19 June 2020, by Johnathan Chua
How do you plan a proposal after dating for 8 years?
In late 2016, after dating Patrina (my now wife) for 8 years, and after a ridiculous amount of lobbying by my now mother-in-law, I decided I wanted to propose.
I knew it couldn’t be too casual because Patrina have been hinting me for years by then and I kept telling her I’m saving up and waiting for the right moment. So after years of waiting, years of knowing we’re both ready, I figured the proposal had to be at least slightly epic.
My wife is a storyteller, ask her for a story and she would spare no detail each time. In fact, the story sometimes gets longer the more she repeats it. With that in mind, I knew I needed to create moments. Moments that would make a good story, and hopefully stories that she would enjoy sharing.
I believe that every relationship would be tested every so often. When it gets stale and when we argue about the same things too often. I believe that every so often, one would take a step back to reevaluate the relationship.
Is it worth the sacrifices? Am I truly happy?
You see, these thoughts come to mind when we’re in a dark place. When we’re angry or sad. And when something such as the relationship is being placed on the table to be evaluated, what counts (among others) are the magical moments you’ve created for each other.
So if you are one of those who says “EvErY dAy Is VaLeNtInE’s Day”, did you get her flowers today?
So anyway, here comes my point. Up until then, I’ve been trying to one-up birthdays, anniversaries, valentine’s day, Christmas. I even made a big deal of asking her to be my girlfriend in 2008 because she once again had to wait too long for me to ask.
I knew the proposal needed to match the anticipation.
Planning The Proposal
At this point, if you’re dating someone you see yourself marrying, I would like you to either offer up or request the ring size today. Right now. Do it. Don’t ask only when you’re ready to buy that ring because then she (or he, I mean, it’s the 21st century) will expect your proposal to come soon. So show your S.O this article, and get the damn ring size already.
Pat and I made a cheap Couple Lab ring together (which I still wear today) on our first dating anniversary. That’s how I know her ring size.
Back to planning the proposal. I wrote a song.
I played the guitar to impress her when we were teens. So it felt right to close the loop there. I first drafted the song February of 2016 and rewrote it several times in the next seven months.
I needed a place with good acoustics to seal the deal, so I decided to do it in church.
Then came 19th November 2016.
If you’re still reading this, thank you and welcome back! I have a few things I want to say having done a nerve-wracking proposal.
For the Proposer
- You will forget everything you plan to say when you go down on one knee. I have checked with many others. You’ll be so caught up with the timing, location, crowd, making sure you brought the ring and a million other variables. So practice the speech or write it down.
- What I learnt is most proposees don’t remember what their proposer said either. So that works out pretty nicely.
- It’s not a competition. You’ll feel pressured to outdo his/her friend’s proposal. Don’t. Also, don’t spend too much on the ring. I recommend man-made diamonds. Twice the size, 1/10 the price.
For the Proposee
- Please don’t ask when is the proposal happening. Hint if you need to, talk about it if you need to, then please stop asking about it. We’re trying to plan the most important surprise of our lives here. Read: Surprise
- I know it’s really awkward when you realise this party/staycation/event has turned into your proposal. You’ll feel overwhelmed for a bit. If you know you’re going to say yes, then stay silent, look him/her in the eye and let him/her do what he/she has planned for months to do. What he/she has lost sleep thinking about. I’ve seen many screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Over and over and over again and go into hysterical laughter to break the awkwardness and it frankly makes everything really weird and devoid of romance.
- This is an incredibly nerve-wracking moment. Enjoy it, and when someone asks you how he/she proposed, don’t start your story with “Aiyah, very normal la…”.
Thanks for reading.