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    Ask A Dumb Cat: "My Boyfriend's Going To Propose And I Don't Want Him To"

    Plus, how to negotiate V-Day when you've just started dating! “Ask A Dumb Cat” is a weekly column offering advice, consolation, and life lessons to real people from A Dumb Cat. Send your questions for A Dumb Cat to

    Dear Dumb Cat,

    My boyfriend is making a much bigger deal about this upcoming Valentine's Day than he normally does and I am almost completely certain that he is going to propose. I do love him and want to get married but I absolutely hate the idea of him embarrassing me in front of a bunch of people at a restaurant on Valentine's Day. It just feels so awkward and cliche. Is there anything I can do to persuade him this is a bad idea without ruining his surprise?


    Modest Proposal

    Dear Modest,

    You maybe aren't totally going to love this answer, but try to bear with me and remember first and foremost that a marriage is for life and a proposal is literally just a nice (and sometimes maybe slightly awkward) thing that happens to you for about five minutes. In fact, maybe repeat that to yourself a few times and then come back to this next part so you are in the right frame of mind.

    OK? OK!

    OK, here's the thing: You don't get to control how your boyfriend chooses to propose to you, but you do get to control the truly important things in your relationship. The things that matter. The things that will make your long life together a source of joy or a horrible chore. Don't focus on the mechanics of the proposal itself, but focus instead on the little things that make up the sum total of the you and the him that is your beautiful, complicated "us." Does he scratch you underneath your chin in that way you love so much? Does he let you sit on his lap and butt your head into his face while he is trying to read? Does he collect your poop every day and put it into a plastic bag? Does he pick dried chunks of your vomit out of the carpet with a paper towel in the middle of the night, grumbling and cursing all the while? Does he fill your bowl with a glutinous mass of reprocessed chicken parts every morning before he makes coffee for himself? Does he let you walk on his face while he sleeps? These are the things that will truly matter in your time with each other. All you really need to remember is that the proposal, whether it's awkward or sweet or bumbling or strange or all of the above - is not a proposal for its own sake, but a proposal that you do these things together, and with love.


    A Dumb Cat

    Dear Dumb Cat,

    I've gone out on two dates with this guy and I think I like him, which is nice, but Valentine's Day is coming up and it feels TOO SOON and even though I like him I desperately don't want to make him feel any pressure at this early early early early early early stage. But what should I do? Should I just pretend that Valentine's Day is not happening? Or is there a way to do it that doesn't make it feel like, you know, too much of a thing?


    Early Days

    Dear Early,

    The good news is that this is not a crazy, abnormal crisis that you are having because V-Day is coming up but actually a very normal thing that almost everybody who has dated someone has to deal with at some point. If it's not V-Day itself, it's a birthday or a wedding or one of the many, many social occasions that seem to be designed specifically to put too much pressure on two people who are maybe in a relationship but haven't quite figured out what that means yet. My recommendation for you is actually incredibly simple:

    Talk to him about it. But don't just blurt it out - that's going to end up freaking him out a lot more. Instead, pick a time when he is relaxing, maybe even when he is asleep in bed, and yowl at him. By "yowl," I don't mean your normal speaking voice, but a deep-throated, drawn-out, rumbling "OWWWWWW" that sounds like you are either in extreme physical distress or undergoing a massive existential crisis. Walk around his whole house saying "OWWWWWW" in different rooms until he eventually gets out of bed to see if you are OK. Then act like nothing at all happened and look at him like he is a crazy person and that, frankly, he is bothering you by following you around in the middle of the night asking you what is up when you are just trying to yowl in a room.


    A Dumb Cat

    BuzzFeed Animals' Ask A Dumb Cat™ is an unbelievably inane weekly advice column from a dumb cat who doesn't even know how to do anything except sleep and eat and generally be a pain in the ass and not even sit on your lap when you want him to. Would you like said advice? Email your questions to

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