I dated my wife between 2000 and 2002 before I popped the question whether she wanted to marry me or not. Atcually we never had a proper proposal situation in which I (or she) bent down on my (or her) knee and ask her (or my) hand in marriage. It was more like a mutual agreement between us that we have dated long enough and has been exclusive long enough (which is a different matter altogether) that we decided it was better that we tie the knot. By 2002, it was a settled thing as when I went to England, I even shopped somewhere in one of their factory outlets (yes, I am that cheap) for our wedding gifts which Malaysian exchange with each other during the ceremony.
So, it was settled that we will not be having to go through that embarrasing and risky business (for the proposer) of proposing and expecting and answer. That is while the proposee had to look surprise and having to quickly decides whether she (or he) really wants to marry the proposer. Simple but maddeningly complicated, right? That is the perils of love.
In my case, as one who loves to spring surprises, I decided to do it although the matter is settled. I did it through a morning radio show in which I have a friend who was one of its deejay. He called me up and called her up and then I talked to her and I was supposed to propose. Before I was patched through to her, the deejays (there were 3 of them) and I sparred a little in which they asked me all sort of embarrassing things like why I like her etc. I was actually nervous and nearly talked nonsense to the benefit of nearly half of the nation (the radio station is government owned and broadcast everywhere and there were not that many stations unlike now then). I managed to get them to call her and then I nearly talked nonsense again before managing to do it properly.
She laughed at first but then gets into the joke when I told her that I was actually proposing to her there and then through the phone on public broadcast and seriously need an answer from her.
Luckily, she did say the right thing (which was Yes! of course)