I have always been in such a rush to get through my life. I was always looking forward to the next thing and never content to just be happy with where I was. I like how old I am at the moment, it feels like I was meant to be this age, perhaps I was born to be 33. Trying to be 34 when you’re really 23 or 13 – not so good.
The main problem has been that I was always pushing for the next thing even when I should have been happy with what I had. I was always a few steps ahead of my partner. I wanted to move in together, wanted to get engaged, wanted to get married, wanted to have children, all a few years before he did. It made things awkward when they didn’t really need to be. I try not to have regrets but I do wish I could tell myself to slow down and not be in such a hurry. I wish I could have enjoyed our carefree life BC (before children) more at the time.
I thinks it’s harder for girls. As soon as you’ve been together a couple of months the questions start. “Do you think he’s the one?”, “have you talked of getting marriage?”, “Do you think he’ll propose?” “has he proposed?” “Why hasn’t he proposed?”, “Are you still not engaged yet – there must be something wrong?” Seriously someone actually said that. You start to really think something is wrong. If there isn’t a ring on your finger then he’s can’t really be sure you’re the one can he?
There was one particular holiday when we went to Paris and I spent the whole time wondering if he would propose. Oh of course I could have done it myself but I’ve read too much Austen – it’s not the way it’s supposed to be done. The problem is with waiting for so long, it gets blown up in your mind. Nothing can ever match up to the picture you create in your head.
Having said all that, there are ways of doing things. Here are some pointers for any reluctant fiancés out there.
1. You need a romantic and intimate setting – maybe somewhere fancy and expensive, or somewhere sentimental, which means something to you as a couple. NOT at your brother’s 30th birthday bash.
2. A couple of drinks are good, some dutch courage is always needed, you never know what a woman is going to do and there’s a chance she might turn you down. Being roaringly drunk = not so good. She’ll never know if you never really meant it.
3. Don’t tell her early in the evening that you were thinking of proposing but then decided not to. This just isn’t polite. If you do this then give it a couple of days and do something really spectacular to make it up to her. Don’t then decide (in your drunken stupour) that you will make things better by proposing that evening after all.
4. Try to keep it a secret from your friends and family especially ones who can’t keep their mouth shut. Someone might just tell everyone (over the DJ’s microphone) that you are going to propose. Everyone will then stare at your intended while you look cross and say he has got it wrong. Very embarrassing and not a good start to marital relations.
5. Finally, listen when your girlfriend tells you how she would like to receive a proposal. If she says she would hate it to be in a room full of friends and family then listen to her. Most women are very good at dropping hints about these kinds of things.
Then again – I did say yes so he can’t have got it that wrong, can he?