TIME relationships

Here’s What The Millionaire Matchmaker Thinks About 7 Viral Proposals

Patti Stanger judges 7 viral engagements for National Proposal Day

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For those who narrowly escaped the crushing romantic pressure that Valentine’s Day puts on relationships, the worst is still to come. March 20 marks not only the first day of Spring, but also National Proposal Day, which, yes, is a real thing.

Of course, on the Internet, it always feels like it’s National Proposal Day. There’s a new viral engagement video almost every week — and whether it involve flashmobs of professional Broadway dancers or flashmobs of pugs, each new one seems to top the last.

“If you’re a private person, then it’s going to scare the crap out of you,” says relationship guru Patti Stanger, star of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. “But if you’re a person who’s over the top, then go for it.”

It’s best to know if your intended public proposal is “adorable” or “ew” before you pop the question. So TIME had Stanger judge seven different types, although she doesn’t think a viral proposal is necessary.

The Millionaire Matchmaker airs Sunday on BRAVO at 9/8c.

  • Pug on Pugs on Pugs

    Proposal: A man enlisted the help of 16 pugs, donning heart-shaped balloons, to propose to his dog-loving girlfriend in late 2013.

    Stanger: “As long as PETA was OK with it, I’m OK with it. It was a cute proposal, but should he have given her a pug? That would have made sense. It should have been all the pugs in a row and the last one’s yours. Maybe that one says, ‘Will you marry me?’ Maybe it should have been holding the ring.”

  • 99 Too Many iPhone 6s

    Proposal: A man in China reportedly spent 2 years of savings on 99 iPhones 6s, costing an estimated $85k. He then arranged them into a heart and publicly proposed to his girlfriend on China’s National Singles Day. (She reportedly said no.)

    Stanger: “This is stupid. That’s 85 grand you should have put into the ring.”

  • The Home Depot Dance Flashmob

    Proposal: A man unsuspectingly went to Home Depot with his roommate and was surprised when his boyfriend (and friends and family) did a choreographed dance to Betty Who’s Somebody Loves You before proposing.

    Stanger: “I don’t know… It was kind of cute, but I’ve seen this kind of proposal before. It’s not an original idea. I also thought it was creepy that the family was involved with that, it was overwhelming and a little over the top. I think proposals should maybe be a little more personal.”


  • Photo Booth

    Proposal: A guy took his high school sweetheart into a photo booth to pop the question in between pictures.

    Stanger: “Boring. That seemed, to me, very high school.”

  • The Jumbotron and Gender Norms

    Proposal: Last year, a Maryland woman took her boyfriend to a Miami Heat game and proposed to him on the Jumbotron. “I thought this would make me the best wife-to-be ever to do it in front of his favorite team,” she told a local FOX affiliate. He said yes, and that he would have proposed “eventually.”

    Stanger: “Ew. Yuck. Creepy.” On top of thinking that Jumbotron proposals are overdone in general, Stanger had a big problem with the woman proposing to her boyfriend — rather than the other way around. “That was like, OK listen, I know the only way to get your attention is at the Miami Heat game, so here’s what I’m going to do and I’m going to put it on the screen? What if he said no? Men are used to rejection; women are not. She will always have the pants on in the relationship… Lesbians can propose, straight girls cannot.”

  • The Year-Long Secret

    Proposal: A man “secretly” proposed to his girlfriend every day for a year by writing different variations of “will you marry me” on a whiteboard when she was distracted doing everyday tasks like brushing her teeth or folding laundry. He videotaped his effort and showed her the video in Aruba, where he actually proposed.

    Stanger: “Also a little creepy. After a while it’s going to get older than old, baby.” Does she think the woman would have rather had her now-fiance just propose a year ago, when he was ready? “Um, yeah no sh**.”

  • A Little Help From My (Celebrity) Friends

    Proposal: In the above video, a man recorded eight different celebrities (including John Stamos) convincing his girlfriend to marry him. Other people have proposed via the Old Spice Man and Mariah Carey.

    Stanger: “This is my favorite. I love it. I get calls about this all the time, too. Find your favorite celebrity that she loves and you surprise her with that. That’s adorable.”

    Stanger Sidenote: “John Stamos was really cute in that. I was just thinking about how single he is and how I need to fix him up.”


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