Valentine’s Day Proposals—Are They Really As Romantic As They Seem?

Roses are red, violets are blue...is a Valentine's Day proposal really for you?

Updated 02/05/18

Mallory Dawn Fine Art Photography

Though we’ve just gotten over the slew of Christmas and New Year’s Eve proposals, it’s time to get ready for the next wave — the Valentine's Day engagements. After all, Valentine’s Day comes in at number two of the most popular days to get engaged and it’s easy to see why—it’s meant to be the most romantic day of the year, after all!

But does that definitely make for a romantic proposal? Well, the jury is still out on that one. Even though it’s a really popular choice, some people are staunchly against getting engaged on Valentine’s Day. They think that it’s too cheesy or unoriginal. But with so many people doing it, there must be something to it, right?

Here’s the thing about Valentine’s Day proposals — in a way, they’re just like any other proposal. They’re about you and your partner. What’s right for you as a couple is what’s most important, so think about whether or not getting engaged on February 14th sounds like you. If you want to know whether a V-Day proposal will be spectacular or a total flop, here’s what to keep in mind.

They Can Work!

First, don’t write a Valentine’s proposal off as definitely being cheesy. For some people, an understated Valentine’s Day engagement is the perfect complement to how their relationship has developed so far. "My husband and I had been dating for six years but because our families didn’t approve of our relationship — we came from different cultures and religions — we really hadn’t discussed marriage much,” Colleen B. told Redbook. “Then one Valentine’s Day I came home from work to find him in my apartment with a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers...and a ring. I was beyond surprised! His sister had helped him pick out the ring and they’d kept it a secret from everyone, including me. That night it was just him and me, which was perfect. Without our families around we could see this was what we really wanted.” For them, a simple, romantic night was exactly what they needed — it felt like them. And nothing about it was cheesy or corny. Just a couple having an easy night in, with nobody else around — and an amazing twist.

But Keep In Mind The Person You’re Proposing To

But if you’re thinking about a Valentine’s Day proposal, it’s really important that you keep your partner in the forefront of your mind. For some people, it’s a special and romantic day — but for someone else, it might come off as corny or uninspired. So focus on the person you're doing this for rather than the day you’re doing it on.

One over-the-top proposal shows just how different people can be. Katie Moore, who describes herself as “laid-back,” had one of the most public Valentine’s Day proposals imaginable: her partner proposed on the front cover of a magazine. That’s right, her partner, James, was right on the front page of the Valentine’s Day edition of the Observer, with a picture of himself holding a ring. Now for many, including myself, it would be a nightmare scenario — I would be embarrassed and uncomfortable. But for this couple, it was perfect. Considering their relationship had begun as long distance, there were a lot of large gestures (flying across an ocean for a date is no small feat) and she was relaxed enough not to be overwhelmed by that kind of larger-than-life Valentine’s Day proposal. For some people that gesture would be so big it would take all of the romance out of it — and maybe even make them panic. But for this couple, it was a perfect fit. So make sure you have your partner in mind, every step of the way.

And When In Doubt, Keep It Simple

Although James’ huge romantic gesture was a win, in general if you’re going for a Valentine’s proposal try to keep it simple. Unless you know your partner is going to love a public, heart- and glitter-filled proposal, don’t go over the top. Sometimes, less is more. “Don’t over-plan,” Michele Velazquez writes in the Huffington Post. “For some reason when men get stressed out, they can overdo things. As a Proposal Planner, I have seen men add too much detail because they just want to make sure it is very special. Keep in mind that you can go overboard. You don’t need singers, dancers, limos, helicopters, flowers, picture frames, guitarists, mariachi bands, jugglers, and more. Just a couple ‘big’ surprises are more than enough and even that is not necessary.” If you're unsure, keeping it simple will make sure that the romance feels authentic — because the fact that it’s on Valentine’s Day is doing a lot of the work for you. Keep in mind that Colleen’s partner did it just in their apartment — and it was perfect.

So is a Valentine’s Day proposal really romantic? Well, it depends on the person. For some people it’s the ultimate gesture, for others it’s a total nightmare. But remember it’s about you two as a couple, choosing to make a huge decision together — that should be more important than the day.

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