Things have definitely gotten out of hand. In the ever-growing pissing contest of which man can come up with the better, “Will You…”, even Tom Cruise proposing to Katie Holmes on top of the Eiffel Tower seems low-key and somewhat classy. No, it doesn’t live up to the icy spark of Seal’s proposal to Heidi Klum (I don’t care how much money you have, building an igloo on a Canadian mountain top for the express purpose of proposing is over the top) but it does hold some element of romance. Cliché, yes, but romantic, too.
Chicago Tribune advice columnist, Amy Dickinson, summed up today’s proposals in a perfect tongue-in-cheek manner, “Special is one thing, and a Vegas floor show is another. These proposals have absolutely no stake in the marriage. The energy we put into them is in inverse proportion to the depth of the relationship and the chance the marriage will succeed.”
If we look back, we can see where this trend began. Brides have taken over the wedding-planning responsibilities. The proposal is akin to Man’s Last Stand, his chance to make a statement, of telling the world, “I’m exceptional, because I found an exceptional way to propose.” Like any male-dominated event, the proposal quickly escalated into a high-priced one-upping contest. When the first man flew his proposal on the back of an airplane, the game was on.
And you’re right – I’m a woman, a girl, someone who will not be on bended knee anytime soon. So just a word from a female before we go on? I want a fairytale proposal, leading to a fairytale wedding, and the fairytale “Happily Ever After”… but not an overblown affair with strangers ogling what should be a beautiful, private moment between me and my man.
From a psychological perspective, the proposal sets up a preconceived notion about the marriage. The age-old route might have as much appeal to you as honeymooning right in your hometown, but there’s a lot to be said about looking into her eyes and just asking the question. After all, the louder the parade of the engagement day, the less likely you and your sweetie will be satisfied when the ring of bells signals nothing more exciting than the microwave signaling that your left-over meatloaf is warm.
Here’s the danger: if your proposal involves all the flash and lights of a big to-do proposal, who is she saying yes to? The man who showed her an extravagant day, or the every-day average Joe you will be next morning? Again, psychologically speaking, the proposal does a lot to set up your life to come. Make it realistic, make it real, and make it lasting.
Need some ideas? Well, that’s what I’m here for.
Creative and Romantic Proposal Ideas
Just because you don’t want to get too extreme with the proposal, doesn’t mean it can’t be a memorable one. Try these ideas on for size, play around with them in your mind, and before long you’ll have the perfect proposal without all the glitz and glamour that can set up false expectations.
Our Song – A tender and romantic proposal, this one will take very little to set up. You’ll want a tape or CD that contains your “special” song and something to play it on.
To implement the proposal, surprise your sweetie with an intimate candle light dinner at home. After dinner, ask her if she will dance with you. Then, turn on the song you’ve prepared. Mid-way through dancing, hold her hands and drop to one knee. Pull out the ring and pop the question. Truly a moment to remember!
A Rose and a Ring – I can guarantee that this one will catch her by surprise, and leave a grin on her face for years to come. Before she arrives at home, purchase two dozen roses and use them to make a trail to one room of the house (like the bedroom, or the kitchen lit up with candles and a dinner ready). At the doorway to the room, hang one last rose with a ring around it and a note saying, “I Love you – Will You Marry Me?”
Have You Seen … – This one is perfect for college students, office workers, and anyone else that has a strong routine. Create a dozen or so fliers, using something that will catch the eye like fluorescent pink paper or a big beautiful picture. Then, along the route that your girl takes to class or her office, post the fliers everywhere you can. Make sure that she will see them. Each of the fliers should say the same thing, something like, “I Love You – Please Be Mine”. Wherever her final destination is, be waiting with the ring and a rose or other favorite flower.
Anniversary Proposal – Face it, ladies are suckers for flowers. This proposal will require you to arrange delivery of your girl’s favorite flower, or rose in her favorite color, for each year that you have been together. So, if you have been together for 4 years, you would need to have 4 flowers delivered beginning on the day of your anniversary. On the final day (day 5, if you’ve been together for 4 years), surprise her with a single red rose, or her favorite flower in a different color than the previous ones have been. Then, using the right numbers and colors of course, propose to her with the words, “4 yellow roses for 4 beautiful years together. And 1 red rose for the rest of our lives. Please say that you’ll spend it with me?” Have the ring ready – what girl could resist this?