6 Women Share Their Unforgettable Proposal Stories
Love is in the air! In honor of celebrating black love stories, we talked to six women who shared their stories of how their boos popped the question. And y'all, these fellas got creative when asking the love of their life to marry them.
Whether these ladies got engaged recently or are already married to their forever, these stories will make you swoon, laugh and cry. Check out some of the most romantic proposal stories ever, starting off with my proposal story with my now-husband. Read on for more.
Char & Mark
Courtesy of Writer Char & Mark
"Mark and I were together for almost two years when he proposed. It was one of those relationships where we always knew we would end up together, it just had to be the right time. In all honesty, I knew a proposal was coming, but I definitely didn't expect it when it actually happened. We were planning a trip to Atlanta for his sister's birthday party, and he told me to bring something nice because he wanted to take me to dinner. I literally joked with my friend, 'And he BETTER propose!' but legit didn't think he would. From my hair, to my outfit, to being sick, it seemed like everything went wrong the night we went to dinner. But everyone went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. I still had no idea why.
"We get to dinner at a beautiful restaurant, and he kept looking behind me and going to the bathroom. I thought it was really weird but I just took that time to eat some of the food off his plate. The waiter came and asked if we wanted dessert and Mark said yes. He brought the dessert menu and walked away. I looked at the menu and I told Mark, 'Oh they have apple pie!' I had been craving it. He was like, 'Well look and see what else they have.'
"I look at the full menu and on the other side was the story of how we met. When I got done reading (I'm still not sure what the end said because my eyes were blurry with tears), he had walked over and got down on one knee. I said yes and we became those people in the restaurant getting engaged as all of the other diners started clapping and cheering. We went down the elevator to the lobby and when we got off, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, his parents and a bunch of our friends were waiting for us. It really was one of the best moments ever!"
Janaya & Drae
Courtesy of Drae & Janaya
"Drae and I bonded instantly. After our first date (that lasted approximately 10 hours), I knew I had met someone special. We were so comfortable with each other and I could not wait to see him again. After about 18 months of dating, in addition to being in love, we realized that we had also become great friends. We talked about everything and encouraged each other through challenging times. Sticking together through those times and coming out better is what assured me that Drae was the one.
"On a Friday afternoon, he went and had a conversation with my father where he asked for his blessing of my hand in marriage. Later that evening, I came home to the words 'JANAYA WILL U MARRY ME?' spelled out in red rose petals on the dining room floor. Red roses are my favorite, and it was all so beautiful! He dropped down to one knee, presented the ring, and told me that life would be best together. Then he asked if I would do him the honor of being his wife. And I said YES!"
Sarah & Chris
Courtesy of Chris & Sarah
"Looking back on the day my husband proposed, it was an unassuming day to say the least. We had been together for a while and I hoped he would pop the question, but I had no idea he was going to do it when he did. Chris' dad is a head manager on a boat in Detroit called the Detroit Princess. The whole time we're dating, his dad would always invite us to have dinner on the boat, but Chris would always say no. Well on this 'unassuming' day, his dad invited us on the boat yet again, and Chris finally said yes. I still had no clue what was being planned. We arranged to drop off our daughter Jaedah to his aunt's house for the day and got dressed for our evening.
"We get on the boat and sure enough, the same group was performing all the Motown jams, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This time was obviously different because about halfway into their performance, they started to perform "Never Let Her Go" and one of the lead singers came directly to our table and started singing to me. I thought it was strange, but I caught on to what was happening. Chris's starry face gave it away… he's never starry-eyed by the way. He's so stern and serious most of the time.
"He sat me down in a chair facing the band with my back to the crowd. That's when he did his spiel, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him and I said yes. We get up to start slow dancing, and wiping each other's tears and I said to him, 'Man, does my mom and dad know about this?' And sure enough, he turned me around while we were dancing and my whole family was there! Including our daughter Jaedah! He knows how much my family means to me, and to be able to share that moment with them broke me all the way down in the best way possible. We're celebrating six years of marriage this month, and now have three kids."
Bri & Joe
Courtesy of Bri & Joe
"My now-fiancé, Joe, and I haven't lived in the same state since high school and had been on and off for 11 years. I'm a realtor and radio personality in Chicago, and Joe is a football coach in Miami. But somehow through it all, we made it work. For the proposal, my nonprofit organization BF Cares hosts an event every month to give items to those in need. I moved up the date for this month so he could be there. Just a day before the event, he told me he wasn't going to make it but his family would. You can imagine how disappointed and sad I was. But I had to mask my feelings for this event.
"So while the group continued to make packages, my daddy pulls me to the side and tells me to follow him to the car. He gives me this card from Joe that said, 'Sorry I couldn't make it baby. I'll make it up to you.' I'm reading it like, 'Yeah yeah, okay!' I get back inside and while I'm hanging up my coat, all of my family and friends and his family are there with their phones out laughing at me and there's this BIG box. I opened it and Joe was inside on his knee! Before he could get the words out to even ask me, I damn near tackled him and said yes! I was just so excited to see him. Then he officially asked me and of course I said YES! IT was the perfect place to do it because both of our families were there and we ended the event Chicago stepping, dancing and giving back to our community."
Rae & DC
Courtesy of Rae & DC
"My boyfriend came home on his lunch one day (I've always worked from home), but of course I had no idea he was intending to propose. I was on a call and he insisted that I get off the phone. I immediately got an attitude because I'm like, sir, I'm working. Do I bust up in your office talking about 'Baby can you get off the phone and spend some time with me?' So I get off the phone and he asks me to warm up leftovers so we can eat lunch together. I warm up the food and then we sit on the couch and he turns on Maury. Yes, Maury. He's addicted to that show.
"So he's all into the show and who the daddy is and I was talking to him about something (who knows, probably complaining about work) but he was ignoring me because he really wanted to see who the father was. So at this point, I'm livid and like, 'You interrupted my work, make me warm up stupid leftovers, and now you're ignoring me to watch Maury?' I told him I wished he would just throw up the leftovers all over himself. Then he looked at me in this weird way and took a small box out of his pocket and threw it at me. I opened it and threw it back and was like, 'Uh no way… this is not happening.' I didn't even think the ring was real. And he says, 'No, really. I want to marry you.' He got down on one knee and proposed! Now, we've been married for almost four years. Ain't God good?"
Camryn & Jae
Courtesy of Camryn & Jae
"We'd been dating for five years, living together for four. Had a house, a child, even a dog, for me, the only thing missing was a ring. About a year into the relationship, we discussed marriage. He made it clear that his intention was to marry me, he just hadn't found the right ring in time for my birthday. Instead, he booked us an epic staycation in Atlanta during OutKast's last performance downtown.
"Fast-forward to four years later. I was getting incredibly tired of waiting and engagement season was officially here. I had been patiently waiting, and it was Christmas Day. We went to his family's house for dinner with my grandmother. After dinner, my fiancé's dad starts playing Christmas music on his saxophone. (He used to play professionally for the Clark Sisters) I'm sitting next to my grandmother, and my fiancé and his dad are both serenading her. I thought, 'OMG it's about to happen!' But it didn't.
"On the way home from my grandmother's, we started arguing because he wanted to go to the studio to record with a well-known international artist. Any other day I would have been cool, but the fact that it was Christmas Day, I was not about to be left at home alone. Luckily, he came to his senses quickly and he agreed that we would find a movie and cuddle. I got in bed still slightly annoyed, and he knew it. But he also knew what he needed to do to apologize.
"He started kissing on my neck, and of course one thing led to another. Taking full advantage of our son being away, we were being extra verbal in bed that evening. As I am about to climax, he asks me if I want to be with him forever. I say, 'Yes.' He asked me again, 'Are you sure you want me forever?' At this point I'm really almost there, and I scream, 'YES, FOREVER!' It was at that exact moment I felt him slide something onto my ring finger. I tried to look at my hand, but it was too dark, so I pulled him closer and we finished together. Next thing I know, I am being carried to our bathroom (still naked). As soon as he put me down and turned the light on, he was kneeling in front of me, holding my left hand and formally asked me to marry him."
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Originally published on March 20, 2019
Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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Embarking on a celibacy journey was a plot twist in my life that I never saw coming.
Sex was my comfort zone and that fact was something I didn’t come to terms with until my late twenties when I met a man who in a lot of ways allowed me to embody the fullness of myself fearlessly in ways I might have not realized at the time. I spent many years before that over-identifying with my sexual side because it was the part of me that I met with the least resistance and the part of me the people outside of me welcomed with open arms so I leaned into it. That coupled with my emotional unavailability at the time, made for an ease and a lack of emotional risk that allowed me to connect with others without getting in too deep.
I know now that it was why I felt comfortable talking openly about sex, be it to strangers, be it in situationships and no-strings-attached flings, be it on this very platform. While that’s not to say that my sexuality isn’t mine, it is to say there was an unhealthy element attached to it because of the way I didn’t realize I was using it at the time. In a strange way, I was using it as a shield.
I was masquerading as this evolved, fully healed version of myself with a healthy relationship with sex and my sexuality but in reality, I was lost and scared of being hurt so badly sometimes that I led with sex as a way to avoid true intimacy and being vulnerable. These are all things that I unpacked and discovered about myself last year during my shadow work sessions with my shadow work guide, Jordan Jeppe.
In her course offerings, Jeppe guides you through celibacy as a tool for deeper self-love. With reports of millennials and Gen-Zers engaging in less sex than previous generations, and even articles from our platform like, "More Women Are Taking The 'Girlfriend' Title & Exclusivity Off The Table In Dating — Here's Why," it's clear we are experiencing shifts in the romantic landscape for one reason or another where more focus is being placed on self.
Although my own celibacy journey is more seasonal and sporadic than year-round, I fell in love with unlocking a deeper understanding of myself and being able to start the work of confronting parts of myself that I otherwise may have not been honest about. I was met with the pain of my patterns but also the freedom that comes with allowing myself to be really seen. Celibacy for me was a vessel for healing, for self-love, but also for self-development.
Viewing celibacy as a tool to deepen that journey into self doesn't just point to society's increasing desire to opt out of hookup culture, but the collective desire to opt into choices that reflect wholeness versus lack. For more insight on how to use your season of sexlessness for better self-love, creating rules on your celibacy journey, and tips on how to discuss being celibate, Jordan Jeppe acts as our guide.
Elevating Self-Love on Your Celibacy Journey
The intentional reframing of self-love as a throughline in her celibacy course was a component Jeppe felt was necessary because of her own experiences of attracting partners who ultimately acted as a mirror of her lack of self-love at the time.
She explained, "When you love yourself, you don't settle in relationships that are half-assed, or just meet the bare minimum." Adding that when "You know you are worthy of more, you don't put yourself in situations to be treated poorly, over and over and over again, because you have the confidence and the self-worth to know that you don't deserve that."
A lot of us are led to forget ourselves because we are taught at a young age to believe our worthiness can be found in others. Our tendency to self-sacrifice leads us to prioritize others before ourselves and struggle to feel worthy outside of our doing for others. Jeppe assures that this conditioning takes away our power. "What we start doing is we start looking for people to complete us and we don’t think that we are worthy of being whole on our own."
For her, self-love and celibacy going hand in hand is necessary in order "to step into what we feel worthy of, and what we know that we want and where what we need to feel seen and heard and supported by another person."
Setting Boundaries on Your Celibacy Journey
Jeppe encourages those embarking on a celibacy journey to implement a set of rules to help them stay on track and act in alignment with their goals and intentions for being celibate. Needless to say, the earliest stages of the journey are a person's most vulnerable so cutting communication with temptation is essential. "No communication with exes, flings, or situationships" is the baseline. She adds, "No communication is important because that's a practice of setting a boundary, the practice of showing yourself that you are worthy. And it also cuts out temptation."
Being honest with yourself about your relationship with self-pleasure is also a must. "I think it's important to understand your relationship to self-pleasure, and what you get from it, whether it's serving you as a distraction, or to not feel things on a deeper level," she says. "If your program of pleasing yourself is to escape an uncomfortable emotion or to not think about what’s coming up, because as you know, a lot comes up in your celibacy journey, it’s understanding there might need to be a rule set there."
A rule like this could look like removing self-pleasure from your celibacy journey for at least eight weeks so you're not avoiding the work of addressing shadows or using it as an escape. Self-pleasure can be a very empowering tool on your journey. Ensure you use it wisely.
In line with that is Jeppe's hard no to dating at the beginning stages of being celibate, for at least five weeks. Her course is structured that way, where you spend the first few weeks getting clear on your shadows, honing in on your tendency to people please, be emotionally unavailable, or be codependent. Whether you are enrolled in her course or not, saying no to dating in the early stages of your sexless season allows for intentional time and focus spent on self.
After those suggested five weeks or whatever timeline you feel works best for you, you can open yourself up to what dating while celibate can look like. Jeppe supports dating during celibacy "because that’s how you take what you are learning and you practice it and that is necessary because you cannot have change without having awareness and action."
The beautiful thing about creating rules for your celibacy journey is that it's your journey, so your rules can be molded to adhere to your values, your relationships, or any number of things that factor into your guideline needs. There are different strokes for different folks and her baseline for effective celibacy guidelines might look different from yours. To start your own set of celibacy rules, Jeppe advises looking at past relationships not necessarily at your failures, but the things about the relationship(s) that didn't work well for you.
"If you are someone that really resisted saying no to a past partner, had murky boundaries, or just didn’t feel comfortable communicating what was going on for you, that’s going to be a red flag of your own boundary-setting," she explains.
"Before you begin celibacy, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. What wasn’t working in your past that almost hindered you, from your growth into your success? And looking at those things and making those things your rules. It could also be, you know, poor sexual boundaries. Again, that self-pleasure aspect, the no dating [rule]. [If you] catch yourself on dating apps all the time, swiping to swipe, getting hits of validation, [tell yourself] no dating apps."
Dating with Purpose: When and How to Tell Someone You're Dating You're Celibate
When to tell someone you're dating that you're celibate is a common question for people who choose to date while they're celibate. "I usually recommend doing it [on the] first or second date because you don't want to lead anyone on. You also don't want to lead yourself on. And, if you are committed through the timeline of celibacy, then this is just how you set yourself up for success," Jeppe explains. "Remember those guidelines. That looks like being honest."
Jeppe adds that you should try telling the person you're dating that you're celibate in person. An example of what that looks like can be as simple as:
“Hey, I like where this is going. I am enjoying how I am feeling with you. I want to let you know before things progress that I am celibate and that I am committed to my journey. If this is something that you would like to know more about, I am willing to share that with you. If this is not aligned with you, then that’s okay. I wish you well and it was lovely getting to know you.”
With the script above, Jeppe notes that by approaching the admittance this way, your self-worth is saying, "'I love myself enough to say and express understanding my values of what I want and what I am experiencing and how the other person reacts has nothing to do with me."
You can also opt to explicitly say, "I am celibate." In either instance, Jeppe says to "pay attention to how the other person responds. Do they support you or do they try to gaslight you? Or say, 'Oh, why would you do that?' Or, 'What are you actually getting from that?' Or try to talk you out of it? Red flags."
But, What if You ‘Break’ Your Celibacy and Regret It?
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As with anything, you might make an attempt to try something new, make a misstep, and fall. But falling doesn't mean failure. Breaking your celibacy is no different, and having feelings of regret or shame often come with it. "I broke my celibacy for a one-night stand five months in [my journey]," Jeppe recalls. "I am someone that has been there and I have also [gone] through the shame and the guilt that you put on yourself after doing it, and I have felt those feelings." She adds, "Now how I see breaking your celibacy is an opportunity."
If you have broken your celibacy streak recently and are experiencing those inevitable feelings of guilt, Jeppe wants you to remember how you choose to see breaking your celibacy is up to you. Jeppe believes it is an opportunity to understand what you were attracted to in that person and what that says about you. There was a reason you put yourself in that situation and Jeppe says it is a brave act of courage to take accountability in that way. Ask yourself, "What was I attracted to in that person? How did that person make me feel? When have I been allowing myself to feel that with myself?"
"Oftentimes, the reason why we break our celibacy is because the ego will come up. If you don't do the ego work, the ego's like, 'I deserve it, I was just feeling it, it felt really good.' And you are not paying attention to all that other red flags going on, right? Your ego is saying, 'I deserve it, I just spent 10 weeks celibate.' If you can’t recognize that the ego is showing up in those scenarios, then there’s an opportunity for you to understand, 'Oh, what was my ego actually wanting?' Because it’s usually rooted in some source of validation."
Jeppe says that if you break your celibacy, that’s okay. Allow yourself to release the shame and look for growth. In removing the shame you are owning your decisions even if it's a choice you wish you didn't make. How can you give yourself permission to grow beyond and choose differently in the future versus allowing the moment to define you?
"We are so rooted in shame. Everything we do is the part of shame," Jeppe shares. "Women being in pleasure have already [been] shamed enough. We don’t need to shame ourselves. We just need to understand what it was that we were attracted to, and why we did it." And then, let it go and begin again.
Beware of the Celibacy Crutch
Similar to the way sexual liberation acted as a shield for me to avoid vulnerability, for some, vulnerability can also be avoided underneath the veil of celibacy. "There's a flip side of celibacy, that it's almost as a crutch, that it's like, 'Oh, I am so good in my own energy and my own power that I don't even want to bring anyone in,'" Jeppe starts. While she applauds people standing in their power, she questions whether being so "good" alone is a defense that manifests out of fear.
To truly heal, you must also be able to allow others into the journey and experience of you. Dating can be a self-development tool. In fact, Jeppe often encourages the women she works with to start dating as a form of that practice. "How else are you going to practice your boundary setting? How else are you going to be triggered? Because I am sorry, that’s what’s going to happen," she says. "So, how can you see dating as a continuation of your self-development? And when you see it that way, you are also allowing yourself to go deeper in your own journey."
When to Stop Being Celibate
Your celibacy journey is created by your timeline. It could be years, or it could be six months or less. The ending point is specific to the person and is contingent upon how the person on the journey is feeling with their goals and intentions. When it comes to knowing when to stop being celibate, Jeppe describes it as an innate inner knowing of, "'I have done a lot of work on myself. I am feeling confident. And I am ready to put what I have learned up to the test.'" She also notes signs like no longer having bitterness towards the ex and "receiving and practicing your own form of validation" are how you know that you are ready to end celibacy towards the end.
The way you navigate your world looks like really allowing yourself to be seen "and allowing this new version of you to be appreciated," whether that be in the forms of your relationships, friendships, or your career. In that way, you are no longer seeking outside of yourself to validate yourself, you have already established that for yourself.
In a sense, your celibacy journey might not "stop" as it is intentional time that you spend with self and it occurs that way until it doesn't anymore, to resume when you need to begin again. Dating might indicate you're nearing the end of it, yes, but in another sense, the journey is always evolving. "The work that you are doing on yourself, you will continue evolving and growing when you meet other people, and they are going to reflect back aspects of yourself and you are gonna be like, 'Holy shit, I thought I worked on that through celibacy.' And it’s gonna show up and if it shows up, it’s okay, because now you have the tools compared to when you didn’t."
"I think it’s a lot of perception shifting, not seeing the end of celibacy having to be like the manifestation of your partner, while it can be, that’s also what has happened for me, but I would never sell it like that because I don’t want to give this false hope. What it is, is you continuing that journey of understanding what you need and what you want," Jeppe concludes.
"And so it’s like, 'Wow, what a beautiful next chapter to begin exploring yourself again.'"
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