A little over a month ago, on July 31st, my now fiancé and I offiically got engaged after four and a half years together, and all I can really say is that it was a total whirlwind of emotion. Every girl dreams about that moment, and if you’re anything like me, you probably even obsess about it and have let it occupy your mind ever since your relationship hit the “ready” mark (which lets be honest is always months or sometimes years before your person actually pops the question).
We simply can’t help ourselves with imagining the day and the details. Where is he going to do it, what is he going to say, is he going to cry? Or what will I be wearing, will I like the ring, am I going to cry? I was actually at the point where I went to bed and envisioned that moment almost every other night. And guess what? When that moment actually arrived, I barely even remembered what happened…sorry to be the bearer of bad news, ya’ll.
It’s true, a lot of people actually black out when it’s happening. Some more drastically than others, but most—in some fashion or another—forget a lot of details about the proposal because our bodies basically go into shock, and pure uncut adrenaline just takes over. Whether your partner was able to pull of a surprise proposal or not, for some reason we are just not able to process what is happening, even when we knew it was eventually going to happen. I still haven’t figured out why this is. Maybe it’s because even when we’ve pictured that moment a thousand times over and have played out all the scenarios in our head, those fantasies can’t begin touch the real life thing. Someone call me out if I’m being dramatic, but I may even dare to say that it’s somewhat of an outer body experience.
Under no circumstances can you ever predict how you are going to react to a proposal. It all happens so fast that your head starts spinning and then out comes the word vomit. Maybe you’re in full denial like me and repeat “No, no, this isn’t happening” over and over, or perhaps you chose violence with “Shut the fuck up”. Whatever it may be, I suggest not fighting it and just let the moment take over.
And simply letting things happen may be my biggest piece of advice to everyone out there waiting for a proposal, especially us Type As who crave control of all situations. Trusting my partner and letting him do this his way was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in our relationship, especially as someone who plans everything for us as a couple and always has a picture in her head of how she wants things to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely okay to communicate the important things you want or don’t want. Like does it matter that your family is present somehow or would you rather have it be a private moment? Do you have any hard no’s like a public sports game or a proposal in bed? I think it’s also just as important to describe your ideal taste when it comes to engagement ring design, or at the very least discuss a point person for them to go to for those details. But as far as how he or she proposes, like the physical details and logistics of the day, that’s their moment and you need to let them have it.
As hard as it may be, it’s vital that you trust them and believe that they’ll make the moment as perfect as it can be for the two of you. And to that end, even if you have doubts about their romantic capabilities, try to give them the credit they deserve—that with a moment as big as this, there will be lots of thought, time and effort that goes into making the day absolutely magical.
In reality, no matter how it happens, the moment will be magical regardless. But speaking from experience, here are some of the things I learned after it happened that actually did or didn’t matter to me when the day finally came:
1. What you look like
I know some women will totally disagree with me on this one, and I would have previously fought myself on this too. But trust me when I say the minute you see him down on one knee, what you’re wearing, or if you have makeup on, or if your hair is done, is the last thing on your mind. And you want to know why? Because the only thing you’re thinking to yourself over and over again is “Holy shit this is actually happening”, AND THAT’S IT. Besides, when all is said and done, you can get dressed up afterwards! I went back to the house and I showered (yay), curled my hair and put on a cute little summer dress for dinner, and then we took tons of pictures. Which leads me to my second thing that didn’t matter…
2. If there’s pictures of the proposal
My fiancé will probably get mad at me for this one because I told him for so long that I wanted a private proposal and I wanted to also be surpised, but I just HAD to have a photographer taking secret pictures somewhere in the distance. And then a few months prior to the big moment, I told him that I was actually being ridiclous and didn’t need anything like that, which he was very relieved to hear because it made the logistics of his plan a lot less complicated. The truth is, despite some of the ins and outs of that moment being a little blury, the whole thing as an experience is something you never forget, especially how you felt and the emotions running through you. And although I got lucky that my fiancé managed to sneak a video recording into his proposal so I can relive that day forever, I can also relive it forever in my memory because its permanently engraved there. And again, if the reason you want pictures is soley to post an announcement on social media, just take them after it happens when you can control how you look and what the background is in the photos. Just make sure that beautiful ring finds it’s best light!
3. Where it happens
Don’t get me wrong, I say this with some caveats. I think the general location of where your person chooses to propose to you should have some sort of special meaning for you, your significant other or both of you as a couple. Maybe its your hometown, or your first date spot, or maybe it’s the house/apartment where you both have built a life together. In my case, my fiancé chose our “happy place”, a location where he grew up that quickly also became my own serenity. And now, it will always mean even more to us than it ever had before, and every summer we visit forever on, we also get to revisit that special day between the two of us. That being said, I didn’t end up caring what the view was behind him, or if a few people were around watching, or the fact that it was literally Plan F on his list of all the “best spots” to propose on the island. Because the only thing I was looking at was him down on one knee in front of me…and not even then because half the time I was just wiping the tears out of my eyes underneath my sunglasses.
So I’ll say it again (for the people in the back). When the day actually gets here—the one you’ve thought about before you even met your significant other—when that day finally arrives, the details you’ve obssessed over for months in your head quickly become so insignificant. Because all you end up really thinking about is how in love and happy you are with this person. Your person, who just asked to marry you like you’ve always dreamed. And THAT is what truly matters; that and only that. You’ve found your forever, and forever starts right now.
(see paragraph immediately above)