About 6 months ago I had a conversation with my girlfriend. FIANCÉE. with my fiancée, then-girlfriend, about getting engaged. It wasn’t stressful at all, we love each other, lived together, spent ever waking moment with each other and had no arguments (none serious enough to remember what they were about 10 minutes later, anyway). We both agreed it was the next logical step, one we were both happy with, and spoke about what she might want for a ring (aka what was definitely ugly to her) and that was that.
Then the stress began.
When people talk about getting engaged, they talk about how magical it is. How lovely it is. How cute and romantic it is. The movies and TV definitely portray that (let alone put pressure on to get it perfect).
No one ever talks about how stressful it is. How much of a ballache it is to plan and get right. You think about all the possible options… Do we go away? Do I take her out for a dead posh dinner? Do I get a mate involved, go to poundland and buy ALL of the battery operated fairy lights and batteries and set up a night time winter wonderland picnic in Hyde Park? Do I talk to my friend who does PR for the London Aquarium and see if I can propose in there whilst surrounded by tealight candles and have a singer serenade us as I get down on one knee? (Sorry for wasting your time talking to you about this Amy!).
Fuck anyone who says this shit is easy.
But it is, really easy.
There is no need to stress, no need to panic, no need to plan it to within an inch of it’s life. The truth is that as long as it happens, that’s all that matters. Did I finally get so stressed about when to do it that I tried to take the girlfriend for a ‘spontaneous’ walk down the southbank at night last weekend whilst she was ill, just because I wanted to get it over and done with? Yes. Did I? No. (Only because she wouldn’t because she was too ill.)
So how did I do it I hear you ask? Pretty simple actually. After work on a cold Tuesday night in December (aka Yesterday) I pulled my then-girlfriend to one side and said put your coat on (you’ve pulled – but that joke didn’t work because we were in our flat and you know, we’ve been dating for years). Then she started asking loads of fucking questions like “Why? Where are we going? Do I need to redo my makeup? Should I wear some nice shoes?”. CAN YOU NOT MAKE THIS EASY FOR ME? I answered with a simple “Don’t worry about any of that, just trust me, don’t ask any questions, put your coat on and come with me”.
Obviously the next 3 minutes were filled with Questions and grumpiness about not being told what was going on. MAKE THIS EASY WOMAN.
Then we finally left the flat.
A short walk away (about 50 yards) and we come to a bench. A bench outside the flat I’ve lived in for 10 years, a flat I lived in with my father, who designed the bench. A bench of which is dedicated to my father, by the community of our little estate for all the work he put in to the estate in his memory.
We sat down, and I got all soppy, said all the cliché things that didn’t sound cliché at all when I was saying them. Words that will remain private between us forever. I could tell that she didn’t know what was happening. She probably thought I was just sad about my father, or just feeling soppy.
Then it happened. I whipped it out.
After clearing up a case of indecent exposure with the police, I whipped the ring out. THE ENGAGEMENT RING.
She must have known it was coming, but we both cried and she said yes.
Fuck me that was stressful. Wait, no it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all. It was wonderful. No stress, no fuss. Just the two of us, saying we want to make a public declaration that we intend on remaining together for the rest of our lives.
What people really don’t say when you are thinking of proposing is that it’s fucking stressful. I don’t think I could have coped if it was a full surprise. Trying to plan something so overwhelming that she’d be bamboozled into saying yes before thinking about it properly is a risk I wasn’t willing to take. I needed assurance she was going to definitely say yes before seriously thinking about it.
SO. You get engaged. What’s next? We announced on Social Media (because we’re so new age) and we’ve got over 400 interactions from people saying congrats or liking a picture of whatever – it’s overwhelming. The fiancée had to have an early night last night because it was so much so.
But we got the bus this morning and it’s exciting to have something new to think about, but we’re the same couple, still on the same life trajectory, with the same ambitions and life plans. We’ve just overshared a little and made that soppy public declaration of love.
Now we carry on, plan a wedding (I hear Don’t Tell The Bride are looking for couples of a new series) and then sign some paperwork which means we’re husband and wife. WIFE. not even FIANCÉE. WIFE.
Yeah, none of that sounds stressful.
In the meantime, if you want to see the status of our relationship, feel free to go to kleeandseb.com for no reason. You know what the status is. We’re engaged.
TL:DR; I asked a gorgeous woman to marry me, she said yes. I essentially pulled off the heist of the century.