I'm sorry. Am I missing something?
I always thought a proposal is really just a pro forma question. At a certain point in a relationship, both parties know they are going to get married. There are details to work out — where, when, how — but the actual fact is not in dispute. It's nice when there's a formal "Will you marry me?" on bended knee if possible, but I thought it was just formalizing a foregone conclusion.
Boy was I wrong!
We recently heard from a guy who'd been dating a woman for two years. He loved her and hoped she'd change her mind about never wanting to marry. She did. She got engaged to someone else and never bothered to tell him.
And here's Eddie, who says he met "a very attractive woman" at a downtown club. He lived a hefty commute away, but he would drive into the city every weekend to see her. They would spend most of the weekend together.
Eddie says: "It was more than a casual relationship. Many late nights ended in hotel rooms since we were both still living with our parents."
One night, Eddie arrived at Nancy's house, and when he got there, her younger sister told him Nancy was "out with her other boyfriend."
"I thought it was just a case of little sister running her mouth like she usually did. But she insisted that there was another guy who knew nothing about me and who thought he was Nancy's boyfriend. Now mind you, I was madly in love with Nancy."
When she got home, Eddie asked her where she'd been. She was less than forthcoming. When he pressed her, she said she'd been "out with a friend." He told her what her younger sister had told him.
"I told her she had two weeks to tell the guy about me and end it with him if there was anything going on with him at all. She was denying that there was. I called her after a week had passed to see if she had done it. She claimed she couldn't get a hold of him. I told her she had one week left to do it or I was gone.
"A week later she admitted she still hadn't done it, so I told her I couldn't see her anymore. This was tough because as I said, I was crazy about this girl. But I knew I couldn't continue with things as they were."
A year later, Nancy called Eddie "out of the blue."
"In a kind of a joking way, I asked her if she was married yet. I then find out she was getting married three days later to the guy! Like they say in sports, if you have to lose you always want it to be to the eventual champion. I never heard from her again, but during that phone call she told me that if I had proposed, she would have accepted, which I didn't quite believe because she was seeing two guys at the time. It seems like men aren't the only ones who can play two sides of a fence when it comes to relationships."
Did you get or give a formal proposal, or was it just assumed you'd get married? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."