Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My boyfriend (30) proposed to me (29) last night and I am so disappointed

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice My boyfriend (30) proposed to me (29) last night and I am so disappointed

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  • #861637 Reply

    I’m loathe to admit that, in the very least, the same feelings would have gone through my head. But I’m working hard on not fixating on exes too. 🙂 Here’s what I would do: Apologize for ‘ruining’ his romantic proposal because it was petty and you should be honest with him about that. Own that some of this is your own fault for not going along with his plan (simply because you didn’t like the suspected plan). And ask him why he then proposed in your house. Maybe (likely) he’ll confirm that he just couldn’t wait. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, as people said it’s really not a big deal, but perhaps you can plan an “engagement trip” or an amazing honeymoon that makes you feel special if you’re honest with him.

    #861638 Reply

    This seems to be an issue of communication. If you’ve talked about marriage, did you talk about proposals? Did you tell him what you’d like to happen? My husband and I discussed it all multiple times. We shopped for rings together. We were on the same page and clear with each other about what we wanted.

    If you’re upset, you need to talk to him, face to face in a calm way and explain why you’re upset, use “I” statements and ask for a re-do. But how is he to know what you want, if you’ve never told him? If he has an idea that a huge, romantic over the top proposal in Rome isn’t enough for some women, maybe somehow he got a mixed message that you wanted something completely different than his ex?

    To me, regardless of how he bungled this, how you feel, etc, all that I can see is how you both are not communicating your wants and needs.

    It sounds like he just wanted to get engaged ASAP before your trip and since you didn’t seem to want something different, he went with his gut, which clearly was not what you had in mind.

    Probably THE MOST important part of a successful relationship/marriage is the ability to communicate even through these tricky topics with a lot of emotion behind them. If you can’t communicate, you are not ready for marriage. I mean both of you.

    If you do want to marry this man, you need to talk to him about this, I’m sure he doesn’t want you to have a sad cry-yourself-to-sleep story in your mind for the rest of your life. Actually, if you don’t talk to him and get married, you will resent this and it will probably lead to a big blowup. You already do resent this.

    Please consider premarital counseling because this type of mismatched communication, hiding your true feelings by crying yourself to sleep, etc has all the marks of a relationship that is going to be filled with issues for him not being able to read your mind or anticipate what you want. Seriously, premarital counseling. Learn how to be honest with each other.

    #861641 Reply

    Also, do not pretend to be someone you aren’t. I don’t want to write out a long statement on how pretending to be a “cool girl” is bullshit but if you’ve pretended to “not care/not want a big proposal” while in reality you do want something special- part of the blame lies on your shoulders. You’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment if you’re swallowing your real feelings in some weird attempt to be attractive to him. If this rings true, he doesn’t really know you or what you want. Maybe this is totally off base, and I hope I am wrong about it. But I know plenty of women who have pretended to be what they believe their man wants and ended up really unhappy after a few years.

    #861643 Reply

    Speaking of communication, what did he do when you were crying yourself to sleep? Did he ask what was wrong? Did you explain?

    #861645 Reply

    I stand by my original comments. Getting engaged beside “a pile of dirty laundry” is not romantic, but perhaps is a reflection of life and marriage-there is always “dirty laundry” to deal with in one form or another. Marriage means you don’t have to do that alone. That is the the message you should think about-not some cheesy set-up to brag to your friends about.

    #861647 Reply

    Definitely agree that you need to talk. You’re upset about how he proposed but knew when you were turning him down about going to the lookout that he was wanting to propose. At that point you could have, and should have, said something. You should have told him that you thought he might be ready to propose but you would rather wait until you got back from your trip. You have to speak up because he can’t read your mind. These types of situations happen when you don’t speak. This is highlighting that the two of you don’t communicate well enough. Take it as a sign that if you want this relationship to work long term that the two of you will have to learn to talk to each other. You need to learn to discuss things that are important. If it matters to you then say something and then listen to what he has to say because the opinions of both are important. This wasn’t a failure on his part. This was a failure on the part of both of you.

    A bit of a story about grand gestures. My aunt is her husband’s second wife. His first wife died of a heart defect. His first wife insisted on expensive gifts for her birthday. Gifts that they couldn’t afford but she would have fits if she didn’t get what she wanted. In order to make her happy he would have to skip lunch for months to come up with the money to buy her birthday present. My aunt got cheaper birthday presents but her husband appreciated her more. He thanked her for not demanding gifts that they couldn’t afford.

    The grand gesture is often done because the person making the gesture feels that the partner won’t accept anything less. It isn’t about degree of love. It’s about placating someone who thinks you aren’t good enough. It’s about a grand show for other people. It shows a dysfunction in the relationship where one partner can make huge demands of the other. Sometimes the grand public proposal is done because the guy proposing feels like the woman will say no and so he proposes where he feels that she will have to say yes because so many people are watching. That’s a really bad sign for a relationship that won’t last.

    Your fiance was treating you as an equal. He knows that the grand gesture doesn’t save bad relationships. He’s already lived through that scenario once. He’s grown enough in his understanding of relationships to not try to repeat that mistake again. If you and your fiance want to take a trip it should be because you both want to go to that destination. It should be a joint decision and it should be for the two of you, not because you need a grand public display for the people who know you.

    #861648 Reply
    avatarPart-time Lurker

    We all have our fantasies about big life events and how the future will play out; and sometimes we can get so wrapped up in those fantasies we lose sight of what’s important. But you need to realize that this isn’t about a proposal it’s about a long-term commitment for (hopefully) the rest of your life. If the proposal is more important to you than the future then you aren’t ready to get married.

    #861649 Reply

    LW’s upset seems to be that she missed her 15-minutes of social media fame. This is probably just a generational thing, which reads as shallow and immature to those of us from earlier generations when either social media didn’t exist or the huge ‘acted play’ of an expected proposal wasn’t a thing.

    So… as Kate said, your now fiancé couldn’t have missed that you first derailed his proposal plan and then cried yourself to sleep. What is he supposed to think. I’m guessing he worries you don’t actually want to marry him. This is his second engagement gone bad, in this case right from the start.

    If you actually are certain that you want to marry him, then you need to fix this.

    #861652 Reply

    I have a feeling she hid the crying to sleep from him completely.

    I don’t think she’s necessarily reeling from missing her social media fame. A lot of people like having a semi romantic story, and a picture or two. Many women (and men!) are brought up to believe a proposal has to be a big romantic surprise.

    #861653 Reply

    The tragedy here ISN’T getting proposed to amid piles of dirty laundry. No. The tragedy is that your poor fiancé has truly lousy taste in women with a real penchant for shallow spoiled brats…

    So go ahead. Make a HUGE mountain out of this. Dump him even! As he — clearly deserves much better than this fucking bullshit.

    #861654 Reply

    Big showy proposals are silly and overrated. I had one first time I got engaged (to a now ex fiance), which is why I was happy it was a small private event when my now husband proposed (just him and me vs a whole crowd watching). 100% agree with Kate’s sentiments, the big public displays are anything but traditional. I also interpreted this story as the boyfriend was just too excited to hold off anymore. Assuming you get your head straightened out and realize and truly appreciate what’s important here (i.e. HE ASKED YOU TO MARRY HIM) you’ll find this story to be hilarious in a few years. Honestly I think it’s adorable he just couldn’t wait any longer and decided to propose in the middle of laundry.

    #861655 Reply

    My parents are almost at 50 yrs, and when they got engaged in 1970, they just were like, at the beach, and my dad asked, and I don’t think there was a ring. I think they then picked out some trippy star sapphire ring together. Later my dad’s widowed mother gave my mom her diamond ring. Like here, honey, you should have this.

    In 1995 my boyfriend called me up at my job at The Earring Tree (later I moved on up to Claire’s) from basic training and was like, you want to get married? And I was like, alright.

    This is how things have changed.

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