REAL BRIDE ISSUES | “Our proposal will be one of my biggest regrets…” Are You Happy with the Way Your Marriage Proposal Went Down? | Also, Girls Poop, Too.

↑ that’s how a *great* proposal can look.  but it’s not how today’s story went…

For those of you not keeping track, today is Monday, the official ‘first’ day of a typical American work week.  And it is currently late on Monday afternoon for me, on the east coast.  Anyway, point is, happy Monday afternoon my beloveds!

Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but today – MONDAY – is also “National Relaxation Day.”

Because that just makes sense! 

For some reason I woke up super tired this morning, and the annoying thing is I really don’t know why.  I know it’s not mono; I got that out of the way my first year of college, because I take care of business like that.  And I haven’t been through any forests lately, so it’s not Lyme.  I’m actually just saying these things so no one comes out with suggesting I have mono or Lyme Disease.  I don’t.  Anyway, so this tired thing is not just like “oh man, I’m feeling pretty tired right now, need coffee” tired; I’m talking “I feel like I ran the perimeter of Australia yesterday and then ate a turkey all by myself, along with three bottles of wine, immediately after – I said AFTER, Child Services - birthing a child the natural way (at home, by bending over and pooping it out = this is how I imagine it happening).  None of those things are things that have happened in my life.  And the birthing part is the only thing in my future.  I am *not* a marathon runner, nor do I ever plan to be.  Don’t ask.  Long story short, I ran track in highschool, and I was a sprinter, but our Super Aggressive coach forced everyone to participate in all types of races.  I caught on to the baton races, but cross country + exercise-induced asthma do not a pukeless race make.

I’m going to attribute this odd and unfamiliar case of fatigue to the fact that my body’s just forcing this special tribute of a day upon my brainstem and ligaments, where all tribute days should be enforced.  I’m sure the fatigue has nothing to do with my going to bed at 3:30am after reviewing nowhere near half of the more than 100 applications for Knotty Bloggistaship and then watching Family Guy on Cartoon Network.  I’m sure that’s all unrelated.

Seriously, do we have a carbon monoxide leak in this apartment today?  Or maybe someone’s trying to kill me?

Anyway, because I went to college, I was able to figure out that the best way to counteract my mental and physical fatigue is to put on this Meditation mix I’m listening to via Pandora.  You are lucky I am not currently asleep.

Back to National Relaxation Day for just ONE MINUTE MORE: I think days that assert how you’re supposed to behave should come along with legal implications to corporations that do not abide by the rules set for these special days, or these *special days* should not assert themselves at all (or at least only in tax haven countries, where a few filed papers and an empty conference room are sufficient grounds for proving your company is based in Switzerland and therefore must only abide by the laws set there, which may or may not include this bulls*** Relaxation Day).  Because I have a strong feeling that .001 percent of my friends who have office jobs are currently doing anything that even remotely resembles *relaxing* today.  So National Relaxation Day is more a mockery of modern day civilized life, than a day everyone gets to celebrate.  At this point I’ve worked myself up into HATING NATIONAL RELAXATION DAY’S GUTS, by proxy no less.  Yeeesh.  I’m too empathic, y’all.  Anyway, I’ma blog through the fatigue y’all… because I have bowel movements and proposal disappointment to address.  Bowel movements and proposal disappointments!  ONWARDS.  Here we go:

If nothing else, I think you guys know that the whole idea here on TKB can be whittled down to the fact that I do not purport to be the single girl in the universe who doesn’t go number two.  This is essentially the blog’s unofficial mission statement.  It’s of course not THE mission statement, because that would be *taking things a little too far*.  But what it is, is it’s a great way to provide an understanding of what goes on here, in the World of Knotty.

I definitely cannot say the same about myself at a younger age.  I mean obviously.  I played my part in perpetuating the Girls Don’t Poop! myth way back when I was swimming around in the dating pool, and yup that even includes the early stages of dating my Mr. Right. (hi Honey!  how much are you loving this post?  this much?  *arms spread apart the slightest bit, to indicate not at all*)  Acting like you don’t poop is just this weird thing girls try to do.  Sometimes unsuccessfully, because Mexican food is always gonna be the scissors to your paper in that unwinnable game of Rock Paper Scissors.  And I honestly don’t know a single girl who hasn’t at one point in her life been that girl, who fakes it ’til she makes it.  HAHAHAHAH literally.  We just for some reason think that most guys want to think we don’t do the “gross things” they do.  We think they don’t really want to know that we’re human.  That icky things happen.  It’s an unfortunate fact of feminine life, to believe you have to be perfect and pretty when you’re young.  Soon, though, hopefully, you grow out of that.  And hopefully, it’s sooner than later.  Because guess what?  EVERYBODY POOPS.  We’re at least a good two centuries away from being able to beam our crap to another dimension.  Yes I watched Family Guy last night at 3am where they beamed poop to another dimension.  Shenanigans ensued.  Best episode ever.

Why did I talk about poop for two whole paragraphs?  Because I wanted to get you super ready for another thing that lots of people don’t talk about.  And it’s in the area of marriage proposals.

Cheryl is a friend of mine.  Some of you may know her as the lovely lady who goes by the name Bridal Rehab.  Well, she shared a story with me recently, when I asked if there was anyone out there who wanted to share their disappointing proposal story on the blog.  Here’s her story.  She shares it not simply in an effort to bitch and moan.  She shared it because this s*** just HAPPENS.  It happens.  It does.  To a lot of women.  It is not *crazy* to be disappointed by something like a proposal.  After all, have you not built it up in your mind to be the most magical day ever?  Something you want to look back upon with fond memories?  While there are always exceptions, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of truths that many want it at least to be something special.  But… it doesn’t always go down like that.

I present to you, Cheryl’s story…

If you want to know how to ruin your proposal, look no further, I will tell you how to do it. However, let’s start with some background before I move into how to ruin your proposal.

The hubs and I have always had a bad track record when it comes to romance. It’s not a strong suit of either of us and when we try, it always comes out with a resounding fail. Don’t think that it doesn’t stop us though from attempting to be romantic. In the end it always comes out to be an awesome story that we have learned to laugh at.

Case and point, when I gave him his promise ring (now wedding band). He had given me a promise ring, so I thought it would only be appropriate if I returned the favor by doing so. I picked out a lovely tungsten ring and came up with a fail proof plan… or so I thought. To save you a super long story, my plan involved taking a stroll down a beach at sunset, which was ruined by a decapitated seal that had washed up and crying children who were understandably upset by the seal with no face. Not to mention a pungent aroma that permeated the air.  Needless to say it was more or less… yeah… it was at least indescribable.

After the whole promise ring fiasco, he vowed that the proposal would not mirror our un-romantic times. In a series of bullet points, I will show you what was warning signs for an un-romantic proposal.

Number 1: The cards are not the best this week. The week started off on a bad note for us. We share one car and on our way home one Monday night we had gotten into a car accident, which started the week off on a bad note. Upset that the right hand trunk area had been crunched in, I was distraught and moody for the rest of the week with all the running around that we had to do with the car, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel because it was Labor Day weekend.

Number 2: Unnecessary stress from visitors. That 3-day weekend brought us a visitor in the form of my brother and we ferried him around Las Vegas all weekend until he left on Monday morning. With our car being out of commission and work being stressful, it was definitely not as relaxing a weekend as we thought it would be.

Number 3: Arguing in the middle of the night is a no no. I think any rational person knows that starting a hostile conversation at midnight isn’t going to bring out the best response from either of you, so I would just avoid it period. However, in my crazy mind I couldn’t.

See, the thing was that the hubs and I had started planning the wedding before I had actually gotten the ring. I know, I know, don’t judge. It took us a long time to find the ring that we had wanted, so we thought what the hell. Let’s just start planning everything. On top of that, we had also just moved in together and we all know how much of a picnic it is the first couple of months. In hindsight, we should have probably waited to plan everything, once he had gotten the ring, instead of overloading all of eggs into one basket.

The next week we were going to drive down to San Diego to meet up with some vendors. Stressed out about the car and then the money situation, I stupidly brought it up as we were going to sleep that Sunday night. We fought relentlessly about money, the ring, etc. If it was something ridiculous, I probably brought it up in my sleeplessness.

Which brings me to number 4: don’t ever say anything you don’t mean. The reason is that you’re definitely going to be served a piping hot piece of humble pie. This is just common sense. However at 1:00 am, you could be lacking some of it.

After fighting about basically nothing, I blurt out in my rage “I don’t even want the stupid ring.” The argument came to a crushing halt and there was silence in the room. He got out of bed, open the door to the bedroom, brought in his backpack. Out of the backpack came the famed Tiffany blue box with a white ribbon tied perfectly on the top. He then said loudly “Here,” and walked to my side of the bed “I got you the ring already.” At this point, I had already slid down under the covers in embarrassment and guilt and found myself bawling my eyes out. As I lay under the covers, I knew I messed it up and there’s no going back. THIS WAS IT. This was what I had been waiting for.  My impatience has finally hit a wall. I eventually emerged out of the covers to find him standing over me with a frustrated look over his face. “If you had just waited till next weekend, this would have happened where we would have been getting married.” Basically, a cliff overlooking the ocean in La Jolla but instead because of my impatience, I was getting this.

The rest is history and the reason that our proposal will be one of my biggest regrets.  Which leads me to the last bullet…

Number 5: Be Patient. Things will work out, as they should. If you poke and prod it to happen on your schedule it will blow up in your face eventually. Sure, we joke about the proposal now, but the fact of the matter is that this was something that could have been avoided and I blame being caught up in all the hoopla that wedding planning can consume you into and the expectations that you think is suppose to happen. Not everything can be planned and some times go with it. I wish that I did. Learn from me and just go with it.

xoxo –  Cheryl of Bridal Rehab

Now, here’s the question part…

Were you absolutely thrilled with the way your marriage proposal went down?  Were you in any way disappointed, but possibly feeling guilty about feeling that way?  On the flipside, do you feel that there’s undue pressure on men to perform up to the standards set by videos you see showing incredible proposals caught on film?  Further, do you think that’s redonk, to be worrying about “undue pressure” on men with regard to proposals, because we have to take care of the child birth part?  Do you think I’ve been watching way too many documentaries on the difficulties of child birth?

Let’s talk.

xoxo!  - Alison

Images: Submitted by Alexa Stutts, of Alexa’s Photography / Nope, they aren’t of Cheryl of Bridal Rehab.  But if you read this blog post, you should probably already be able to tell that.

Label(s): Real Life Issues, {Guest Bloggers}, {Real Proposals}

Love all of this...


  1. Amma // Beyond Beyond on August 15, 2011

    Lololol this cracked me up! I got my turd in early – an absolute bowl breaker. You gotta get the nasty in early, so that you know the deal!

    And lovely C, the story behind your proposal has cracked me up big time. Good advice, you have just go to go with it!

  2. Jessie S. on August 15, 2011

    My husband hand built me an acoustic guitar to propose with. Not like a kit, either, I’m talking sand the wood, bend the sides on a hot metal thingy, the whole works. While he was building it he missed coming to see me on my birthday and I was so so mad. (let the record show that my birthday is also the anniversary of the day we started dating. yes, i was a dating anniversary keeping person. We had plans – marshmallows, fire, river, big romantic plans!) And so the birthday show was a no go. Of course he insisted on keeping the secret of what he was doing while missing my birthday, which made me suspicious and angry that something could take priority over our special day – code for something could take priority over me.

    Long story short, I got the guitar and was told where he was and then I felt kinda like a brat for being angry since he spent over 100 hours on the thing. I was blown away by the proposal, and I’ll never forget or regret it. But now looking back on the whole birthday thing, I’m still on the fence about whether or not I was right to be ticked.

  3. Alison on August 15, 2011

    Amma – You know I love you? ‘Cause I do, I love you. :) xx

    Jessie – Thanks for your story! Proposals, birthdays and anniversaries are emotionally-weighty things. One of the reasons for talking about this today was to let y’all share your stories and reactions/feelings re: your own proposal situation, as well as get a chance to see that rarely is anyone ever alone in the emotions they’re feeling. Now that you know it was all for the Big Event in the end, I’m sure it eases the frustration of that birthday/anniv! However, there’s no reason for you to feel like your reaction – before you knew what was going down – was out of the ordinary. It’s just nice to know that there was a beautiful reason behind it. :)

  4. Winnie on August 15, 2011

    I love my husband. He is a wonderful, caring, sweet, good-hearted man. . . but the proposal was a little “meh.”

    I tend to shy away from the recorded proposals because while they are super sweet, they kinda make me hivey. We are also not the fancy hearts and flowers type of people, and that is not the kind of proposal I was hoping for – public, over-the-top. I wanted simple, no fuss, possibly in bed with the dog sleeping at our feet. But because Hubs went ALL OUT for it and was so nervous he looked like he was going to hurl chunks like a drunk frat boy the entire time, some of the effect was, shall we say, lost. I loved all the effort, but it was just. . . meh. He said later he was so glad I said yes because he was nervous with everyone watching. He made himself uncomfortable because he thought it was what he was *supposed* to do, and it broke my heart. He spent way too much time listening to his brother’s suggestions (I think one of them suggested a beach with candlelight. We live in Oregon, guys. No.)

    Luckily, I was involved with the wedding planning, and it was much more us :)

    • chantel on November 24, 2012

      winnie,it should be the thought that counts no matter where youre future hubby propose u must be a very young person young people these days SHEESH!

  5. Claire Martine on August 15, 2011

    Do you have room Cheryl, in that boat? Because I’d like to join you. My fiance and I picked out the ring shortly after the New Year. He took care of paying for it and was planning to surprise me in his own time. The problem was I knew that he had it. I couldn’t understand why it was taking him months to pop the question after he had already purchased the ring! Well, after a July 4th celebration and much pressure from me he finally admitted he had just wanted it to be perfect. But July 5th he “just did it” because he knew how much I wanted it. I will always be upset with myself for ruining his thunder and stomping on his big moment.

  6. Lena on August 15, 2011

    I am guilty of hounding John. When I have a stomach ache, or a headache, I ask John to tell me about how we’ll do it. I’m looking down the barrel of weeks vs months, and it makes me CRAZY not knowing the who, what, when and where, but I just have to remind myself to sit on my hands.

    Because this pretty much happened to me. John said, LENA, I’M BUYING THE DAMN THING SO QUIT BUGGING ME ABOUT IT ALREADY.

    Thank goodness we’re already married or he’d kill me.

  7. Shannon on August 15, 2011

    My proposal story was definitely a disaster. My fiance knows that I’m a hopeless romantic – if there has been a rom-com created – I’ve seen it – even the only made for TV movies, a la, Beauty and the Briefcase. I think because of this I created the perfect proposal in my mind… when it fell COMPLETELY short (imagine coming back from a dinner where he was on the phone the entire time for work and in the middle of changing for bed (like – pants around my ankles), he proposed. I still wish that our story was better – but what I realize now is that – he proposed b/c he wanted to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me… so shouldn’t that be romantic enough? So, I definitely understand where your friend is coming from – it’s that awkward pressure on both the telling of the story, and making that story happened.

    Anyways – I’ve seen that Family Guy episode – totally priceless “Nobody Poops but You” – haha.

  8. Chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day on August 15, 2011

    This is SO something no one admits, and I have never admitted myself. But I was a bit disapointed with my proposal. You always prepare yourself for some grand gesture or fireworks and sunsets and, at least, a guy down on one knee. But my hubs was so excited once he got the ring, that when his original beach picnic idea was thrwarted due to bad weather, he did it while we were still in bed in the morning. Like couldn’t wait to think of a new grand gesture so he just did it right then and there. See, we had lived together for almost 4 years before getting engaged and he knew that in my opinion this was LONG overdue. So he started up this tricky convo with me which had to do with my belief that he didn’t yet have a ring and he said “well, what if I do” blah blah blah, and then just pulled it out (the ring that is!) It was cute and a total surprise, but a little bit disappointing after such a long wait. Looking back, I’m grateful it wasn’t cheesy or cliche, and it did happen very organically, but I would be a big fat liar if I didn’t admit it was not what I had always dreamed of. But that’s real life. Neither is marriage, or having babies, because both are really hard, and no one admits that either! So thanks for getting real :)

  9. Oh my goodness. I was such a brat when we got engaged. My engagement ring was made from stones that had been in my fiance’s family for nearly 300 years…super cool…I know. Well since this was the case…there was sort of a pre-proposal where we went to the jewelers and designed the ring together.

    We happened to be at the beach when the jeweler called to inform him that the ring was ready…and my fiance really sucks at lying (which is great) so I totally knew that was what the call was about despite his denial. I ended up bugging him and crying until he angrily text me a picture. Long story short…I felt so terribly that I didn’t even look at the picture and sobbed that I had been such a butthead.

    Don’t worry though…for some crazy reason he still wanted to marry me haha and the actual proposal was wonderful. :)

    But for real…as tough as it is…you need to be patient. Otherwise you realize what a nutcase you really are.

  10. Koru Kate on August 15, 2011

    I love TKB for bringing up this topic! I happened to adore my proposal- it was simple, romantic & perfect. But I know many girls who are disappointed by the proposal & it’s like this taboo subject that barely anyone dares to talk about. WHY?! Thanks for being real & giving people a place to discuss. I adore proposal stories of the perfect & disaster variety: it’s your unique story & that’s what counts!

  11. Kathryn on August 15, 2011

    My fiance’ is an absent minded professor (literally!). After dating for four years, I said simply, I am sorry, but four years is long enough for you to decide whether or not we should be together. We’re finished. He begged for 24 hours. Then the next day, invited me over, got on his knees in front of me, and then couldn’t figure out which hand he wanted. He tried both, but wasn’t sure. He then got off his knees, saying he was too old for that, and sat beside me on the couch. He looked and me and said, you haven’t answered my question. I responded politely and said, Andy, you haven’t ASKED me a question. Yes, I made him ask. Anyone who hears the story laughs, knowing that is exactly Andy, but it was disappointing.

  12. Sara Carter on August 15, 2011

    Wow. It’s so sad what wedding stress can do to some couples. My roommate (at the time) was fighting with her boyfriend because he bought a honda ruckus and she yelled at him for spending money on a “toy” before he bought her a ring. Well, he did have a ring. We all knew he did. He showed it to us a week prior to “the fight”. She stormed out of the house and i chased after her trying to tell her to relax and that everything would be alright, but what does she do? She breaks up with him. Yep. And what does he do? “Becca, i have your ring!!!” What does she do? Cry her eyes out and wait patiently for the day that he would give it to her. He made her wait a couple weeks. But damn…. that whole situation sucked.

    My now hubby & i were driving down to San Diego for a wedding when he made us stop at a hospital because he had a serious case of sinus pressure and couldn’t keep his eyes open…. well, he still ended up proposing that night. :) What a trooper! And yes, we looked hella good dressed up all fancy in a hospital waiting room.

  13. jacin {lovely little details} on August 15, 2011

    1. where are those proposal pics taken in the beginning of the post?

    2. i’m sorry but the decapitated seal part made me laugh.

    3. we want to hear YOUR engagement story!

  14. Jennifer on August 15, 2011

    My gosh that is so horrible. He really should have tried to find a way to pull out of ruining the surprise. I’m sure you felt horrible! He must have felt really bad afterwords.

    I can’t believe you had an accident the week he was going to propose, our car actually got hit right before we left to where he was going to propose! It didn’t spoil the surprise though, i actually mistook his nervousness for him wanting to break up with me. Needless to say I was surprised when he proposed!

    Well I hope the wedding went or goes well!

  15. Jenna on August 15, 2011

    Love these stories. I too am in this club and had made a big point of how important it was to me and that I wanted romance… nope! I had some of the taking too long stress, forgetting to ask a question, not romantic,andddd getting into a fight (when I drunkenly decided later that night to be honest about how I felt about the proposal).
    Honestly it’s still a little bit of a sore subject, but moved past it, love him with all my heart, and our wedding is going to rock both our worlds so there!

  16. Amber on August 15, 2011

    I was pretty disappointed with my proposal. My fiancé proposed twice. TWICE. And both times were, in my opinion, half hearted. The first time we were talking about health and car insurance. He had great health insurance (and I had none at the time) and I had great car insurance, while his was overpriced. So out of the blue he goes ‘Well, we should get married’. I scoffed at him and replied ‘sure, let’s get married for each other’s insurance. Awesome idea’. He got flustered and stuttered about how that wasn’t what he meant, but he really did want to know how I felt about getting married, and he wanted me to pick out my own ring so it was something I really loved.

    Proposal number two was just as anticlimactic. We had finally picked out a ring and he was picking it up on a Friday afternoon after work. I knew he was getting it that day, but I was taking a nap at home figuring that when he was ready to propose, I would get it. He got home, woke me up and said “well, I guess we should do this” and handed me my ring.

    My biggest frustration is that he never once really ASKED me to marry him. I didn’t need him to get down on one knee, he didn’t have to profess his undying love for me (though it would have been nice), but I just wish he said my name and asked for me to marry him. I suppose what’s done is done though.

  17. Ashley on August 15, 2011

    OK, I’ll join the group. I too was disappointed with my proposal. I discovered he bought a ring on Christmas. In my giddiness, I told family and friends, but months passed and nothing. I was hurt, embarrassed and I started to wonder if he planned to ever ask. After 10 months of waiting for the ring and four years of dating, I broke down and told him I knew he had a ring. He asked a few weeks later, but I had ruined it. There was no surprise. He said he waited, because he was nervous and didn’t know how to ask. I told myself I wouldn’t hold it against him, but I’ve brought it up a few times. It just wasn’t at all what I had waited four years for.

  18. Maire on August 16, 2011

    This was exactly what I needed to hear. Alison, I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this blog has been. This is the second time that I have been at my wit’s end with wedding nonsense and your blog has shaken me back to sanity. THANK YOU!

    The first time was with the crazy mother/Rhi story which honest to goodness coincided with my own mama drama. This is the second time you have pulled me back from the edge of crazy. I know my boyfriend is going to propose. He asked my parents about a month ago and was so hurt by the way the treated him (my mom and dad are like Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes from Meet the Parents, no joke) that he vented about it on our three hour car ride back home.

    So for the past month I’ve known he has a ring but lately I have been growing more and more anxious to have it around my finger because we have so much of the planning already done. Like church reserved, date set, money set aside planning. Thank you for this post. Cheryl is right. I just need to relax and be patient.

  19. Liezel on August 16, 2011

    I broke rule number 5. Yes, I poked and prodded, I screamed and pressured. We were getting the ‘so when are you 2 getting engaged questions’ and it was freaking me out.

    But whenever I talked about getting engaged the boyfriend got terribly stressed out. I took this as a sign he didn’t want to when in fact he was having trouble at work and knew they weren’t renewing he’s contract. I did not know this and kept pressuring. He eventually gave in and we went ring shopping. It was horrible, not the romantic scene I saw in movies. We then decided to have the ring made. He was distant throughout the process, not looking excited about what’s happening at all. A week after he got the ring he lost his job. I ended up paying for the ring. Since he was jobless he didn’t want to propose and the ring was locked away till things got better. I was heartbroken.

    One year later he started his own business. Things were going great. I was relaxed; he was relaxed and haven’t mentioned the ring for months. Then on Christmas morning, at the family beach house (my favourite place) he went down on one knee and proposed. Nothing fancy or cheesy, but perfect (although I wish I washed my hair that morning and that I weren’t still on cruches after knee surgery) He put the money back into my account before the proposal. Although I did ruin the ring search part, the proposal was perfect.

  20. Our Wedding Hub on August 16, 2011

    That’s a great proposal and photos!

    I’ve been in situation number 3 before and try to avoid it at all costs now

  21. Ashley on August 16, 2011

    Such a sad story! I hear so many girls pressuring their men, that doesn’t even make them want to be romantic and spontaneous, I think. Based on my fiance’s testimony, he put pressure on himself to do it right. I didn’t pressure him, so the fact that he still felt nervous (is adorable) was his own doing.

    I was thrilled with the way our proposal went, he did it in a vineyard and he tricked me by videotaping the whole thing HIMSELF with our little bloggie video camera. He set it up as if he was video-chronicling our trip for a friend of ours who was serving overseas at the time and then said to the camera “You’re going to want to see this” and pulled out the ring and got down on one knee. Not only was I completely thrilled and surprised but we got the whole thing on film!

    Do I think everyone else has to go through that much trouble?? No frickin’ way! Ours worked out great, and I was blown away, but I would have been perfectly happy with a nice dinner and an understated proposal as well. Any proposal is fantastic when the girl is [more than] ready but not begging for it and the guy is head over heels in love with her :)

  22. Kristine {in love, engaged} on August 16, 2011

    I’m really thankful for Cheryl’s honesty. Many of us have been in that inpatient situation–ready to take the next step, waiting for the proposal, trying to hold back on all those dreams of the future, worrying that the person you decided YOU wanted to spend the rest of your life with was still unsure whether HE wanted to spend the rest of his life with you. Eesh. My fiance and I went through this. We actually met with our pastors to discuss it–which pretty much saved us. I still had moments of impatience though. And our proposal actually happened the night after our biggest fight ever. So, the thing I had been waiting for will always be a bit tainted by that awful conflict. But you know, that’s life. The good mixed with the bad. The anticipations with the disappointments. As Cheryl said, we just have to go with it.

  23. Kristen Nichols on August 16, 2011

    I don’t want to say that I was disappointed in my proposal, but my husband never actually proposed. He surprised me by taking me to look at engagement rings, and after I picked out the one I wanted, he bought it for me. Since it didn’t take as long as he thought, he asked if I wanted to go to Costco. As we were walking through the butcher department, I realized he never actually asked me to marry him. He was picking out bulk ground beef and I looked at him and said “You know, you never actually proposed,” to which he turned red, giggled and replied “Well, Will you Marry me?” right at the meat freezer in Costco. I laughed and obviously agreed. I can’t imagine a less romantic setting than the meat department at Costco, but it does make me laugh.

  24. Great post. I know a lot of girls that didn’t get their dream proposal but once its’ done, it’s done! You just have to get over it and move on… as it seems most of you have done :)

    And Jacin, The proposal photos were taken in a park in Greensboro, NC on the bride’s birthday. She was totally surprised… thought the balloons were just a birthday thing!

  25. Chelsea on August 16, 2011


    So, I can totes relate to Cheryl’s story, as far as being impatient. After six years together (and, admittedly, because a friend of mine and her boyfriend of one year were talking about marriage) I decided our time to be engaged was way overdue. The reason we had been together so long anyway and hadn’t done it is because we started dating at 17, but, whatever.

    So I told him I thought we should get engaged kind of soonish, but without putting any deadline on it. I just told him I didn’t want to be waiting around forever. This was probably around the fall of 2008. Six months go by, no engagement. There is another more talk with him, I talk with my family who says he has talked to them about it, so I zip it.

    A few more months, no engagement. At this point, I really am getting bitchy and naggy and all of the delightful things a man likes a woman to be.

    Literally THE DAY BEFORE he proposed I said (to my mom) “when the eff is this going to happen? I mean, seriously? A whole year and nothing?” The next day I was graduating from college so my head was basically COLLEGECOLLEGECOLLEGE and not thinking “hey, my out-of-town family is going to be here…hmmm.” Nope. Not me. Dense as can be.

    So after graduation, we walk outside for pictures. And he pops the question. WITH A MEGAPHONE. Which, for Gabe, who barely utters a mumble in the presence of a large group of people, IS A HUGE FREAKING DEAL. It was magical; I was totally surprised, I cried, we laughed, it was awesome.

    Obvs, I wish I hadn’t have nagged and been impatient, but I never snapped at him or anything. Either way, it is what it is; you can’t go back and change anything, so you can remember the good parts about it and just let the bad parts disappear from your memories.

    Oh, also, they got our engagement on video. Yeah, I’m lame, but I still tear up watching it, especially the moment when it hits me that HOLYCRAPHEJUSTASKEDMETOMARRYHIM.


  26. Kate N. on August 16, 2011

    Boyfriend went to San Fran last week and when he got back, right as I’m almost asleep, he goes, “I found a great place in Oakland to have a wedding.” I’m lying there like WTF because he’s always shied away from ever talking about weddings and rings and engagements and things of that nature because he’s incredibly private about things he finds personal and special. (read: polite) I’m not very polite. So it’s not a proposal, but I’ve had wedding stress dreams for the last 3 nights now and all day long I think about how lovely it would be to have a California wedding, but we live in Kansas and I don’t think I could beg the special people in my life to fly out there for my special day. Anyone else get (not-yet-even-existing) wedding stressmares?

  27. Darci on August 16, 2011

    I was thrilled with how my proposal happened. It will always be a good laugh for both of us. :) We have been together for about 7 years when unbeknownst to me my boyfriend decided it was time. Here is the timeline semi from his point of view: He shopped for rings for a couple months before deciding on a diamond from one place & a setting from the other. Since I have horses & my favorite place to ride is the beach he thought that would be the best place to do it. So he waited for a nice weekend, finally near the end of January it looked like he would get one. Both portions of the ring had come in that week & were at the jewelers being put together, the jeweler didn’t get to it til the day before! And then they didn’t even actually get to it, they just glued the diamond in so he could propose & made him bring it back the next week! So needless to say that rattled him a little. So the next portion that threw him… I knew the weather was going to be good so I asked him if he wanted to ride that weekend, unexpectedly he said yes (normally he is busy so I’m used to getting declined). In the meantime a few of my friends decided they wanted to go riding as well so… He called my friend up & told her what was going on & her response was “but… I’ve already got a babysitter…”. You can imagine his frustration. Luckily I have four horses & they all needed to get ridden so we went out with the group, then we went out on our own later with the other two horses. Once we were out there it turned out that there were a lot of other people that were out on the beach as well. He was getting really frustrated & I wasn’t really sure why so I asked him if he wanted to go back & he said sure, on our way back he got off his horse to (I thought) walk to cool her down which we do so I got off too (which fouled him up again unbeknownst to me). So then he got down on one knee & asked me to marry him. I was totally thrown for a loop, I thought he was ducking to throw some sand at me or something to play around so it slowly started to click in my head what was really going on, in the meantime I was just staring at him! LOL He was like “umm… I kinda need an answer!” And of course I said yes! LOL
    It was a fun day for me, I got all my horses ridden AND I got engaged to boot!
    The day didn’t go exactly as he had planned but in the long run it was perfect because now we have a fun story to go along with it. :)

  28. Colleen {Soundtrack To I Do} on August 16, 2011

    I love honesty. So thanks Cheryl. Also I’m in a totally different boat, (a single boat – wondering if a certain someone is going to get in the boat with me or not) but I’ll just say that your words, “Be Patient. Things will work out, as they should. If you poke and prod it to happen on your schedule it will blow up in your face eventually.” were quite encouraging. I’m going to try to stop being Crazy Impatient Girl now.

  29. Allie@HoneyBeeInvites on August 16, 2011

    Ok, sure, I’m just about peeing my pants at that entire post. I’m sure it wasn’t entirely meant to be humorous, but i love the brutal honesty of what you wrote and Cheryl too. Life is just like that… it’s not all sunshine & rainbows. Common people…didn’t Rocky Balboa teach you anything!!! Anyway, totally appreciate both of you ladies and your honestly.

  30. maya on August 17, 2011

    There is SO much pressure out there on the entire wedding process from engagement to the actual wedding day. I could write a THESIS on the buildup of expectations and how it feels like the whole thing should be glorious sunshiney perfection at all times because THAT’S HOW WE ALWAYS IMAGINED IT since we were wee little girls with our barbie and ken dolls. But the thing is life is not like that! sometimes things get messed up and that’s okay! I love the honesty of this post:)

  31. Marty J. Christopher on August 17, 2011

    My only engagement regret is that I accidentally found the ring beforehand. Other than that, our engagement was great and my now husband did a wonderful job. It just felt a little flat in some ways because I knew it was coming. Oh, well.

  32. Ashley on August 19, 2011

    Well, you see, we had discussed that we should wait to get married for a looooong while (like 7 years long), at the 3 year mark we were living together and I really wanted a cat, he said no. For a few weeks he seemed really weird, taking phone calls outside, talking to our friends and then shutting up when I walked in the room, it was horrible. One night I was whining about not being allowed to have a cat and I caught him showing my best friend a photo on his phone, I asked what it was and as they stood there like deers in headlights, my BFF exclaimed, “ITS A CAT!”. Needless to say, because of this I was able to get a cat while he waited for the perfect date. All the weirdness was from planning the most amazing personalized perfect proposal ever. Which I completly whined and moaned about until it happend (It’s hot…lets walk in the shade…blah blah blah). I do regret to being so angry at weirdness, but you never know!

  33. anna on August 21, 2011

    I ruined our first “I love you” by being drunk and crabby after too much fun with my ladies. But he ROCKED the proposal, even though it was preceded by another drunk crabby girlfriend evening :)

    I was going to visit my grandmother, who is very sick, and he knew I wanted to be engaged by the time I went to see her, so I could tell her in person. I knew he had the ring. We went out to a super nice dinner, the theater, capped our night off with a glass of wine at home…and no ring. I cried the entire flight down to NC because I felt so let down. Went out with my friend that night and wound up bitching him out for not listening to my wishes to tell my granny in person.
    LOOOONG story short….he flew down to NC, drove down windy icky gravelly mountain roads in the rain with no GPS, to meet me at my favorite place in the world, and proposed to me. With my granny there. Whoops!

  34. C on August 22, 2011

    A- Thanks for letting me share my story! <3 you!

    Thanks to everyone that had commented! I loved reading through them all and I hope it helps anyone in the dreaded transitionary period.

  35. jeanine990 on August 23, 2011

    I’ve needed to get this story out of my system since it happened. The truth is that I’m not allowed to tell a lot of people — mostly my future in-laws — how we really got engaged, because the story is so awful. My fiance thinks it would shame him, and he cares deeply about what his family thinks of him, so I’m trying to be respectful. At the same time, I hate lying about something this important. So, in the relative anonymity of the internet, here goes:

    The first time he proposed — the romantic time, relatively — we were 18 years old. We were watching Mallrats in his dorm room, and at the end of the movie when the guy who’s not Jason Lee proposes to his girlfriend in her parents’ driveway, he asked me the right question. I giddily said yes, and he made a circle with his fingers and put it around my ring finger. I was over the moon, but I thought it was best not to tell our parents until we could get together a real ring. Since we were sophomores in college, I assumed it would be awhile. I didn’t expect it would take nearly five years.

    We went through a rough patch the following summer, but worked through it and eventually moved in together. Things were going well, except that every few months the crazy would bubble up from under the surface and I would explode in a fury of “Why isn’t this happening? What’s wrong with me?” He kept reassuring me that it was going to happen and that he wanted to marry me, but I was deeply insecure. The fact that we had a dog and a house and a bank account together didn’t seem to mean enough.

    Last fall, during one of my meltdowns, he finally told me that he’d gone ring shopping in February (as in a year and a half ago). They told him that he was supposed to spend three months’ salary, which for a 23-year-old is a frightening prospect (not to mention totally ridiculous, regardless of your age and financial situation). The cheapest ring they would show him cost three months’ rent.

    Finally having been brought in to the process of acquiring the jewelry — which I kept insisting was unnecessary for proposing / being engaged, but it was really important to him to have bling, again for the benefit of his family — quelled my stress for a little while. We went to a jeweler together, and he suggested we use the stone my mother had offered. Getting the stone took a couple of months, but then I handed it off to my guy and bowed out of the process in an attempt to let him surprise me like he wanted. By New Year’s I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when. I started wedding planning and found myself excited and happy, finally.

    On January 7th, I lost my job.

    He had planned to propose on January 23rd in a romantic, personal way. He still hadn’t given the stone to the jeweler, though, which meant there was no ring. After we recovered from the shock of unemployment, we were right back where we started as far as wanting to be engaged, feeling engaged, and yet not having a fucking ring to legitimize our relationship’s progress. (Pardon my language, but I still get upset thinking about how horribly frustrating this whole process was.)

    After much crying and yelling and finally some sane discussing, he asked for a deadline to do the ring and the proposal the way he wanted. Since he had told me previously that he was excited to visit his grandfather as an officially engaged couple in June (we were going on a family vacation to Florida), I suggested that if he couldn’t make it happen before the vacation, we should just be engaged. Or he could propose without a ring. Whatever, let’s just not drag this out any longer.

    We left for the vacation on June 4th. Weeks earlier, it became clear that we were not in the financial situation to make a real ring materialize. He needed something to put on my finger for when we announced to his family, so I thumbed through the internet and bookmarked dozens of lovely rings for under $100, all of which he loathed. Finally I found one from Overstock for $17 that looked convincingly like a fake engagement ring. He thought he ordered it with time to spare, but the order never went through. The day that we were supposed to leave for vacation was spent driving around St. Louis attempting to get anything that looked like an engagement ring for under $30, which was the entirety of our liquid assets. I was mocked at a dingy pawn shop. KMart didn’t have anything for us. The entire day was horrific and then finally at the eleventh hour we found a hippie shop that sold cheap jewelry. We picked up a hideous bauble for $25 and on the way back to his parents’ house (they were waiting for us so we could hop in the car and leave for Florida), we realized that this was it. We were driving in a dirty car with an ugly ring and we had 15 minutes to get engaged. He begged me to let him wait until we were on vacation, but I couldn’t put this off any longer. I broke down. He broke down. This was awful.

    As we pulled up to his parents’ house, I told him that I was going to get out of the car and he could either propose or not. He did, on one knee, he said the words and I said yes. We were both crying and I felt sick to my stomach, but not in the good, happy way. We negotiated to get engaged and it felt horrible and wrong.

    When we told his mother, her reaction was “Oh, that’s nice. There’s barbeque in the kitchen if you want to eat before we leave.” I wolfed down a pulled pork sandwich, trying to hold my shit together. No one was excited or happy, until finally my future sister-in-law was. And then I was. And then my fiance was.

    And gradually we made it right. Like our relationship, we had to work to make our engagement feel right and to be happy with what we were fortunate enough to have.

    Sorry for the incredibly long post…I’ve needed to write this down for ages, and it was indeed cathartic. Thanks for the space to share.

  36. Jennifer on September 16, 2011

    My fiance actually proposed on TV on the episode of Turf Wars where we competed for the ultimate backyard. Premise being that he said once our backyard was done we’d get married. I never thought that he would actually do it but apparently he had it planned the whole time since we found out we were selected for the show. I blogged about it too! I have the tape with unedited proposal as well all of the US was able to watch it on the show too!

  37. Susie on December 4, 2011

    My now husband hasn’t ever realized he never really proposed seriously. After questioning him about it after announcing our engagement to our children. He said we’ve gone through all this and you want what, then he said okay so you want to get hitched. I felt like a dog, but never said anything. I think it bothered me more than I thought especially after I found out he did give his x a full proposal. I know we are older, but I still believe in romance. It really makes me wonder if there is romance in any relationship and if I missed out on it.

  38. Violet on December 7, 2011

    Oh wow. Talk about a sign from the heavens. My boyfriend and I have been planning to get engaged for a year, but money problems were holding it up. We decided to have the ring made, and we designed it together. Last month, my boyfriend had to go out of town on business and so he gave me the money to go give to the jeweler as a down payment because he knew I wanted to be engaged by the end of 2011. I happen to know the ring was ready today. And I know it is going to happen between now and the 23rd of December. But I gotta say, I’ve been obsessed with the when and where and how of it for weeks now, dropping hints, trying to get information, and basically being a total control freak about it even though I now he wants to surprise me in any small way he can at this point, which will prove to be very difficult, considering how involved I’ve been. I am so thankful for readying this post when I did. I just need to relax and back off!!! THANK YOU for getting real and sharing your story with us!!! Very brave.

  39. Renee on January 3, 2012

    Hi Cheryl,
    I am having a hard time sleeping. I am constantly sad about my proposal. I have been married before and 1st go around it was blah and that marriage ended badly. I love my fiance but he has proposed to me TWICE and both times I cry when I think about the lack of though or effort put into it. The 1st time he asked me a month after a fun family cruise while I was wasted after drunken sex. I was so ashamed that I only told my two best friends. I eventually told him how I felt and he promised to make up for it. The 2nd time he asked me 20 min after new years, after just watching a couples proposal on TV. I was sooo angry at him because he didn’t plan anything and I felt he only asked because I had commented “aww how romantic!” to the couple on TV. He is the type of guy that buys flowers for no reason at all and is very sweet. I expected so much from his proposal. Now knowing that he doesn’t think we should have a wedding because of money issues, and there is no ring yet when he could have put money towards a ring instead of the cruise. I am having 2nd thoughts. Is this a sign I should wait or move on? I know he does not have a job and I am understanding of that but he could have bought me a ring we he had a job or got me one from the pawn shop or put more thought into the proposal!

  40. Heather on March 15, 2012

    My boyfriend proposed after a year and a half. We had talked about it beforehand and had a copy of my mother’s ring custom-made. He took care of the payments and picking it up when it was completed. He proposed in a perfect way for us: all dressed up, kneeling in the closet right before I made dinner. I opened the closet door and he just says “honey, will you marry me?”. I started crying and my knees buckled. Very simple and personal.

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