Public marriage proposals can be incredibly risky and one man just found out what can happen if they don’t go as planned.
In a video shared on TikTok on Christmas Eve, which now has more than 14 million views, a hopeless romantic known only as Valerio (and @herclueless on the app) danced with his girlfriend on Rome’s Via Condotti while a local tenor serenaded the romantic scene.
Valerio surprised his girlfriend by getting down on one knee before presenting an engagement ring while onlookers watched, cheered and clapped.
But things quickly go awry as Valerio awkwardly looks at the camera while his girlfriend appears to reject his romantic gesture in Italian.
Mady Meduza, a TikToker who can speak Italian, commented that Valerio’s girlfriend said: ‘I was not expecting this, I’m not ready… that’s why we came to Rome?’
Valerio captioned the in-video ‘proposal gone wrong’ when he posted the clip on his own social media page. ‘Good thing @Cartier has a 30-day return policy,’ he wrote sarcastically in the caption.
At least he has a sense of humour about his faux pas.
The video opened up a discussion about public proposals and why they may put pressure on the person being asked the question to say ‘yes’ to avoid disappointing their partner.
Women in the comments weighed in with their own public proposal experiences. A TikTok user known only as Louise shared: ‘My ex proposed at the top of the London Eye. It was SO crowded and embarrassing. Not the proposal I wanted. I said yes [because] of the all the people looking at us, but seven months later we broke up.’
Another TikTok commenter known as Emma A, claimed: ‘Public proposals are there just to put pressure on the woman to say yes.’
And Kate M wrote: ‘I would be mortified at a public proposal. when my ex husband proposed it was just us two.’
Meanwhile, a man wrote: ‘You don’t have to agree to a proposal, but surely you’d have had lots of talks about your future together first. So not expecting it is a valid reason [in my opinion]. She wasn’t there, and he should have known.’
Making a proposal a massive spectacle isn’t for everyone. A Metro.co.uk reader, named James, told our resident marriage agony aunt that he was planning to pop the question on Christmas Day in front of his girlfriend’s family – even though she doesn’t like the idea of a public proposal.
‘I love her and want to ask her to be my wife desperately, and I thought it would be fun to do it on Christmas Day when we’re unwrapping presents with her family,’ he told columnist Alison Rios McCrone.
‘I know her parents will love the surprise, and it will mean a lot for them to be there in the moment – but I wonder whether it’s too public for such an intimate moment?
‘My girlfriend is quite a reserved person, unlike her bold parents, so I want to make sure that I’m not just making them happy, but also making it the engagement of her dreams, too.
‘When we’ve talked about proposals before, she’s just said she likes simple – nothing in front of strangers in a restaurant, no room of roses, no big public thing. But I’m not sure where she’d stand on this!’
Although James was praised for taking his girlfriend’s feelings into account, Alison shared some tips on how he can still make the proposal special without making it a huge show for her parents. This included proposing earlier in the day and telling her family later while they unwrapped their presents.
‘This way, you both get the intimate moment you desire, and her family still gets to share the joy of the engagement,’ Alison said. ‘This plan also allows your girlfriend to control the way she tells her family, which she may appreciate.’
Now that’s what you call amore.
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