I am happy to have this opportunity to share our engagement story with all of you. My name is Phillip, and my fiancé Jonathan and I have been together since August of 2010. We are very lucky to live in Washington, DC, where gay marriage is legal. We will get married in November of 2013, in front of our very supportive friends and family.
I decided to propose in the spring of 2012, and I knew I wanted to make this a very special day for the both of us. It took me a couple months of sneakiness to purchase the ring and organize a full day of events, but the planning was well worth it.
One Saturday, June 23rd, Jonathan walked into our Washington, DC apartment after a work event and was greeted by his best friend, Caitlin. Though her presence was not a surprise—they had planned on hanging out with each other all day—Jonathan quickly noticed that I was out of the apartment. Caitlin explained that I was just running an errand and took a few minutes to talk to Jonathan about his day. After that, she told Jonathan she would be taking him on a little adventure.
Crazy thoughts started to race through Jonathan’s mind, as he told me later, but he tried to keep his expectations in check—he did not want to get ahead of himself. However, as the two neared the White House, he noticed his out-of-town friend was standing on a street corner, holding her camera.
Through a letter read by this friend, I explained that Caitlin was taking Jonathan on a tour of the city to all of the places that were special to us. At each stop, Jonathan soon figured out, one or two of our friends would read a letter that I wrote. The first stop, outside of the White House, was where we kissed goodbye on the walk to work every day.
After saying goodbye to his friend, Jonathan and Caitlin headed to the next stop: our first home. We lived together in a studio apartment for more than eight months as we started to build a life together. Oddly enough, it was also here where we first met. Jonathan had been searching for studios in the city, and before our first date later that evening, I kept him company as he took a look at a few potential apartments, not knowing that we would both end up living together in one of them. Two of our friends met the duo there and read the next letter.
Two more of Jonathan’s friends took over at the third stop, at a building near Dupont Circle. This is where we had our first fight. Fights—especially first fights—are always turning points in young relationships, and too frequently result in the entire relationship being thrown away. We worked through that fight and promised to continue to work through our problems in the future.
Jonathan and Caitlin then jumped in a cab to go up to the location of our first date, Surfside Restaurant in the Glover Park neighborhood. Two of my friends read the letter, although one of them could barely keep it together. Within these remarks, I recalled the good time we had that night and how happy I was with how well my last first date ever went.
Not too far from Surfside was the fifth stop, the rooftop at my first apartment. After a wonderful first date that we did not want to end, we spent a couple hours getting to know each other under the stars. It was also here that we shared our first kiss. At the end of the letter, read by my previous roommate and her boyfriend, Jonathan was instructed to take a cab back to our current apartment.
The final stop included a letter read by Caitlin. The letter explained how important this apartment was to me and explained how I thought going through the entire moving process and building our life together brought us even closer together. To not step on my own toes, I ended the letter quickly, and Caitlin sent Jonathan into the apartment alone.
Jonathan opened the door to a path of candles and flower petals that led to where I stood in the middle of our apartment, our song playing in the background. In prior discussions, we both realized we preferred an intimate, personal proposal, without any onlookers. Fighting emotions, we told each other how we wanted to spend our lives together, and I got down on one knee and proposed to Jonathan. “Of course,” was Jonathan’s perfect reply.