bought” was everything she had to give in this life, and the price I paid was everything I have to give in this life. If you want to commodify proposals, get the math right. Everything for everything, forever. I get what you are saying, but you are being reductive about what matters most to lots of people.

      • katie October 24, 2013, 7:12 pm

        haha, “buying a vagina” comes from how engagement rings came into existence. back in the day, there were laws that a man couldnt back out of an engagement, and if he did, the woman could/would sue him. when those were (rightly) abolished, men no longer had any financial “horse in the race” if an engagement ever ended, but… because women usually gave it up after an engagement, not after a marriage, they had a huge social “horse in the race”. then enter mr. debeers, who saw a need a filled it with sparkly diamonds. now men had to “buy” the right to have sex with their soon to be wives- or, put a different way, they had to put a real life, valuable, tangible down payment on a promise to marry. and now we have engagement rings.

      • Banana October 25, 2013, 10:40 am

        Okay, katie. I get it. Proposals suck and are trashy. But the women who fail to be anything less than slobberingly grateful and happy about their proposals also suck and are trashy. Everybody loses!

    • bittergaymark October 25, 2013, 12:56 am

      It’s an entire generation of idiots out there. KIM KARDASHIAN MUST DIE! Sigh… If only.

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      • Diablo October 25, 2013, 11:41 am

        Can a fembot really “die”?

  • Fabelle October 24, 2013, 3:05 pm

    I told the story already of my boyfriend telling me he’s going to have the cheerleaders (or, actually, it was their idea) at his school do a “proposal cheer” at a game (that I guess he’ll drag me to) & then he will pop out of the mascot costume with a ring. haha. SO ridiculous. I told him if he does that, I’d probably wind up getting mad (because I’ll get to the field & be like “WHERE ARE YOU” & he’d have to think of excuses for why he’s not meeting me at the stands, & I’d probably get all annoyed, because I’m awkward & would feel awkward standing there at his school where I don’t know anyone)

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  • boredatwork October 24, 2013, 3:08 pm

    I’m not married but my mom and dad have a hilarious story behind theirs.

    My dad bought the ring and took my mom up to the top of the mountains in a national park. He was just about to propose when another tourist came upon them and asked my mom to take some pictures of him. My mom grew up in the area and basically ended up giving this guy a guided tour the WHOLE DAY. My dad proposed that night while they were doing the dishes. to this day my mom says, while laughing, she wished my dad had just told that guy to hold on one minute.

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  • Miel October 24, 2013, 3:09 pm

    I purposely told my boyfriend that if he was ever to propose, he should do it with some cheap plastic ring, so we can just shop for one together once we’re engaged. I wouldn’t trust him to buy a ring, he would put an insane amount of money on it and then I would hate it.

    I also told him to not make a big deal out of the proposal. Every time I see a “big proposal video” on youtube, I can’t stop thinking “how much did it cost ?!?” I told him if he did something crazy expensive, like hiring an orchestra, and rent a special venue in secret, and have a plane draw a heart in the sky, or anything like that, I would answer ‘NO’ to the proposal. Because I won’t marry someone that apparently likes to throw money out of the window for a proposal. I prefer someone that is cautious with his finance than someone who makes “the best surprises !”.

    My boyfriend thinks I’m not romantic when I talk like that.

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  • Sue Jones October 24, 2013, 3:13 pm

    I just can’t relate. It is about the MARRIAGE, people! I just do not get all of this “oh, the ring is wrong, he didn’t make it special enough, etc. ” stuff. No wonder men are reluctant to propose! I think my husband and I just rolled over in bed one morning, looked at each other and decided to just get married. That was all. And we are still together 17 years later.

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    • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 3:19 pm

      I think it works best that way! The emphasis is on the relationship and not on the ring.

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    • John Farrier October 24, 2013, 4:21 pm

      I agree. The proposal and wedding can me made touching and romantic, but it’s the relationship that really matters.

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    • Addie Pray October 24, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Yes but you are super Sue with the secret [this is me not repeating what i’ve learned from deleted threads but it is super awesome] who rocks the mom jeans! I love you.

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      • Sue Jones October 25, 2013, 10:06 am

        No mom jeans here! Yoga pants! Yo-ga Pants!

      • Addie Pray October 25, 2013, 11:44 am

        NO, MOM JEANS! I have this image. You’re a suburban mom in mom jeans – purposefully crafted to be non-conspicuous. It’s your disguise. But really you’re a superhero with the craziest past!

    • Diablo October 24, 2013, 6:24 pm

      Yeah! Frickin A! see mine below.

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  • Skyblossom October 24, 2013, 3:18 pm

    I didn’t have a proposal. We decided to get married and we went together and picked out a ring that we both loved. I like the idea that we are equals and do important things together and make important decisions together. I have never expected my husband to read my mind and get me the perfect something with nothing more than hints. I think it is unrealistic and sets you up for disappointment and resentment. We also picked the wedding bands together and I have a ring that I love and I’ve never seen another ring that I like more than my own.

    My cousin’s boyfriend is proposing to her next week and is making a huge production of it, inviting all of their friends and family to watch him propose and it will be taped and I assume may end up on YouTube. I don’t like the idea. I think a proposal should be intimate, between the two of you, cementing your relationship. The idea of it being a spectacle and an event for at least 100 people seems wrong, like the emphasis is wrong.

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    • Milla October 24, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Same with meโ€” no proposal, we both knew we wanted to get married someday. We picked out rings on Etsy together (both vintageโ€” hers is an emerald, mine’s a garnet, nothing too expensive). The day they came, we went out to a fancy restaurant for dessert and drinks to celebrate. It was great and just about us, which is what really mattered to us.

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  • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 4:04 pm

    I will never regret my proposal because I was proposed to with a brand new 6 week old puppy! Best proposal ever. We were ring shopping together, because I wanted a say, because if I was going to be wearing it for the rest of my life (cough cough) then I needed to like it. Anyway we went to 6 jewelry stores in 3 weeks and I was fucking over it. The last one was in a mall and on the way out I asked if we could go play with puppies since I was so frustrated. We left with Sampson 30 minutes later. The ring did not last but the puppy did. I win.

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    • Copa October 24, 2013, 4:24 pm

      OMG! I was going to write a comment about how I want a puppy proposal, like this one dumb/awesome Fancy Feast commercial where the guy gets his girlfriend a kitten that looks like her childhood cat with a tag saying “Will you marry us?” on the collar, and she’s obviously like YAAAAA. So yeah! I already have a cat and happen to like dogs better. Soooo puppy proposals for the win!

      (I feel like Drunk Copa wrote this? even though I’m at work.)

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      • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 4:30 pm

        You’re probably contact drunk from the drinking thread.

    • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 5:36 pm

      So Colin and I are training for a marathon in March (I know, I need to shut the fuck up about it already, but I swear it keeps coming up not because I’m annoying!) and I told him during one of our longer runs (which is funny because don’t normally talk, it’s like solo time with our ear buds in) that it would be so cute to get proposed to at the end of a marathon. And then he said, that’s because you’ve never experienced how gross you look and feel after running 26.2 miles. Touche buddy, touche.

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      • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 5:56 pm

        I am so crazy.

    • lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 11:18 am

      So you’ve given me a way to get puppy! Can I propose to Peter with a puppy, even though he does not want a puppy? There’s no way he could say no then, right??

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  • Addie Pray October 24, 2013, 4:47 pm

    I am *LOVING* reading everyone’s proposal stories. Keep ’em coming! Also I took the afternoon off, so I’m playing DW catch up. Tell your proposal stories!

    I have said this before but I think if I were a guy I’d propose to my girlfriend while she is using the toilet. It would be SOOO funny because (a) she couldn’t get up and go anyway, so you’d be sure to have her stay and answer you, (b) everyone asks about the proposal story so for her WHOLE LIFE she’d have to start with “well, I was going No. 2 and….” and I just think that would be the funniest joke on her ever, and (c) it would certainly be original. Well I still think that would be hilarious and if a boyfriend did that to me I’d love it. Like the anti-proposal proposal story. I may be the only person in the world. Cats Meow may see where I”m coming from though.

    Ok, I want your stories, tell me more!

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    • Addie Pray October 24, 2013, 6:39 pm

      But now reading everyone’s stories is making me teary eyed, and it’s making me want to be proposed to and not even on a toilet. Does this mean i’m maturing?

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  • camorzilla October 24, 2013, 5:16 pm

    My husband and I knew we were going to get married before we even moved in together (at 3 months). I wanted an actual proposal and wedding- if it had been up to him, we would have gone to the courthouse after we had been living together for a month or so. We went out to dinner for our first Valentine’s Day at this swank Italian restaurant that was downtown. Afterward he suggested we take a walk around the square- at one point he stopped and I was all “what are you doing” and I turned around and he was down on one knee. Totally sweet and perfect. I don’t even remember what he said. My engagement ring is his great grandmother’s ring so I knew what it looked like- luckily it is a very simple gorgeous ring that totally suits my style. My wedding ring is a plain band that I never take off. I usually wear them together but like having my wedding band separate for when I’m traveling, doing the dishes, or digging in the dirt.

    Also, our one year wedding anniversary was on Tuesday :). Many people who have known me for a long time were surprised when I got engaged because I guess they didn’t ever think I would find anyone. HA!

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  • John Farrier October 24, 2013, 4:20 pm

    My wife kind of blacked out when I proposed to her and doesn’t remember it well. I remember her screaming with delight. I then asked, “Is that a ‘yes’?”

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  • sobriquet October 24, 2013, 5:57 pm

    Oh man, my ring is so small that it doesn’t even look like an engagement ring to me, but I love it. It’s handmade and inexpensive so I feel comfortable wearing it everywhere I go. It’s perfect for me even though the majority of women would probably be disappointed.

    I loved my proposal even though I knew it was happening a good hour before it did. He was so nervous but trying so hard to hide it. Once we got to our spot, it was just nice and relaxing to do some people watching and drink wine while the sun started to set. There was a light saber competition happening in the field next to us (oh, Austin) and in another part of the park a girl was getting professional pictures taken in what we think was her quinceanera dress. He handed me a journal and had me read a few entries that he’d written about important dates in our relationship. Then I turned to a page that talked about the day he asked me to marry him and he kneeled down in front of me with the ring and I don’t remember what he said AT ALL, but I said yes. We called our mothers, texted our best friends and then went out for margaritas. My favorite part is that the journal is something we’ll continue to write in as time goes on.

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    • Diablo October 24, 2013, 6:19 pm

      M’s has a tiny almost invisible diamond, because we were poor as dirt when we did it. i’ve offered many times to buy a better one now, but she says this is the one that means something. i believe this is why I married the unfortunate girl.

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  • Diablo October 24, 2013, 6:13 pm

    I’ve shared mine before but here goes: no real proposal at all. [All dialogue that follows is based on my limited selective memory, so read it as “something like.”] We began thinking we would never marry – antiquated sexist institution, liberal arts education, blah blah blah. Then, about 4 years in, we were just talking one day. I said something like, “We’re already as much as married so maybe we should just do it.” She said, “What do you mean, for real, get married?” I said, “I dunno, guess so, why, would you?” She said, “Well, if you’re serious about this [have a pathological track record of not being overly serious, duh], then, Yeah, i guess so.” Me: “So, did we just do this? For real?” Her: “Uh, yeah, i guess we did. Wow.” A couple days later we went together to get some rings. That summer we got married. That’s about it.

    I’m pretty sure 100% of women with any disposition to be disappointed by a proposal would have been disappointed by mine. But seriously! What matters about that question except that you got asked? The rest is just some stupid conventional pantomime, and if you do something special to avoid cliche, it still contributes to the cliche. And so many of the proposals you hear about are douchey power plays: in front of the rellies, at a ball game, etc.

    Our proposal was perfect for us. It was clumsy, with each of us reality checking each other repeatedly and being overly concerned to pre-negotiate that the question was OK to ask in the first place. It was equal, with both of us arriving at the same conclusion in a meandering way. It confirmed both of our feelings and even though we were both taken by surprise by it, we were both happy with the outcome. In other words, it happened the same way we decide everything in life. And you guys all know ad nauseum how it’s worked out: awesomely.

    Guys, what would you do if your girl said she was disappointed in HOW you asked her to spend your whole life with her? Jeez, if it wasn’t a total life changing thing, I’d say, no problem, I’m glad to withdraw my proposal so you can wait for the one you really wanted. The thought of these women makes me want to hurl. Entitlement at its worst.

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    • applescruffs October 24, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Your proposal sounds like exactly what I would want. Where you’re just talking and sort of decide to get married. I don’t want an engagement ring, I don’t want anything showy or over the top, and if anyone talked to my dad about it before talking to me, I’d be pissed.

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  • call-me-hobo October 24, 2013, 6:20 pm

    Ok- I just got proposed to about 2 weeks ago, and it was so freaking awesome.

    He’d been trying to get me to go to Memphis for about a month, but I kept putting off because of board exams, new job, etc. Finally, when we had both had really crappy weeks, we decided to go for a day trip. Memphis is significant in our relationship because it’s where we first realized our attraction to one another, so it has always been sentimental for us. We spent the day at Mud Island, eating BBQ, and generally having an awesome fun time.

    We ended up at B.B. King’s on Beale, where we sat at the bar and listened to the band. And the bf kept asking if I wanted to go upstairs (where we first kind of met), but I was enjoying the music, and it was over an hour wait to be seated up there, so I said I didn’t really want to. Turns out that’s where he wanted to propose. Oops.

    Since it was in the evening, he suggested instead of going upstairs at B.B’s we walk to the Peabody Hotel to go see the ducks. We were a little early for that so we decided to look at all the fancy schmancy shops in the lobby. In the back of the Peabody is a really exotic antique shop. So we were looking in the windows, killing time.

    I was looking at the antique jewelry, and I saw a small ring. I called out to the bf to show him. It was really cheesy looking, but was the only art deco style ring they had there. So I mentioned things that I liked about it and things I didn’t. The bf said, “Yeah, it’s ok, but it’s not perfect like this one.” I wheeled around, because I thought he had seen a ring in another display case. He was holding one, and then I got really dizzy and confused, because I was like “Oh my god, he just stole a ring…” But then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and I started to cry.

    Then he said- “I kind of need an actual answer..” Lol. I had forgotten to say “Yes”. Like an idiot. But we hugged and both got teary; it was amazing. Two old ladies followed us for two blocks so they could congratulate us

    And then we went to go see Ira Glass live at the Orpheum, and we were so tired on the way home we had to sleep at a shady truck stop. So…best proposal ever.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed October 24, 2013, 6:26 pm

      I was hoping you’d tell your story…so sweet!!

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    • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 6:41 pm

      Um that’s adorable. Did you announce your engagement on DW? How did I miss this.

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      • call-me-hobo October 24, 2013, 8:13 pm

        Kind of. I think I said something about it on a weekend thread, but it sort of slipped under the radar. I’m just hoping that everything turns out ok. My mom served my dad with divorce papers about a week after I got engaged, so I’m expecting some slippery family dynamics during the planning/wedding process.

      • iwannatalktosampson October 24, 2013, 10:58 pm

        Yikes. Can I hear that story too? Sorry I’m nosy, which I shouldn’t really apologize for because I’m not actually sorry about nosy, because I want to know. So just tell me and I won’t have to have this circular conversation. Was everyone blind sided with the divorce? What did they say to you about it? Deets.

      • call-me-hobo October 25, 2013, 8:52 am

        I don’t think anybody was really blindsided by it, but the timing of it definitely was a surprise. About 8-9 years ago my father had an affair, and during that time he was pretty emotionally/verbally abusive. It was a pretty awful period in our lives. When he was confronted with the behavior, he stopped and actually worked very hard to repair our relationship and right some wrongs. He’s not perfect, and sometimes he is still an ass.

        About 4 years ago, my mom’s only sister (her only bio family) died of a sudden brain aneurysm. Mom absolutely lost it. She broke down, claimed that her sister was the only person that loved her, and that she wished she was dead because nobody else was worth living for. She claims that she does not remember the week that it happened. Since then, she has relied heavily on a “victim” persona. Everything happens TO her, even if she instigates it.

        Honestly, I just don’t think that either of them really put the effort to fix the relationship. They were so exhausted from trying to save their marriage that they didn’t try to make it better, and didn’t address the problems that created the situated. Dad got tired of being the bad guy, mom didn’t want to acknowledge that maybe she wasn’t contributing enough to the relationship.

        I hope that they’ll be happier after this process. I think that it’s time (crappy timing, but whatcha gonna do?) Of course, I’m sad and a little upset. But maybe this is what the both of them need. Dad will get a fresh start, and mom will gain some agency in herself and hopefully find someone who treats her like she wants.

        Neither of them want me or my older brother involved in the proceedings. However, my mother has already tried to use me as the “telephone” and got quite upset when I told her that if she wanted to relay information, she needed to call my dad directly. She’s also had a little trouble with the wedding planning stuff- she seems to be under the impression that I’m going to “cut her out” and not involve her in the planning process. Which is ridiculous.

        Hopefully it will be as amicable (and succinct) as possible. I want them both involved fully, and I want good things for both of them.
        Sigh. It just still kind of sucks, though.

  • cmary October 24, 2013, 7:42 pm

    I loved everything about Brian’s proposal to me. We were visiting my brother in NY and were in Central Park bumming around. It was the first nice day in like the whole week we were there. I grew up there, but Brian had never been, so I didn’t think too much about him darting around and quickly changing direction all day – turned out he was trying to find a spot it would be just us…hard to do on a sunny spring day in Central Park. Anyway, he said, “You want to take a row boat out?” on the lake. I said, “Sure.” He rowed us out for about 10 minutes and found a spot where no one else was around (oddly enough since the lake was busy that day). He reached into his backpack (that I also thought nothing of him carrying around all day even though it only had a guidebook and a bottle of water in it), pulled out what he later told me is his mom’s engagement ring, and said, “Will you marry me?” I had no idea it was coming, and blurted “Are you sure?!?” He laughed and said yes, I cried and said yes, there was more laughing (him), plenty of crying (me). Only downside was that since we were in a boat I couldn’t safely apply my lips to his face until we got back to the boat launch. Then I tackled him. It was perfect. And since it was just us it got to be our delicious secret for a few hours. Though, I did announce to the boat launch attendant that we’d gotten engaged. I felt he needed to know.

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  • anonymous October 24, 2013, 10:56 pm

    I’m late to the party, I’m sure no ones interested in hearing another engagement story, right?

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    • Christy October 25, 2013, 8:08 am

      Not true! I am definitely still 100% interested in more engagement stories!

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  • Tinywormhole October 25, 2013, 12:08 am

    My proposal took place in PJs in our livingroom – and I loved it.

    I had been getting impatient about getting married – my then-bf and I had been together over 4 years, already owned a house together, etc… and I had brought it up MANY TIMES. In fact, I was talking about it at that moment. It was a Friday night and we were at home drinking wine and listening to music and I somehow started talking (again) about the legal benefits/protections of being married, etc…. and he said “hmm ok” and ran upstairs. I thought he was going to the bathroom. But he came back down a minute later and said, “well, I wasn’t planning to do this right now, but….” Despite the fact that I was talking about it AT THAT MOMENT I was absolutely shocked! I couldn’t believe he was actually doing it. I burst into tears immediately. He said some stuff, I don’t remember what. It was a beautiful moment. And a beautiful ring, that he picked out entirely on his own.

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    • Tinywormhole October 25, 2013, 12:18 am

      I will also add that I’d always told him I didn’t need/care about a ring, and I meant it. But after he gave me one, he told me he believed me when I told him that but he felt it was important to let me know that his proposal was intentional (as opposed to impromptu, I guess) to drive the point that he really wanted to – maybe since I’d bugged him about it so much. So I really appreciated that ring a lot more than I thought I would.

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  • Allie October 25, 2013, 8:12 am

    I always love hearing/ reading these stories. And while I agree it is not the most important part of a relationship– nor is it an indication of how strong your relationship is if you got a “perfect proposal” or not, I do think that many proposal stories seem to be what’s best for that couple even if it may not make sense to a lot of other couples.

    My proposal was perfect for me. My husband and I went to a book store one day to hang out. This book store is where we used to meet up when we first started talking– it was a low pressure place for us to get to know one another before we went out on a first date. Well that day, while I was sitting in a chair reading, he wandered away and came back to give me a pop-up book that he found. I love pop-up books (slight obsession of mine). This one was pretty cool… it was one about family and when I got to the end of the book, there was this huge fountain in the middle that pops out of the page. In the center of the fountain, was a ring taped in. I was speechless. When I looked up… he was on his knees. I said “Are you kidding?” And then I honestly forget what he said next except that I answered “yes.”

    If I regret anything about my engagement it is that I didn’t have a better response to it initially. We laugh about it now… but my “are you kidding” comment made him even more nervous during that moment which I felt bad about. We’ve been together 8 years now (married 3).

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    • bethany October 25, 2013, 9:22 am

      I”m pretty sure I said “Are you kidding me?” and then “Are you sure???” about 10 times before I said yes. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • shanshantastic October 25, 2013, 10:08 am

    I wouldn’t change our proposal for anything. I was out of town three weeks before he asked, so he grabbed my mom and went to pick out the ring. Things were so busy and hectic, and he planned to propose to me on a Saturday night. Too bad buddy, we have a party to go to! So we’re sitting at this party and everybody starts talking about their engagement stories because one of the other couples there was planning their wedding.

    The next day we had a “date day” planned – no phones, no hanging out with other people, just us and a picnic lunch and the park across the street. We went to the park and started walking the trails, including a bridge with a gorgeous view of the pond. When we finished our walk Brian went to get our lunch out of the car, and without me seeing he managed to pocket the ring too. We ate, and walked over to a stone seating area looking out at the pond.

    As we were sitting there he asked, “So how do you like your date day?” I told him I was loving it and he said, “I’d like to make a motion to change the name of the day…from date day to engagement day.” Then he got down on his knee, pulled out the ring and said some lovey things and asked, and of course I said yes.

    He had me at “make a motion”, because I’m a total Model UN geek (that’s where I was when he bought the ring!).

    Funnily enough, *he* is the one who would have done it differently. He was frustrated because it was a windy day and there were trains you could hear in the distance, and of course why didn’t he propose on the bridge because it would have been so romantic, etc… Honestly, for me it was perfect because it was so real and so us – imperfect but just about the love.

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  • thatgirl October 25, 2013, 10:57 am

    My husband asked me to marry him via text…out of the blue one day. No ring necessary!
    We had discussed marriage before, having been together for 7 years at that point, and got married within 2 months at the courthouse. I wasn’t disappointed for a second that it was unconventional!

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  • BreezyAM October 25, 2013, 11:24 am

    Insert novel here, sheesh….

    We weren’t even dating. We’d only had our first kiss the night before.
    We were in NYC on a trip with our university and we spent the day walking around the Museum of Natural History and discussing business of several groups we were involved in. It was awkward a bit because we’d always been the absolutely best of (entirely non-sexual or romantic) friends, and then the night before on the way down on the bus, and after more than a few Heinekens, I leaned over to kiss him on the cheek (typical greeting in QC) and then he just looked at me and kissed me.

    I was utterly and totally shocked. And so I couldn’t think of a thing to say and kissed him again. And it just did not stop. There may have been a BJ involved eventually. It was like a total floodgate just poured out of me of emotion and passion I’d kept bottled up for ages. There was something amazing about kissing someone who really, REALLY wants to kiss you.

    And so the next day we were still in shock and said nothing as we had no idea what to say, so we talked business and simply did not discuss it. Eventually we were tired of walking and we sat down on a bench and he explained that he was getting to a stage in his life where he was tired of not being in a serious relationship, and that he wanted one, and that he’d been thinking a lot about what kind of relationship he wanted. He went into this long thing about Bill and Hillary and how he wanted someone really complementary, someone really strong and fiercely loyal, someone smart and driven. And then he just said quietly “someone like you. In fact, you. I think you’d be really good at that, and I’ve thought about it for a long, long time that I’ve never felt that kind of synch with anyone in my life other than you, and so, whenever you and I do get around to getting into a relationship, I think you should know straight up where I’m headed. Because it’s going to be for keeps, forever, the real thing.”

    I thought he was absolutely fucking insane. I mentally made notes that I should create more distance between us, and absolutely no more BJs of course. However, he was my very, very, dearest best friend, and I wasn’t about to hurt him. So I said “you’re such a wonderful, sweet, and kind man, but the last thing you need is a twice divorced american with two kids who’s almost three years older than you.”

    He said “maybe, but that’s what I want.” I blushed and he said “don’t worry, one day you’ll get tired of saying no to me” and then we went off to go eat food.

    I failed in my resolve to create distance. Six weeks (and two make out sessions after which we agreed we should absolutely not be doing that and profusely apologized to one another) later, we finally slept together. About three weeks after that we got tired of pretending we were not dating (and all during this time I made it very clear that this was very casual and I did not want things moving too quickly and I was not in any way shape or form ready to call this exclusive blah blah blah)…. and then one night about two weeks after we started dating, after an event where I watched him saying goodbyes and working the room, I imagined him about 20 years older, better suit, grey around his temples, a few laugh lines… and I thought “yeah. I want that.”

    It was just like this whole sigh of relief went through me at being able to let go of the bullshit I was feeding him, myself, everyone– that this was just casual –and finally admitting I was totally in love with this man and had been for months, over a year really.

    And so when we were walking home that night I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.. so I stopped him for a second and said “I’m tired of saying no to you”. I was barely able to stand, felt like I was going to pass out, my voice was shaking and I could feel I was about to start crying. I was terrified he wasn’t going to remember. Worse, I was terrified he was going to be horrified I had misunderstood and wasn’t going to be in that space anymore.

    He stared at me for about three seconds with his mouth kind of open and then HE started to cry and just grabbed me and held me so tight while we both cried and he kept kissing my forehead and telling me “I love you. You know that right? You know I love you right?” I just nodded so I wouldn’t start crying and he said “forever, right, you know that right? right?” and I just kept nodding ๐Ÿ™‚

    The next morning I woke up and whispered “I really get to wake up like this every day for the rest of my life? For real? You’re sure?” And then he just nodded. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Three months later, in Thailand, I pointed out he’d never actually officially asked me, so he did. Just totally casually in front of everyone over drinks. We clinked glasses. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But over the ensuing years we had lots of drama and separations. ๐Ÿ™ We made some serious fuck ups. Luckily we’re working hard to correct them now and are really solid and strong now. I’m even at a place where I can actually say I don’t regret the last ten years and I’d do it again if I had to. One of our big issues was that when he said we would get married, I thought he meant like, the next day. He was thinking more like, in 4-5 years, and felt rushed. But never told me :-\ So there was always sort of a sting around the fact we actually got married “too soon” and I felt like he regretted it and such. (This was me assuming, and I was wrong actually, and we’re past that now). We talked on and off about renewing our vows, but I made it very clear if there was any such thing, he would be doing all the “driving” on that not me because of the thing about being “pushed” before. But I was always hoping and wishing he’d do it, and yet I also was fine with it if he didn’t. And so a couple weeks ago out of freaking nowhere he said that when we go to NYC next summer (our first time back since the infamous trip!) he said “we should get remarried when we’re there.” I just nodded because we were with other people so I wasn’t about to discuss it and I was so shell shocked I needed some time to digest. I asked him a few days later if he was serious, and he said yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And he’s planning the whoooooooole thing. All I have to do is show up in a dress. ๐Ÿ™‚ (this will not be a frou frou event; just us and a picnic basket!)

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    • thatgirl October 25, 2013, 11:39 am

      I think I love your story the most..not sure why. Thank you for sharing it!!

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    • Diablo October 25, 2013, 12:30 pm

      great story!

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  • Grilledcheesecalliope October 25, 2013, 11:40 am

    I love all these stories, adorbs.

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  • Charlie May 26, 2014, 6:07 am

    I think it is appalling that people are disappointed in their proposals. The fact that the person you are supposed to love is committed to you enough to want to spend the rest of their lives with you should be worth far more than some over the top gesture that only serves for you to try and show off. Same goes for your ring that was chosen for you. Don’t be so shallow, spoilt and downright ungrateful.

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