We had not been dating for long, that is to say one daytime date and one sleepover, when my boyfriend asked me to marry him. Actually he asked many times.
The first time, he called my mobile in the middle of the night. I had it on voice mail. The next morning I heard him, with a very alcoholised voice, saying he loved me and that he wanted to marry me. It was around Christmas time. I thought he probably had a family dinner and several drinks. The common wisdom claims that drunk people don’t lie. For a while I believed it, and him.
The second time we were in a cathedral. In front of the relics of the saint patron of lawyers, he grabbed my hand and said, “I don’t believe in God, I am not a Christian, but I respect the values that Saint Yves embodies, I want him as a witness of my proposal. Will you marry me?” That was a bit odd. An atheist who takes some old bones as witnesses of his moral compas, a guy who cannot stand lawyers, and who keeps on mocking those who have faith… Really odd. I then thought it was an effort to get closer to my beliefs. After all, he knew I had been educated in Catholic schools.
The third time we were on a parking lot. He had asked me to point at a ring and go back to the car. I was embarassed. It felt awkward. Then he proposed again and offered me that mildly expensive ring while sitting in the car. I understood that he was really very fond and proud of his car. I didn’t complain. I was not jubilating either.
I am not sure what a good proposal would have been, but I wish my older self would have told this to the young, committed, and trustful woman I was then.
A guy with alcohol in his system doesn’t necessarily tell the truth, he simply gets desinhibited and able to talk.
A guy who refers to your own belief system, that he despises, is not trying to get closer to you, he is instrumentalising it in order to manipulate you.
A guy who gets you an expensive ring in a cheap tasteless supermarket jewelry isn’t getting you a nice ring – you don’t even get any choice! He is just buying you with that present. You don’t even like that ring!
The interesting question is why did he insist to get engaged so quickly?
And this is the terrible answer. He’s never loved you, he will keep on abusing you for the following years. He simply wants you to be trapped.