I Didn’t Realize My Boyfriend Was Proposing – Awkward!

My ex didn’t get down on one knee when he asked me to marry him. He didn’t even get that sparkly look in his eye and tell me why he wanted to make me his wife. Then days later, he told me how hurt he was because he proposed to me and I hadn’t responded. Wait, what?

  1. He was super vague about the whole thing. We’d been sitting on a park bench and he started talking about how nice it would be for us to go on vacation sometime. Then he said something about how we were such a good match and he wanted to spend forever with me. It was sweet, but I didn’t think anything of it.
  2. He never spoke about our future. Seriously, over the few weeks prior, I started to wonder if he even wanted a future with me. He never said much about us living together or getting married, so I think having that as a backdrop certainly made me miss out on his alleged “proposal.” I wasn’t expecting it and it felt quite out of the blue for him to spring it on me.
  3. He confronted me about it. A few days after our date in the park, he met up with me for dinner and said that he was upset because he thought I didn’t want to be with him. I was quite shocked. Where was this coming from? I had no idea at that point that he was referring to his “proposal” and my reaction (or lack of it) to what he’d said.
  4. He explained what happened. He wasn’t just talking about the future in some far-off way. No, he actually meant to say that he wanted us to get married. Um… what? I nearly choked on my salad when he said that to me.
  5. It was like having to explain a joke. You know when you don’t get a joke and someone has to explain the punchline? It just kills the whole thing. That’s exactly what it was like for my ex to have to try to explain that he had actually asked me to marry him.
  6. It felt lazy, to be honest. I mean, honestly. Who proposes like that? That’s not even a freaking proposal! I’m not saying he had to get down on one knee or even give me an engagement ring, but he should’ve made the whole thing much more special than it had been.
  7. It just felt so awkward. After our chat about his “proposal,” we had a fight about how I felt it wasn’t even a proposal and afterward, it just felt awkward because he was still waiting for an answer from me, as though we could just pick up from where we’d left off after his first attempt.
  8. It’s like he didn’t know me at all. I always thought that if he would ever propose to me, he’d know to make it meaningful. He knew that I was sentimental and I appreciated thoughtful words, not just romantic gestures. The fact that he could’ve gone and made such a lazy proposal just showed me he had no clue about who I was.
  9. The answer was no. It just didn’t feel right to accept his proposal. It wasn’t just that I felt like he didn’t know me, but it was also another bad attempt at proposing! Geez, how had this guy not realized his mistake and done something else? He just asked, “So are you keen to get married then?” over dinner and expected me to jump into his arms. What the heck?
  10. Did I mean that little to him? He didn’t make me feel like he really wanted to have me in his life for the rest of his life. How he approached the whole proposal was insulting, really. It made me feel like he just didn’t love me but was too cowardly to tell me.
  11. It was a symptom of a bigger problem. After that incident, we started to grow apart. I didn’t think he was really making much of an effort, and I just felt so confused. It took weeks for me to realize that how I felt about his proposal was really about how I felt about him as a boyfriend. He was lazy when it came to our relationship and often I did feel unseen. It wasn’t right for me to stay in that relationship just to get a ring on my finger. No way in hell.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.