Should I ask my ex to marry me?
September 7, 2010 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Should I ask my ex to marry me?

It's as simple a question as that. We broke up in January, and in the past eight months I have missed her immensely. Now I have invited her on holiday to "talk things through" and am thinking of proposing.

Romantic or reckless?

Anything else I should be aware of?
posted by spaceandtime30 to Human Relations (110 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh... oh my... No. Do NOT do that. That's just crazy.
posted by The Michael The at 7:15 AM on September 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Um, you ask a simple question. The simple answer is FOR THE FUCKING LOVE OF ALL THINGS GREAT, NO.
posted by jontyjago at 7:16 AM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


No.

Just no.
posted by bilabial at 7:16 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty reckless and will probably make her think less of you. Going on holiday is a risky enough proposition. There's a reason you broke up in the first place. Figure out what that was and work on it.
posted by amethysts at 7:16 AM on September 7, 2010


Ex-wife or ex-girlfriend? Regardless, you will have to look at the big picture and not just want to marry her because you "have missed her immensely."
posted by JJ86 at 7:16 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Definitely not.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:17 AM on September 7, 2010


This is one of those grand romantic gestures that one rarely sees outside of romantic comedies. I imagine that's the only place it works.
posted by supercres at 7:17 AM on September 7, 2010 [15 favorites]


Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Full stop.

Don't do it.

I'm biased: my ex did this to me and it felt like an ambush.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't marry this person, but if you've been broken up for eight months asking them to "talk things through" and then revealing that you've already reached a conclusion without them -- that you should be married, ta-da! -- could definitely be... problematic.

If the "talk" turns out to be both of you saying how much you've missed each other, and how you can't be apart, and you want to spend your lives together etc. etc., then maybe it's something that could be eased into. But as you describe it, it sounds like it could be very sudden and startling for your ex.
posted by verb at 7:17 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dude. Totally reckless - you are setting yourself up for a terrible conversation. Talk things out does not equal 'marry me?' in any conventional setting.
posted by machine at 7:17 AM on September 7, 2010


Ha, I recently learned that this is how my parents got engaged. Cute, right? Their divorce was really nasty. Don't do it.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2010 [36 favorites]


You broke up for a reason. Until that's straighted out... what the hell?

No. No. No. Definitely reckless.
posted by cgg at 7:18 AM on September 7, 2010


Romantic? Yes. Reckless? Yes. One of the worst ideas I have ever heard? Absolutely.
posted by murrey at 7:19 AM on September 7, 2010


C'mon. No categorical Yes or No answer can possibly be given here. If you propose, and she accepts, mazeltov. Much crazier things have been proposed and have succeeded. But I don't think we can answer the question without more detail.
posted by beagle at 7:19 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


At least do it on the last day of the holiday (after you have presumably "talked things through" and decided you are, after all, a great match). Otherwise, if she says no, you will spend the remaining holiday time experiencing major awkwardness, trying to avoid each other and/or trying to arrange an early departure.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2010


No. This happened to me and it was horrible. It's not romantic, it's desperate. If you're meant to be together, just...get back together and then see what happens. You broke up for a reason - give yourselves time together to resolve whatever those issues were and start to build/rebuild anew.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Talking, working things out & generally hanging out together is good.

Proposing marriage is, to be blunt, fucking insane. Why the hurry? If (and that's an *if*) things do work themselves out then you'll have your chance but you're going to have to learn to be patient on this one a) not to freak her out, b) not to do something you'll regret & c) to get a situation that will be good for the both of you.

Be like Fonzie...play it cool.
posted by i_cola at 7:21 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You haven't said anything about your reasons for breaking up in the first place, or what has been done to solve that problem so that it won't cause you to break up again. Missing someone is not enough in itself. It may be that what you miss is not her specifically; you may just miss having someone. In other words, you don't like being alone. If that is the case, you would be better off finding someone new rather than going back to an old relationship which has already failed.
posted by grizzled at 7:22 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The answer is most likely "don't do it," but given we have absolutely no idea why you broke up in the first place or what your relationship has been like since then, it's really hard to say for sure. If you broke up because of some obstacle that is no longer there, and you've been spending all of your time together, then yeah, there's a chance that she would accept a proposal and it would all be happily ever after. But we don't know the circumstances.
posted by amro at 7:23 AM on September 7, 2010


I'm on the HELL NO side here too, unfortunately. But that doesn't mean all hope is lost. While proposing to her would be insane, it wouldn't be at all crazy to give the relationship another try. Talk to her, talk about what made you split up, and talk about maybe getting back together again. And if you do get back together, start working hard as hell to fix what was wrong.

Then, maybe, a few years down the line, then you can propose. If everything works out. Which there's a good chance it will not. Which is why you shouldn't propose right now.
posted by gkhan at 7:23 AM on September 7, 2010


OK, given that 4 of your previous 6 questions have been about this same relationship and related issues, I revise my answer to NO.
posted by beagle at 7:24 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You broke up with her in January. Now you want to jump from being nothing to being engaged? It's a bad idea. Try being in a solid relationship for awhile, to see if you're compatible enough to get married.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:24 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


One great piece of advice I received from my dad growing up is this: if there's an opportunity that requires you to make a decision right now, it probably isn't an ideal opportunity. There's no harm in waiting this out more to see where it goes. Really, what is the harm in waiting? If it's going to end up with you married, you'll get to the same place anyway, unless you think there's a benefit to dropping it on her quickly. But there really isn't, as you won't come across as romantically quirky, or more sincere, nor will it paint you in a good light. I'd say wait.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:25 AM on September 7, 2010 [16 favorites]


No.
posted by proj at 7:25 AM on September 7, 2010


Jesus Christ.

By all means, go on holiday. Enjoy yourselves, find out if she's even open to resuming a relationship with you, and if she is, pursue one.

Then ask her to marry you, assuming you are still together in six or 12 months.

You get that a marriage proposal isn't an ending to a story, yes? You still have to live together, get along, share goals, have great communication, build a life together... all of that has to work fairly well, yes?
posted by DarlingBri at 7:26 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


To me it would depend on the circumstances of your breakup. If it was you breaking up with her, you know she'd potentially be interested in getting back together and hasn't irreparably moved on, and the breakup was amicable, then maybe? I still don't think you should propose, though - start with "should we get back together?" and then see where that takes you.
posted by Sara C. at 7:26 AM on September 7, 2010


GO FOR IT.

No, really. Life is short. You already know this woman, right? So it's not like you're missing some random person for 8 months then you're going to propose...you know you want to marry her, fine, propose! Why not?

It's not like you run out of proposals, and 3 years from now, you'll need to propose and then BAM, all out of proposals!

The only thing is that you have to make sure you can be okay if the answer is no. Do it cheerfully, and if she says no be cool about it and stay friends, okay?

(I have proposed and gotten shot down before, it's not that bad for anyone as long as you don't get crazy!)
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:26 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hindsight makes everything wonderful. It's easy to smooth over the bumps (which were bad enough to make you two part ways) six or eight months out. But nothing has changed. Those problems are still there, even though you miss her terribly.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:26 AM on September 7, 2010


I hate to bring up an asker's past question history, but it looks like the last few months have been really tough on you emotionally, dealing with this relationship and the fallout from the breakup. Extricate yourself from this woman and spend some time focusing on being happy by yourself.

Go on holiday ALONE, enjoy being unfettered, and, like ten bazillion people above me have already said, DO NOT PROPOSE TO HER.
posted by phunniemee at 7:27 AM on September 7, 2010


After looking through your past questions about this relationship and marriage, I think you need to just talk first before rushing into anything, both for your sake and hers.
posted by nomadicink at 7:27 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


After reading your old questions...GO FOR IT EVEN MORE!

You had a crazy time where you were depressed or whatever and you ran off and now you want to come back and make a 100% commitment. Good for you for knowing what you want. 7 years, you both know what you'll be getting into.

Mazel tov!
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:28 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Without question: Yes. If that's what you want, tell her exactly how you feel, and what you want and ask her to marry you. Be completely prepared to accept no as the answer however. That's the key. You can ask for anything you want, but you always need to be ready to accept no as the answer.
posted by jardinier at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2010


If you want the two of you to get back together, and she wants to be with you, work on whatever issues you two have first. Then, when and if you're back together and things have gone smoothly for awhile you can propose if it feels right. Proposing right now is really putting the cart before the horse.
posted by orange swan at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2010


It's not like you run out of proposals

With any one person, you sure as hell do. You're not asking someone out on a date. You have a serious investment in this girl, and jumping the gun could very well scare her off. A surprise! off-the-cuff proposal, something that's a major life event, comes off as a little unstable.
posted by supercres at 7:31 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


No - I just needed ONE person on my side. We moved in together after 4 months, had seven very happy years together and then just panicked at the point of marriage. Now that I feel ready for it, I just think it's worth putting out there.

It's up to her whether she accepts the proposal. I don't know.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 7:32 AM on September 7, 2010


If you really want to do this, don't do it while you're on holiday together.

Have you even considered what might happen if she says no? She might have moved on during those eight months. Maybe she doesn't want to be married to you any more.
posted by fight or flight at 7:34 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"jumping the gun could very well scare her off"

If she's scared off by this, that's ok and it means they're not right for each other at this point. A relationship and especially a proposal isn't a matter of massaging the person into agreeing to something they don't want to do, or presenting it at just the right moment so that they say yes. That's manipulation, not love.

Spaceandtime30: Be honest, be yourself, say what you want. Be transparent, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If she runs away from it, she's not right for you now. And that's ok too.
posted by jardinier at 7:34 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I were your beloved, and you invited me on holiday to talk things over, and then you abruptly proposed to me after ditching me, depression or no, I'd think you were being pretty immature and selfish and it would turn me off and make me not want to marry you.

You don't sound like a bad guy, and I relate to your conundrums vis a vis anxiety and depression, but you need to do some work on yourself before you can pledge your life to another. What steps have you taken so that you'll be a more stable, reliable person to get married to?

What assurance does your ex have that you won't just have another anxiety attack a few weeks, months, or years down the line and go off galumphing into the distance?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:37 AM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


My thought was definitely in the "no" camp until I looked at your past questions. Now--and since you're basically polling strangers, my thoughts are just as valid as the next crackpot's-- I have changed my mind and think you actually should just go for it. Life is short, you'll regret it if you don't, what the hell. Go for it.
posted by norm at 7:40 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why did you ask this question if you already made up your mind to do it?
posted by ShootTheMoon at 7:41 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK, given that 4 of your previous 6 questions have been about this same relationship and related issues, I revise my answer to NO.

There was at least one other one that was deleted, too. And you have pretty much never responded to people's questions or suggestions, so it seems like you are just continuing to go in circles. You mentioned in one of your previous questions that you were in therapy. How has that gone for you? What has your therapist suggested, and what have you already tried in terms of dealing with this relationship and your conflicting feelings about it?

It's up to her whether she accepts the proposal. I don't know.

You don't even know how she feels, whether she's likely to accept? All other considerations aside, you should never ask someone to marry you unless you are CERTAIN of both YOUR feelings AND hers. Going into it with an "I dunno, let's just see what happens" attitude is not a good idea.
posted by Gator at 7:41 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


It definitely looks like you've only marked rope-rider's answers as best answer because it's what you want to hear. Pleaser think carefully about proposing to this girl. Rope-rider's attitude towards proposing strikes me as a little cavalier to say the least. Just because you technically have an infinite amount of proposals doesn't mean it's a good idea to use them. With that attitude you'd soon become "that weirdo who is always proposing to people". If you're going on holiday with this girl then see that as an opportunity to reconcile and possibly renew your relationship, but I really don't think you should ambush her with a proposal. A few people who have told you to go for it seem to be assuming that taking a risk like that has no consequences and if she says no you'll be totally fine. But what if she thinks you're crazy for proposing to her? You've just wrecked your chances of getting back together. Just try talking to her and see if she's open to trying a relationship again. Save the proposals for when you're relationship is more secure
posted by Spamfactor at 7:42 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh and I may be alone with this sentiment, but I do not agree with the idea that "life is short". Life is not short, a stupid decision can be regretted for decades. Think carefully before you act and don't ruin the chance of a relationship on the basis of carpe diem
posted by Spamfactor at 7:46 AM on September 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


No, I haven't done it yet. I've offered her the option of coming on holiday. If she responds then we'll see where we are.

I certainly love the idea of it in hindsight, but am aware of how reckless it might be. So I'm certainly open to not doing it.

In fact, in all honesty, I probably won't, now that I've read these!
posted by spaceandtime30 at 7:46 AM on September 7, 2010


Yeah, exactly, if you're waiting for the right time when the lighting is right and everyone just had a well-rounded meal but not TOO much food and etc. etc....look, don't be afraid of being you, and if you're the kind of person who tells people how they feel and is open about what you want, then great. Some of us are just like that and our loved ones love us for it.

The whole holiday thing is a good point, though, but I read it as Christmas/New Year's? I guess it's coming up really soon? WOW!

You can always do the "just so you know" thing where say "you know what, I totally want to marry you, so if you're ever interested, just say the word and we'll do it." and then if she waffles at all just say "look, no pressure, the offer's open, and either way you're awesome and a great friend" and move on. Then she doesn't feel pressured, and can take time to get used to it and think about it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Iit not at all unusual for a person, divorced, to get together once again with his or her ex. You are used to that person. Miss that person. Assume things will be better. Then you try it. Things are great for qa short time. Then whatever the problems between the two of you were, come right back again. I know first hand. Fortunately for me, the problems taught me that it simply would not work out a 2nd time so I moved on and have met and married a lovely woman and am now mqarried to my 2nd one 27 years.

As most say here: too soon. Too romantic. Too usual. And remarriages have trrible batting averages.
posted by Postroad at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, you like the affirmative answer because it's "on your side?"

What is "on your side" is any feedback that is constructive and sensible. If you are defending a point and asking a question to be shot down, then you're not actually asking a question at all.
posted by mikeh at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2010


If you've been broken up for 8 months, what makes you think she isn't with someone else?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is something I totally would have done ten years ago when I was young and on a ton of drugs.
posted by The Straightener at 7:52 AM on September 7, 2010 [21 favorites]


If you want to make a splash, bringing her flowers, telling her you're sorry and that you want to try again with your relationship now that you're open to marriage is still pretty "romantic".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


No, I haven't done it yet. I've offered her the option of coming on holiday. If she responds then we'll see where we are.

I certainly love the idea of it in hindsight, but am aware of how reckless it might be. So I'm certainly open to not doing it.

In fact, in all honesty, I probably won't, now that I've read these!


She hasn't even said yes to going on holiday yet? I thought no before but I am revising it to the no-iest no that ever no-ed. I understand being excited about proposing, it is a fabulously exciting idea, but it is exciting because it is a BIG DEAL and as several helpful people have pointed out the proposing does not necessarily lead to "happily ever after the end" because proposing is not the end, it is the beginning.

Please, please don't do this now. I see you're leaning in that direction and that's great, but don't let your sense of excitement lead you into making a poor choice.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:54 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know what. I'm so narked.

"Princess T"* would absolutely love this if it happened in a movie. She would think it's the sweetest end to a difficult year, and the perfect sunset scene to let the movie credits roll.

I remember when we were watching a film that saw the groom jilted at the altar for "the one that got away" who stormed back into the church at the point of the wedding. I thought this was outrageously selfish on the ex's part, whereas she thought it's romantic.

So why, when a similar thing is happening in real life, should she bail? Believe in the romance.

The whole thing doesn't seem right.

Anyway, whatever. Life is short. I'm going to live still considering these oscillating swings of passion, emotion and immaturity.


* = name has been changed.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 7:56 AM on September 7, 2010


"Princess T"* would absolutely love this if it happened in a movie. She would think it's the sweetest end to a difficult year, and the perfect sunset scene to let the movie credits roll.

That's very nice, but how does she actually feel about SPENDING THE REST OF HER LIFE WITH YOU?
posted by Gator at 7:58 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, until I broke up with her in January, she would have loved it.

Now, that I've deplugged from real life and become slightly unhinged and absent for eight months I'm not really as sure....
posted by spaceandtime30 at 8:00 AM on September 7, 2010


Well, if you've become unhinged, then go to a therapist and get hinged again and work your shit out and THEN propose. Deal?
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


the perfect sunset scene to let the movie credits roll

Fair enough, but there are no movie credits in real life. The reason it seems romantic in the movies is because we don't have to see the difficult parts, the rows and the cheating and the sleepless nights. It's beautiful and perfect because it's not real. I like seeing movies about beefy dudes shooting aliens in the face but that doesn't mean I'd like to shoot an alien in the face myself.

Think about this. Think about what she might want. Not what you want her to want.
posted by fight or flight at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, eight months broken up and you've invited her "on holiday" which means, what, a week together in a cottage somewhere? Hotel? Camping? You'll get your answer, really, when she replies to that. If she says yes - and it's a big if, you realize that it's a really big if, right? - then you could conceivably, sanely ease into marriage by saying towards the end of the week, hey, let's try this again as a relationship without any pressure. And then, six months or so down the line, when the relationship is working, you could ask her on holiday again and happily enact your wildest romantic proposal dreams. That would be the sane way.

Otherwise, well, good luck. You're certainly setting the stage for her to be the one who freaks out and bails this time around. I'm a total idiot and sucker for romance and even I would flee like the wind from your scenario.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:08 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean, you do understand that life is not a movie, right? After the credits roll there's all that other stuff, including but not limited to sharing a bathroom, getting sick, getting pregnant accidentally or on purpose and dealing with that, arguing about money, arguing about relatives, hogging the sheets, farting in bed, leaving the socks on the floor, belching indiscriminately, leaving dishes in the sink, forgetting your wallet, letting the laundry pile up, disciplining the children, getting older, getting fatter, yadda yadda yadda. Are you prepared for all the stuff they don't show after the credits roll?

On preview, I'm starting to wonder how old you are. And seriously, what has your therapist said about all this? I said this to another MeFite recently (one who also has a habit of asking the same kind of questions over and over): You need to work WITH your therapist. If they offer you suggestions for how to deal with whatever it is you're dealing with, you need to try it and talk to them about what has and has not worked for you, rather than just going in circles and hovering in emotional limbo.
posted by Gator at 8:08 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


We lived together very happily for eight years, so have already pilot-tested the relationship.

It was on the issue of GETTING MARRIED that I bailed. Pressure to propose came from both families and friends.


BUT


Now, I feel ready for this commitment having cleared all concerns, issues, fears and depression.

So really, it's just a question of showing your long-term intentions.

I have no fear of proposing anymore.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 8:14 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please, please don't do this. A moment that seems wonderful on the Jumbotron or at the end of a romantic comedy isn't REAL. It isn't true. It's contrived. It's mechanically engineered to tug the heartstrings. It's made of glitter and flash paper, not something firm enough to build a life on.

I'd rather a proposal come while sharing a milkshake at McDonald's than in a BIG! DRAMATIC! PROPOSAL! way. The former is based in real life. The latter, not so much.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:17 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Things that I find amusing or heartwarming in a romantic comedy would probably have me calling the cops if they happened to me in real life. What we love in fiction is not necessarily what we would love in life. It's fiction for a reason.
posted by rtha at 8:31 AM on September 7, 2010


Now, I feel ready for this commitment having cleared all concerns, issues, fears and depression.

It's a little easier to say then when you aren't actually in a relationship. You can look at marriage, kids, a dog, and a Volvo in the abstract, with a sort of academic detachment. When you are in a relationship, however, the question of marriage becomes much more emotional and real. You are no longer thinking about "marriage in general" but rather "marriage with this particular person, perhaps next June". That can cause even the most pro-marriage person to get twitchy every now and then.

It is not unreasonable, IMHO, to want to get back together with this person (it would also not be unreasonable if she told you to take a flying jump). This might eventually lead to a happy marriage. But you should definitely restart your relationship before even thinking about proposing. You guys broke up. Regardless of how long you two were together before that you can not just pick up the relationship from where it left off (at least, I can't imagine that working out well).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:31 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


spaceandtime30, is there a reason that you can't simply tell her this:

I feel ready for this commitment having cleared all concerns, issues, fears and depression.

and then tell her that you would like to give the relationship another chance? This, I think, would be an excellent thing to say, without the immediate pressure of a proposal. It would be very obvious where you eventually would like to go with it (as these things were getting in the way of marriage previously), but it gives her the space to feel out your commitment to and sincerity regarding these changes without putting her on the spot, or moving too quickly. I can't see how you could lose doing something like this. She might say no, of course, but it seems to me that it's a best case scenario for eventually getting your relationship back to a healthy place.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:33 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks SpacemanStix. I just feel annoyed, because all the time I was in the relationship, I felt pressure to propose. So I moved out. Now, I'm ready to propose and spend the rest of my life with her, and the world is telling me YOU'RE A FREAK. DON'T DO IT.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 8:35 AM on September 7, 2010


I think wanting to propose is a fine thing, really. It's just all about the timing, and taking into account her feelings, and giving both of you the space to make sure this is a good decision, and not too impulsive. My guess here is that most people aren't saying don't propose, necessarily, just don't do anything to quickly. Because one of the main things that she'll need to see is your commitment to this in actions, not just words, and this kind of thing takes a little bit of time. And one of the things that might be good for you is to give yourself the space to double check and make sure this is what you really want, in light of prior uncertainties.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:41 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have you tried to get back together with people you've broken up with before? However that worked out, is what you should expect here.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:50 AM on September 7, 2010


So I moved out. Now, I'm ready to propose and spend the rest of my life with her, and the world is telling me YOU'RE A FREAK. DON'T DO IT.

I think this is because she has probably spent the good part of a year moving on from you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:52 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now, I'm ready to propose and spend the rest of my life with her, and the world is telling me YOU'RE A FREAK. DON'T DO IT.

Wait, you're ready to spend the rest of your life with this woman, and you know this only after not being around her for months? How does that make any sense? You don't even know how she feels about it, but you're ready. You couldn't work through your fears when you lived with her, but months after you dumped her, now you feel okay. Do you think she's been in a holding pattern since you left, just waiting for you to come back and resume the relationship as if nothing happened? You realize this sounds incredibly self-centered, don't you?

No one here is telling you you're a freak. They are telling you why this might not work, how they felt about it when it happened to them, and why from your posting history it seems like you're not really in an objective state to make this decision. THey're telling you you don't seem to consider how she might have changed in the intervening months, but you seem to think that a Hollywood gesture is all it takes to make her love you again. If you can't read over these answers without getting defensive, then how the hell are you going to deal with the much heavier stuff that's going to come up when you're married?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:02 AM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


...and the world is telling me YOU'RE A FREAK. DON'T DO IT.

No, the world (or at least MeFi) is swinging its tube-arms about shouting "DANGER WILL ROBINSON."
posted by griphus at 9:04 AM on September 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Get back together with her. Let her know that you're serious this time (even offer some sort of non-marriage-related commitment). THEN propose after a while.

Otherwise, you'll come across as completely crazy, proposing out of the blue.

But you've clearly already made up your mind. Why did you even bother asking us?
posted by schmod at 9:05 AM on September 7, 2010


My suggestion is, if you do decide to ask her, do not do it on the holiday. Wait a least until you're back and waiting for your baggage at the airport or waiting to disembark the boat or whatever.

Why?

Because you don't want to put her or yourself in the situation where if she says no, you can't get away from each other. That would be terribly awkward and upsetting.

So have the patience to talk it out on the holiday and save the proposal at least until you're back from your holiday.
posted by zizzle at 9:14 AM on September 7, 2010


But you've clearly already made up your mind. Why did you even bother asking us?

I don't see him having made up his mind already. He knows what he wants, but I think he's genuinely grappling with the issue.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:17 AM on September 7, 2010


Definitely haven't made up my mind. In fact worse, she hasn't even let me know if she's prepared to come on holiday yet.

All pretty tragic really.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 9:20 AM on September 7, 2010


I feel for you, and I hope you can find a way to your heart's content. But I've been on the other side of this, and it was, as others in this thread have said, horrible. To have this thing you wanted so much happen and have it be so utterly and completely wrong is so painful. And putting this person who you love so much in the position of possibly having to break your heart by saying no because it is so utterly and completely wrong is just devastating. Perhaps there is a way for you to get back together and work things out - but healing that slowly rather than with a grand gesture will repair the rift between you in a much more sustainable way. Best of luck.
posted by judith at 9:28 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


And putting this person who you love so much in the position of possibly having to break your heart by saying no because it is so utterly and completely wrong is just devastating.

I get the sense that the OP will only get the point that the ex is moving on and this is a wrong idea by having his heart broken with requisite finality. I also get the sense that the OP will regret not giving this a go if he doesn't. If I'm right about this, then the choice should be whether to skip straight to the rom-com solution (his idea) or just asking her to get back together with him. My thought is that he should go ahead and skip straight to the chase, because either he's going to get the girl or he's going to have to get over the girl. Leaving him in limbo is not going to be satisfying. As for the meanness of putting her in that situation, sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind, as the philosopher said. Just promise me that you'll take no for an answer and get about the business of getting over her, if no is the answer. Take the no and never think of it again. If it's yes, mazel tov.
posted by norm at 9:46 AM on September 7, 2010


You're not a freak Spaceandtime, I think you framed this question in a not particularly flattering way. Your question came in a context of "Hey, there was this person I dated, then we broke up. Should I ambush-propose her after 8 months of being broken up 'cause I'm real lonely now?"

The only answer to that question should be HELL NO.

In reality, your situation seems closer to "I had fear of commitment possibly brought on by depression, which led to me ending a 7 year relationship with someone I really love and care about. I'm ready to commit now, should I propose to her?" That question sets off fewer Crazy Person alarm bells to my ears. (and maybe a tiny bit of "aww how romantic")

It sounds like this breakup has been really hard for you, and my heart goes out to you. It also sounds like you've been pacing anxiously, firing off the occasional askme about your problems instead of getting off your duff and doing something about it. Watching all the rom-coms, reading all the relationship filter answers, nor singing the words to every sad love song will prepare you to get back in the trenches of making a relationship work.

There is no "the one", and you need to obliterate that idea from your vocabulary. You've got Ms. T. She is a real person, with real feelings, emotions, experiences and needs. She is not a 2 dimensional character or an archetypal figure. Do you want to have a future with her? Do you want to work on it?

If you want to restart this relationship DO IT. It won't be cured by a magic wand or a stone in a ring. It will mean facing your future, working on issues, dealing with those family and friend pressures you mentioned. It'll also mean working on your self. Get your depression treated, talk with friends or a therapist about your anxiety.

You might also need to realize that you have been treating this woman pretty poorly. Not only did you break up with her, somewhat out of the blue after 7 years, you've been stringing her along for the last 8 months trying to start a relationship that you seem only lukewarm about yourself. Heck, if she did say "yes" to an unexpected proposal I'd think she had a lack of respect for herself.

Don't let inertia, or the discomfort that your breakup caused make you think she's the only person there ever will be for you. There may be many people out there for you or her. You two could work out well together. You might be together for 50 years, then get divorced. Sounds scary right? It is. It is Your Future. It is a terrifying unknown for us mortals. Theres no crystal ball for relationships, there is only today and the the work you invest in your relationships today.

Either way, indecision will only prolong your suffering. Let her go and wish her well, or ask for forgiveness and reaffirm your commitment to the hard work of relationships.
posted by fontophilic at 9:51 AM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Allow me to straddle the "yes" and "no" camps, and say "eventually." There are many different phases between "ex" and "fiance", so don't propose marriage; instead, propose that after your time apart you've realized how much you want to be with her, and that you'd like to try one more time. If that goes well, and things are better this time around with your new attitude towards her, then you can do it.
posted by davejay at 9:53 AM on September 7, 2010


all the time I was in the relationship, I felt pressure to propose

She may feel it's too little, too late, then. I certainly wasn't pressuring my ex to propose, but he knew I wanted at least confirmation that that's where the relationship was heading. He broke up with me suddenly, just the way you seem to have done to your ex-girlfriend, and then six months later (suspiciously right after I'd started dating someone new), he had a change of heart and now KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to marry me and that he was so stupid to have not realized it before. Not only did I have no desire to marry him, I didn't believe him and I had no desire to get back together with him.

Is your ex-girlfriend recently dating anyone? Why do you know NOW, after eight months of only remembering the good stuff and no day-to-day relationship? Perhaps you only want what you can't have?

If you want your ex to think of you as having gotten over your wacky period of being "unhinged" and "immature", proposing in a reckless manner will not help your case. It's fine for you to discuss with her the fact that you now think you are ready for a more firm commitment, that you're not scared of it anymore, and would like to take up the relationship again with that intent, but don't do a proposal that she has to answer yes or no to right this second.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:07 AM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


It'll also mean working on your self.

Are you doing this? Are you in treatment - talk, meds, ideally both - for your depression/anxiety?

Look over your past questions. Have you changed? Be honest with yourself. Are you different in mindset, outlook, and behavior? If you are essentially where you were six months ago (but lonelier), then why should she trust you to not back out again? If you really love her and respect her, and I sense you do, then you must not put her in the position of taking a risk of you backing out again if you haven't even done the work to change.

If you are in treatment, what does your therapist say about this?
posted by rtha at 10:17 AM on September 7, 2010


Therapist says: "You've broken this girls heart and changed her life. You'll have to live with that guilt, pick yourself up and move on...."

I just can't do it. We had everything together. We were happy, and I'll honestly never find someone, or a family, like that again.

I'm absolutely devastated.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 10:26 AM on September 7, 2010


Unless you desire 100% resolution either way RIGHT NOW, I wouldn't suggest doing this. Your chances of a "yes" will be much better if you re-established your relationship first and made your proposal a natural escalation of it.

Personal experience with similar: I've had people who ditched/rejected me but remained friends suddenly show up later on and suggest marriage. I ended the friendships altogether, that's how offended I was -- all I could think was "they can't even pretend they changed their mind and care first, they're just desperate and I'm the least-bad option." You do not want to risk coming off like that... unless you need that "no" to give you closure and move on.
posted by Pufferish at 10:32 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your therapist is correcct. You're being incredibly selfish. If you truly love someone, you want them to be happy above your own happiness. All I see in this question is your concern with your own happiness and your own loss. It's clear to me that you have little to no empathy for how you've been leading her on and jerking her around. Since you've already asked her on vacation, and since you seem determined to go through with this obsession, I suspect you likely will try. But please, if she says no, LEAVE HER ALONE after that. Do not stalk her. Do not try to get her to change her mind. Let it go.
posted by Nixy at 10:37 AM on September 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


> If you truly love someone, you want them to be happy above your own happiness.

Well that's the reason, initially, that I cited for breaking up with her. If I couldn't offer her marriage, was I wasting her time?

Now I realise that logic was completely flawed. It was completely based on not feeling worthy enough to be with her. It's bollocks. I was a loving, faithful boyfriend for five years and simply had a panic at the final hurdle.

Perhaps I AM being selfish. But perhaps we''ll feel a lot worse harboring regret in the years to come if we're both in unhappy marriages, thinking what COULD have been.

I'm not giving up without a fight.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 10:42 AM on September 7, 2010


Dude, listen to your therapist. And Nixy, above. Love seeks the good of the beloved, and all you seem to be seeking is "me, me, me." Listen to yourself! You have admitted that you're disconnected from reality. You want to propose marriage to someone without even knowing how she feels about you now. You're not thinking clearly. Get re-hinged with the real world, start taking your therapy seriously, and once you've got your head back on straight, then maybe think about restarting a romantic relationship.

I'm not giving up without a fight.

What about what she wants?
posted by Gator at 10:46 AM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Nthing Gator and Nixy. If you "fight" in this scenario, you aren't going up against some villain, you will be fighting HER. You will be going up against her very legitimate feelings that developed as a result of your actions and attempting to override them. The concept of "fighting" for the woman you love yet again reveals that you're still conflating romantic movies with reality. While in the movie version this behavior might make you the hero, in reality yet again you're riding rough shod over a woman you claim to love.

The loving thing to do would be for you to show her genuine concern by simply calling and seeing how she is doing WITHOUT FORWARDING YOUR OWN NEEDS (ie come on vacation with me, let's talk things through). It's not dramatic. It's not gonna score big at the box office, but it would go a long way towards showing emotional maturity and actual care. Her desires are legitimate and should be respected, not "battled."
posted by miss-lapin at 11:08 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nevermind the proposal, I don't think the holiday is a good idea either. At all.

Perhaps from where you stand, your holiday destination will be the perfect romantic backdrop for your grand gestures and declarations of undying love. From my point of view, the holiday is a distraction at best. It's smoke and mirrors. If she agrees to go, she'll feel immense pressure to make nice with you and avoid bringing up painful topics, because it's a holiday and holidays are supposed to be enjoyable. And she'll know that if the reconciliation goes badly, it will be an awful, painful time for you both. This isn't romance or genuine concern for her feelings. This is taking her as an emotional hostage.

Why not plain honesty? Invite her over for coffee or tea, ask her how she's been. If she indicates that she has moved on, be happy for her and let her go. If she hasn't, only then should you say your piece and ask for another chance. She can get up and leave at any point of the conversation. Scary, yes, but that's the risk you take by giving her the liberty to speak her mind and tell you how she really feels. She deserves at least that.
posted by keep it under cover at 11:36 AM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


How long have you had this idea to ask her to marry you? Less than a month, I assume?

Have you thought at all about what's going to happen if/when your depression returns, worse than ever? Imagine feeling the way you did before, unworthy of love and unable to commit. Are you going to drop her again while you work on yourself?

(I suspect your reflex answer will be, "over course not!", but can you come up with concrete things that have changed about you since the breakup, other than becoming lonelier? Can you discuss how you would handle a relapse with your therapist?)

I'm going to n-th everyone else who says that you should maybe attempt to restart your relationship, and even tell her that you are now in a brainspace where marriage is possible, but don't propose now.

In fact, even going away on a vacation might be a bit much - can you just meet up for coffee?* It's a lot lower pressure for her. It seems like a big problem is that you are running very hot and cold - in an earlier post you needed to pack you bags and get! out! now! and now, you've suddenly decided that you have to get! married! now!

You need to show her the respect that she has shown you - in the scenerio that is the best-case for you (ie the one where she will say yes to a sudden marriage proposal) she still loves you, but has given you the time and space you need to heal and get your act together. It's the least you can do to give her some time to process the fact that you want a relationship again at all, and not push her. She's a person who needs love and companionship too, and you need to prove to her that you can provide what you haven't in the last 8 months before you get engaged.

You seem to be the type of person that thinks in unhealthy extremes - either you are together and married or nothing at all. Allow yourself some shades of gray and ease back into the relationship if she is open to it.

*On preview, keep it under cover mirrors my thoughts exactly

For myself, I would not find a sudden proposal from an ex to be romantic, I would assume that he was more in love with the idea of love and marriage than interested in anything about me. It would kill any chance of reconcilliation.
posted by fermezporte at 11:48 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


HELP. This is such a sad end to something that was so special.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 12:19 PM on September 7, 2010


Don't heed most of that stuff above. Marry her if you can.

If you miss her immensely after seven months, then she is very special to you. You don't miss people after seven months if they aren't special.

There are very few special people in the world. In my experience they come along about every 18 years.

Your commitment phobia is a problem. Listen to this: the grass on the other side is NOT greener, you will NEVER find a finer girl to marry than this, if you wait too long you will have blown it because she'll FIND SOMEONE ELSE.

Act now. Don't be desperate, but calm, manly, direct, honest. Explain you have overcome your demons, you will love her to bits forever and you would be hugely honoured if she married you.

Then don't look back, don't flirt with waitresses, don't watch porn without her, don't go on business trips alone, make her happiness your main task every day and live happily ever after. If ever you waver in your commitment remember: after 7 months you missed her immensely.

Still a good chance she won't buy it, I'm afraid.
posted by londongeezer at 12:32 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's my two cents.

You have no idea if she has moved on or not. Maybe she still misses you terribly but is hesitant to go on holidays b/c she doesn't want more of the same old rollercoaster. Why not reassure her that you've changed?!

If I were her and I had the faintest interest in you, I would be delighted to hear that you were willing to get married, and my suggestion is that you phrase it as "you'd like to get back together and see each other with the intention of getting married". That way, she knows its not more of the same, and you are not jerking her around. Perhaps you could even let her know that you are willing to get married immediately (that's how serious you are, but you want to be very respectful, if she wants a bit more time)

What you've run into with ask.metafilter is that common consensus that everything has to be super slow, and the culture of hesitating before commitment (this is who you used to be, too - right?). Well, now you are comfortable, and if she (your ex) is still into it - go for it!
posted by zia at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2010


I haven't read all the answers, but I'm going to offer another perspective. I haven't been remotely close to marriage so take it for what you will.

If you start hanging round looking like you want to start up the relationship, she might well be suspicious, cut you off and try to move on.

Tell her you've cleared your issues that were preventing commitment, and more importantly why you love her, then propose to her in a heartfelt way.

She will probably say 'no' so understand this and don't be crushed.

Then you take re-establishing your relationship from there, and persist in convincing her that you're serious, without pushing too much or being stalkery, just get her agree to keep meeting you and see what happens.
posted by Not Supplied at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2010


If you start hanging round looking like you want to start up the relationship, she might well be suspicious, cut you off and try to move on.

Maybe this is a reason why you feel a heartfelt gesture is needed, not a tentative discussion.
posted by Not Supplied at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2010


Exactly, "not supplied". We were in a 'relationship' for seven years that had no arc or direction. It's time to put up or shut up.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 12:57 PM on September 7, 2010


HELP. This is such a sad end to something that was so special.

You have gone from a blaze of ill-conceived movie romanticism to the depths of despair in a few short hours. I suggest you print this thread out and show it to your therapist.

Please, please work with your therapist instead of dismissing his/her concerns. What are you paying a therapist for, if you're just going to ignore their professional advice?

If you miss her immensely after seven months, then she is very special to you.

I've carried torches longer than this. Just because someone is special, that doesn't mean she's THE ONE. Not saying she isn't, and there's still a chance he could salvage his relationship, but charging in with a marriage proposal when you (a) don't even know if she wants you back and (b) are clearly struggling with a bunch of emotional baggage seems like a recipe for disaster.
posted by Gator at 1:02 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


HELP. This is such a sad end to something that was so special.

Ok, at first I wanted to be sympathetic, but all of your follow-ups makes it seem that you are simply after a wild romantic gesture, and are not actually thinking about HER in any sense. Nobody here is saying you should not try to get her back; people are saying to not spring a proposal after months of a break up, when you know nothing about how she's doing. How in the world is waiting and respecting her feelings a "sad end"? Get it through your head! This is not completely about you and your BIG GESTURE! This is also about her, and making her feel special, showing you care for her, and showing her you've changed. People have already given you tons of good advice, and you even highlight them, but all of your follow-up posts are full of "but but but". Stop stop stop being so selfish, PLEASE! You have barely mentioned her feelings on the matter, and any reference to her was how she felt MONTHS ago. You have no idea what she wants now. You might have no idea who she is now.

What is so wrong and sad about having a serious and meaningful discussion with her instead of holidays and shocking proposals? You can even let her know that you've changed and are ready for a serious commitment. But as of now, you seem a bit delusional and fixated on the ideal of a proposal RIGHT NOW. Can you let go of that fantasy for a second and think what's good for her? Not what would've been good for her months ago, but what she might want right now. Oh, you don't know? Well, gosh, I wonder if that tells you something...

In all honestly, all this discussion might be a moot point. She hasn't even agreed to go on a holiday.

I'm sorry I sound harsh, but after almost a hundred replies of nearly the same advice, and you're still kind of arguing for your position, it's just frustrating. I believe you love her, and want to be with her. She might very well want to be with you, too. You probably should try to see if you can work it out. But try to do it in a rational way that takes into account her feelings. (Also, on a side note, even if she says no to the holiday...don't lose hope. TALK TO HER. Be honest. Tell her how you feel in a respectful way.)
posted by lacedcoffee at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


But she wants a wild gesture. The one day that I did try to talk to her about marriage, she said: "You know I don't want to talk about the ins and outs of proposals. I just want magic and romance, to be swept off my feet and proposed to..."

So I'm doing as told.
posted by spaceandtime30 at 1:29 PM on September 7, 2010


But she wants a wild gesture. The one day that I did try to talk to her about marriage, she said: "You know I don't want to talk about the ins and outs of proposals. I just want magic and romance, to be swept off my feet and proposed to..."

But that was before you broke up, right? She wanted you to propose then, when you were still her boyfriend and she believed your relationship would last. Now that you've been apart for 8 months, she might not be as receptive to that proposal.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:32 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Okay, I went back and read your previous questions concerning this woman. You met up with her in June or so, and broke it off AGAIN right? First, you didn't give yourself enough time to get over her. By keeping in contact you're just confusing your own emotions further.

In particular this question of yours struck me: I'm still harbouring hope of some sort of reconciliation in the future. With that in mind: has anyone ever broken up before they got married? Is it a necessary rite of passage before marriage - or a sign that you are with the wrong person?

Where on earth did you get this idea that a break up is a necessary rite of passage before marriage?? That's just...dunderheaded. Are you addicted to high drama romance, and feel like it isn't real if there's no Big Mistake, Deep Soulsearching and Grand Reconciliation? Because that is NOT what marriage is about at all. That is what bad, cheesy, 80s romcoms are about. It seems like in some twisted way you were planning all along to have her on the hook at your beck and call while you sorted yourself out and then you would return at any moment and she'd welcome you back with open arms. Are you sure she's just been in limbo waiting for you this whole time? Did you create this whole situation just to get a high from the drama of it all and raise the stakes? Because that's the least rational way to decide who to marry and a recipe for disaster.

If this were a movie, it would be a parody of the genre.
posted by Nixy at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


If it seems like the whole "world" is telling you you're a freak for doing this, it might be because it's true.

Listen, you're not a freak for missing her immensely, and for figuring out you want to spend the rest of your life with her. Your idea of how to set about marrying her, however, is freakishly irrational and desperate.

Unfortunately, I think you want instant gratification in this case, because you have to know NOW if she wants you in her life, always. I think you will not heed most of the cautionary advice on this thread, and even if you two don't go on a holiday together, you will still find some way to propose to her.

Here's the thing (and it's what many people have already said): your chances of getting a 'yes' are much better if you don't rush things. If you calmly talk to her, giving her time to think, you may at least get a 'maybe' and a promise to try to work things out. Your way? She's likely to think you're crazy, and may want to run further away from you than she already has.
posted by Everydayville at 2:05 PM on September 7, 2010


So I'm doing as told.

I see. You believe that these last few months by yourself have been the "sad montage" sequence of the movie, in which you pine for her and do Serious Soul Searching while a violin plays a mournful tune in a minor key in the background. And now it's time for the obligatory "You complete me" reunion scene with the candles and the power ballad (or, on preview, what Nixy said). Are you sitting there right now imagining the tearful "Everybody told me to move on and forget about you, but true love is forever" scene?

The thing is, she may well be a hopeless romantic just like you, and she may well be hoping for a fairy tale movie proposal. But what indication do you have that she wants this FROM YOU anymore?

Dude, I feel for you. Like I said, I've carried a few torches in my day, sometimes WAY longer than was healthy to do so. But I eventually realized I was living in a fantasy world and I needed to get my head out of the clouds and start looking at relationships a little more realistically. Life is not a movie, no matter how much we wish it were.
posted by Gator at 2:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Tell her you've cleared your issues that were preventing commitment,

Only do this if you actually have cleared up those issues. If you are feeling lonely and missing her, and feel bad about how you behaved - well, that's all normal. But have you changed? Because in reading your previous posts about this, and your responses here, it doesn't really sound like you have. It is important that you be honest with her. It is more important that you be honest with yourself.
posted by rtha at 3:02 PM on September 7, 2010


Dear spaceandtime30, honestly—especially knowing some of your other questions—you sound a bit crazed. I don't really think this (asking a bunch of people on the internet what you should do) is a good idea for you any more, if it ever was. You often sound like you are just in so much pain and are having such a hard time letting go that you need to have a bunch of people tell you some shit. I mean, seriously, I'm sorry—I get it, I really do—but stop telling yourself this will actually help.

I don't know if it's a good idea for you to marry this woman or not. But let me ask you some questions:

1) Is there anything wrong with you alone? Are you a whole person when you are alone? Do you know what this means, what this feels like? Have you really given it a shot?

2) How do you know the issues that came up before you broke up with this woman aren't going to re-surface?

3) Do you have any idea how this woman feels about you and the idea of getting married to you right now? What does your current relationship with her consist of? Have you and she gone through that list of questions people should really ask each other before you get married, like "do we want kids, how do we handle money, where do we see ourselves in ten years, yadda yadda?" All the people I know in successful marriages have one thing in common: constant, open communication. How does that stand between the two of you right now?

One thing I do feel pretty confident about, you don't get married because you "are doing as you're told." That's just stupid man. If I could slap you in that sort of Hollywood "WAKE THE FUCK UP" way right now from my screen I would.

Seriously, no one on here can tell you what to do. You must figure this out for yourself. Get your head on straight, and ask this question of the only person who can tell you the proper answer: you.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


As someone who has received unwanted proposals, I would avoid that awkwardness and unnecessary pain for the time being if I were you.

However, if she is at all still interested, she might really appreciate it if you told her that you recognized now that you would, in fact, like to spend the rest of your life with her BUT understand that after what you did, she may need time to rebuild trust and a sense of security in the relationship. Follow that up with a commitment to being patient until she is ready to discuss it again. Then see how it goes.

Consider a smaller, meaningful commitment instead of a grand gesture.
posted by scrute at 6:30 PM on September 7, 2010


If it seems like the whole "world" is telling you you're a freak for doing this, it might be because it's true.

And it might not. At one time "the whole world" thought the Earth was flat and "the whole world" was proven wrong.

Decide which situation would be worse for you: not doing it and then spending the rest of your life wondering if things would have gone the way you wanted, or, doing it and then living with however things turn out.

Frankly, I thing you're building up an awful lot of drama in your head (and trying to pull a bunch of anonymous people in to witness it) without even knowing how she sees things between you. I hope you really are prepared to take a "no" answer from her because this situation has stalker potential all over it.

HELP. This is such a sad end to something that was so special.

Didn't you break up months ago? Unless you've left out some details, like the two of you maintaining some kind of contact over this time period, you should consider the possibility that she's already experienced the "sad end" and has moved on emotionally. Don't take her feelings for granted.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:46 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


HELP. This is such a sad end to something that was so special.

No, not really. It would have been a sad end if one of you died unexpectedly, like from a drug overdose, or slowly and painfully, like from cancer. This particular person isn't so special. Y'all were together for a scant seven years. Get real. That's no time. Move on, don't waste money on propositioning equipment and holiday heart-shaped beds. Think about it: if she's "one-in-a-million" that means there's likely to be a replacement in any metropolitan center and several in a large city, and if she had any particular defining characteristics (a hobby, a certain physical stature, owns a skateboard, etc) then that makes it easier to find someone else you'll enjoy being with as much, if not more. Have you though you weren't into the relationship because she's just not that great?

So my answer to your question is: no, as some others have said.

(and trying to pull a bunch of anonymous people in to witness it)

I found the door here on my own, and let myself in.
posted by fuq at 8:08 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I'm doing as told.

Told from within a relationship though, I'm assuming. Rekindle the relationship, then see how things go. If it's good again, then go on a wonderful romantic holiday and do the fairytale proposal thing.

The problem here is that you're missing the step of getting back together with her. You need to crawl before you walk.

People aren't necessarily saying not to marry this girl, just that proposing is not the logical next step. She might not even want to date you anymore, let alone marry you, so see about that first.

It's even possible that you won't actually like her as much as you used to, if you do get back to spending more time with her.
posted by The Monkey at 10:05 PM on September 7, 2010


(and trying to pull a bunch of anonymous people in to witness it)

I found the door here on my own, and let myself in.


If you're suggesting that I was doing some victim-blaming, I'll take that hit. The OP has brought this continuing saga here several times and is looking a bit drama-queenish, IMO. AskMeFi is a ready if not captive audience.

While I can empathize with the misery of having a problem you can't figure out how to resolve (or figure how to resolve it in the way you want), the OP seems to be looking for reasons to continue the drama, in spite of being tortured by it. Some of the people who've responded to this post (and the previous ones in the saga) may have made unwitting enablers.

This particular person isn't so special.

Now I'm really wishing we could hear her side of the story.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:20 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been in the same position as your ex-girlfriend. I didn't, honestly, imagine I'd ever take him back after he broke up with me; I could conceive of him regretting the decision, but I couldn't imagine him getting his act together and growing up enough for me to risk trying again if he did.

What convinced me to give it another try was not knowing how strongly he felt about me and how much he'd missed me - nice though that was, it did not transform him into reliable boyfriend material. What convinced me was the approach he took, which was to hugely and fully apologise and take responsibility for his own actions, to tell me that he had done X, Y and Z things to get his act together and sort himself out, to say that he realised I had no reason to take his word for that then and there and realised he would have to earn my trust back gradually but was entirely willing to do whatever it took to achieve that, and to ultimately leave the choice about whether or not to get back together entirely up to me, fully understanding that I had absolutely no obligations whatsoever to give him another chance.

Grand romantic gestures are easy. Sure, you're nervous and you have to pick the right spot and choose a ring and blah blah blah, but it's nothing compared to the effort - and the importance - of being a responsible, trustworthy partner in the long term. She wants to know you'd marry her? OK, tell her you'd love to marry her - but tell her that right now, what you want to work on is proving to her that you're the sort of person who deserves to marry her. Because much though I missed that guy of mine, if he'd turned up with an engagement ring and a bunch of flowers, I wouldn't have even paused before telling him to take a hike.
posted by Catseye at 3:06 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


After your list of how she would see the timeline? Leave the girl alone. You didn't talk to her for 8 months. She's already done the grieving and healing and all that. Do open the lines of communication again, but wait on some big grand gesture. You didn't take it slow the first time, but you have got to take it slow this time. You've got a lot of shattered trust to rebuild and that can't be done overnight.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:07 AM on September 8, 2010


[few comments removed - OP, you need to do what you need to do but this thread isn't fo ryou to just tell people stories, other people enough jokes pls.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on September 8, 2010


The only way this is smart is if you request to get back together and she says "only if I get a ring."
posted by Ironmouth at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2010


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