His Proposal Didn’t Go as Planned. Why It was Perfect Anyway.

What makes a perfect proposal? Perhaps it’s a dramatic backdrop of the ocean or a fiery sunset. Maybe it’s a quiet restaurant with romantic lighting. Maybe it’s a photographer hidden in the bushes to capture the perfect moment.

In the months before my husband proposed to me, several of my Facebook friends (acquaintances really) had shared pictures and videos of that picture perfect moment.

Yet I sincerely hoped a guy would not do that when he proposed to me. Being the center of attention has always made me uncomfortable, and I felt that the most romantic moment of my life should be private, something between me and him.

When Robert and I were dating, we didn’t discuss the proposal. We knew we wanted to be married, and we did talk about what the ring might look like. But as for the timing and details of the proposal, I left that up to him to decide. I just hoped an audience wasn’t part of the plan.

It happened earlier than I’d expected it to, so it was a surprise. It was the first nice day of the summer, and we went for a hike at a place where there were waterfalls. Having grown up in central New York, I love waterfalls.

When we got to the end of the trail where there was a large waterfall, we sat on a rock to eat lunch. Usually Robert is a fast eater and likes to get back to the trail sooner rather than later, but this time he seemed to be taking his time. There was a steady stream of talkative hikers coming in and out of the spot, and I began to feel that Robert was waiting for something. But nothing else really occurred to me.

When another group of hikers came to the spot, we started to head back the way we came. Robert kept looking all around as if to make sure no one else was around, then he pulled me off the trail with the excuse that he wanted to look at one of the waterfalls created by the stream. It was a pretty spot, and we stopped there for a few minutes.

Then Robert kissed me and said, “You make me very happy.” Then he kissed me again and said it again. I kind of laughed and said that he made me happy, too. When he said it a third time, that’s when I thought, “Oh my gosh, I think something’s about to happen!” His hand went to his pocket, and I began to hyperventilate. Then he was down on his knee, holding out the ring, and he popped the question!

I think I might have said a breathless “Of course!” and then there was more kissing. Besides that, all I really remember is that I was about to fall off the rock and into the gorge. But he held close to make sure I didn’t.

Afterward, when I asked him how much of the day he had planned, he said, “I’d hoped to ask you at the bigger waterfall where we had lunch, but there were too many people around. I wanted the moment to be just between us.”

It was the sweetest thing he could have said. And I knew he was perfect for me because he valued the privacy of this special moment just like I did.

His proposal didn’t happen on the ocean, and we don’t have perfect pictures to share on the Internet. It didn’t even happen exactly the way he had planned. But it was perfect because it was our moment, because it was just between us.

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