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How NOT to propose marriage.

Updated on October 16, 2010

Whether you’re proposing to a man or a woman, whether you’ve been together for 6 months or 26 years a proposal is important. It is something that both you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives (no matter what the answer). No matter what your situation these are some things that you definitely do not want to do!

A note on cheeseballs:
While super cheesy proposals like the sports billboards or the ring in the cake are not my cup of tea they are not a no-no for everyone in the world. There are folks out there who will think that a super-cheese ball proposal is freakin’ adorable. A word of warning, make sure your intended is definitely one of those people before you plan the proposal.

 #1 Proposing at someone else’s wedding.

This is a terrible idea, always. For a bride, the wedding day is all about her. Ask any groom, that’s why we get to wear the big white dress and they don’t. Even at wedding’s where there are two white dresses or two black tuxes making someone else the center of attentions is, simply put, a jerk move. DON’T DO IT. The lady in white will, most likely, hate you forever.

#2 Creating a choking hazard

In movies it works out beautifully and if you know that your intended is into ultra-cheesy moments than go ahead and stick the ring in the cake, mousse cup, champagne glass. But for the love of god make sure she/he doesn’t choke on it. Getting rushed to the hospital and having your stomach pumped may make a great story but it is not romantic.

I don’t really know how you could go about pulling this off without causing a choking hazard of somekind unless you warned your partner before hand. But lines like:
“Careful, something may be hidden in there.”
“Take small bites and investigate each forkful before hand.”
“Careful okay, cause I stuck a ring in your dessert.”
Are not romantic either.

#3 Typing it up, and clicking send.

This goes for email, letters, texts, social media. To put it simply, she/he will say no. And if they don’t, they are too darn easy.

A very bad way to propose.

#4 Proposing after a fight or break-up

Expensive rings and romantic proposals do not make it okay that you called her fat, slept with another man, stormed out after a fight, talk too much about your exes, checked someone out at a party, falsely accused him of cheating, said someone else’s name in bed, ran over her cat, gave his mother food poisoning…the list goes on. And it’s still not okay.

#5 Do I have to buy another ring?

Yes! I almost couldn’t believe this the first time I heard it, actually I didn’t believe it. Divorced proposers who happen to have old, used rings lying around should not use said old, used rings to propose to their new partners! Even if she/he loves you, they will probably say no.

#6 Be sober, present and engaged in only one activity: proposing

Don’t be drunk, don’t be on the other end of a phone call, don’t be driving, don’t be having sex, don‘t be watching TV. Proposing is asking the love of your life to make a momentously important decision. Give that decision it’s due. And watch his/her face while they make it. 

I can't not watch it.

#7 If you share a credit card or bank statement, pay cash

If you’re not exactly a detail-oriented person let me give you a little reminder. If you live with your partner, and have been for a while, it’s possible that you two will share a bank account or credit card. It’s also pretty likely, and responsible, for both of you to check your bank or credit card statements from time to time.
If that credit card statement happens to have a large purchase at a jewellery store that you two didn’t discuss before hand your partner is going to come to one of two conclusions: you’re proposing or having an expensive affair. You are, of course, safe from this if it’s right around your intended’s birthday or a major holiday, but it’s best not to ruin the surprise. Use a separate account or card or pay cash.

#8 Be prepared for anything

Even him/her saying no. So, you may want to avoid proposing during a sports game or at an embarrassingly public place. If your love turns you down you will be not only heartbroken, but you’ll feel really, really stupid.

A final note, if your nervous about figuring out the perfect way to propose know that the classic will never go out of style. Getting down on one knee is always beautiful and romantic. Pulling out a ring box and uttering that time-tested phrase, “Will you marry me.” is always simple and always perfect.


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    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 7 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      Thanks W.E.

      I'm glad enjoyed the hub. Humour usually doesn't find it's way into my writing but everyonce in a while its fun to lighten the mood.

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 7 years ago

      Original concept with some good advice, which I could see saving some people an unforgettable moment of embarrassment. You obviously have a good sense of humor, and are not shy of using that either. Good luck with your writing! W.E.

    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 7 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      I suppose there are worse things that someone could do in a relationship. But that ones pretty bad.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

    • roadrunner0924 profile image

      roadrunner0924 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Really nice information...being divorced I could not even think about reusing my old wedding band...I might not be the smartest guy but wow the fact that someone would do that lol

    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 7 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      Sorry about, "If you share a credit card or bank statement, pay PAY cash" In the draft it only says pay once. I don't know how to fix it.