If marriage is one of our goals, it’s pretty common for us to have an image in mind of what we would like our wedding day to look like, if not also the proposal.
And having a partner who does not share a similar vision can be kind of disheartening, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When Redditor WashInformal8704 realized that her birthday dinner was not actually going to be a birthday dinner at all, but actually a very public proposal, she did not want to attend.
But when her boyfriend demanded that she play along with his plan, the Original Poster (OP) felt like he didn’t value her or her personal preference for a more intimate proposal.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not showing up to my own engagement after finding out my boyfriend was planning to propose?”
The OP knew that her boyfriend was going to propose to her, at least eventually.
“I (28 Female) have known for a while that my boyfriend (38 Male) was going to propose.”
“We’ve been talking about marriage, rings, etc., for a while. I didn’t know the when or where, but I thought I knew the HOW.”
“This is because I’ve made it clear that I would absolutely hate a public proposal. The very idea gives me hives and makes me queasy with anxiety.”
“It’s a personal preference/comfort zone thing and not an opinion on other people’s proposals.”
“There have been a few times when I thought he was going to ask, but I was wrong each time (wasn’t too disappointed because I knew it’d come eventually).”
But as it turned out, the way he meant to propose to the OP surprised her.
“The night of the conflict was my birthday last week. We were going out to celebrate, and he’d even given me my gift early to wear to dinner since it was the first time we’d be going out for my birthday since before the pandemic.”
“We were meant to meet at the restaurant, but my dad called before I left, asking if our big announcement tonight was baby-related, and if so, he’d like to congratulate me in advance in case he didn’t make it due to a travel delay.”
“A few minutes into the call, I put two and two together and immediately called my best friend, who reluctantly confirmed my fears.”
“She hadn’t wanted to spoil my boyfriend’s surprise, but she also tried her best to convince him to scale it down because she knew I wouldn’t like what he’d planned.”
“At this point, I was very late and my boyfriend had been texting, saying that I was going to make us lose our reservation.”
The couple disagreed about the boyfriend’s plans.
“I called him and asked directly if he was planning a public proposal.”
“He couldn’t deny it, and after he told me he’d reserved the entire restaurant for 75 people, I told him that this wasn’t what I wanted.”
“I said I’d be happy to attend, but only if he promised not to do it in front of everyone there.”
“He said he’d told some people, and that word got around, and they were now expecting a proposal, so he was going to do it.”
“Otherwise, he felt we would’ve wasted everyone’s time and money coordinating and getting them down there.”
“I said that if he insisted on doing this in a way which made me uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be coming at all.”
“I hung up at that point and stopped answering because I was hurt.”
A serious rift developed in their relationship.
“He’s livid, and we’ve been fighting all week because I embarrassed him in front of our friends and family by not showing up.”
“He says I’m making a big deal of it when we both know I would have said yes, and that I’m being ungrateful because any other woman would kill for a boyfriend who would go to the trouble of making a grand gesture.”
“While I agree that I had every intention of saying yes when I knew it was coming, I don’t like being put on the spot or being made to feel obligated to say yes because of an audience.”
Then the OP’s boyfriend gave her an ultimatum.
“He said he won’t consider proposing again until I apologize for embarrassing him and promise to chill out about my preferences in the future.”
“I don’t feel like I should because he knew I would have preferred something more intimate and romantic.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the boyfriend was incredibly inconsiderate of his girlfriend’s feelings.
“Your boyfriend is the AH.”
“He knows you aren’t comfortable with this, but decides to do it anyway because it makes him look good.”
“Instead of treating you like your own person, he decideed that you are just a part of the perfect proposal that could be to anyone.” – WebBorn2622
“This is the pertinent point for me: he either doesn’t know her that well or doesn’t care. I don’t know which is worse.”
“Also, this little gem: ‘promise to chill out about my preferences in the future.'”
“I think that speaks volumes about what he thinks of her feelings.” – Pale_Cranberry1502
“The boyfriend was like, ‘I don’t care what you want, look how much effort I went to, and you ruined it!’ closely followed with an, ‘I’m going to ignore your feelings in the future, too.'”
“Wow. Some people.” – Yurtinx
“The gesture was about him, and not about her at all. Good on her for not being his prop.” – JacindaChrist
“Oh, he knew what the OP was comfortable with. She’d told him before. But his ‘other women would kill for this.’ screams ‘I like to look like the good boyfriend/big man in front of your family and friends.'”
“This reminds me of that guy that threw his wife a baby shower, used their rent money, maxed out a credit card, and then tried to steal all the money given to them at the baby shower to pay it off, all so he could look like the big provider in-front of their family and friends.” – Opposite-Strategy-28
“OP’s boyfriend is doing her a favor. He refuses to propose again until she apologizes. That is good.”
“She needs the time to reconsider if she really wants to marry someone who puts their pride before her feelings and tells her that she must learn that her feelings and preferences don’t matter.”
“OP, if he is not capable of recognizing how wrong he is here, you would be much better off if he never proposed.” – Eastofdark
Others agreed with the OP about being uncomfortable with public proposals.
“NGL (Not Gonna Lie), if this happened to me, I’d go, wait for it, say no, and leave. I hate being put in the center of attention, but I’m also really petty, and if you do something like this to me, I’ll make you regret it.” – AngelaTheRipper
“I am similarly distasteful of being the center of attention, and if a future partner ever proposed to me in front of a crowd like that, it would be a neon sign pointing to just how little they actually knew me.” – unfortunatewalkingmd
“My cousin was proposed to in her apartment bathroom before they went out for dinner. Her husband had gotten nervous and did it before they left. She was so happy because she didn’t want to be proposed to in public!” – not_cinderella
“My husband and I got engaged on the couch in our living room. We’d discussed getting married the night before, the next day he came home with a ring, showed my family, and was like, ‘So, will you?'”
“It was perfect for me and him, and we’ve been married for nearly three years(together for nearly ten) and now have a baby girl. These things don’t have to be big, just right for the people involved.” – Waste_Twist5673
“My husband proposed to me while we were in our pajamas eating pizza in our apartment after work. Apparently, he had about 5 different public plans fall through and just got exasperated with trying to coordinate things.”
“So out came the ring and a nice speech just out of the blue. I was actually really pleased because I would have hated a public thing.” – sandstorm320
“Clearly, he’s really into the public show and she isn’t at all. So a compromise may have been to actually propose in private, then have a showy announcement at dinner. But nope, the dude decided his feelings were the only ones that mattered.”
“NTA, OP. But get ready for a lot more of this as you move forward with this man.” – coatisabrownishcolor
Though the OP felt conflicted with an ultimatum from her boyfriend, the subReddit considered it to be a blessing in disguise.
Not only did the OP need time to really think about what she wanted in a partner, but she also needed to consider if this was how she wanted to be treated for the rest of her life.
Her boyfriend clearly had put his own wishes before hers for their proposal, and since he wanted her to “chill out” in the future, this would likely become a pattern in their marriage, too.