Like most women, I used to wonder how my future husband would propose to me. I dreamed about it being near the ocean (I love the beach) and I wondered what he would say and how he would ask. While most women dream about their marriage proposal, I imagine many guys may worry about it. So, what makes a good proposal?
In a word… planning. If our men are nervous during the act, we forgive them and think it’s precious. If our men stumble over their proposal words and drop the ring in our spaghetti, we talk about how adorable he was for years. If our men deliver a flawless pre-proposal monologue and gracefully put the ring on our finger, we tell everyone we know. Women are not looking for the most perfectly worded or flawless performance.
Knowing that our groom-to-be spent time thinking about and planning how to propose is what we women are the most interested in. Trust me, guys… we can tell! A half-hearted proposal is not likely to make a girl say, “No” if she really wants to marry you; but, your proposal stays with your woman for life. It doesn’t have to be showy, just heartfelt and planned with her in mind (e.g., don’t propose to her in front of thousands people if she does not enjoy crowds, etc.).
When I was much younger, long before I knew Eric, I was taken through a Chick-fil-A drive thru on a Thursday afternoon, driven to a local park, and then proposed to on the tailgate of an S-10 pickup truck. Obviously, we know what my answer was (and not because of the proposal, but for other reasons); however, I was blown away by the lack of planning involved. He didn’t know this, but the spot where he chose to propose was less than 30 yards from where I had become seriously sick to my stomach at a picnic when I was eight years old. I can’t fault him for that, but it did place the cherry on top of a less than stellar proposal.
In retrospect, I’m sure the guy was nervous (and he had good reason to be since neither of us were old enough to even consider marriage), and it’s likely that his proposal to his now-wife was much better; but, it left me with the hope that my future husband would put some thought into how he asked me. I didn’t want a lot of hoopla (as I’m actually pretty low key about most things), but I did want to know that some forethought was involved.
As I was thinking about writing on this topic, I searched the internet for proposal horror stories – and here are a few….
- One gentleman proposed at a cemetery after telling his girlfriend that he wanted to be buried next to her (and yes, he showed her the two plots he had purchased for them).
- One man had his girlfriend arrested for something fake and then came to bail her out. When he came, he said that he’d only bail her out if she agreed to marry him (chances are I’d still be sitting there!).
- My personal favorite worst proposal was the man who pretended to die… and when his grieving girlfriend passed his casket sobbing, he popped up and proposed. Apparently, she slapped him and then said, “Yes.”
I’m not sure if that last one actually happened… but I wouldn’t be surprised! Proposals give women insight into their future marriage. When a man doesn’t care enough to plan a nice proposal, a woman can expect him to show her very little care throughout their marriage.
So, do you want to hear about my unforgettable wedding proposal? Before he proposed, I already knew we would get married someday; yet, he still planned a precious proposal. He drove me to the beach (because he knew me so well!) and pulled out twelve red roses (my favorite flower). Before giving me the roses, he handed me a special card he had saved for years. The card had a picture of a long-stemmed rose on the cover, and it read, “I have a dozen…” Then, the inside of the card read, “… reasons why.” He began to hand me roses one-by-one – each rose with a reason as to why he wanted to marry me. It was unforgettable.
After he finished giving me roses and reasons, he got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. After I said yes (twice), he pulled out another box. It contained heather – the purple flowers – that he had tracked down at a local florist. I had once mentioned to him that I’d never actually seen heather, so he went to great lengths to find it for that day. The next day was Thanksgiving, so I had great fun telling all of my family how he had proposed. He planned to propose before Thanksgiving so that when I saw a lot of my family on Thanksgiving, I could have fun telling everyone and show off my ring as newly-engaged girls do. I will always appreciate how much he cared to plan a special proposal for me.
Men may find this odd, but women LOVE to tell their proposal story for the rest of their lives. When a man doesn’t plan anything, a woman often feels robbed of a very special moment in her life. She may never verbally complain about it, but she will never forget it either.
So men, before proposing to your beloved, get to know her very well. What does she love? Is she a quiet person who loves nature, an athlete that loves sporting events, or an intellectual lady who loves reading? Does she like the outdoors or indoors more? What is her favorite … flower? … color? … movie? … book? … etc.? Once you think you know her and what she adores in life, incorporate some or all of those things into your proposal. Make it about her… show her that you have noticed her and that you will continue to notice her. That is what a woman wants in a marriage proposal.
Women don’t only want to be pursued in dating, courtship, and engagement… they want to be pursued in marriage and for life – just as Jesus continually and faithfully pursues the Church – it’s just how we women have been made. You may spend a few hours or days planning your proposal, but if you plan well, your future wife will likely spend the next fifty years bragging about your proposal to her – it’s worth the investment!
What would you like in your wedding proposal? If you’re already engaged or married, share your proposal story!