When my boyfriend booked a romantic cruise to the Carribean for us out of nowhere, I was sure he was going to propose. After all, he knew my fantasy was to get engaged on a cruise ship because I’d told him not long after we got together. When he didn’t get down on one knee during our getaway, it pretty much ruined the trip and nearly ruined us.
- I was so sure this was it. I had every outfit planned out perfectly for the trip so that I would be wearing something cute when it happened. I dropped 10 pounds before we left, determined to look fab in all of my pictures. I got a beautiful manicure and even sprang for acrylic tips so my engagement ring would look amazing on my hand. I was sure to pause when he started talking so that I didn’t interrupt, and when he wanted to do something specific, I always agreed immediately, wondering if this was part of his plan.
- I built up so much in my head. The first two days of the trip, I lived on the edge. Every moment was a potential proposal. Would be at dinner? While having a drink and overlooking the ocean? Maybe at one of the shows? Perhaps he would propose in the hot tub or after going down the water slide? I made myself a nervous wreck with all the obsessing.
- The big moment happened. We stumbled onto the jewelry store in the cruise ship. He was actually the one that suggested it and my heart pounded in my chest while we browsed. He pointed to the style of engagement rings he knew I liked—I’d been sure to show him exactly what I wanted. “Isn’t this the kind you want?” he asked casually. I peered into the case, my eyes wide and focused on the sparkly two-carat. “That one,” I pointed. A man who worked at the jewelry shop came over and asked if I wanted to try it on. I looked at my boyfriend in silent question. “You might as well,” he replied. I couldn’t speak as the man put it on my finger. It was perfect.
- He bought the ring! My boyfriend talked to the salesman as I stared at the ring on my finger. He turned to me. “It’s a really good price, babe, and it’s what you want. I think we should get it.” My heart stopped and all I could do was nod my head. I felt elated and disappointed at the same time. Was this this the proposal? “It’s a really good price” was going to be how he asked me to marry him?
- I left the store so confused. The salesman rang up the purchase and my boyfriend paid. The man asked if it was an engagement ring. My boyfriend said yes and he told us congratulations. He handed the ring to my boyfriend and I waited for him to drop to one knee but he didn’t. Instead, he put the ring in the box and asked for a bag. He asked for a bag, you guys! We walked out of the store hand in hand, my boyfriend smiling. When we got back to our cabin, he put the ring (in the bag) in the safe. “So glad we found the ring you wanted, and for such a good price. Are you getting hungry?” he said.
- It was all I could do to not cry. I managed to nod my head. So… we weren’t engaged? He just bought the ring for… the future? I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t want to ask. What if he had some big plan? I didn’t want to ruin it.
- I got excited all over again. Once I managed to calm down, the excitement came back in full swing. He had the ring now! I made sure to take extra time to do my makeup carefully each day and apply my self-tanner perfectly. I curled my hair despite the humidity and dressed to the nines. We went out for dinner that night and I waited all evening but he never proposed. Next, we took pictures with a photographer and I was just sure he was going to whip the ring out of his pocket in front of the cameraman. But nope—nothing.
- I was inconsolable on the way home. When the cruise was over and realized my dream wasn’t happening, I was so disappointed. I kept arguing with myself and I didn’t know how to feel. Part of me felt duped, like he had led me on. The other part of me felt like I’d ruined my own vacation by putting my expectations on him.
- We finally had to talk about it. I had to tell him how I felt because I couldn’t hide my feelings from him. He could see that I was upset. In the end, I ended up feeling kind of dumb. He told me that he had an entirely different plan on how he wanted to propose to me that had nothing to do with the cruise ship. In fact, he was a bit hurt that I hadn’t considered his feelings or let him plan things his own way instead of dictating how I thought the proposal should go. It was a good lesson to learn—though admittedly, I’m still waiting for my sparkly ring to adorn my finger!