DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend of three years proposed to me at my graduation party. It was a complete surprise. While I’m thrilled that we’re now engaged, I’m a little upset that he proposed during a day that was special to me for my own reasons. I wish he had planned something completely separate that would not have taken away from my moment at all. The day went from being all about me and my hard work to being about us as a couple. It pretty much turned into our engagement party.
I’m nervous to tell him that I would have preferred a proposal that was completely separate from my graduation day, but I think it’s important that we communicate these types of issues now. Should I say something? -- Graduation Proposal
DEAR GRADUATION PROPOSAL: If you two are to get married and be able to address your disagreements, now is a perfect time to put that into practice. You must talk to him about what happened. Be clear that you are excited about the engagement, but explain that you would have appreciated better timing. Each moment -- your graduation and your engagement -- is worthy of its own individual celebration. Point out how he took a day that was supposed to be about your educational accomplishment and made it about him -- or at least not just about you.
Yes, you must tell him. Invite him to step back and think about how important it is to think through things and to imagine the unintended consequences of any actions one takes -- even when the intentions are very good.
I’m not a big believer in surprises, but if that is something that may happen again in your future, encourage him to consider the impact that a surprise may have on a moment and whether it is worth the risk.