How to Ruin a Perfectly Wonderful Marriage Proposal

Love & Learn 62

engagement ring
Even if he likes it, he may take a while to put a ring on it.
I was never one of those girls who wanted more than anything to be married. That is, of course, until I found myself in a happy, healthy, long-term relationship. We had always been partners. But four years in, I was itching to take that partnership to the next level, and I told him I'd like it if we could get engaged this year, please.

Six months went by ... nine ... a year, and on our anniversary, he said he was there, but could I please wait a little bit longer, because he really wanted to make it special and memorable? "Okay, I understand," I said. But -- on the inside, I started to lose my mind.

What I'm about to reveal is painfully honest. But by telling my tale, hopefully another almost-bride-to-be will know she's not alone in freaking out about The Wait. But I might save her from the fallout of said freakout.

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Here's what mine was like ... I'd think, It's been five years. Isn't it time? What is going on? Am I going to end up like Jennifer Aniston's character in He's Just Not That Into You waiting on Ben Affleck to propose after 6-7 years together? Am I a fool for planning certain things -- even just pinning ideas -- without a ring on my finger? Any moment could be special/right/perfect, why not this one? Or that one, or when we were hanging out with family or ... Uh, yeah. I felt like if I couldn't figure out how to curb all tweaking out, I would seriously land myself in a straight jacket.

But I couldn't stop. I got myself SO worked up, anticipating a proposal I worried (then worried, then worried some more) would never come. I was being super-neurotic, consumed with it, and found myself sort of second-guessing every moment. So that ... when the moment actually came, I couldn't believe it, and I wasn't able to fully revel in it. Instead, when he said those four words -- "Will you marry me?" -- in our bed on a Sunday night (after his original plan to do it at a starry overlook frustratingly fell through, thanks to a loud, obnoxious group of teenagers), I actually sat there staring at him, my anxiety-addled brain completely baffled that the words were finally coming out of his mouth. (After about 20 looooong seconds of leaving him hanging, I managed to respond, "YESYESYESYES!")

Now, when people ask about our proposal story, it's inevitably followed-up with, "Were you surprised?" NO way. I had acted like an investigative reporter covering my own surprise bash! Not that I had asked for proposal specifics. I just wanted him to reassure me that it was going to happen. But in retrospect, I wish I had simmah-ed down a bit. Let it be. Gone with the flow. Followed friends' advice, and not exerted so much energy trying to figure it out.

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Well, I'm not about to go all Cher on you guys and start singing "If I could turn baaack tiiiime ..." Instead, I'll just take what I've learned from the lead-up to the proposal, and apply that to our time as an engaged couple planning our Big Day. I hereby vow -- to chill the heck out and enjoy the road to "I do" just as much as the "Mazel tov!"

How did you feel before your proposal? Have you ever gotten yourself so worked up that you sort of ruined a big moment for yourself?

proposals, marriage, love