Public or Private Displays of Affection?

Tree decorated for Valentine's Day in San Dieg...

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

The day of love and romance means different things to different people.  To some it’s all flourish with big bouquets and huge heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  To others, it’s a special note or hidden lingerie waiting to be revealed in private.  Which leads me to today’s question:

What’s more romantic, public or private displays of affection?

Nothing is more public than the surprise proposal during a big game or on a game show…or in the middle of a dinner party, but is that romantic.  I know I’m not the only one who cringes when I see one of those proposals – first I feel for the woman …talk about pressure!  (I’ll use the traditional couple for discussion sake – you know any combination of ask-er and ask-ee is possible.) But then I wonder if the guy knows whether she’ll say yes or not…getting denied on national television would be the ultimate rejection.  The end is almost always happy, but talk about stress!

On the other hand, a public proposal means the guy is putting all his cards on the table.  He’s saying “Look, I love this woman, and I want the whole world to know it.” He’s now accountable to EVERYONE, promising us as much as his wife that he’s hers.  Now that’s commitment.

The quiet, private proposal doesn’t have that kind of pressure attached to it…or does it? The surreptitious sliding of a velvet box across the table in a noisy restaurant or the spontaneous dropping to one knee has it’s own risks. The “you’re joking, right?” answer has a better chance of making an appearance…but so does the “Oh yes!” followed by more demonstrative affirmation. Is that more romantic?

So what do you think?  Is footsie under the table more romantic than a make-out session on the subway?  A song dedication on the radio or a special CD slipped into your bag? “Marry me” shouted in front of the cameras or whispered in a darkened room?

In any case, I wish you love and romance today!

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4 responses to “Public or Private Displays of Affection?

  1. Robin DeJarnett

    Lisa, that’s so true. And that’s the key to a happy marriage, I think: know your spouse. Sounds like your hubby knows you pretty well! Happy Valentine’s Day to both of you!

  2. Robin DeJarnett

    Carol, that’s so sweet! You both trying to lose is great! Rodney sounds like a real sweetheart and a great catch. Happy Valentine’s to both of you!

  3. I was in Fermanagh with Rodney, my dad who was up for the weekend and about 80 other people we know. Rodney and I were playing pool and his friends were teasing that if I won he was going to propose. Obviously, I didn’t want Rodney to feel pressured. A diamond ring wasn’t high on my list of priorities since I already have a collection(that’s a whole other story, lol). I tried my best to lose but didn’t realize Rodney was also trying to lose. So began the longest pool game in history. Eventually I did win with a fluke shot I could never have made another time, we are talking a ball bouncing around the table about 5 times and then directly into the hole.
    Rodney got down on one knee with tears in his eyes. I honestly was not expecting it, especially with all the whooping, hollering and champagne. I laughed initially, I’m sure not the desired reaction but I honestly thought it wasn’t serious. I did say yes in the end.
    My poor dad’s glasses steamed up. lol.

  4. Lisa Langdale

    I guess it depends on the person. I’m a fairly private person, therefore a public proposal would be the wrong choice for someone like me. Some people really feed off the public thing though. I guess my answer is: know who you’re proposing to. Make sure it’s right for him/her. My husband knew I would be embarrassed my a public proposal so made his sweet and private!

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