It's Official: The Absolute Worst Way to Propose Is to Do It in Public

Public proposals are the worst.

If you've ever witnessed a public proposal or worse witnessed one where the woman says no, you know they can be incredibly awkward.

Just thinking about that Chinese diver He Zi receiving a marriage proposal from fellow diver Qin Kai after her medal ceremony at last year's summer Olympics is skeeving me out.

Why, WHY, would he choose to take that private moment and share it with the world, all by forcing her to say yes and robbing her of the moment she was having?

You know, the moment of HAVING WON AN OLYMPIC MEDAL?

It makes me shudder.

Of course, not all women like and want the same things. But if Reddit is to be trusted, most women are like me: anti-public proposal.

When a man ventured into the 'Ask Women' subreddit to ask for advice on planning a public proposal for his girlfriend, the women in the forum were in general agreement.


"Marriage proposal—would you like it public or private?" asked Redditor littlenemonox.

"I'm currently in the loooong process (talking years here) of piecing together a very involved public proposal for my girlfriend, and so I'm concerned about her comfort level when it happens," he explained.

"Oh my God, private, please God, always," wrote fetishiste. "The 'yes' needs to be freely given and an audience creates a pressure to give the right answer."

User ruta_skadi replied, "I'd prefer private. Like I mean it would be fine if we were in public at like a park or something, but nothing involving our families or friends and not in the middle of a restaurant or crowded event. I want the moment to be about me and him, not a show for other people."

The thread is filled with similar replies. With those who did say public, like Redditor sehrah, adding a caveat.

"Public, but only if we'd already discussed it in some capacity first," she wrote. "Because having to say no to someone in public would be mortifying."

Look, I get the impetus.

You want to declare to the world that you love this person and want to spend the rest of your life with them. But saying that directly to them without the help of a flash mob is going to have exactly the same effect.

In a survey conducted by The Knot most women said "proposing in public" and "proposing in front of friends or family" were the biggest mistakes a proposer could make. Because the pressure robs you of the moment.

Don't deny you and your hopefully future spouse the ability to savor the moment—to remember it clearly, to celebrate it without your Uncle Jim.

If you're planning to pop the question, pop it in private.