You may thinking proposing at a family party is romantic. It's actually terrible. Here's why.
If you're thinking about proposing to someone you love, it can be pretty intimidating. You have to get a ring, you have to plan out the actual proposal and you also have to hope that she (or he!) says yes. Also, you probably want to set up an engagement party of some sort, because if she says yes she'll want to celebrate. If she says no, then you can at least make her feel bad about ruining a party.
You have to find that right balance of making it romantic and also a big deal, but not too big of a deal that it's not intimate. If you're thinking about getting engaged around the holidays, you're probably thinking, "Oh, I'll do it at her family Christmas party!" or "I'll pop the question on New Year's Eve!"
Makes sense, right? Her family is going to be there, it'll make Christmas or the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2015 extra special. Sounds good, right?
No, it isn't, you idiot. You're terrible at planning things. Don't propose at a family party of any kind. I shouldn't have to explain why, but I'm going to anyway.
1. It's not supposed to be about you.
Family parties and gatherings, whether they're attached to a holiday or not, are supposed to be about everyone. That's the entire point, for the whole family to get together. When you choose this moment to propose, you're trying to steal the spotlight just for yourself, and then it throws off the vibe all night.
2. It's not going to be about you anyway.
It's like you're trying to steal the spotlight, but there's still no spotlight. As soon as the proposal is done, everyone else is going to go back to their own lives. For guys, that's not really a big deal. It's different for girls. Girls take getting engaged a little bit more seriously than guys do. Ask any scientist, they'll agree with me. That's why when a couple gets engaged, they have an engagement party. It's a party for her to be the center of attention, and everyone's showing up for that reason.
Proposing at a New Year's Eve party may seem nice, but I'm still there for New Year's Eve, just like if you propose at a family Christmas party, I'm still there for Christmas and Christmas alone. I know that most of my gifts are socks, but I'm still more excited for them, and also dinner, then someone else's engagement. I'm here for socks and ham, and unless that's what your ring is made out of, I don't care about it.
3. It's lazy.
When it comes down to it, proposing at an event like this is lazy. Instead of setting up something yourself, you're just attaching your proposal to an already existing party. It's like going "Happy New Year, oh and also, you wanna get married?" That's about as romantic as farting during brunch.
Seriously, if this girl isn't even worth planning a Saturday around, should you really be marrying her? If the thought of calling all her friends and family to plan an engagement party sounds like too much work, then how are you going to feel about planning the wedding? Is the wedding just going to a part of the Fourth of July barbecue?
4. If it goes wrong, you just ruined the holiday for everybody.
You have to take it into account that there's always a possibility that she'll say no. If she does, and it happened during New Year's, well guess what? We all have to live with that now. She said no to you, and to having a happy New Year. Way to go, buddy, you just ruined a holiday.
5. If it goes right, you just ruined the holiday for everybody.
Congrats, she said yes! Well guess what? You still ruined New Year's Eve! Now everything else is going to seem kind of lame. Other people made arrangements that they hopefully put some thought into, and now they all seem lame. And if you proposed on Christmas, you're even worse. Those socks I mentioned before? Before the proposal they would've seemed like a message about someone caring about my feet and how comfortable and dry they are. Now, they're just socks, and they're just going to leave me and I'm going to die without these socks in my life, just like everyone and everything else leaves me. Thanks for doing that.
6. It puts everyone on the spot.
Unless you're the only unwed people at this party, you're making it really weird for all of the single people at the party. And you're making it especially awkward for any couples that are there. Sure, you'd invite couples to an engagement party, but in that situation, they know what they're walking into. They can brace themselves. Here, you're just thrusting them into an awkward conversation about marriage, when all they were ready to talk about was ham. Ham is delicious, we can all agree on that. How many kids do we want to have? I don't know, that's a lot more complicated than ham.
7. You can't control who's there.
At an engagement party, you control the guest list. At a family gathering or someone else's party, the guest list is out of your hands. There are aunts and uncles and cousins and nephews, and I guarantee that at least one of them doesn't care about your love at all. Maybe someone just got dumped, and now you're waving love right in their face. Maybe someone else is just a jerk and decides that during the proposal is the perfect time to fart. Every family has a farter. They have a right to be at the party, and now there's a fart as a part of your proposal. Very romantic.