7 Real Proposal Stories To Make You Believe In Love

As told to Claire Aven

We're heading into the end of engagement season right now, which probably means your Facebook newsfeed has been overtaken by posts of happy couples announcing their good news. Pretty much everyone you know is engaged, and everyone's story of how it happened is totally different. 

To celebrate, we've rounded up some pretty perfect proposals that will make you believe in everlasting love. Ahead, seven couples share their own special "saying-yes" tales. 
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Photo by Kamau Ware.
Tiffany & Paul
Paul asked me to marry him on my birthday, June 28. We met on OkCupid and were together for a little over a year by the time he proposed.

On the night he proposed, Paul told me we were going to go out with two of our super-artsy friends who'd recently opened their own photography gallery and sewing studio in Red Hook. My awesome chef friend Zoe Maya would be there and everything. All I needed to do was hop into a cab after work and meet him there. We had a great time, and at the end of the night, Paul handed me a gift bag.

Inside was a dress from the boutique where my sister was working in Atlanta (our hometown). It was kind of weird that my boyfriend was buying me a dress...but, I didn't think too much of it because my sister has great taste, and the dress was awesome. We were tipsy at this point, and my girlfriend Lesley coaxed me into trying it on, doing a few spins — you know, the usual new-dress moves. The dress has pockets, so I naturally reached into one of the pockets, and that's when my fingers grasped the ring. I started freaking out and trying to wrestle the ring free (Lesley had sewn it into the lining).

At some point during this process, Paul appeared on bended knee and made the magic happen.
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Alisha & Eric
Eric and I met during our junior year at the University of Florida, when some mutual friends invited us out for a bar crawl. I pursued him for weeks before he asked me out on a date!

Our first official date was a picnic at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville. After college, we began a long-distance relationship when I started law school at the University of Florida and Eric moved to Ohio to work for Honda as a mechanical engineer. Having so many miles between us has been challenging, but it's also been fun, and it has definitely made us closer.

And, after two and a half years of dating, Eric asked me to marry him. It was December 23, 2014, and we were celebrating an intimate Christmas, just the two of us, before heading to Eric's family's place.

Eric handed me one last gift before we left: a series of boxes hidden in the tree, filled with sweet mementos from our relationship. There was a map of where we had our first date and letters that we wrote to each other. Just when I thought I had opened all of the boxes, Eric pulled one more out from behind the tree. Then, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I started crying immediately...but, eventually, I remembered to say yes!
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Jamie & Joey
Joey and I were friends before we started dating. We actually met on our very first day of our freshman year of college, as we lived in the same dorm on the same floor.

By junior year, we were really good friends; we were also both single. One night, we were hanging out, watching the Patriots game, and ended up snuggling on his couch. We went on our first date the next weekend, and things progressed quickly from there.

Our shared Patriots loyalty is a major part of our relationship, so I decided to get us tickets to see the Pats play in their final regular-season game against the Bills just after the New Year's holiday.

Right after we got the tailgate all set up, Joey came up to me with a wrapped present, saying he had one more Christmas gift for me in honor of my first live Patriots game ever. I opened it to find a Pats jersey with the number 14 on it. I looked at it, confused — nobody wears that number. Finally, I turned it around and saw the name on the back said "Thomson," with a question mark at the end.

When I looked up again, Joey was getting down on one knee. I said "yes," of course. It was such a perfect engagement! The Pats ended up losing, but we still had a blast at the game, because, hey, we're getting married!
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Laura & Matthew
I met Matthew at Mount Sinai Hospital, where I was working during my first year of nursing school and Matthew was in his fourth year of medical school. To be completely honest, the first time I remember seeing him, the first thing I noticed were his Puma sneakers. I thought it was so weird...who wears Pumas?!

Soon after this, there was a work event to celebrate the fourth-year residents who were graduating from the program. Matthew and I both attended the party, which is where we really hung out for the first time. We spent the night out with our friends, having a great time. After that, Matthew started pursuing me over Facebook chat, asking me out six times over a four-month period.

Although we were becoming friendly, I was totally oblivious. Finally, one night, I was craving a burger, and since we were already mid-conversation online, I asked if he wanted to grab a burger with me. We went to Shake Shack and ate outside in the rain with a bottle of wine. Later that night, we kissed for the first time, and we've been inseparable ever since!

Recently, on December 23, after weeks of my begging him to go see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Matt said we should probably get to the tree before Christmas Day. I was elated, finally! As we walked from the subway to the tree, Matt, who is not a planner at all, said, "Why don't we go to the Top of the Rock while we are here?" I was in a rush to see the tree, but he convinced me to make a stop first. At the elevator leading to the top, we were warned that visibility was extremely low, since it was kind of rainy. The low visibility meant that most tourists didn't go to the top, so we were completely alone. Matt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course, I said yes.
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Photo by Ned Jackson.
Molly & Jake
Jake and I met at a bar. We didn't really like each other much after our first date, but I'm glad we went out again anyway. Something definitely clicked on that second date, and we've been together for two and a half years.

A few weeks before Christmas, Jake asked me what size Barbour jacket I wear, and from there, it was kind of a joke that he blew his cover and I was getting a Barbour jacket for Christmas. We had also been talking a lot about getting a puppy (we really love Corgis), but I knew he wouldn't get me a puppy without having me meet him (or her) first.

On Christmas, when Jake handed me an unwrapped Barbour box, I remember saying, "You couldn't even wrap it?!" We went upstairs to the guest room, and Jake told me I might as well open the box now, since I already knew what I was getting.

He told me to close my eyes, so he could put the jacket on me. When I opened my eyes, I realized it was his jacket and was instantly confused. Did he buy himself a new jacket and give me his old one? He told me to open the left pocket. Inside was a necklace with a little Corgi charm, and I immediately thought I was getting a puppy. Wrong. Then, he told me to open the right pocket, where there was a second jewelry box. The ring was in that one.

I was elated, and also very surprised. Just a week earlier, Jake told me he wasn't sure he ever wanted to get married (even though he already had the ring at this point). Really, it was all a part of his great proposal plan.
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Jenesil & Gerardo
Jenesil and I met in college. When I saw her, it really was love at first sight.

Ours is a somewhat complicated love story that involves several challenging periods of long distance. Finally, after 10 years and a single day after we officially started dating, I proposed. We'd discussed getting married for the past four years, but I always found a way to put it off. Something about hitting the ten-year milestone made something inside me click.

Her Christmas present was her engagement ring: a Michael Kors ring that I knew she'd love. To keep things exciting, I put the engagement ring and its box into the (bigger) Michael Kors box, and then put it all into a gift bag.

When Jenesil finally got around to opening my gift, her reaction wasn't exactly what I'd been expecting — especially since she threw the box at me. When I asked her to marry me, she just sat in shock and mumbled something none of us could understand. She took the ring from me and stared at it for a long time. Later, when the shock wore off, Jenesil started telling the story: "I had picked one out that I liked, but the ring he ended up proposing with was better...because HE picked it."

The rest, as they say, is history.
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Dave & Rich
Rich and I met on June 11, 2011, at Boston Pride. Neither of us remembers who approached whom first, so we both try to take credit for it. We exchanged numbers that night, and Rich called me up the next day to take me out to a fancy French dinner. We've been together ever since.

Early in our relationship, one of my best friends proposed to his girlfriend. After they called to tell me the good news, I looked over at Rich and asked, "Which one of us gets to propose?" Rich said, "It'd be weird if someone else proposed to me; that's MY job." And, since I'm the type of person who loves being surprised with big, romantic gestures, it wasn't a difficult decision.

We didn't necessarily follow a traditional timeline, as we moved into our house in May of 2013, and we started the process of having a child through surrogacy just this past summer. We knew that by late 2015, early 2016, we'd have a baby in the house, so I was pretty sure that he'd be popping the question soon. It got so that every time we went out somewhere, I'd be thinking, Oh, man, this is the first Market Basket we ever shopped together at — maybe he's going to do it here! I was a little intense.

This past New Year's Eve, Rich planned a trip with some of our friends to Portland, Maine. After lunch on our first day, Rich and I went back to our hotel room to get ready for a fancy dinner out with the group. It was freezing cold outside, so I GPS-ed walking directions that would get us to the restaurant as quickly as possible. As we made our way, Rich kept saying things like, "Let's walk over by the water...let's walk out onto that pier and see the city from there."

It was so cold that I couldn't feel my face and hands anymore, but I followed him out there. We got to the end of the pier, and I said, "Welp, that was nice..." and turned around with my GPS to recalculate the quickest possible route to the restaurant. I was so focused on my phone that I tripped down a couple steps on the way. That's when I turned around to see Rich down on one knee.

Out on the pier, Rich asked me to marry him, and I accepted!