Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

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Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns
Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns



One of the things I learned from my reader survey was how many of you identified yourselves as “ladies in waiting,” i.e. women biding their time until their boyfriends propose. Well, girls: STOP WAITING! If you're into questioning traditions, start by questioning the very first assumption about weddings: that a woman's role is waiting for a man to pick her.

I know: it's scary right? You're thinking, “What if he says no?” Well, no one said taking your life by the reins would be easy, and the anxieties and fears of rejection that come up around proposing give you great insight into some of the cultural pressures men traditionally experience.

Proposing is definitely scary, and I'm speaking from personal experience here. As those of you who've read my book know, I actually proposed to Andreas …

On our third anniversary, we went to this pottery painting place. As I'd planned, I painted a big plate with a picture of us holding hands. (Yes, we were naked in the painting. I like painting butts!)

Above the little people, I painted the words “Psst: will you marry me?” Then I put my grandmother's diamond wedding ring onto the plate and slid it across the table to Andreas.

He looked at the plate. He looked up at me.

I looked at him. Nothing happened.

“…Well, will you?” I said.

“Of course!” he said, and I exhaled in relief.

“…But you don't mean, like, IMMEDIATELY, right?” he said. “I mean, of course we're spending the rest of our lives together. But there's no rush, right?”

“Er, I guess not…” I said.

“Awesome!” he said. “I love you!” And then he went back to painting.

I sat and freaked out a bit, but nothing had really changed: we were still just as committed and someday we would get married. Just not quite yet, evidently.

“No rush,” in our case, meant getting married three years later.

Grab the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and tell it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way.

This is all to say that I know that it's scary and intimidating and hard. (It should be noted that Andreas has expressed feeling sort of bad for how he handled the proposal. I mean, it all worked out ok, but it wasn't the stuff of swelling violins and magical twinkly lights.)

Of course not all men want to be proposed to, and you know your boyfriend best … I'm thinking that chances are good that if he loves you for being a sassy independently-minded offbeat girlfriend, he's the kind of guy who would appreciate tipping an old tradition on its ear.

When you propose to your boyfriend, you're taking a huge first step toward grabbing the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and telling it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way. It's an exercise in taking ownership of your life and your journey through it. It's your way of saying, “I'm not going to drop hints to get what I want — I'm going to apply that energy to building the courage to do it myself.” This isn't just about proposals. It's about knowing what you want and feeling strong enough in yourself to just go get it.

This isn't to say that it's not a wonderful thing when men propose. Ideally, any proposal is the result of many conversations about what marriage means to both you, why you're committed to each other, etc. It should never really be “popping the question.”

But if you've had conversations about commitment and you're ready to get married — STOP WAITING!

Read part 2: How to propose to your boyfriend

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Comments on Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

  1. I think women proposing to their boyfriends is a fantastic idea, but I don’t know how well that would fly with most men folk. I am always surprised when my young hip heterosexual friends hit snags when it comes to things like taking your husband’s name, which last name to give the kids, and wives that make more money than their husbands. I thought we were over all that?
    The male ego is a delicate thing, so I would agree with you when you say you know your boyfriend best and how he might take a proposal.

  2. My wife proposed to me. We had pretty much decided to get married by then and I guess I was dragging my feet. So she got me a ring and one day while we were snowboarding at Mt. Baker (a very special place for us) she asked me to take a break on the side of a slope and then pulled out the ring and asked.

    I thought it was incredibly cool, romantic and a great surprise. I almost lost the ring in the snow while showing it to my snowboarding buddies later in the day :O

    All the male friends I was with at the time also thought it was cool.

  3. Last year, on February 29, I asked him to marry me, shyly, after explaining that Feb 29 is the one day women are “allowed” to propose. He said no. 🙁

    Don’t get me wrong, it was good! I was looking to commit, but I think I was more in fantasy land than reality at the time. That rejection precluded a very bad spot in our relationship where we almost split. I spent that time staring at the proverbial mirror, and I found I wasn’t happy with the way I was, and I set to make some changes; and so did he. We learned we couldn’t live without each other.

    Then, nearly 8 months later, he asked. And this time we were both ready. 🙂

    I really like that plate!

  4. I asked my guy to marry me. I knew he would say yes — we lived together, he kept slipping and calling me his wife when introducing me, etc — but I was still terrified doing it. And impatient. It was supposed to be on a beach in a place that meant a lot to me, I wound up doing it the night of my brother’s wedding, when we were in varying stages of undress.

    Had he been the type to take offense at it or have his ego wounded by this gender-role switcheroo, I don’t think he’d be the guy I want to marry.

    • Hello,

      My name is Brooklyn Bagwell and I’m a Casting Director for Sharp Entertainment. We’re casting for a new groundbreaking documentary series about women proposing to men! We’re currently looking for women who are planning to propose to their boyfriends in the near future. Is this you?

      I would love to chat with you more about this! Please let me know if you or anyone you know would be interested in this casting call.

      You can email me back on [email protected]

      Thanks,
      Brooklyn Bagwell

  5. Although there wasn’t much of a proposal, and he bought me a ring, if I had waited for my husband to point out that we should get married, I’d still be waiting. It pretty much went like this.

    Me: “I want to get married in California. Let’s get married.”
    Him: “OK, let’s do it sometime.”
    Me: “How ’bout next summer?”
    Him: “OK.”
    Me: “I want a ring, or people at work will bother me about it.”
    Him: “Great, I’ll buy a cheat one on ebay.”
    Chorus: “Yay!”

  6. Also: “Had he been the type to take offense at it or have his ego wounded by this gender-role switcheroo, I don’t think he’d be the guy I want to marry.”

    A-freaking-men.

  7. I was considering proposing to my Man about six months ago and after going to a wedding where he had a little too much to drink, he let it slip that he “had a plan.” I decided that I wanted a plan too, so I went and bought him a ring and waited for him to ask first (I didn’t want to step on his toes). On New Years Eve (i.e. last week), he proposed to me in New York (at the Cloister’s Museum), after about five minutes of giddy excitement and picture taking, I got down on one knee and asked him back. He was so surprised he forgot to answer and put the ring on his finger. I reminded him, and of course he said yes. We are now in the throws of wedding planning! It all worked out quite well.

  8. I was on the verge of proposing to my mister, but he beat me to it =] We’re offbeat, yes, but the traditional part of me was kinda happy to have that moment.
    Several of my female friends proposed to their misters, and I think it’s wonderful. As you said, why should women wait to be picked? Sure, it’s nerve-wracking, but it’s the same for the men out there who propose.

  9. I WAS planning on proposing to my boyfriend. We had been talking about it (marriage) for awhile but I knew how he could be about making decisions so I figured I should take the lead on this one. But I have a big mouth and I let it slip that I wanted to propose to him. Turns out HE wanted to propose to ME too. So we have decided to have a super secret engagement ceremony weekend. We’ll say a few words and exchange gifts and then announce it to the world. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

  10. I proposed to my husband. We hadn’t talked about marriage at all, and I surprised even myself with the proposal. We had just started a conversation about all the mushy things we like about each other and he asked me if I would change anything about him. I told him I would change one thing. I said I would make him my husband instead of my boyfriend and that was that! He clarified that I was actually proposing and when I said I was, he accepted! rules, schmoolz

  11. Me proposing was actually a relief to my fiance. Since there isn’t a social standard of the “right” ways for a woman to propose to a man, the pressure was off. He’s the romantic of the relationship and got really caught up in doing something special and meaningful and blah blah blah so eventually I just asked if I could do the proposal and he said ok. I proposed 5 days later via a note in his favorite burrito that I brought back from a trip to San Francisco. It was perfect, and several of our friends (male and female) are very jealous of our role-switch. 🙂

  12. My partner and I are approaching six years and I’m thinking of proposing. I’m very ready and I know he is too, but he has some anxiety issues that are holding him back. Still, I have a selfish desire for HIM to be the one who takes the risk and does the “work” for once. I tend to do all the planning of dates and events and such, and I can’t get over that feeling that it’s his turn to do something special for me this time. That said, I probably shouldn’t let a childish temper tantrum hold me back from something that is so important to me.

    • I can relate. As someone in a relationship with similar dynamics and now engaged, I would like to offer some advice: Decide if you are waiting for him to propose simply because you want it to be his turn to do "something special" or if there are additional reasons. For me, I felt it was 'his turn,' but not just because I wanted something special.. I was the one to suggest moving in together and I just wanted him to take the next step, so I would feel that he was equally interested in being permanent life partners.
      What ended up happening is that we did a lot of talking and I ended up feeling like I did a lot coaxing.. I got a special proposal and an expensive ring, but ultimately realized that all I really wanted was his expression of love and desire to marry as well.

    • My point? I really did feel like I had already proposed and we could have done without the formalities (or the expense – in retrospect, I would prefer that we bought simple wedding bands together). Additionally, we had already talked extensively about plans for the future (jobs, relocation?, kids? etc.), which I realized was, if not *special*, still an expression of his desire for a future together. I know, however, that we needed to have the conversations that "the proposal" inspired (i.e. the importance of "something special" to me, appreciation, balance, etc.), but that can AND SHOULD be manifested in so many other ways. So forget about the formalities, and if you haven't already, start talking (and listening) about ideas for the future, and then see when it might be a good time to slip in a ceremony. Assuming you have both been monogamous for 6 years, the commitment is already there, right? Just tell him there's got to be a good time to celebrate your commitment (with or without a large group involved)! That's how I "proposed" before he "proposed"….

    • Oh and one more thing: If you/he is feeling anxious because of "other people," don't think a proposal will get them to relent. These are often the traditionalists that launch into an inquisition for wedding plans, bridal showers, babies!… the list will continue to expand I'm sure.

  13. I proposed, too, and as someone else said before, I was so impatient that I just kind of did it on a random day instead of making any real solid plan.

    he said yes, and it was great. but I have to say that I did find myself wondering what it would have been like to be proposed to, and some little traditional part of me was a little sad I hadn’t waited to give him the chance (although I was thrilled to be engaged to him regardless).

    he definitely caught on to this, so he got me a ring and he proposed back to me. so I guess the way we’re offbeat is that we both proposed to each other at one time or another!

  14. Count me as another impatient proposer.

    I had planned to wait for a nice evening down at the river with the Man and the Dog – only once the ring arrived from Etsy it just wouldn’t stop raining.

    So I exercised all my willpower and managed to wait until the episode of Stargate he was watching had finished, and proposed on the couch. In a bathrobe, with my hair in a towel – pretty flash hey!

    As someone else said, no way I would marry a man who had some problem with the idea of his gal proposing. That’s just weird.

  15. I think this is all a great idea. I think that some times we do tend to think about men being just as romantic as we are and getting all gooey eyed and and gushing “Of course I will” but just as you wrote, it was like not even a question in his mind… there are a lot of times that I have to tell myself that my husband is not a girlfriend and will probably not care/get excited over half of the things I like. 😛 Kind of like going to the store is an in & out mission for him and for me it is so many levels of therapy/luxury etc. 😀

  16. I proposed on NYE, and I just have to second everything that’s been said. It’s a total load off my mind to not have to question how he feels about the relationship, and we’re both really excited about it.

    But, secretly, it would have been nice to have a big ordeal made about me. 😉

  17. hmm. My fiance was definitely the one to do the proposal, but not until after I blurted out one afternoon while we were both reading books in the sunshine, “I do want to get married.” He looked up and said, “OK.” I kind of thought this was a proposal, so I said something about planning a trip to Vegas soon because I was impatient. He vetoed it and said that we had to have a proper wedding with all of our family. I said “OK.” After further discussion, we figured we wouldn’t have the engagement/announcement for another year (friends of ours were getting married already and we didn’t want to step on any toes). Six months later, he proposed. Turns out, he gets impatient, too. : )

  18. My amazing girlfriend surprised me last week at the ‘Rink’ at Rockefeller center. We had talked about marriage at pretty good length and it has been a question of “when” and not “if” for some time. I was totally surprised by the proposal I was absolutely ecstatic to accept it. A applaud her bravery for not only beating me to the punch but doing it in such a grand perfectly cheesy and spectacular way. Oh and for the record, I’m taking her last name a: it rules b: thems the rules!

    Here’s the video:

  19. Always a great idea, I say! A lot of guys are just intimidated by proposal…as is my boyfriend. I had asked him to marry me a few months back. I got him a nice ring with “LOVE” spelled out in binary code. I asked him and he looked up at me and said “Some day, of course.” Now I told some of my traditional friends this and they freaked. They went ape crap and asked if I kicked him in the genitals. No! I was relieved…it wasn’t a straight up “NO!”, it was just kind of a reality check for me. One day…yes!

  20. I identified as one of the ladies in waiting, but I’m actually waiting to propose to him!

    And as for how menfolk react, that’s fine. I’d never step on someone’s toes on something so important. But personally I also wouldn’t marry someone so traditional as to not consider their desire.

    • LMAO…it was kind of my idea, the whole marriage thing. I was thinking about marriage and found a great date and told my FH. so then I bugged him for a few days (we do that to each other) but didn’t know he would do it until we actually drove to the pawn shop and he said for me to pick out what i want. we got home and he asked me 🙂 so, it was a nice balance…he still did the official proposal and I submitted the idea. I liked how it went, truthfully. Like a decision of equals.

      So, yes, ladies…be brave and break with tradition!

  21. Hey, you know what, I proposed to my fella, it was totally unromantic because we were on the phone to each other (I am currently working as a volunteer in another country), and THEN I made him propose back. He got surprisingly emotional about it, which was kind of nice. But I did feel like a bit of a freak for having done it – especially when people asked about “How did he propose?” and such. But then I found Offbeat Bride, and realised that there’s a whole community of individual women who have also proposed to their men, for one reason or another, and it has been AWESOME! Your existance is a puddle of sanity amidst an ocean of wedding industry madness, which I have chosen largely to ignore in favour of honouring my own Offbeat. You continue to inspire – thank you!

  22. I struggled with this one myself. I wanted to be asked. Hey, I had asked for his number first, said “i love you” first, so I figured it was his turn, right?
    I was waiting and I wasn’t. We talked about getting married all the time. I figured he was about to ask me. But the moment I decided that I wanted to ask him, I was surprised by how amazing I felt. I wasn’t waiting anymore. I knew exactly who I wanted to spend my life with and how I wanted to let him know!
    I hid his concrete ring (he’s a contractor so it was fitting) in my luggage when we went on vacation. And before I could figure out when I would show him, he went ahead and asked me himself. It was wonderful, it was sweet, and I told him I had been planning this myself.
    But when we got back to the hotel and he said “now I’m gonna go to the bathroom and when I come out–you ask!” that was my favorite part. Because that felt like us.

  23. My other half & I have talked marriage and know we want to get married – once we’re actually living in the same zip code again, because LDR is a bit rough. Last week on NYE we were with friends listening to a fav band and we were all mushy and loving and said “Let’s get rings tomorrow!”

    Just a commitment ring, but we had fun shopping, looking at the designs, till he got this cool tribal band to compliment my thin celtic design band. Next day the friends asked if we got hitched! We told them not yet, but we will!

  24. Oh man, I don’t know how many times we’ve proposed to each other, and I don’t know how many times we’re going to propose again. The first one took place by accident, three weeks after we met, at a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, before we’d even said “I love you.” Maybe there’ll be an official proposal when, in a few years, we get our engagement tattoos.

    …GodDAMMIT I’m in love.

  25. Ariel is my HERO! I adored this post. I too feel sad when I see so many girls “waiting” for a proposal. (Not talking about OBT here, just in general.) Also, a friend of mine recently called me, ecstatic, to say that her boyfriend “told her” to turn her Claddagh ring around to “indicate she is taken.” I was like, what? He TOLD you to turn it around because HE decided the two of you were finally in a committed relationship? Why didn’t YOU turn it around and tell HIM. Or better yet, come to an adult decision together after some communication. Ugh it makes me sick.

    Anyway, it’s a sad truth that most men — most non-offbeat men anway — don’t have the balls to be proposed to by their girlfriends. But as an offbeat feminist, I wouldn’t have any other guy than one who would totally dig this.

    Also, there was no proposal at all for FH and me. We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.

    • Maybe the reason some women are ‘in waiting’ isn’t sad at all. Perhaps they are waiting not simply because they are women, but because they feel their partner is not the one ready to commit yet, and they want him to propose when he is ready.

      • I’m going to be the proposer if there is one (we’ve discussed this) but I’m also waiting until I feel he would be comfortable being proposed to. He wants his ducks in a row a bit more than I do when we get married, and I don’t want him to feel bad about not being ready when I make “the ask”, or feel pressured to say he’s ready until he’s not. So I’m waiting for him to either indicate to me subtly or explicitly that he’s ready to be asked. It’s not sad, it’s about making sure we get married when we are BOTH ready, and only then.

  26. “We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.”

    Ah, this sounds so very familiar! 🙂

  27. I am in the waiting stages now, and I think it will be another couple of years. We are very young still(23)- so its really a matter of finishing school/getting settled, etc. But I think the important thing is we discuss what we want the marriage to be like- and have set goals and aspirations we will achieve together when we eventually get married. I think too many people put the emphasis on the ring, the moment and the party when the emphasis should be on creating a marriage that works forever.

    • Liz, in response to your, “I think too many people put the emphasis on the ring, the moment and the party when the emphasis should be on creating a marriage that works forever. “, I couldn’t agree more.

  28. My boyfriend proposed to me while we were vacationing in Italy (pretty romantic right?) and I said told him I needed more time. Even though I knew he was “the one” and it was the traditional way to do things, I am not a traditional gal and it was a terrifying moment. I have always been an independent woman and a commitmentphobe, and I wanted to make sure I was marrying the person I loved because of our emotional bond, not because of the shiny ring or the tourists watching. I’m currently preparing to knock his socks off with a proposal of my own. This is my way of showing him I’m ready to make the commitment 🙂

  29. my man and i had also talked the whole thing to death. when and where and why, but neither of us got round to actually proposing. we decided to order the ring off of etsy, but before it even arrived (it still hasnt, were procrastinators) he just started telling everybody i was his wife. people were congratulating us left right and centre, and it wasnt even official yet.
    so there doesnt even need to be a ring, just so long as you are happy together.

  30. I proposed to my boy early in the morning on a walk along the beach. We wrote messages to each other in the sand, ending with mine of “will you marry me?”. I brought out the ring I had carefully hidden for months and promptly burst into tears while he gently told me he would and kissed me.

    On the surface, my guy is not the most off-beat guy out there, but he was happy with me proposing (and not all that surprised) – it’s just who he is and why I love him. He now encourages all his female friends to be the ones to do the proposing and chastises his male friends who find the idea weird. I know it’s pretty dorky, but he makes me so proud!

  31. I was GOING to ask my husband to marry me. I had a lego board made up with ‘Will You Marry Me?’ written in lego blocks, and I’d hidden it under the bed, ready to pull out in the morning.

    And then he slipped a ring on my finger in the middle of the night. I woke up at four am and wondered what that strange feeling on my hand was.

    True story. Totally awesome post, love the plate!

  32. I proposed to my husband and it was the most nervewracking feeling in the world…come on ladies, guys shouldn’t bear that burden completely alone! 🙂 It was weird feeling what guys must go through–picking out a ring, holding it in my sweaty hand in my pocket, wondering if it’s the perfect moment yet. After it was all done and he said yes, I realized that any moment would have been perfect.

    Get it gurl

  33. I proposed to my husband. He knew that he was sure that he wanted to marry me before I was completely sure. He didn’t want to propose when he wasn’t sure that he’d get a ‘yes’ and I couldn’t be bothered with the whole palaver of hinting that it was time for him to propose and he’d get the right answer. So once I was sure that I wanted to marry him I planned to propose to him. He was incredibly shocked because I’d been throwing him off the sent for the past month so that it would be a surprise.

    I think that it makes sense for whoever is the last to know that they want to get married to do the proposing. That way it’s a surprise and you get a yes.

  34. I proposed to my boyfriend in Nov. 2007. We had been together since 1997 and had decided for a multitude of reasons that we were deeply committed to eachother, but did not feel the need to get married. In September of 2007 my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and a few other things made it clear that while FH was fine with our decission not to get married, he actually was not as anti marriage as I was at the time. I took a while for some personal introspection. I wrestled with my thoughts, beliefs, issues… you name it and we wrestled, and then I decided that yeah, marriage wasn’t so bad after all if you do it right 🙂
    I knew I was going to ask him, but I didn’t know when. Then one day we were watching Ace of Cakes and they were making a jungle cake. So, on the spur of the moment I leaned over to FH and said “will you get a big cake with 2 lemurs on top with me?” (I did my grad research on lemur behavior in the rainforest in Madagascar, so that makes more sense than it seems.) FH looked at me like I had suddently grown a few extra heads and said “Did you just ask me to marry you?” I said “yes”, and I’ve never seen him more happy and bewildered in my whole life.
    Some how I managed to propose to my boyfriend and be the one to say yes. I got the best of both worlds.
    I definitely say go for the proposal. I didn’t give him a ring or anything, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t a big production, but it was personal and we’ll both love that memory forever.

  35. I am waiting for my boyfriend to propose. We have discussed it and he knows that I want to get married, that I love him and I’m ready. But he has been previously married and had a painful divorce so we both want to make sure he is 100% ready. So basically I’ve put the proposal on him, because he is the one with the concerns.

    In addition to that, I’m pretty aggressive most of the time. We met online so I initiated the first email, the first date, the first kiss. He moves much slower than I do. I want to be the one who is surprised. I think that for a lot of women, they simply put forth a bit more effort in their relationships than men do. The onus is on us to ask for what we want in bed, ask for what we want in romance, ask for what we want around the house. I don’t know many guys who do that back, either because they don’t think to ask or they really don’t care about that stuff. So while an engagement and a wedding should be fifty/fifty, I personally don’t want to ask. I ask plenty of other things. I want to be asked for once. I don’t think that makes me traditional or old fashioned. I picked him. It’s up to him to say he’s ready for a party to celebrate that.

  36. Tell Andreas not to feel too bad. When I got proposed to, the first words out of my mouth were “Shut up.” (Is it any wonder that relationship didn’t last? LOL)

  37. Tom’s aunt proposed to her long time live-in boyfriend on Thanksgiving in front of all of us right when we sat down to dinner. She had a very cool ring for him. He of course said yes.

    That was the night we were going to announce to his family our engagement. Talk about stealing someone’s thunder!

  38. I have been asking my guy to marry me since we had been dating about 4 months. 😀 His answer has always been a smile and a “someday, sure”…we’ve been dating over 7 years, so I think I’ve proposed to him about…6 times?

    He finally asked me on Halloween of this year, and I was tempted to say “Someday”, but he looked really nervous like he might puke….so I said “of course!” and there was much kissing and crying and joy.

    I asked him later and he said he felt he needed to be the one to ask me to make it official. I wasn’t upset, I was happy I finally got more than a ‘someday’.

  39. First of all: the new site design is amazing Arial!

    Second of all, I am totally feeling what many of you are feeling. I definitely agree with the “Wouldn’t marry a guy who was offended by my proposal,” and “Taliking to death and just deciding to make plans” sounds so, so familiar to me too.

    Rather than anyone proposing to anyone we made a mutual decision together that this was the right time, and since that moment have made every decision together (even the engagement ring which we designed together). Even though I didn’t get a big proposal, I’m not really a big fan of them (especially not after making my way through the first season of Dexter over the holidays – those who’ve seen it will know what I’m talking about). Making decisions together seems so much more romantic in a way – much more collaborative – and a really good indicator of the marriage we want to have.

  40. i also proposed to my fiance mike, we joke i wear the pants because he’s not the type to make decisions, lol. i had it all planned out to be based around our motorcycles.

    we met at a riding safety class and both ride, so i thought a carbon fiber ring would be perfect. i picked one out online but didn’t get it because i was stuck between two so i figured if he’s going to wear it, he should pick it.

    on a trip to mexico last september, we went jewelry shopping for pretty silver stuff & he says ‘hey, check this out, this is awesome’… yup, the same EXACT ring. ‘WHAAA???’. i planned on waiting until we got back to go on a romantic ride through the backroads on a favorite route of ours, but it got cut short because of this.

    for two days he kept trying to find one in his size, and i was trying to get him not to buy it. eventually, i blurt out ‘no, you can’t have it!!’
    him: ‘why not?’
    me *sniffly/blubbery*: ‘because i was going to buy you the same one, and ask you to marry me’
    him: ‘ok’ (smile)
    me: ‘really?’
    him: ‘yeah!’
    we both laughed our butts off, and when we got back i told my mom at the airport i brought her back a souvenir… a son in law, lolol.

    all in all it was awesome, and we knew it was going to happen, so it wasn’t a matter of traditional roles.

  41. I proposed to my hubby. I called him while I was on my way to my friends house (to see 27 dresses) and told him I wanted to get married this year. He said we’ll talk when I got home.
    The next day, we put a deposit on the venue and ordered the ring. I’m impulsive 🙂

  42. My girlfriend and I both wanted the pleasure of proposing to one another, so that’s what we did. And each proposal was so much fun and even though we knew it was coming, it didn’t change how special it was.

    I proposed last New Year’s Eve in a fancy hotel room, right at midnight.

    She took me to a 4-story used bookstore on our anniversary and proposed in the poetry section (I’m a poet).

    This also handled the detail that we both wanted to wear e-rings. So we both proposed to one another with a ring, and both rings are perfect, and very different and don’t match anything at all, not even our wedding rings.

    Just because you’ve already been proposed to, doesn’t mean you can’t still propose, so for the guys who really wanted to plan a proposal, tell them they totally still can just because you asked them to marry you doesn’t mean they can’t still ask you back.

  43. “Also, there was no proposal at all for FH and me. We talked it to death and just decided to start making plans. It’s not as romantic, granted, but soft music and twinkling lights really aren’t necessary to happily spend the rest of your lives together. I’m just sayin.”

    Same here. We were laying in bed talking about our future plans and decided to get married. When people ask, “How did he propose?” I respond, “He didn’t, we both decided to get married.” I agree completely that the ascribed roles of women and men in relationships (women as waiting to be picked and men as deciding) disempowers both. I didn’t feel that it was fair that my fiance has to panic, and I have to wait. We wanted a relationship built on a partnership, not a dictationship.

    With that being said, there isn’t anything wrong with men proposing, just the idea that they are the only ones with a right to do so!

  44. In theory, I agree entirely. In practice, there are varying levels of offbeatness in any relationship – I’ve always been pretty stridently feminist and unique in my gender and relationship ideals. And although he’s the most caring, genuine-equality-treating man (or woman) I’ve ever dated, he’s also Southern and only slowly openning up to more lefty self-identification. Frankly, it’s not the titles that are inportant but how you’re treated (and my male “feminist” ex was a total ass.)

    So we work to balance the things that are important to each other: I didn’t want a ring, but it’s important to him, so I made him agree to recycled metals and no diamonds (and also to wearing an e-ring himself!). I’m ready to get married but not bothered with waiting, so I’ll wait till he’s ready to propose.

    And in this case, his age and Southern background mean a more traditional proposal process. Since we’re certain on the life-partner front, I’m willing to wait and smile when I recieve a ring and bended knee proposal.

  45. Being a lady-in-waiting isn’t all bad. I guess I feel a little defensive about this because it came up in a comment I made about the changes being made to the site here.

    I’m the breadwinner of our family, and the cook. As far as we’re concerned, we’re “married in Kansas already” (since they have common-law marriage and we plan to make it official next time we go home) but to my Bear, it’s important to keep some things egalitarian, and not swing the pendulum too far the other way… he wants to do something special to propose “officially” and I refuse to take that from him. “Sometime this year” now that it’s 2009, and he’s been saving for a while and wants to take a trip to Montana to mine our own sapphires for our engagement rings and swords, we’ll have our “official” engagement. So yes, we’re planning, and I’m waiting, and I think it’s beautiful, and nothing to be sad about. I don’t want anyone feeling sad for me because I’m planning and not “officially engaged.”

    If anything, I’m a little saddened that in a place I felt it was safer than most to be in this position, there’s pressure to “just do it already” myself, or to be different, but in a certain way.

    I liked that reading your book, Ariel, and your blog, and being a part of the OBBT made me feel like I was among a smaller but supportive group than the traditional WIC. I hope that doesn’t change – creation of an Offbeat Wedding Industrial Complex just adds a letter to an already uncomfortable acronym.

  46. I asked my guy what he would say if I proposed. He said he would say no! I’m pretty sure he said that because he knew that I really wanted him to propose to me. I was patient. I waited. And he finally proposed while on vacation in Mexico and we got married in August. 🙂

  47. Oh, I’m so glad you wrote about this. I was really thinking about this when people were commenting that they couldn’t buy the book because they were waiting to get engaged. The waiting message over and over again seemed weird.

    In our case I was ready before he was ready… so I needed to give him space and time to get ready, so he did the asking. Of course, by that point, many a discussion had been had, and rings had even been looked at. That was how we knew we were really ready 🙂

    Great great post. And I too love the plate.

  48. This is my first comment on OBB and I just wanted to say, Fuck Yeah!

    I proposed to my boyfriend last month with vampire rings (although I considered doing it with jelly ones from a vending machine). A lot of people were confused and apprehensive, as if I had somehow committed sacrilege, but Boy was so happy. I think he still might propose to me with a more traditional ring at a later time, I’m more than happy when I tell people I’m engaged to show them our interlocking teeth rings 😀

  49. I proposed … twice. Once, years ago, as a lark (via email) and again, the weekend before Thanksgiving (2008.) The second time, I was serious and heartfelt. He said yes.

    Since I was the one who freaked out every time the “m-word” even came out, it seemed appropriate that I should be the one to propose. It was worth the risk and stress and pit-of-stomach knot to see his face light up with delight when, after my rambling and hesitation-filled speech, I finally got to the question.

  50. Liz: I think your situation sounds lovely! Waiting for your man to propose because you love and respect him and his desire to do something special for you – that’s just as offbeat as any other proposal here. You’re not a lady-in-waiting because it’s what tradition dictates, you’re waiting because it’s what YOU want and have decided is best for you as a couple.

  51. I am one of the ladies-in-waiting from the survey, and you know, I am happy with that. You see, all my guy friends tell me that “you don’t propose unless you are SURE the girl will say yes”, and while I know i am ready to say yes, I also know he isn’t. Once I know he is ready to say yes I am more than happy to ask (have the cuff links ready and waiting and everything), but I am hoping he asks first, because I want the proposal, and I am not ashamed of that either.

  52. I proposed to my fiance — but I chose to do it several months after he first proposed to me. He proposed to me on New Year’s Eve 2007 and I went to study abroad two weeks later. When he came to visit me in London for 10 days, I wanted to make it extra-special and to take an opportunity to give a long and romantic schpeil of my own. I even got him an engagement ring with a small diamond embedded in the band. He may not remember the name of the bridge we were sitting on when I whipped it out and kneeled before him, but he’ll always remember the way my eyes sparkled when he said yes.

  53. I proposed to my FH on Valentine’s Day last year. Yes, it was completely cheesy, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.. it was just so us 🙂 . I cooked us a nice dinner at home, bought him a ring, and we had a nice candle light dinner. Even though I ended up burning our dessert AND spilling my wine because I was so nervous, it was a funny story to tell our family later. He’s super shy, so I knew that he’d take FOREVER if I didn’t just go for it. He bought be a ring in 2007, but he never really asked, so I just made it official. Now I wear his ring (it didn’t fit) on my right hand, and my ring on my left 🙂

  54. We had been talking about getting married for years, and he always said that he wanted to be the one to propose, so I let him, and he took his sweet ass time doing it too! Seriously, it look nearly 3 years after he first said he would until he finally did it, but it turns out he wasn’t ready to be married when I was, and looking back I guess trying to get a 17 then 18 then 19 when he proposed year old guy to settle down, even someone like him, was alot to ask. Especially considering the huge chore taking care of my crippled ass for the rest of my life will be, I’m glad I didn’t propose cause he needed to be ready, and he would have said yes just because I asked, not because he was ready. When he realised that taking care of me was a small price to be with me, he was ready, and I’m glad I didn’t take that away from him.

  55. PS, althought I did give him a little wooden heart with “yes” on it in a ring box a year or 2 before he proposed, he still keeps it in his car 😀

  56. Color me shocked. My boyfriend comes from a very closed minded family and he has pretty traditional beliefs. I assumed that he would be weirded out by having the woman ask, but tonight over dinner I asked him his thoughts on it. He thought for a moment and said, “That wouldn’t bother me.” I also assured him I wouldn’t be doing that but I was curious about his open-mind. I love him even more knowing that he wouldn’t care if it were something I really wanted to do.

  57. Totally hearing what you’re saying about communication. My girlfriend and I (we’re both girls, btw) had talked over marriage and indeed even wedding planning loads of times during our relationship before we got engaged. I waited for her to propose – but only because I’d realised that she wanted to find a great moment and propose, and I thought it sounded sweet. (She ended up asking me one Friday night in our local Indian restaurant – just after we’d been talking about where we fancied getting married, hilariously enough. She changed the subject, then snuck a proposal in. Then we had some Cobra beer.)

    Different arrangements suit different couples, but what’s struck me really powerfully is that the straight couples I know where the girl is waiting and anxious about it, one or both of the couple is a bit of a non-talker. Compulsively talking over everything, the way my future wife and I do, of course isn’t always great and can bring its own problems. But I’ve definitely noticed in my own engagement that issues a couple or a person has that come to a head about marriage are usually issues that are already around in the relationship.

  58. My sweetie and I got engaged at least twice, and possible three (four?) times. I proposed to him while riding bikes up a mountain. I said, “do you think we should get married?” He said, “are you asking?” I replied, “Yes I am, will you marry me?” Happily, the answer was yes.

    But he’s got a traditional streak, this one. He insisted on asking my dad for his permission. This meant waiting two months after my proposal, flying across the country, and a nerve-wracking evening that ended fantastically with many beers drunk and songs sung. The next day, I jumped off a friend’s boat into a sparkly lake, and a ring box bobbed up. It was his turn to ask, and my turn to reply!

    Later that day I called his mom to ask for his hand, and I had barely finished asking before she yelled “yes, yes, hooray!” down the line.

    I love our many engagement stories, and I’m looking forward to some equally anachronistic wedding stories. Life is what you make it!

  59. We’d talked about getting married LONG before I finally said, “Okay, let’s just do it then!” In fact, we bought a house together over a year before deciding that we would just get married.

    In our case, we were on an all-day hike in the Black Hills, midway through a 10 day road trip. I asked, he was picking his nose, and made me ask again.

    It would never occur to me to wait around until he got me some ring that he couldn’t afford on his grad student stipend, or think of some elaborate setup. In fact, we’d spent the previous few months thinking of all of the worst ways we could possibly propose to one another, because that’s just the kind of jerks we are!

  60. Last year on New Year’s Eve our resolution was to get married and have a baby. Well, as it happened, I got pregnant really easily. Having never tried before, I didn’t know how fast it would happen!
    I’m due in February-one month to go-PHEW!
    So rather than getting me an engagement ring, we joked that we got an “engagement baby” instead.
    We did go ahead and get legally married by a Justice of the Peace downtown because that was important to our moms, but the “real” WEDDING is set for this March so that friends and relatives who travel to be a part of our wedding will also get to meet the new baby.
    I will say that planning a wedding while both working full time, working on a baby room ,raising his son (from a previous marriage-all while being heavily pregnant is kind of an ordeal-but it’s really fun, too.

    So nobody really proposed to anybody. We just talked about it, said “hey, let’s do this” and now we’re making it happen! Yay!
    And this year on New Year’s Eve we got to bask in the joy of having achieved last year’s resolutions!

  61. I, too, proposed to my boyfriend. October 17, 2008. We had discussed it over and over, but I was just kind of hanging out and waiting. My best friend and I were talking about it one day and she jokingly said, “I’m surprised YOU haven’t popped the question.” We initially laughed and then I stopped, and thought, “Yeah… why HAVEN’T I done that???” It’s just so… ME.

    So I went to a local jeweler, had them engrave a compass with “She Asked. He Said Yes. 2008” That was his engagement “ring”, so to speak. I popped the question after dinner. And, he did in fact say, “YES!” We’re getting married on 10/10/10 🙂

    I’ve never been so proud of myself or more courageous. It’s a scary thing, for sure.

  62. For me, when I made a comment stating I was waiting to buy the book until I was engaged, or had a conversation about seriously getting married, I simply meant until one of us had proposed or we both had the conversation. I’ve only been with my partner for about 3 months. While I find him completely amazing and at this point want to be with him for as long as possible, I don’t feel ready to propose or to have him propose, or to have a serious conversation yet!

    But with so many of my close friends engaged (I have an engagement party to go to this Sunday and a roommate that asks me a new question about planning her wedding every night when I come home) I can’t help but day dream about my own wedding!

    PS I gave my roommate OBB for Christmas and I’m giving the other newly engaged couple OBB on Sunday! 🙂

  63. For us, I had considered proposing, mostly out of impatience, but in the end held off because he really wanted to propose. To him, this was something he thought about growing up, how he might propose, and it was a big deal to him. I grew up with parents who never had a big fancy proposal (meaning dad slipped and said “when we’re married” and that was that). Because of this, I let him have it his way. But I do think that I was the first one to say that I wanted to be his wife. 🙂

  64. When I proposed, it was supposed to be a complete surprise. We’d been together almost 9 years and I’d always said that I’d marry him if I was allowed to have my own apartment. We had shared bank accounts and plans to have kids, but I wasn’t interested in marriage. Then, a switch flipped and I decided I’d ask him on his birthday. When the champagne came out at the end of our fancy dinner and I stopped him from taking a sip by saying that I wanted to say something, he said, “what, are you going to ask me to marry you?” He’s pretty proud of himself that he had me figured out. Since he’s generally the more romantic, effusive one, I think he liked that I took control of this situation.

  65. A friend of ours was recently asked by his girlfriend and he was thrilled – when I brought the subject up with my beloved – he was less than thrilled.

    While, at first I was incensed and full of “don’t you think women equally have a say in whether or not they want to get married?” – He explained his reasoning this way.

    While many young women “dream” of their future wedding planning it out down to the last detail, what boys think about is how they will propose. For him this was a traditional role that he has thought about and wants to do right.

    He still hasn’t proposed, and I still may, but if he isn’t ready to ask, then I’m not sure I’m ready to answer. I like previous posts that talk about how when one of you is ready – they should ask. If I get there before him – I’ll definately keep my option to do the asking open.

  66. I asked my husband first. I spelled out “Marry Me?” on gingerbread cookies christmas 2006. He kind of freaked out, and said “he’d think about it.” Fast forward one year to 2007, he proposed at his comedy troupe’s December show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vi7wBlee9E

  67. Speaking of your book, I just ordered in on Amazon with some Christmas money. I bought a used version in “New condition”. I opened it today, and it’s an autographed copy! I had no idea. Hooray! Can’t wait to read it!

  68. Megan, that’s hilarious — I’m guessing I know where those books came from. 🙂 I did a book event in Vancouver BC, and spent the entire day promoting the event with two tv appearances and a radio interview.

    The bookstore owner who’d organized the event had ordered a TOOOOOON of books anticipating a huge crowd from all the publicity. He had me sign all 50 books, and then maybe 10 people showed up (HELLO, DEPRESSING) and even better? They were all my friends! And some of them already had books. So poor bookstore owner sold almost no books, and had a huge pile of signed ones that he probably eventually returned to the publisher for resale.

    In fact, your book may be in this photo, taken that night:
    Signing copies of OBB at Sophia Books

  69. My Mother Proposed to my father and then the day before the wedding my father proposed to my mother. the 27/12/08 was their 24th wedding anniversary. My parents have had quite an “offbeat” marriage. I didnt realise that until last year when my friend and i were browsing this site and she mentioned how traditional her parents had been. I’d like to think when it comes time i’ll propose…I’d like to propose and be proposed to I think haha

  70. I like the idea of the girl asking, and my boyfriend loves me for being offbeat and independent, but he’s told me that he won’t let me propose because he’s been planning how he’s going to do it since soon after we started dating (we’re both in college still so it makes sense to wait). I find it really romantic that he wants to sweep me off my feet with a proposal, and I know that he’s not doing it out of tradition at all, he just loves the shmooze 🙂

  71. I’m with a couple other people here, waiting, and I’m fine with waiting for him to ask, because I’m ready and he’s not.

    We’ve been together almost 10 years, we’ve talked about marriage often, he knows it’s something important to me, and at this point the only fears he has are his own hang-ups about marriage, not of me saying no. So when he asks, it’s like him saying “Yeah, I’ve worked through that stuff and I’m ready now.”

    So that’s why it’s important to me that he asks, otherwise I’d have done it like four years ago! I really wish it was as easy a problem to fix as just me asking! Right now, I’m just focusing on supporting him in any way I can while he works through what he needs to.

  72. When my then-boyfriend went on a two week vacation to Scotland with his uncle I was left with a lot of time on my hands to think. In that time I realized that of course, I had to marry him. I planned on talking about it with him when he got home, but not right away. I picked him up at the airport, brought him home, fed him, got into bed and all my patience flew out the window. I started talking about how I had missed him and how glad I was to have him back home. And told him that I just HAD to marry him and would he please marry me. He didn’t quite get it at first and said, of course, someday. That made me tear up a little and then he suddenly realized that I meant it as an ass-backwards proposal. He said “yes, yes of course!” and then we hugged a long, long hug and started making goofy plans well into the night. It was awesome.
    He wanted in on some of the tradiation so the next day he got me a stand-in ring at the mall and proposed to me that night.
    We then spent the next several weeks popping the question to eachother at random times. Perhaps I’ll ask him again tonight…..

    If you have found the right person to spend your life with, it doesn’t matter who does the asking. Go for it, ladies!

    • I smiled so wide to think of you two randomly popping the question many times over the next several weeks 😀 Congratulations!

  73. I’m doing it. I’ve decided! I posted earlier about being conflicted, but we are both ready and life is too short, right?

    We’re big travelers and are living overseas right now (he moved halfway around the world for me, that’s commitment!) So I was thinking of getting a pewter compass engraved with “No matter where we go, you are always home to me. Will you marry me?” I gave him a ring with “you are home to me” a couple of years ago, and he wears it everyday. It is a line from one of our favorite love songs.

  74. i proposed to my fiance, and he didn’t mind at all! he was surprised but he loved it 🙂

  75. I’ve been thinking for a while about proposing. I have always joked that I would be the one to ask, since he’s kind of the absent minded professor type, and hate to decide anything. I don’t want to get him a ring, but I want to get him something! and I want to wait till may 1, which is one of our special days, but that is months away! Not sure I can wait that long! But I do feel much better about it after reading all of your great stories.

  76. Sounds really utopian, but I know that my guy would not want this. He’d probably be mad at me, though I am getting impatient with him. We have talked about marriage so much it’s ridiculous. We know that we want to be together, and there is a family situation that makes things complex, but we still want a life together. Unfortunately for me, I will have to be a “lady in waiting” because I know he won’t like it. He does like the fact that I’m very independent, but he has already told me that he loves it when I need him. Taking the “tradition” away from him wouldn’t be a good idea for me. I wish! Otherwise I’d do it, but I’m almost certain he’d say something like “Not yet”, which would just break my heart and make it worse. End result? Still waiting, so there’s no point.

  77. I proposed to my fiance. We’ve also both getting engagement rings soon (because we didn’t have them at the actual proposal).

    We were already “committed” to marriage, but we weren’t officially engaged. When I asked him later if he was bummed he didn’t get to pop the question…err…statement, he was more relieved than anything else.

  78. My fiance and I have quite the love story behind us and so after we finally got together getting married was never a question but simply a fact. So we’ve talked through planning of all different sorts and his family is very traditional and mine is not. After stumbling upon OBB, my mindset completely changed. I now view my wedding as a blank canvas waiting to be painted. I was almost firmly against having a traditional wedding.

    Because he is in the military and is currently stationed overseas, it’s a little tough to get everyone together for a huge family wedding. So we’ve decided that having two weddings would work out wonderfully.

    After dinner one evening we went to the bridge to people watch. We had just watched the cutest old couple walk past and it was then that I leaned in for a kiss and asked him to marry me instead. He stared at me in disbelief, his expression said “Did that really just happen?”. After it finally sunk in he shouted “YES! Of course!” I figured it only appropriate since we would be having our offbeat wedding first where I could implement my hearts every desire. =)

    As happy as he was that I proposed, he shared that he’s been planning my proposal since we got together. I told him it wasn’t too late, so when we decide to have our traditional wedding in front of everyone, he’ll be the one to ask the question and have most of the say in the traditional wedding planning. =)

  79. So…when a girl proposes to there guy, does the girl buy the ring for the guy? I seen in a previous post where the girl proposed with a ring for her. So, would I pay for my ring and he would pay for his? Hmmm…I think the girl proposing is a GREAT idea but I was just unsure. Any feed back would be helpful! Thanks!

  80. I’d love to propose to my guy; but he’s already told me that if I did, he’d say no. He certainly loves me for being off beat (he knows I will be keeping my name, and not wearing a veil, and we’ve talked about him being the stay-at-home dad with the future kiddos) but the proposal is really important to him.

    Also, I’m something of a junky for surpsises, so it just makes sense.

    It’s not a matter of if, but when for us. We’ve been together for over 5 years, but we’re only 24 and so we’ve decided to wait until we’re older and more financially stable. This was a mutual decision on our parts, but (as you can tell from the fact that I am reading OBB) part of me is a wee bit impatient.

  81. I proposed using fridge magnets when he was making dinner, then scuttled off to wait for him to discover them… Needless to say, he didn't notice instantly and given I was a *teensy* bit edgy, I then firmly instructed him to look at the fridge. He said yes (using fridge magnets) and a year and an half later, the evidence is still there for all to see!

  82. Both me and mine are offbeat for sure, and I had gotten out of a bad relationship 6 months before I met him. Then, just as I thought my world was beginning to right itself, the bad relationship reared it's ugly head again and my hun has been there for me through thick and thin, helping deal with the bad relationship strings. (My ex filed for divorce in our state because we live in a state that recognizes common law marriage. And we have kids together.) I used to have panic attacks at him calling me his fiance in public and with our friends, so I got ther balls one day to tell him that he could only call me his fiance if he managed to pin me to the ground long enough to put a ring on my finger. Lo and behold, he managed! So while we were out ring shopping one day, we were at the mall with the kids, and everybody got hungry, so we went to taco bell.
    We got our food, and grabbed some sauce packets, and while we were quietly eating, both he and I tossed a sauce packet at each other….. one that said "will you marry me?"! Now I've got a scrapboook page with two taco bell sauce packets on it! I love it, because nobody knows that day quite like we do!

  83. My fiance is offbeat, its what drew me to him. And vice versa. He asked me to marry him rather inpromptu, against the fridge while we were bringing in the groceries lol, so we decided to buy rings for each other and then he'd ask me again 'properly'. I had the ring on layby and I paid it off and got it engraved, but I didn't tell him I had it. I'd worked hard to get it paid off before his birthday so I could propose to him too. I asked just as it turned midnight on the eve of his birthday, and he cried and was absolutely stunned and happy, it was just so amazing. Its one of my fondest memories of that time, but anyone I tell just respons with how odd it is and wasn't that rude or arrogant to ask the man? It makes me sad, because it was such a sweet moment in our history that he loved me for. And when it comes to love, there are no rules… or at least, there shouldn't be.

  84. i proposed to my boyfriend completely out of the blue!! ack!! he said yes, double ack!! we have been on/off for 8 years, and i finally asked him if he actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. he said "i do", and so a few minutes later i asked him if he would marry me, and he said yes. yay 😀 to be fair, i told him i knew he wanted to ask me, and that i wouldn't consider it "official" until he asked me as well, not because he's the guy, but because i want us both to have a say in it. so we're half way there 😀

  85. After we had both been in previous long term relationships, I decided after a year I had found the man I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. Yes I always wanted the surprise of being proposed to, but I wasn't willing to wait anymore. So I plan a full night of romance and proposed to him on our 1 year anniversary, complete with a custom made ring, which his best friend designed. After the shock wore off, he said yes, but that he wanted to propose to me as well.

    Finally 6 months later, after getting into a big fight of when he was going to give me my ring, he managed to catch me off guard and proposed back to me in the most beautiful surprising way.

    While growing up, the only thing I ever wanted out of a proposal was a one hell of a story, now I have two!

  86. After reading the few and limited advice columns and especially THIS POST, i decided to propose to my boyfriend. I knew the feelings were there- i had no doubt in my mind that he was not in this for the long haul (even after only 6 months of dating) but knew there were other factors as well that might not look so good from the outside in such as him being very traditional and probably wanted to be the one who asked and I havent met his parents since his family is scattered across the states.. BUT i decided to ask ANYWAYS. (My bf loves me for being quirky, strong and loving so this was just proof) I love him and just couldnt hold it in any longer!

    we had gotten in the habit of doing work on our laptops before bed and I made him this video

    he opened, watched and was quite suprised! His first reaction was yes of course i will marry you
    but then his logical side appealed to the above stated issues- him wanting to ask and the social decorum with his family. He didn't say yes but made it very clear that it was DEFINETLY not a NO.
    I think the effort of me asking him put us both on the same page- even after many talks of marriage, kids and life together- we both had fears of those evil 'what-if' questions'. He said he has no doubt that we will be engaged in a couple months but nothing has changed in our relationship. The love is still there and we live each day like its our last.

    So to all you women out there pondering this question- if it feels right GO FOR IT! Know your boyfriend well enough to anticipate some possible reactions and go from there! this experience definitely opened my eyes to follow my heart and to go get whatever it is that i want and love!

  87. I proposed to my guy earlier this year, and several of my girlfriends also proposed to their guys. We had talked of getting engaged for a while, and even looked at rings. I was impatient, and since he had quit his job to go back to school- it would have probably been years before he could afford a nice ring which he would have wanted before proposing.

    It was late one night after I came home from school (I'm getting my MBA part time while working) and we were sitting on the floor just chatting. We were discussing engagement stuff, so I figured I'd just 'make it official' and ask him. He said yes. It was sweet and casual, and the lack of specific planning meant I had no time to get nervous. A month or so later we went to shopping together for my engagement ring.

    There are time I wish I had been proposed to, but I'm also happy I 'popped' the question. I'm thrilled to be engaged. Plus, I adore my engagement ring- its center stone is a star sapphire that belonged to my mom, and I liked having a say in a piece of jewelry I plan on wearing for the rest of my life. We aren't getting married for 2 years (till I finish school), but I love being engaged and planning on spending my life with this guy.

  88. My finance and I have been together for almost four years now and yes he did ask first but. (quite awhile ago).. every few months (six months or so) I find some silly romantic way to ask him back. We're considered too young within our families to get married yet but we've been enjoying keeping our tradition going. 🙂

  89. Oh man. I would *totally* ask – he certainly doesn't have an ego about any of that (honestly, he's more of a feminist than I am) and no one would ever accuse us of being heternormative – but, as much as I often want to, I could never take it away from him to ask me. I mean, we 'sort of' ask each other, but the actual question is reserved for him. As someone else mentioned, it's not a fear of commitment thing, it's a getting-his-shit-together thing. I know that he wants to better be able to provide for us as a family, and I respect that. Even if I get a little impatient…

    [We did just get our domestic partnership license in Cambridge, MA, though. It gives us both rights as a non-married couple that we wouldn't otherwise have, which is awesome. For the occasion, we're having pre-engagement rings custom made (his idea. we both wear cheapy rings we got each other in the beginning of the relationship). They will also end probably end up engagement rings, at which point maybe we'll engrave them. So, it's a step!]

    More power to you all who plunged in and did it! I think it's wonderful and sexy and I'm a little jealous!

  90. I proposed to my husband. I'm a spontaneous, goofy girl that jumps on any opportunity when it comes her way, even if it seems totally impossible or impractical or dumb, because in my opinion, something can only be considered that way if you don't give it at least one try. I'm like Trillian in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when she asked Arthur Dent if he would go to Madagascar with her immediately that night for no reason at all.

    I made the proposal extremely meaningful for him, something that he would know right away what it meant for us, and to show him that I was not trying to one-up him as "proposal bearer". We both obsess over the Harvest Moon game series on Nintendo and Playstation. You take care of a farm, animals, crops, and stuff, and solve quests, and as a major side quest you can choose a girl to woo over time and eventually marry her. There were a couple revised versions of the game where a girl is managing the farm and can find a boy to marry. Learning about the new revised version gave me a lot of confidence to pull this little stunt.

    In the game, a person does not propose marriage with a ring, they instead must get a rare expensive blue feather from a traveling vendor. On Christmas Day 2004, my husband opened the presents I got him: the newest Harvest Moon game, the GameCube to play it on, and a blue ostrich feather from a craft store, which cost me a dollar, but has so much more meaning to the two of us. He gave a small smile of recognition. "Is this what I think it is?" I scooted closer to him cause we were sitting on the floor and took the feather from him gently and presented it back to him with my proposal. He was in shock for a few, but he eventually gave me a "Yes". Mom asked if I was serious or just playing around cause she didn't understand the significance of an ostrich feather dyed blue, so I explained and she teared up a little.

    (Continued)

  91. The feather was taped to the headboard of our bed and stayed there for three years, a continuous promise that we would get married someday. We giggled and proposed to each other about once a month, to be silly, to renew the idea, and to make sure we were still good to go on that. We just didn't have the money for an actual wedding, not even a small one, so we waited… and waited… and then in 2007 we had children: two adorable siamese cats. After about a year, when they got old enough to get into some major mischief… the poor thing didn't stand a chance. It was a horrid death of blue scattered about the bedroom. o_o

    We eventually decided to f*ck the idea of a wedding and got married at our courthouse for official, medical, and sanity reasons. The civil marriage, now coined the Get-It-Over-With-Already! Day, was cold and perfunctory and the only thing that made it nice and took my mind away from the speed-reading officiant was the real monarch butterfly standing on my shoulder (superglued to a piece of card and pinned on). I had found it dead as of recent in the parking lot a couple days beforehand, and we had actually planned for butterflies to be the theme of our little mini marriage, on the bouquet and my dress was dark orange, dark brown, tan, cream… etc. Monarchs have a very special place in my heart from the main character in a book I am writing, whom I name Anne Monarch. She also loves monarchs and ended up with the last name Monarch and also became a monarch (royalty). And this… *choke*… and this is where I start crying. I think my grandfather sent the butterfly to me. He passed away earlier this year of Alzheimers… he must have wanted me to care for her body and honor it in the
    best way possible. I am honored in return, grandpa. She completely made my day. My husband and I had considered changing both of our last names to represent us as a new family, and I think Monarch would be nice. Maybe I, like my character who often represents me, always was a Monarch? No offense to my parents, but I think we each grow into our own special names and states of mind when we become a new family.

    (Continued)

  92. My parents came down about a week later to look at a house with us and afterward we sat and brainstormed a bit. They didn't want us to have the courthouse be our only memory of a marriage, so they offered to pay for a small ceremony and a simple ice cream reception if we could help out some. We were overjoyed with the idea. I didn't think we could have an October wedding this year, I really wanted one, but I was ready to wait a year. Mom said we could do it. It'd be hectic and crazy, but she insisted we could do it, so I said okaaaay…

    Then friends and family started offering their talents left and right over the past two months. One of mom's friends offered a big discount on a hand made wedding cake to my specifications. (I can't wait to see it! I asked for tiers that look like they are covered with fabric sheets, each one a different color, and then monarchs all over it.) My aunt threw me a bridal shower a couple weeks ago. My cousin offered to play piano during our unity ceremony. My absolute best friend on the internet for the last decade (whom I've met in real life a couple times at conventions) is coming up by bus. Just a ton of stuff has fallen into our laps like a sudden burst of candy from a pinata!

    Grandpa sure did like his candy.

    I think I'll get another feather to display along with grandpa's butterfly at the wedding that we are finally having this Saturday!!

  93. I accidentally proposed to my boyfriend last Friday while we were at a party together.

    We'd sneaked away from the rest of the crowd and lain down on the hosts' bed for a few minutes of quiet time together. I'd been thinking about marrying him a lot over the past month.

    Every time l looked at him, all I could think was "I want to be your wife." I really had meant it as more of a reassurance that it would be OK to ask me, that I wanted him to ask me sometime, that if he did ask me, he'd get a good answer. So I just let the words slip out. "I want to be your wife."

    He looked shocked, but took a deep breath and laughed and said he loved me. With the next breath he asked me to marry him. I assured him that of course I would, but I was shocked too. I hadn't meant to propose, just to clear the way!

    Man… years ago I'd asked both of my dates to prom, I'd asked this one if he wanted to date me–and now this! "Can't I just be patient?! Shit! I ruined it; Me and my big mouth!" I was berating myself inside, rather than fully enjoying the momentousness of the occasion.

    When he giggled, though, it set me more at ease. He told me that he'd been planning on speaking with my father about it next week when we go visit my family for a cousin's wedding. He'd planned to ask me after getting my father's blessing, on the anniversary of the day I asked him out–he's offbeat, but as sweet a Southern Gentleman as you could ask for too.

    We talked about it, and he'll be speaking with both of my parents this week and making a formal proposal at a time of his choosing (with a ring that we both like), likely next month.

    I told him I'd been looking at rings. He told me he'd been looking at rings, we decided to swap websites, and it turned out to be EXACTLY the same site (google mokume gane rings).

    So I could have let things unfold, and they would have been perfect…. but they're going to unfold a little differently and still be perfect.

  94. My boyfriend and I have been with one another for three years. We have always had an unconventional relationship where our gender roles are pleasantly reversed. We have recently been having more and more discussions about our future together and the potential for marriage. All of these variables made it clear to me how strongly I wanted to propose marriage to him. The seed was planted… so the tremendious romantic planning began. So last night we were driving to the groccery store and he found the ring hidden in my purse while looking for something! OH MY! D'oh! Seeing him and the ring together filled me up with so much excitement and love. It gave me shivers! My romantic plans temporarily flew out the window as I recited my romantic speech and proposed to him while driving to Fresh and Easy! But it felt right and he said yes. Isn't life funny?

  95. In our case it made sense for me to propose, because my guy was always much more comfortable with the idea of marriage than I was, so he could never be sure if I'd say yes. He repeatedly told me as much. After waffling on the issue for about a year and practically deciding we WOULDN'T get married on principle, we bought a house together. At this point marriage was superfluous–it was quite clear neither of us was planning to go anywhere.

    With the pressure off, we could address the issue as a practical matter instead of an emotional one. When we began "joking" about engagement rings and weddings, I suspected we were both ready. When I stumbled upon the perfect location for a proposal, I knew the time had come for me to take the pressure off him and propose. Even though I planned the whole thing in one week, and it didn't go off exactly as planned, it turned out very nicely and I totally surprised him! His engagement "ring" is actually a dagger, since he's into swords, but it came with a matching ring if he ever feels like wearing it.

    • I also left the door open for him to buy me a ring if he likes, but I'm not putting pressure on him about it. This way he still has the opportunity to surprise me with a proposal if he feels like it.

  96. ok i understand and i want to prpose to my boyfriend to buy my question is do i buy my ring and his or just his someone help me please

    • Definitely just his ring–or a sword or a pocketwatch or a guitar–whatever his heart desires that only you would know!

  97. i proposed, kind of. conversation went from agreeing that we both want kids, and i'd kind of like to raise kids _with him_ to, let's make some kind of committment to each other re raising the kids, to let's have a big party celebrating it, and… a week or so later the word "wedding" was finally mentioned… two months later we bought each other rings…

  98. I proposed, too, and as someone else said before, I was so impatient that I just kind of did it on a random day instead of making any real solid plan.

  99. I proposed to Mark. Three months into our relationship, we were watching home movies and Mark looked at me and said, "I want to marry you someday. Do you want to be my wife?" I agreed but nothing came of it. A year and three months later, I stayed up all night and decorated our home with crayon pictures that I had spent months drawing. One said everything I loved about him and then asked "Mark, will you marry me?" He ran into the bedroom the next morning where I was still sleeping and woke me up and said "yes" about a million times. Two weeks later, he took me to the park where we ride our bikes and dropped down to one knee in front of this beautiful lake and presented me with the ring. It was kind of a fun way – we kept asking each other. I knew from the instant we met that he'd be my hubby.

  100. although we haven't actually proposed to each other as yet, i've got a plan!

    My man really loves comic books and has just created the first issue if his own (aptly named Romance is Dead' ) so a couple of years ago I thought about creating a little comic of my own and have the last page a drawing of us with me popping the question – being a procrastinator (not because I didn't want to finish it but lots of other crafty thing got in the way!) this is still not finished!
    Although I'm not sure if I need to as he's hinted that he has also a plan…
    But we could take inspiration from some of these other comments and both of us could propose…

  101. My boyfriend is proposing to me. I am waiting, but in our relationship it makes sense. He has some trauma in his past that has made it hard for him to adjust to finally having an amazing girlfriend who adores him and would never attack him with scissors (true story, and the least of the things he's been attacked with by former girlfriends!). I have patiently given him time to accept our relationship, and it has been worth it every step of the way. We have had numerous conversations about getting married, and he started hinting last summer about proposing at some point in the future, when he was ready. I informed him then that when he asks, I will say, "Yes." His hinting has become less subtle, right down to his slipping and telling me most of his plan, mostly because he is so used to talking to me about things that in his excitement he forgot to keep it secret!

    He has since explained to me that proposing and choosing the ring is really important to him because it is his way of saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, have children with me, and telling me how important I am to him. There is no way I could step on his toes and propose! And as we met online and I initiated contact, kissed him first, said, "I love you first" (just like another poster!) it's his turn.

    I am quite certain that his plan has been given up in favour of proposing sooner. Neither of us is good at waiting! My side will be to find an earring for him that we both consider the "right" earring, although that will probably take longer than his proposal. But after reading the comments I may just propose back when we find that earring.

  102. great plate kinda reminds me of my experience with my fiancee in Chicago and i live in Oregon. we had been talking of marriage for awhile and i explained to him i do too. we are very happy together being a long distance relationship and in fact the very first one to be working. however he beat me to the punch line and proposed to me what a romeo and i aint no juilet..we decided to have a secret engagement ceromony while i am in Chicago this summer via Handfasting. i am so looking forward to it.. and we decided on celtic bands. What more of a birthday gift could i want..he is a great guy and we decided to be very off beat in our wedding too goin goth. . i say stay engaged a yr the least.

  103. I proposed the FH. I did it totally by accident; we were just snuggling one day in bed and it popped out. We were both fairly anti-marriage so I have no idea why I said it, and he said no; he wanted to be with me forever but he didn't want to get married. We talked about it a couple of times over the next few weeks, and one morning he came home from an all-nighter feeling quite ecstatic (if you get my drift) and said it would be really nice to get married. I told him to wait until he'd sobered up and I'd ask him again; he did and I did and he said yes 🙂 I then got him a ring and he got me a ring and I did the bended knee thing over a chip supper. Romance ain't dead, no siree.

  104. Well, I have been with my guy for almost two years now. It is the most wonderful relationship (boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, whatever) I have ever been in. What’s more, I know that he feels the same way. I am ready to get married, and I have made him well aware of that fact. I asked him if he would prefer that I propose marriage to him, thinking that it would take some of the pressure off. He said that he appreciated the gesture, but told me that he wants to propose to me. He said that it was a responsibility that he wants. He is a bit of a traditionalist in some ways (and I love him for it!:)) and believes that proposing marriage isn’t just a gesture that can be made by either of us. It is a symbol that he is ready to stand by me and work on our lives together. So although I agree that it is a great idea to propose to your boyfriend, remember that a relationship is about being honest with each other, and knowing what your partner wants as well. So now I am waiting… but at least I get to wait around with the greatest guy on the planet. how many people can say as much?:)

  105. I’ve been with my boy for a year, but in that time we’ve become part of each other’s families and bought a three bedroom house together, as well as agreeing that we want to get married and have children. So it feels quite odd that we’re not engaged at times. We sometimes talk about what we want from our wedding (we’re totally agreed on the invitations, piper, band and the fact that we are definitely having an Italian ice cream cart for desserts) but he says he’s waiting for the right time to propose.

    There’s part of me that would like to ask but, having been a girl who always got “the fuzzy end of the lollipop” in the past, I am actually rather enjoying the anticipation of how, when and where he’s going to propose.

    That said, I’ll probably know before he does it, as he has to ask my Grandmother’s permission (and for her diamond ring, which is to be my engagement ring) before he can ask me. The fact that he has to have permission from the female elders of my family fulfils my feminist urges while letting me enjoy the pleasure of being asked.

  106. My partner and I are proposing to each other at Disneyworld in May!!!!!!!!!!!! Two proposals, two rings.

  107. I proposed to my man in august. I planned a surprise trip for him to the place he always talked about wanting to see(Ireland),i took him there, i found a romantic courtyard behind one of our hotels,i took him by the hand and led him to a spot next to a little fountain pool,i told him how much he means to me and i asked him to marry me. he’s now wearing the carbon fiber ring i’d bought for him ahead of time and we’re in the middle of planning our wedding.
    before my proposal i had joked with him numerous times saying with confidence “Daniel,someday you’re going to marry me”. he always thought it was so funny that i was so sure of myself, but he never denied it. he loves me for being so different,so i figured it was only fitting that i be the one to propose.it wasnt that i was in a rush or didnt want to wait,it was just a “me” thing for me to do it.
    some people think its a little weird when they hear that i was the one to ask,but most people think its cool and applaud me for having the courage to do something against tradition.

  108. Ah, thanks for this post. I proposed to mine. I thought it would be easy and I didn’t think he’d be very surprised. Wrong on both counts, but hey we’re engaged now!

    It is scary, but I didn’t want to wait around or to nag him into proposing. So I did it. We were in Canada for our 3rd anniversary and I got him cinnamon rolls before he woke up and wrote it on a napkin. I thought I was going to puke. He started to read it and I burst into tears.

    Anyway, yaaay for chicks proposing! And for those whose dudes did propose, give him a hug and tell him how brave he was because I found it really is terrifying, even if you are reasonably sure the person will say yes.

  109. So – for starters, this took a few months.

    First, I brought it up and we decided we needed more time to think. (Both of us, but him more so than I.) That was November. Then I tried to let it drop, but it was pretty much all I could think about: “I want to marry this man.”

    To make matters worse, he kept talking about kids again and again and it was driving me nuts – because I knew he WAS ready. It was obvious in everything he said about parenting and raising kids together and pregnancy and everything. He WAS so ready to be a family. He just didn’t see the connections between this life he kept describing and our wedding. But I didn’t want to push the issue too soon/too fast and be “that girl.” (Sigh. I kinda am “that girl,” though. Full disclosure.)

    I brought it up next in our basement a month of two later during a wonderful night that was SO wonderful I was bursting with “letsgetmarriedness.” I said – “We should get married.” He laughed and asked if I was proposing. I chickened out/kinda wanted to vomit and emphatically said “no.” (baaawwwwk…bawwwwwwk….) It felt like one of those nightmares when you find yourself in front of the whole school naked with a clarinet and no sheet music.

    Flash forward (through a few related fights – yes, we’re humans, not story characters) to two weeks ago – early March.

    We were in bed watching West Wing re-runs. Again, I’m blissing out. “This is the life I want,” I keep thinking. “THIS IS THE MAN.” I said matter-of-factly, “We want to get married, right?” He said, “Yeah, I guess. Yes.” I said, “Next year – right? This is what we’ve kicked around. Right?” He said, “Yeah, but why do we have to decide a year in advance? We’ll just do it next year. That sounds fine.” I said, “Actually, a year-long engagement IS pretty normal.” (pause) He looks at me like I’m wearing three heads. “SERIOUSLY!? Are you joking? A whole year to plan a party?” I said solemnly: “yes.”

    He begins to see the light. A year of engagement isn’t BEYOND ALL IMAGINATION any longer. It’s clearly sinking in. His face looks calm. Even a twinkle of giddiness behind his very – if not exceedingly – practical/logical eyes.

    He then said our version of “YES I’LL MARRY YOU!” He said with a close-lipped grin: “Oh man – you’re going to be up all night tonight, aren’t you?”

    Now we’re engaged. 🙂 Getting married in exactly 12.5 months. 😛

    (AND WE’RE BOTH RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY! Seriously – we’re chasing each other around the house, laughing, talking about kids, planning this thing people call “a wedding,” and getting giddy just being around each other. It’s a like a shot of adrenaline in the love machine. We’re happily in l-overdrive.)

    P.S. Whew. That was an exhausting couple of months, though, letmejustsay.

  110. I just asked my boyfriend to marry me on Monday. He had been teasing me that I needed to ask him soon, so I knew his answer would be yes. I STILL freaked out. I was originally planning on asking Thursday, but spent all weekend freaking out instead. There was so much stupid internal pressure. It had to be memorable, it had to be special… Finally I gave up and said lets go walk on the beach, then I asked him. Of course he said yes. When people ask if I knew he was going to ask and I say actually I asked him, half of them are shocked, half are like “good for you” I am designing our wedding rings, so my engagement ring will be the practice ring, so neither of us have one yet.

  111. I want to propose to my man, but my question is, what do you do about a ring on the wedding day? Do you regift the one you already gave him? Do you buy a new one, only cheaper? Or do you not give him a “proposal ring” to begin with?

    • Some men wear engagement rings too. Then, they will switch the ring for a wedding band not unlike the women. I have met couples where both the man and the woman have worn engagement rings. You can also forgo the ring all together; a lot of women get engaged without rings too. Some people find rings important and symbolic of the engagement, while others don’t. Whatever feels right to you two as a couple.

  112. Just in case all-ya’ll feel too t raditional to propose, just wait till next year! It’s TOTALLY traditional for ladies to propose in a leap year! How do I know? Wikipedia knows all:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year Look under ‘folk traditions’ !!

  113. I think it’s super cool to be the lady proposer. It’s just not right for us. We’ve been together for five years now and we’ve talked about marriage since year one (I think he tried to get me to elope sometime during year 2) but we knew we wanted to wait until we were done with our undergraduate degrees. SO…I’d say I began to get a little antsy around the end of my first senior year (I loved college so much ::ahem:: that I decided to stay for five years)…just browsing wedding blogs, staying up late with my sister looking at bridesmaid dresses. Then, my SUPERsenior year arrived, and it just felt so very right to get engaged, but I didn’t say a word.
    In the meantime, we find out he was accepted to medical school (!!!) and began to make some serious plans for our future. I’m doing my nails about every week, hoping to have a ring on my finger asap. Eventually, though, my dreams of a fall proposal, winter proposal (Disneyland for Christmas and San Fran for new years!!), and even a birthday proposal came and went. I finally had a moment. I’ll just call it that. Crying was involved. He then proceeded to tell me that he was a dummy and didn’t start saving for a ring until just this winter and that he was so sorry he hadn’t planned in advance but he was saving up for a super special ring and he was really stoked to do it…in his way with his ring. It was really special for him to pick me out a ring (he’s been vaguely keeping me up on his search with new ring facts he’s been learning from various jewelers), and he, having always been a super romantic and very thoughtful guy, is intent on planning something special. And knowing that (and loving the crap out of him), I have decided to tuck my antsy-ness back inside and wait it out. We HAVE made a compromise that I have begun to plan the wedding, we’ve picked out a venue and a date, and I can continue to feed my wedding-loving-monster daily.

    Now he’s promised me a proposal before graduation. Which is now in T minus 12 days. 🙂
    Bottom line: I don’t think it’s really about popping a question like it is the continual discussion of a life you will lead together. Being engaged (officially) won’t change anything about how we roll. But I’m still excitedly waiting. 🙂

  114. My boyfriend and I were talking about going on a trip, he wanted to go to Vegas, I said, “if we go to Vegas, we are getting married.” He didn’t say no! About a month later, we were hitched at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. He is still opening car doors for me and making me laugh 8.5 years later!

  115. I’ve asked – he thought it was a joke. I insisted I was serious – he laughed and shrugged it off. He thinks a proposal only counts if it’s the guy doing it with a ring in-hand…

  116. I proposed to my man and he freaked, I think I tore the last shred of masculinity he had away from him. I just wanted him to know I wanted to get married and he got the hint! eventually he proposed back – 3 years later.

  117. I had considered proposing to him, but a few months ago, right around my birthday, he dropped some hints that he had something special planned for my birthday. I TOTALLY knew what he was doing, lol. So I kept my mouth shut and sure enough, on my birthday, he proposed and I got the most beautiful engagement ring ever. I was so excitedthat I immediately started jumping up and down and I managed to smack my head against the wall.

    However, we plan on bucking tradition in many other ways. Dan is going to take my last name, plus there will be no religion in the ceremony at all. Plus, I have some rather unique wedding ideas that involve things such as 1. A sword 2. The video game Rock Band, and 3. My friend’s WWE title belt. This will quite possibly be the most offbeat wedding anyone on our guest list will ever attend – but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

  118. The idea of the female proposing to the male is great. But I’m not sure if my boyfriend proposed to me or not. We’ve been together for almost 4 and 1/2 years and last year he said “Lets get engaged when we graduate from college” We’ve been talking about marriage and kids for a couple of years now, and we definitely want to do it eventually. We also havent mentioned to many people that yes, we do want to get married, when at least one of us has a career. But both our families and friends assume we’ll get married. So are we engaged? Or do we need to announce it? (Which I refuse to do until one of us has a steady job) Would anyone want to give me their take on whether or not I should propose sometime in May? I asked him out and initiated our first kiss, so I’m not sure if he might want to take this one.

  119. it’s funny that i just stumbled upon this, tho it was posted days after i proposed to my boyfriend on xmas 2008. i also gave him my grandma’s diamond ring and it ended well, but awkwardly. we are just now getting into the thick of planning. thanks for sharing this ariel, and ladies – if you want to propose, go for it, though i kinda suggest hypothetically discussing who will be doing the proposing/what his reaction would be if you did it if you want to avoid potential awkwardness. for me it was terrifying and awkward, but in the end it was totally worth it!

  120. I’m proposing to my partner in 17 days. We are exchanging the rest of our XMAS gifts early since we might not be together for the holidays. I made a scrapbook of our relationship thus far, we’ve only been together 8, almost 9 months and the last page (the middle of the book) – it says, Will you Marry Me on it. I’m excited, I ordered the ring, it will be here on or around our anniversary – I’m almost tempted to do it all then but I will wait.

  121. I proposed to my partner. It was a lovely event that took much planning. I did first interview a couple guys (our best mutual friend, and the young man at the jewelry store), just to see how they might feel if a woman proposed to them. When I told them that I partly wanted to demonstrate that I wasn’t in a relationship to have a man spend money on me, they said it was an awesome idea. The man at the store said he wished his fiancée held the same belief :-X

  122. I proposed to my fiance after several important people told me I shouldn’t do that. My son, his best friend, my best friend all told me it was his job and if he hadn’t asked, don’t expect “yes.” Down deep, I didn’t feel that was going to be the case, so I went and bought him his engagement/wedding band, got on one knee and proposed. He thought I was kidding, but when he figured out I was serious, he teared up a little and said yes. I think the thing that made it different from a woman to man was that I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I didn’t put him on the spot in front of a crowd or take him on a fancy date. We were at home alone and he had just gotten done telling me why he would never propose (because felt that a man was expected to do that as a symbol of love and I should know he loved me without a proposal) so I took charge and did it myself. I’m kinda sad I’ll never have that moment where he does that for me, but if I’d waited, that moment wouldn’t have happened regardless.

  123. We talked about getting married, then asked a friend to make both of us engagement rings. We then planned to propose at different times to one another once the rings were done. Luckily, we both really wanted to surprise the other so through some stealth and luck we managed to pull off some surprise proposals–him first, then me. I have to say, it was a really fun tradition–one that I’d recommend to anyone thinking about proposing to your fella! 🙂

    (you can read more about our proposals on my wedding blog: http://emilyandjordanaregettingmarried.blogspot.com/)

  124. I wanted to propose but he kept telling me “there’s a plan” and that he wanted to do the proposing. Who am I to ruin a good surprise in action? He proposed, but I wasn’t super impressed with “the plan” and called “do-over” only I decided that I was the one who would do it over. While ring shopping for me out of state, he saw a ring that he loved. I bought it, but told him that we’d have to continue ring shopping for him because the one he liked had already been sold. Sneaky, eh? It gets better. So he proposes a week before Christmas and his ring is just burning a hole in my pocket. On Christmas day I put a crumpled up picture of the gps I bought him in the box my ring came in. Before I give it to him, I give him an abbreviated, “I love you, I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you…blah, blah, blah” speech. He opens it and all he gets is a GPS – which took him a moment to figure it out, btw. Next we’re about to leave the house to gather with the rest of the family when he notices an unwrapped present with no name tag. “What’s this? is this for me,” he asks? “Of course sweetie I forgot it!” It’s of course nothing more than a block of wood that figured into another plan I had that didn’t work out. Strike two, brother! Finally, later that night, under the christmas tree, I give him the real ring in front of his whole family along with the entire “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, you deserve a special moment as well.” His sister immediately yells out, “He’s getting a ‘man-gagement ring!” And there you have it, the double proposal!

  125. I just recently proposed to my boyfriend of four years…He is from Philly and a HUGE Rocky fan so as we planned his 40th birthday trip to Philly where he hadnt been in 10 years and I had NEVER been, I started making my plans. I proposed to him AFTER running the Rocky steps and right beneath the Rocky statue Ring and all. He was stunned, but it wasnt totally unexpected since I tend to be the assertive one in our relationship. LOL. The feedback we got from family and friends was FABULOUS. Everyone thought it was awesome that I proposed to him.

  126. I want to propose so bad I am 25 he is 29 we have known eachother for twelve years we have only been dating for six months but I know it had always been him. I just don’t know how to go about doing it I am tossed between just proposing with no ring or proposing for him with a ring but I am not sure on his size or what kind of metal he would want. Uggg this is the hard part.

  127. If I ever do find a special guy… All I know is that as nice as rings can be it’ll have to be something non expensive… I tend to lose jewelry!

    It would be me to ask… I go for shy guys.. I ask them out, I set up dates… I wear the pants 😉

  128. I proposed to my man on Fathers’ Day! He kept telling me that I had to propose since he asked me to date him, but apparently that was just his stall tactic haha. I wrote “Daddy will you please marry mommy?” on our daughter’s onesie and asked him to change her diaper when we got home from work. He loved it, but felt sad that I was too impatient to wait for him to ask me this winter.

  129. Thanks for this article! I proposed to my now fiance in October of 2012, and our big day is August 17th this year. It was the best moment of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Rory and I went ring shopping, so I I knew we were on the same page. I decided to make the ol’ switch-a-roo and proposed to him. He excitedly and happily said yes (like 3 times!). Thank you for the inspiration to move forward with my plan :).

  130. Omg I did it. I bought the ring. Dun dun dun… Now I’m so nervous. I plan on asking him on his birthday next month. I plan on buying a cake with the question will you marry me on it. Not so sure if I should get on one knee or not. I’m gonna do it in private. I think he would prefer it that way. We have been together for three years now dating two years prior. We talk about getting married all the time. So nervous yet I can’t wait. Wish me luck. 🙂

  131. I proposed to my bf 3 yrs ago to show him i was serious (1yr after a series of brief splits) & bc i was sure hed never do it.
    The feminist in me decided it was a great thing to do rather than waiting to see if he’d ever “pick me” back.
    We’re into woodworking & he wanted a place to put his mail/keys/junk, so i decided to build him a cabinet. I cut all the letters of “will you marry me” out of wood, painted them gold & silver and stood them up on the shelves inside. I evrn bought a cheap silver men’s wedding band as a token.
    Set up the camera, put on a mix of all “our” songs, waited for him to come home. In the end i had to delete that video bc it was humiliating and heartbreaking.
    He opened the cabinet and laughed. He asked “are you serious?” And i burst into tears. I couldn’t look him in the eye for a week.
    We got “engaged” 2 yrs ago at my urging.no proposal, just bought the ring. I call it my fake engagement, or non-engaging engagement ring.
    I stopped wearing it a week ago. Yesterday was our 5 year anniversary. I spent the evening grieving my twenties/ my youth. Turning 30 this year and probably wasted the last 5 years on him.
    This is a terrible comment, i apologize deeply for that. I just so badly needed to get this story out of me.
    Good luck to everyone planning to propose! You’ll get what you want or need either way, because sometimes you just need to know what you’ve gotten yourself into.

  132. I kind of did this. Brian was waiting for the “perfect moment”. And, in our long distance relationship, I was worried that we only had a week together before he went home and that we had a lot of paperwork to file for immigration if we were going to do this. So, my neurosis kind of pushed it and I asked first. Then he asked. Then we ordered a ring online. It came while we were a continent apart, but I brought it with me when it was my turn to visit and took it off so he could ask me again (repeatedly). 🙂 What? He knew the answer would be yes, and I wanted to hear the question a few times. 🙂

  133. After what felt like ages of talking about a wedding and “some day” stuff and sort of skirting the issue, I had enough. So While we were walking the dogs I said “So, how about we get married this September?”
    And looked looked at me like a deer in the headlights. Then walked for a bit and thought about it and said “September is way too close, no time to plan anything. Maybe the September after?”
    I said “I really wouldn’t want to wait that long. I would go crazy.”
    He said “You’re really geared on this eh?”
    I started crying.
    He said “Okay. How about May? We can do it for Beltane”
    I said “Is that okay?”
    He gave me a hug, said “Yes.”
    After our walk, he went and made a facebook event page and invited EVERYONE.

  134. I told my FH that I kissed him first, I told him that I loved him first, but he had to propose to me first. Which he did. It was lovely but I also wanted a chance to ask him as well. Because it was important to me that he got to say yes as well.

  135. I proposed to my husband 🙂 went out bought my ring proposed to him and after he said yes put it on 🙂

  136. I proposed to my bf last March we had talked about and already had put money down for our wedding. we had made it clear that we needed to ask each other . . . im still waiting to be asked but I know its happening soon. I found it very rewarding asking him we make it a point to be on equal ground in our relationship.

  137. I think breaking tradition is great, especially if you are being true to yourselves. We did not have a traditional proposal: We basically had a discussion and decided together we would like to get married. Then, we went ring shopping together. There was no “popping of the question” involved because we already knew the answer to the question. The only surprise was he went and picked up the ring without telling me, and surprised me at dinner. But I knew it was coming.

    There was also none of that “getting permission from dad” tradition. The only person whose permission I need to marry is me. We are both independent and do things our own way, so the proposal was a great reflection of who we are as a couple.

  138. I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I’m going to propose to my boyfriend in a few weeks when he comes to visit (we’re long-distance right now). I have it all planned out and I even ordered matching QALO rings for us.
    While looking online for stories about women proposing to men, all I could find were articles about how to get him to propose or pieces telling me that women shouldn’t propose, EVER. It’s disheartening to see those articles saying that I’m doing it wrong, but it’s so encouraging to be able to read this post and see everyone’s stories about their proposals. I’m really happy (and excited) with my decision to propose and it’s great to know that I’m not alone.

    Thank you!

  139. I proposed to my fiance on Christmas Eve 🙂 We’ve only been together a little over a year but I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life, and I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. When we went over to his parents’ house for dinner one night, I took his mom aside and asked her for permission, showing her the ring I’d chosen and bought earlier that week. Asking her for permission to marry her son was almost more terrifying than asking the man himself to marry me!
    The staff in the jewelry store went apeshit and started cheering me when they found out what I was in there for! It was the first ring I looked at, in the first store I went to, and I knew it was the one I wanted to give him but I still made myself go look in every other jewelry store I could find in that mall before I made my decision. I didn’t find another ring that even came close to the first one.
    In Christmas Eve morning I made up a tasty stew in the crockpot, picked up some of his favorite beer and some wine for me on my way home from work, and we watched the Griswold Family Christmas movie and The Grinch. At the end of the Griswold movie I said I wanted to give him his present that night instead of tomorrow with the family. He opened it up (we were sitting on the couch) and said “oh my god that’s so nice….WAIT WHAT KIND OF RING IS THIS, YES YES YES” and then cue copious amounts of water-buffalo noises and tears from me.
    The most terrifying, exhilerating, wonderful thing I have ever done. AND the ring fit perfectly. On Boxing Day we went out and found a ring for me, and we’re getting married April 22 🙂

  140. Hello everyone! It’s just amazing to know about all experience with the proposing a guy subject. I read so many of your positive stories and experiences and smiled while I was reading most of them, felt so happy for you guys. It’s something I was thinking for a while for myself so far, and finding this site and reading this article all together with comments gave me such a support in same idea. Recently I was trying to have a nice talk with my bf and proposed him idea of us marrying, but turned out into a fight, which was heartbreaker for me. I just received the answer that I just want to control everything and that he’s not ready for marriage. I was completely shocked since I never presented my proposal idea as a drama and obligation, I said it really nicely and got just gaslight attitude which broke me so badly… I simply don’t feel loved even he kept telling me after fight that I just should enjoy his love and how I’m blind to see that he loves me.. it’s just, crazy guys, don’t know what to think..

  141. I proposed May 25th to my wonderful amazing boyfriend, now fiance. It was our two year anniversary and I’d been planning it since the week before Valentines Day. I made him an “exploding” box, which is a paper craft that the side of the box fall down when you open it and you can fill with whatever you want. In my case it was pictures and cute notes about our relationship. In the center I put a second box (technically the 6th layer) with a lid and attached a string to the lid so that when he pulled it out on the string would be notes with the “words will you marry me?” each on their own paper and a silicone band tied to the end (I wasn’t sure he’d wear an engagement ring, but we rock climb so he’ll want a silicone one later to alternate with his wedding band. Joke’s on me he wears it everyday and totally would have worn an engagement ring had I bought one). His reaction was adorable.
    Shortly after the excitement and kisses ended we looked online and found a great ring for me. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, it won’t be here till mid-July, so we amazon’d a silicone ring for me too.

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