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An engagement ring holds tremendous emotional and psychological weight. And, while some women claim equity with the ring and love, it is still symbolic.
Google “proposal fails” and Youtube.com will present you with a plethora of some of the most pathetic, heart-breaking, cringe-worthy videos of all time. After watching a few of the compilations, it becomes evident – thank goodness – that, basically, the same six or seven videos are being recycled. In other words, there aren’t actually as many “Wedding Proposal Fails” as the search results reveal. The upside of this is that there are genuinely many, many more “cute proposals, “with very happy endings.
If you do watch the videos (and try to do so without shrieking “burn!” after each vignette), you will learn one thing: if your relationship is relatively new, on shaky ground, if you’ve only known each other a few weeks or a couple of months, a public proposal is very likely to be a huge mistake.
Proposing? Be Sure You Have a Ring
Speaking of big mistakes, the biggest is asking for her hand without a ring. Wedding website The Knot surveyed 19,000 couples and the No. 1 proposal faux pas is to do so without a ring. You’re asking your partner to share a lifetime of love and commitment, and it just doesn’t seem truly genuine if you ask her, without ring in hand. If you really want her input in choosing from beautiful diamond engagement rings, have some kind of “placeholder ring” before you go shopping together. Some 50% of proposed-to women noted that they did participate in some pre-proposal ring shopping. So, even if they didn’t know when the actual question would be posed, they have some idea it is imminent.
You love to hang out. She’s quickly becoming your best friend. You’re almost done introducing her to your family and friends. She’s the one, right? Cool your jets, dude. Wait until you’re sure – and she’s giving you the signs – she is ready to commit.
If the aforementioned “proposal fails” videos did not alert you to the dangers of possible humiliation and embarrassment, then here’s a reminder: as much as you’d like to share the information with the world, wait until you’ve asked, and ask in private. Public proposals reek of desperation and exhibitionism, of narcissism and conceit. It’s a big blunder. Many are tempted to go back to the location where they first met the love of their life. Unfortunately for a couple of guys in the most-recycled stories, that might be the mall, a sports stadium or some place that’s equally large, and one that’s likely heavily populated.
Food is Not a Jewellery Box
It’s old and tired. Do not hide that beautiful diamond jewellery in her food. It’s not worth the time and energy to coordinate it and it’s likely to give you a lot of grief and worry. If you live in Southern California, Florida, Paris, France, Hong Kong or another city that hosts a Disney attraction, avoid the cliché of Cinderella’s castle or anything too precious or cutesy.
Say No to the Destination Proposal
If you’re going on a vacation, and plan to propose, that’s great. As we’ve mentioned, don’t choose a cheesy location, tourist attraction, arcade or art show to ask.
There are No Secrets
You may be willing to take the risk of sharing your plans. Just know: it is no longer a surprise if you tell even a single person. Word-of-mouth is tenacious and before you know it, people are really hinting at her that she may be for a proposal sometime soon.
Seriously, Be Patient
There are enough of you who, once you’ve made a decision, just want to “go for it,” to propose right away with that beautiful diamond engagement ring burning a hole in your pocket. But there IS such a thing as “the right moment” and you better wait for it. Your first meeting and the proposal are the first things you’ll be asked about. Not that you should care what others think, but the question will be posed so often and with such frequency you’re really going to want to have a solid, if not good story to share.
featured image: sara sampaio photographed by jack waterlot for the july 2015 issue of l'officiel singapore