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Woman Asks If She’s Wrong To Spoil Friend’s Proposal After Boyfriend’s Plan Excludes Her Family

Man proposing to a woman
Chris Ryan/Getty Images

When we’re on the dating scene, one of the most exciting moments is bringing our new partner home to our friends and loved ones, and finding out that everyone gets along and approves.

But as a friend, it can be really hard to watch if we feel the partner isn’t giving our loved one everything they deserve, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Throwaway1728364 had worried for a while that her best friend’s boyfriend was controlling and selfish, while not really taking his girlfriend’s values into account.

But when she found out how he planned to propose, the Original Poster (OP) struggled to not step in and say something.

She asked the sub:

“AITA if I tell my friend her BF is planning to propose?”

The OP recently helped her best friend’s boyfriend plan a beautiful proposal for her.

“My (27 Female) best friend has been dating her boyfriend (26 Male) for over five years.”

“A while back, he reached out to me to help figure out the ring size and the setup for his proposal so he could make this the most magical day for her.”

“Having known my friend for over 20+ years, I know exactly how she wants her proposal to go and who she wants to be there, so I relayed all this information to him months ago via texts and over the phone.”

“I even took the time to covertly find and confirm which ring she would love the most.”

But the OP had her reservations about her best friend’s partner.

“A little background: My friend is INCREDIBLY family- and friend-oriented, and in the past has expressed to me on multiple occasions (especially during the holiday season) that in the five years they’ve been together, he hasn’t really made much of an effort to indoctrinate himself into her family or friendships the way she has for his.”

“While I do generally like him, I have always felt that he is incredibly self-serving and self-focused.”

Those feelings only deepened when the OP discovered his plans for the proposal.

“Recently, through a mutual friend, I found out he started a group text between his (emphasis on HIS) friends and his family to set up the time and date of the proposal.”

“He has not only excluded me (and according to the screenshots I’ve seen, he is doing everything VERBATIM I suggested he do), but he has completely excluded her family and other close friends from the event.”

“He is planning on only having his ‘boys’ and his family present for the occasion, and knowing my friend, this would ultimately break her heart not being able to share this moment with her loved ones.”

What the boyfriend said next was even more shocking to the OP.

“I got heated and called him.”

“At first, he was dodging my questions, then just outright said, ‘This is my proposal and I’ve spent enough time and money to choose how I do it. Just be happy for your friend. It’s not like you’re not coming to the wedding.'”

“This INFURIATED me, and to make matters worse, I ran into her mom and dad at the grocery store and subtly asked if they knew of any possibility she was getting engaged.”

“They were unaware, and I know for a fact my friend has told him that he needs to ask her parents for their blessing (she’s somewhat traditional).”

The OP felt conflicted about how all of this was going to go.

“My friend wears her heart on her sleeve, and I can predict how this event will go down when she sees all of his close friends and family and none of hers.”

“Considering her previous sentiments about his lack of interest in her family/life, she will 100% see this as being hurtful and selfish, and I know she’ll cry.”

“To make matters worse, the location of the proposal is a whopping 30 minutes from her parents’ home.”

“I don’t want to get involved in a fight or reveal the surprise, but on the other hand, I feel I owe it to my lifelong friend to help her avoid being hurt and disappointed, maybe even helping her rethink what her future would look like with someone who just doesn’t really appreciate what she values in life.”

“So, AITA if I tell my friend her boyfriend is going to propose?”

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 OP was TA for meddling in someone else’s business.

“YTA. As much as you want it to be, this is simply not your business. His proposal and her reaction to it is between them as a couple.”

“You’re free to carry around an ‘I told you so’ for him when it all goes south, but it’s not your place to get involved in this, and it may even backfire on you with your friend if decide to.” – BeepBlipBlapBloop

“YTA. Let the people in the relationship deal with it.”

“You’ve done what you can. You told him it’ll upset her. If she wants to rethink her life, she can do that when he proposes. You can’t protect her from hurt. Even if you tell her now, sure it might save her crying in front of his friends/family, but she’ll still be incredibly hurt by her partner.”

“I think intervening in their relationship further sounds like it could backfire on your friendship. You’re not the one hurting her, so let her make her own choices about the kind of man she wants to say yes or no to. The best you can do is try one more time to get him to invite her side to the proposal and to be ready with a lot of emotional support if she does end up upset that day.”

“I think your heart is in the right place, but your lack of boundaries in this friendship is causing you to become overly involved in her romantic relationship.” – reggiesnap

“YTA. It’s not up to you to interfere like this. It’s their relationship for them to sort out. You may think you’re doing her a favor, but it may not work out as well as you think. People have a habit of shooting the messenger.” – dazed1984


“Stay out. Far far away. Let this play out. It’s between them. You should not have told her parents either. If she hates the proposal, she can say no.” – superfastmomma

“DO NOT TELL HER. As much as you know her and want this proposal to go as planned, it is ultimately up to her boyfriend how he wants to do it.”

“If your friend is disappointed, then that can be her sign to discuss with her fiancé about moving forward. It is not your place to tell her or intervene at this point.” – Old_Fee5808

But others understood the OP had the right intentions and urged her to stay out of it.

“You’re NTA either way, but honestly I advise staying out of it. You’ve told the boyfriend your thoughts on this, and he has made his decision. The only thing left to do is be there for your friend, which every way it turns out.” – Dahktor_P

“YWBTA. This is, unfortunately, one of those situations that will probably play better if you let it play out. You can be there in the aftermath and support her if she is devastated.”

“In short, I’ve learned from an experience in my youth that you can’t break people up, even if there are red flags. (And there were red flags, but it tore apart our friendship for years even after she broke up with him.)”

“You will be accused of meddling and trying to break them up, maybe not by your friend, but it will muddy the waters. As much as it hurts, we have to give people the space to get there on their own.”

“If the engagement is a bust, then you tell her, so she has the added info that he was told the right way and still messed up. But before? She probably will lash out at you.” – TwilightSolo

“YTA. I totally get why you’re upset. But it’s almost always a mistake to insert yourself into a relationship (unless someone is in immediate physical danger, of course). Let them figure it out. This will almost certainly cause larger issues if you reveal this to her.” – berlin_got_blurry

“YTA, softly. I agree you have good intentions. But she needs to see him for who he really is. It may be that she already sees these flaws in him because she has mentioned them to you.”

“You’re right that what he’s doing is very selfish, and all about him and not her. Unfortunately, she may need to go through that kind of pain to understand. He’s not the person for her.” – PilotEnvironmental46

“I am going to encourage you to stay out of it, but only because you care so much for your friend. This guy sounds horrible. Hopefully, his self-centered proposal will help her see that.”

“If you help him pull off a special proposal, she’ll just have evidence he’s caring. You need to let the relationship run its course. She’s not walking into anything. She’s been intentionally partnered with this person for five years. She’s been on this course intentionally. Be there for her if and when she wakes up.”

“I always say that the story isn’t over yet. Just be patient. The horrible proposal may need to happen to get her to the point where she leaves and finds her happily ever after.”

“YTA.” – Major_Barnacle_2212

Some thought the only AH in the situation was the boyfriend.

“Look, I get wanting to be there for your friend and wanting to protect her, and it sucks knowing she’ll end up hurt. But no matter which way you turn it, you’re going to end up on someone’s bad side. It’s your choice of which bad side. Either his bad side for telling her or her bad side for not telling her.”

“I’m going with he’s the a**hole, and no judgment for you cause this situation is just s**tty all the way around.” – jayybirdd22

“NTA. You do what you can and feel right.”

“Suggestion, be nearby that day and ready for a call to pick her up. Make sure she knows you’re not busy that day at all. Just in case, she will know you had her back all along.” – mayfeelthis

“What worries me is he’ll be making this proposal while surrounding her with HIS friends and family and isolating her from her support system entirely. That just feels really disturbing to me, and makes ‘she can just say no’ a bit less straightforward.” – _LlednarTwem_

“Oh, dear. This guy sounds like the kind of guy who, when a groom and they are cutting the cake, shoves a huge piece of cake and frosting into the bride’s face and hair. Then he and his ‘boys’ laugh about it.”

“I could be wrong, but the way he’s disregarding all of her wishes makes me see huge red flags.” – TechnicianOk1466

“I would just like to commend you, OP, for actually seeking out advice / other perspectives before doing this, especially when, as you said, you knew you were possibly signing yourself up for some real internet bulls**t.”

“You are clearly a very thoughtful and considerate person, and she is lucky to have a friend like you to be there for her when this all plays out.”

“You’re a good egg.” – bradicalbest

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.

“The proposal is scheduled for this weekend. I will give you guys an update on how it goes. After so many responses, I have decided not to say anything and to let things play out. I gave him an opportunity by expressing the need to invite her parents and friends like she’s always wanted, and he chose not to. That’s on him, not me!”

“I have done the extent of what I can by trying to reach out to him, and he decided not to listen to me, that’s on him. It’s not my place to initiate a fight/problem and possibly ruin things before they even happen.”

“Trust me when I say I am not going to go through with it! I see now that this is 1000% not my place regardless of my loyalty and relationship with my friend and would be making things far worse by interjecting myself where I have no right to be.”

“If I force him to invite her family by guilting him, then he avoids the scrutiny of his actions and character, and if I give her that hypothetical and then sit by as she walks into that exact situation, I’ve then completely involved myself, and if I tell her I ruin the surprise because I honestly don’t know how she’s going to react to the proposal.”

“I am in a very tight spot, but after reading so many YTA comments, I have to allow life to take its course and prepare to be there for her in case there is any fallout.”

Most of the subReddit could understand why the OP wanted to say something to her friend, even if it would ruin the surprise and, ultimately, a huge learning opportunity. But most of them still encouraged her to take a step back and prepare to be there for her friend in case the moment went poorly.

This was her friend’s relationship and proposal, and she had to make these decisions for herself, no matter how hard it might be for a loved one to watch.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit