Not Engaged Yet

Opinions :)

edited January 2014 in Not Engaged Yet
Okay, so being that I'm not new to this site (that is a story for another time), I know that asking for opinions is almost always a double edged sword. But that's what I'm asking for here guys! So have at it lol :)

Okay, so I have been thinking a lot lately about marriage, and I know beyond a reasonable doubt that I want to be with my BF for the rest of my life. I could go into the specifics, but that would require me explaining in somewhat lengthy detail my spiritual path, and at this time I really don't want opinions on that lol. ;) You could say that we're already engaged, and in our minds and hearts we are, just not publicly, which is what I'm getting at here. His family, who have taken me in as their own since I moved so far away form my own family to be with him, know how much we love each other and how happy and complete we are, are not exactly expecting us to get married but they are very hopeful. We have been talking about marriage for a few months and what we each would like, on a seriously non-hypothetical basis. We already know where we would like to have the ceremony/reception. It's a place that is very special to us for many reasons :)

I'm getting sidetracked....I apologize. 

Anyway, my thought was to propose to him in a very public manner. Now, this may seem corny to some, and that's fine. What I want is your thoughts on how I want to do this, maybe see if you all (or FI) have done something similar and get advice on how to go about this.

My plan is to get in contact with a youtuber that we both love, that my BF watches almost everyday. And see if he would say, or show my proposal using graphics and whatnot, in a video. That way, it would be a crazy awesome surprise, and then he and/or I could share the clip with all our fiends and family everywhere. I'm very into social media, and he's very into electronics and gaming so this is right up our alley. Plus, the wow factor behind it would be amazing! I mean, I can pretty much imagine his reaction to it...and it's priceless.

Re: Opinions :)

  • So, offbeatbride has a bunch of stories of women who've proposed to their male partners. Some of them have done really awesome things, like created an elaborate scavenger hunt. I actually wanted to propose to my partner, and I was going to do it by creating a Zelda-esque/puzzle scavenger hunt. Like, I'm talking a dungeon map, puzzles to solve, and actual keys hidden around that he'd have to locate in order to unlock doors. It was going to be epic. I knew he'd like something like that because he did something much less elaborate but otherwise similar for me for our first anniversary, and because I did a Zelda-themed scavenger hunt for his birthday and he loved it.

    The problem that I encountered was that he wanted to propose to me during his family's annual trip to Nova Scotia (which is what his brother had done). Nova Scotia is a super important place for him--his one real home--and he'd been dreaming about proposing there for years. I was REALLY not enthusiastic about it at all; his entire family would find out right away and celebrate with us, all in person, but my family would either have to wait until we got home to find out, or they'd have to find out over the phone. I didn't think that was fair, and I didn't like the idea that he was going to decide when and where to propose.

    In the end, neither one of us wanted to be proposed to, and the one thing he really wanted (getting engaged in Nova Scotia) was something I really did not want. In the end, we just picked an engagement date (actually a couple weeks after we returned from Nova Scotia) and it wasn't a surprise for either of us.

    So, I think that the first thing to do would be to make SURE he would be okay with you proposing to him. My guy is a progressive liberal feminist who hates traditional gender roles with a passion ... and he was not okay with me proposing to him and him NOT proposing to me. I was surprised and disappointed.

    Next thing is to get an idea of what he thinks of public proposals. You can find out by dropping hints--show him some videos of public proposals and ask what he thinks. Neither my partner nor I like public proposals, but some people love them and want them really badly. Since you're both pretty much all in (so a yes is all but a guarantee), it's a bit less of an issue. But some people really don't like having a personal moment be public.

    If you get the sense that he likes public proposals and that he'd be open to you proposing to him, then I think your YouTube idea sounds awesome!
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • I agree with @Phira - make sure your BF is okay with you proposing to him. I know that it's really important to my BF that he asks me (which is fine with me).

    I think your YouTube idea sounds great and you know your BF so if you think he will love it then I'm sure he will.

  • Listen to @Phira. I can't even say it enough- she knows what she's talking about! I came onto this forum with a similar announcement of wanting to propose to my BF and she gave good advice to me then-- and she's giving good advice to you now! Also definitely check out offbeatbride- they do have some great stories there from women who proposed to their partners. 

    I just want to reiterate- make sure this is what he wants too. If you're talking that seriously about marriage then I hope you know your SO well enough to know what he would like, but if you're unsure then talk to him! I am not engaged, but I know that BF is ok with me proposing, however he also wants to propose (which I didn't know until we talked about it!) and not in a grand gesture sort of way, but what he would like most is for us to do it together. Which I am ok with since we are both pretty private people (I can't imagine anything so private being done in public- but I know people who love that!). That being said, we aren't at a place where we're going to get engaged quite yet, although I do have a ring for him sitting safely in a Tardis ring box in my bedside table (BF is a huge Dr Who fan). 

    All I'm saying is just make sure this is what he wants too. A proposal should be something that both of you are happy and excited about. Not something that makes either of you uncomfortable. 

    Best of luck and be sure to give us updates!
  • I ditto @Phira -- I know DH would have been furious if I had proposed, because he had a plan and an idea and this was HIS THING.

    Also, tbh, I hate, hate, HATE public proposals. Always have, regardless of the gender of the proposer, because I feel like they're taking something that should be intimate and special and making it a spectacle.

    I also feel like it puts the person being proposed to on the spot, and it's really hard to say 'no' in that situation. 

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • @HisGirlFriday13 The major reason I don't like public proposals is exactly that: it puts pressure on the other person to say yes. Obviously, sometimes you know that a yes is guaranteed--you've been talking together about an engagement and marriage at length, and one person is specifically waiting for the other to propose. But I do think that there is a not-small number of people who propose publicly when they're not sure of a yes (even if they aren't doing it TO make the other person say yes).

    I just can't imagine being able to say no if I were on the jumbo screen at Fenway.
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • Thank-you @phira, @HisGirlFriday13, @mbross3, and @bethsmiles, You have given me quite a bit to think about. We've talked about proposals many times before. He actually had this great elaborate plan, but then decided not to follow through with it because he thought I would figure it out. I would've loved if he had kept it secret. 

    His plan:
    We would go to a Renaissance Faire and for one of the competitions, sword fighting I'm sure since he's big into swords, he would slip away while I'm watching the competition. Then he would secretly "challenge" the guy and as his prize he would ask for my hand. 

    Man...I wish he hadn't told me. Because even if I had noticed that he wasn't there, which he knew I would've figured it out. Once I realized what was happening he'd already be proposing. 

    He's said before that if I ever proposed to him he would love it. But, to me, and this is the one reason why I haven't, is that I think that it's important to him to propose to me. He doesn't say it, but that's just how he is sometimes. I just, idk. I don't want him to wait until he gets the perfect ring that he's been planning because I can't see us having that kind of money until we're retired lol. He's already priced it, and just from what I know it's in the tens of thousands of dollars range. Honestly,I could care less if it was a plastic ring from a's not about the ring. At all. It's about the emotion behind it. I just idk. Sorry, I'm getting emotional.

    Onto happier things! I love the nerdy responses I got guys :) I'm a huge nerd and love both Zelda and Dr Who so yea...hehe :)  
  • So I was reading what TK had to say about women proposing to their BF (<--- clicky) and they didn't have much at all. One thing it does say though is that if you're going to propose you need to get a gift for yourself if you get him one. So if you buy him an engagement ring/watch/whatever, you also need to buy yourself a gift. I guess this is maybe because if you're proposing than you want him to know that you don't necessarily have any expectations of him also proposing or of him buying you a ring, etc. But something about this just didn't quite click with me (maybe I'm just missing something- but do men generally buy themselves gifts when they propose to their GF? Am I missing the point?). 

    Anyway just wanted to share and see what you ladies think about that advice! :)
  • I was in a similar situation a year+ ago. We had talked about marriage and had an idea of the when we wanted to. To me that was already an engagement but it was not for FI he wanted to wait until  he got me a ring and proposed. We always talked about the both of us proposing I never knew he wanted to go first until he "jokingly" told me I could propose to him after x date. To my surprise he proposed 4 days before his stipulated date. 

    We got engaged Dec 14 and now I am paying off his ring and planning his proposal :) 

    I can also say that we are very private people and a public grand thing would not be in our comfort. Just make sure he is ok with that before you go into it. 

    Best of luck

  • You don't need to buy a gift for yourself. That's definitely a very gendered thing (the idea that a woman NEEDS a ring or some kind of engagement gift).
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • Ok I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that was weird advice! I definitely agree that if you propose you shouldn't expect him to reciprocate with a ring or a proposal or anything. I just didn't understand why they would say the woman has to buy herself a gift as well!
  • edited February 2014
    Thank-you everyone!!!!! So, me being crazy and unsure of what I wanted (as well as me leaving his laptop open to this page when I picked him up from work. I was in a hurry and spaced that this tab was still open, anyway) I sent him the link to read all of this. We were at his mom's when he decided to look at the link on his phone. He turned to me with the biggest smile on his face and said I love you. Nothing more at that time. 

    We've been talking a lot since then. In our hearts we're already engaged, but since money is an issue for us right now we're not making it official with our families. My grandmother would kill me for even thinking of getting married right now when my car loan is under her name. Plus, it's been like 16 months since my ex-husband and I separated, 10 since our divorce was finalized. So while his family may be okay with him running out and getting engaged quickly, he was dating his fiance for about 4 months according to my mother, mine is not. So we are waiting until we are more financially stable and can afford to set money aside. That means though that I can start what I consider "soft planning" lol. Looking into things like venues and vendors more in depth than just idle browsing, but not making any decisions. Or else I will drive myself insane. 

    Thoughts? Opinions? I like stirring the pot sometimes, so yea...
  • My opinion - don't do any sort of planning until your engaged.

    Also, the whole "officially engaged" thing is not going to go over well here. You don't have to have a ring and you don't have to have your family's approval to be engaged. You either are or you aren't there is no in between. But since you've only been dating 4 months I see no reason you can't take it slow. There's nothing wrong with dating.

  • edited February 2014
    @bethsmiles We've been together for over a year. Sorry, my post earlier wasn't clear, I tend to get scatterbrained at times, especially when I'm trying to explain something. Also, I understand the whole "officially" engaged thing. What I'm saying really is that we're waiting a couple months before telling our families. We need to be more financially stable before we truly plan. Also I edited my previous post for clarity. I hope that clears some things up. :)
  • So you are engaged then? I guess I don't understand why you aren't telling your families. You are adults, making an adult decision. Lying to families about it doesn't seem like the best or most mature way to handle it.

  • Eh, I'm with @bethsmiles on this. It's one thing to wait until you're in a better place financially before you start planning the wedding, but it seems a little ... weird to be hiding an engagement from your families. It does feel like something that two high schoolers would do when they get engaged at age 16.
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • If you're not old enough to tell your parents and families that you're engaged (albeit having a long engagement), you're not old enough to be getting married.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Im not saying we're hiding it from our families. nvm. I've been having a hard time explaining things from the start. I guess I'm just so excited about things that I'm kind of rushing it. I'm also falling into the same habit as I did for my last wedding/engagement, and it got us nowhere. I'm going to take a breather and try to reassess what it is I'm truly trying to say. Before I come across as a huge idiot.
  • It's perfectly fine to get engaged without a ring and without even a proposal! You are two adults who can sit down and talk about your future and decide whether marriage is what you both want. If you have done that, and you consider yourselves engaged, then you are engaged! Congratulations!

    If you consider yourselves engaged, don't hide it from people- that's weird especially if you're hiding it from family- celebrate with them! They love you and they want you to be happy. I'm not going to tell you not to worry about what they'll say/think. I don't know your family dynamic and I can understand how you might be nervous telling them with everything else you've shared. However, those aren't good enough reasons to keep it a secret! 

    Anyway, if you're engaged, share the news! Remind your family that being engaged doesn't mean you're getting married TOMORROW! It can mean getting married in a year, or two years, or whenever you and your FI want! You have plenty of time to just be engaged before you even start planning!
  • @mbross3 Thank you for the words of encouragement. And thank you to everyone else for the criticism. I have been having quite a bit of emotional turmoil lately. My boyfriend and I have talked about it. I admit to rushing things. It's just that when I moved I left everyone behind. All of my friends back home are either engaged, married, have kids, out some combination of the three. But, I shouldn't rush my relationship just to be like my friends. He and I have the security of knowing that we want to get married and have kids someday, that doesn't mean we should rush it. So, we're going to stay dating, not engaged, because what's the point of rushing something that is already wonderful.

    Again, thank you all for putting things back into perspective for me. :)
  • I think you just need to slow down. You can love your BF and be 100% committed and not be engaged. My BF and I have been together for over 5 years, we are completely committed and we'll get engaged and married one day but we want to be 100% ready before we take that step. As you've already been married, I'm sure you know that it takes more than just love to make a marriage last. Just take a step back and enjoy your relationship. Don't worry about getting engaged or planning a wedding.

  • @mbross3 Thank you for the words of encouragement. And thank you to everyone else for the criticism. I have been having quite a bit of emotional turmoil lately. My boyfriend and I have talked about it. I admit to rushing things. It's just that when I moved I left everyone behind. All of my friends back home are either engaged, married, have kids, out some combination of the three. But, I shouldn't rush my relationship just to be like my friends. He and I have the security of knowing that we want to get married and have kids someday, that doesn't mean we should rush it. So, we're going to stay dating, not engaged, because what's the point of rushing something that is already wonderful. Again, thank you all for putting things back into perspective for me. :)

    You are 100% correct that your friends relationships have no effect on you what so ever.  So they're getting married and having babies.  Who cares?  If they decided to cheat on their SO, does that mean you should too? No.  

    You clearly need to do what's right for you.  Maybe you should take a step back entirely, and try to figure out why you have rushed into two relationships and jumped at the idea of marriage.   Have you ever not been in a relationship? Do you define yourself by being in a relationship?  Could you be happy with yourself if you didn't have anyone?  Unless you know how to make yourself happy, no one else can.

    Did you jump in to both because you like the idea if marriage, and this is the next step?  Or was it because you just couldn't fathom life without that person.  If it's the first, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and figure out what makes you happy besides the title Wife.  If it's the latter, congrats, you have found someone to spend the rest of your life with.  That doesn't mean you need to rush out and get married.  Take a step back and learn to enjoy your relationships during the moment, not what they could be in the future.

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  • @suzie211 My first marriage occurred not out of true love, though I thought it was at the time, but more out of familial expectations and a few other things that had nothing to do with love and family. We had been together for 8 years, and no one saw how truly unhappy I was except for me and a few close friends who I almost lost because of my relationship. I have never been alone. Something that scares me with how fast I fell for my SO, is that in the beginning I was afraid I loved him for loving me. This has been resurfacing lately though I'm sure this isn't the case, or else I would be unable to stay faithful to him. Nor would I get the overwhelming sense of joy and completeness that I feel every time I see him, hear his voice, or talk about him. 

    I have decided to go to therapy starting this month because there are things that I need address and confront before I can truly move forward. This whole rushed feeling that I have proves to me that I need to fix things within myself before I can think of a family. 

    So thank-you ex-dick for being a jerk and giving me lasting scars of insecurity, self-doubt,and dependency (which being that I'm the "bread winner" in our house atm kind of helps me feel less dependent on my SO because I know I can make it in the world alone if I choose) as well as waking nightmares of your many threatened suicides. One which I just woke up from not too long ago, as I took a nap. 

    Again, many thanks. I knew airing out my dirty laundry to you guys would help me confront things that I need to :) It's cheaper and less awkward than true therapy lol, though I swear I'm going to go this month.
  • @TwoDimes I need the motivation lol! I love it when someone holds me accountable, makes me strive to keep me going :)
  • Welp, I totally need to read the GTKY thread more often.

    You're 23, you've only been divorced for 4 months, and you and your 20 year old boyfriend have only been together for 10 months. I'm not even a little surprised that you want to keep this hidden from your families. I think you need to slow the hell down.
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • @phira I've been divorced for almost a year...I thought I made that clear? Idk my communication skills have been sucking lately, so I probably need to edit my earlier post, again, lol. But yes, I'm coming to terms with a lot of things, and understand that I do need to slow down, and take things easy. I'm still not used to being able to just relax and enjoy things the way that I should. 
  • I agree with all PPs. They are wise to suggest that you wait. It seems as though outside influences greatly affect your relationships. You felt pressured to marry your ex-husband, and now that your friends are getting engaged, and having babies are making you feel as though this is a step you should be taking. While this may be the pot calling the kettle black (I am only 24 years old, with a child on the way), I think that you are fairly young and have been through a lot in a short period of time. I would also like to point out that your BF is only 20 years old. I am not saying that all 20 year olds are immature and aren't ready to be married, but because he is so young, I wonder if he is truly ready to walk down the aisle right this second. I understand the concept of having a long engagement, but because this relationship seems so new, I believe that it would be best to hold off on an engagement. This extra time will give you an opportunity for you and your BF to grow and mature together as a couple.

     Even though you and your ex were together for 8 years, you didn't acknowledge the fact that you were unhappy, and it caused a lot of issues.  You mentioned something about attending therapy. I think that you could potentially figure out why you feel the need to rush, and maybe identify patterns that hurt you in the past.  I hope that treatment will shed some light on your issues regarding past relationships, and provide sound advice for the one you're in now. 

  • Also if you and your ex were together for 8 years and you've been separated/divorced for a year and you're 23 years old, it means you were 14 when you started dating. I highly highly highly recommend slowing down as much as you can.
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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