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

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LoSawyer LoSawyer

I honestly did not know it was happening THAT day so my sons super annoying, crazy loud, hyperactive friend came with us to the park. Needless to say the running around the park yelling "they're gonna have sex" was the icing on the cake.

the4m... the4mutts

Yah... I didn't work myself up into a frenzy like that. But when my SO asked for something I might like if the day came when we were ready to be engaged... I gave him 1 small idea, not even a perfect one. I figured we had a long time to go before it was the right time.

The next week he did exactly what I said, and I was so dumbfounded at his rush to get married, and his lack of creativity, that I said no.

I explained that it wasn't the right time, and when I gave him the small idea, it was more in cute, on the spot conversation.

It has been 3 years, we have been broken up, but cohabitating *convenience* for 2 of those years. It was a big part of what ruined our relationship.

He was very hurt by my response, I was pressured too much.. so ya, I kinda ruined it for myself by not being more straightforward when talking timelines

zandh... zandhmom2

It took him a year to come up with asking you while laying in bed? I don't see any thought and planning in that. Now for me, my husband sent me a dozen purple roses to my work with a note to dress up and meet him at Arnold's (a very expensive restrurant). Once there, he had more roses waiting and after sharing a wonderful meal, he got down a one knee and proposed. I knew that it was coming at some point because we had already picked out the ring but he also wanted to do it his way. So glad I waited for him to plan it out.  This April we will be married for 19 years!

nonmember avatar Meg

Yes, I definitely worked myself up. We had actually set a wedding date, but I felt like I couldn't plan anything while I was still a 'girlfriend'. I worried that he wouldn't give me 'enough time' to be engaged before the wedding. When he proposed though, it was a wonderful surprise! I definitely did not expect it then. Truly one of the most wonderful nights of my life.

alynette alynette

mine was ruined by a third party. a guy friend of ours we were living with asked if my husband's(then BF)bank statement came in yet. i thought that was odd and said no and left it at that. but he just kept talking about it and said something big was on there and how he was supposed to check the mail and pretty much intervene. i never thought it was a ring. i thought it was a motorcycle. one day i was packing us for a trip and came across a hidden statement. of course i looked at it and saw the "something big". his parents were in town and i knew he was going to do it while they were there. he did and i still cried and accepted(7 years this june).


i got our friend back though. he had told me before he met his GF that if he were with someone for a year, he'd ask her to marry him. well, he met a girl and had been dating for a year. i became friends with said girl. they were going somewhere to celebrate their anniversary and i told her that he was going to propose. she said he wasn't and i told her what he had told me, but she was still skeptical. sure enough, they came back from the trip engaged. they got married 4 months after we did, and got divorced in 2010. do i feel bad about what i did? nope.

nonmember avatar Jane

Personally, I'm always surprised when women are shocked by a marriage proposal! You mean you haven't discussed marriage with the person you are planning to spend the rest of your life with?!

Most of the women I have known have had a general idea of when the proposal would occur. I don't think that's a bad thing! I'm not sure how involved your "sleuthing" became, and maybe you did take it a step far, but relax! Sometimes women get a little crazy when the word "wedding" is the subject of conversation! It's not your fault- it's science! ;)

nonmember avatar blh

Whats so special about him asking you while youre laying in bed??

CPN322 CPN322

Oh my gosh I've felt EXACTLY like you!!! But I have, thankfully, calmed down and realized that I'm still that same girl that doesn't want to rush into marriage and when the time is right it will happen. We too have talked about marriage(lil over 4 years together and I'm 25), he's asked for ring ideas and confessed that he really wants to make the proposal special and something I will be proud to tell friends about so that is comforting. Thank you for sharing :)

Melis... Melissa042807

I never got a chance to get worked up about it because my husband - stinker that he is! - sprang the proposal on me way earlier than we had talked about! And he planned it in about 20 minutes the day he decided to do it, so there was no time for details to be accidentally discovered. I never had any big, flowery dreams about the proposal, all I wanted was to be surprised. And he pulled that off! So I'm thrilled with how it went down. 


I'm kind of like that in life - I just like to let things be what they are and enjoy them that way instead of building up a big expectation that could leave me feeling let down. I find I'm much happier and more satisfied that way. 

Kwiat2 Kwiat2

All of this waiting on HIM seems so...pathetic. It's so passive. Take charge of your own dang life and stop waiting for HIM to be ready.

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