We've been together for a while, and you know by now how much I love you. Yes, we are committed to each other, and that is something I do not question. What I am proposing to you is something more - I'm pledging to be with you for life.
I watched Shall We Dance? many years ago. It was a flawed movie, but something from it has stuck with me even a decade later. Susan Sarandon says in the movie: "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness'." That, X, is what I am pledging to you. The witness-hood to your life.
And it is not because your life might go unnoticed - it cannot, for you are bright and amazing, and the world sits up to take notice when you speak. It is because my life will be infinitely poorer without watching you shine.
I want to marry you because you give me hope - hope that each day of my life will be beautiful, because you will show me on the horriblest day that it's not the end of the world, just the end of a bad time. I want to reach out in the middle of the night and touch you and know that the next day will be wonderful - because I will wake up to your smile. The smell of freshly brewed coffee does not pull me out of bed as willingly and as fast as the certainty of arguing with you over who has dibs on the newspaper.
When I leave you every morning, to start my day out in the world, I leave with a sense of well-being. A sense of eagerness to experience things that I can share with you. For I know that you will have wonderful stories to tell me about yourself at the end of the day. This passion we share - not just for each other but for food, for observing people, for fighting over what we like and what we don’t - it adds a sharpness to my days that I do not want to live without.
I remember a conversation we had early on in our relationship. When you had said something to the effect of "What is life without adventure and risk?" I had been struck then by how different you are from me. Boring person that I am, I live life in an orderly manner, even my friendships thought through as meticulously as my workday. Whereas you live from dream to dream - making one come true, and moving on to a wilder, grander one. You, X, are my adventure, and I risk my shot at lifelong happiness if I do not embrace it.
I want to marry you because you make my life better. You make me feel like I can live my dreams, like I can (and should) dream more. And I want to be your anchor as you fulfil every dream of yours, and build a life with me - together.
So, X, I want to marry you. And I might just ask you to.