DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My boyfriend and I spend a lot of time talking about how ready we are to take the “next step.” We have been together long enough to know we want to get married, and I know he has his heart set on doing a big deal proposal. I think that would be fun and fine, but the problem is, I really think he wants to do it in front of a lot of people on either Christmas or New Year’s Day. Those are times we get together with family and friends, usually at open house parties we take turns throwing. He made sure we volunteered to host the Christmas Day one, and he has worked it so that his parents are doing the New Year’s one.
For one thing, I do not want to have people think we are trying to steal the spotlight from the holidays, and for another, both families had some hard times this past year, and I feel like it would be disrespectful if it looks like we are saying, “Be happy for us, even though you are not feeling it.”
I really do not want to burst his bubble, but don’t you think he could pick a better time to publicly propose? --- NOT RIGHT NOW
DEAR NOT RIGHT NOW: It might be that the reason your boyfriend is thinking about proposing during the holidays is not so much to rob them of their significance, or to force people who are having a rough time to be falsely upbeat, but rather because he feels that a little good news could go a long way to help lighten things up for at least some of those in your closest circle of family and friends.
As it doesn’t seem like any proposal at this time would be much of a surprise to you, I believe you need to speak to him directly about his plans. By giving him a chance to explain what he has in mind and why he thinks it’s a good idea, you may find you agree with him. If you don’t, you can share your reasons for wanting him to come up with another proposal plan.
Being able to talk to each other openly, respectfully, and honestly is something you need to be able to do, not just now, but for the rest of your life together.