I'm a woman about to propose to my boyfriend – my friends say he'll hate it

With wedding season underway, Metro.co.uk has roped in Alison Rios McCrone, venue owner and planner, to help solve your dilemmas in a weekly agony aunt column…

Dear Alison, 

I love my boyfriend a lot. He’s funny, caring, generous and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. 

So much so that I want to propose to him. 

We’ve been together three years and while I know it’s more traditional for a man to propose to a woman, I don’t put too much stock in traditions. We’re going on holiday in a couple of weeks and I’m planning to pop the question on the balcony of our hotel room with a bottle of champagne, after a lovely dinner and a day of activities. 

I’m very, very excited – but I am worried that maybe he just won’t be expecting it and thus not react in the way I’m hoping. He’s always been really supportive when we’ve seen clips online of women proposing to their male partners, but I fear that maybe he won’t want that for himself? In my heart, I think (pray) he’ll be over the moon, but I’ve told two of our closest friends about my plan and they’ve very politely asked me if I’m sure he’d be comfortable with that. 

Doubt is starting to creep in about whether this is a good plan. What do you advise? 



Do you have a wedding problem you need some advice on?

Weddings are joyful occasions – but they’re also incredibly stressful. Whether you’re a bride or groom, best woman or man, family member or friend of the couple, the run up to the big day can be very tense.

If you need a bit of help with your quandary, Alison, who has run a venue for 10 years and helps couples plan weddings, is here to offer a helping hand.

Email [email protected] to share your issue anonymously with Alison and get it solved.

Dear Isobel,

It is wonderful that you are deeply in love with your boyfriend and want to take the next step in your relationship together.

As you are well aware, there are no rules about whether a man or woman should propose, and your desire to pop the question is a beautiful reflection of your commitment.

Having said that, it is natural to feel excited one minute and then nervous the next about his reaction.

When doubts start creeping in, it’s always worth exploring where they’re coming from. Are they just stemming from your friends’ concerns? Or could they have their roots in a deeper worry?

From what you’ve said, it seems to be the former; but it’s worth being honest with yourself. 

Have you already talked openly with your boyfriend about your future together? 

Do you have the same goals? Do both of you want or not want children? Which area do you want to live in? Do you both have ambitions that blend with each other? Have you talked about your love for each other and how deep your bond is? Do you both have the desire for a deeper connection by committing to get married? 

If you have had a conversation about these things and feel you are on the same page, then I see no reason why he should say no! (If you have not considered these points as a couple, consider delaying your proposal until you have). 

But as your message suggests, you’re not worried that he’s anti marriage with you, but more anti you being the one to ask. 

Look, unless you or your friends have asked your boyfriend directly, ‘Would you be happy if Isobel proposed to you, rather than the other way around?’, you will not know the answer. 

It seems like the only thing he could be sad about is that he didn’t get the chance to ask you first!

But it sounds like he also doesn’t put too much weight in who does the proposing, judging by his reactions to clips of other engagements he’s seen. 

You’ve seen this side of him; his friends may not have. They also might be imposing their views on the woman taking the lead, rather than thinking of what your partner would actually want. 

So in this case I would say, trust your instincts. If you know that you are both on the same page and have had conversations about taking the next step, who does the asking shouldn’t stand in the way. 

From where I stand, it seems like the only thing he could be sad about is that he didn’t get the chance to ask you first! 

You may still want to seek reassurance from your boyfriend’s friends and family, but ultimately you and him are the only people who genuinely understand the dynamics of your relationship and the connection you share.

Your plan for the proposal sounds lovely and very personal. The thought and effort you put into creating a special moment will undoubtedly touch his heart.

Trust in your love, communicate openly, and be true to yourselves. If your love is strong, your proposal will be beautiful and memorable.

I wish you all the best in your upcoming holiday. May it be filled with love, joy, and beautiful memories.

Best wishes,


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