Q: I have been with my partner for four years now. We often talk about marriage, and I am more than ready to walk down the aisle and make her my wife. There is just one problem: She’s a sucker for romantic comedies and I have often overheard her tell her friends that she wants a special proposal. That scares the heck out of me — I don’t want to be responsible for blowing this big moment for her. How can I propose in a way that is as special as she is?
A: Men have been agonizing over how to pop the question for thousands of years, and now with the advent of wedding-mania and reality television shows about crazy brides, walking down the aisle has become more highly charged and anticipated than ever. But don’t worry. There are a few things you can do that will help ensure that you and your partner enjoy this big moment:
Think personal. You mention that your girlfriend likes romantic comedies, so this might be a good place to start when thinking about clues to the best proposal. What are her favorite flicks? Does she swoon for the classics like When Harry Met Sally, or does she go for more modern fare like This Means War? When you stop to consider her favorite movies, you may get some idea of what type of proposal she would prefer.
What else does she enjoy? For example, can you see her melting over a dozen roses and a special dinner, or is she more of a hot-dog-and-baseball kind of girl? Or, maybe she is into horror movies or rock music! Who knows? It all comes down to what makes her unique and what gets her smiling. Think about these interests and then try to include references to them as part of the proposal (for example, if she loves baseball, you could have a jersey embroidered with “Mrs. [your last name]”).
Do some recon. If looking for clues on her DVD shelf has you confused, reach out to one of her best friends or a family member. (Make sure it is someone you trust to keep a secret! You don’t want anyone blowing your big moment.) Talk to this trusted friend about what type of proposal your partner might like, or maybe get her and the rest of your partner’s friends in on a special surprise. For example, you could invite everyone to a surprise party following the proposal. Seeing all your friends and family smiling and toasting to your new engagement will be the icing on the cake.
Be in the moment. Sometimes things have a way of going wrong. Maybe you flub your big proposal speech or the waiter at the restaurant spills wine on your suit. Whatever the case, just go with it. The things that seem so horrible at the time are often the things that couples love laughing about and remembering later. The most important thing is to stay present and enjoy all the love and joy that exists in the moment. Don’t go for perfection, just go for being in the moment. If you are in a loving, joyful space, there is no way the proposal will be anything less than sweet and memorable.