The unexpected true story of how Barack Obama finally proposed to Michelle.


There’s no doubt that Barack and Michelle Obama are relationships goals.

They work together.

They laugh together.

And they even, erm, dance together.


Now, in her new book Becoming, Michelle has shared the hilarious story of their engagement.

In an excerpt of the book published on Jezebel, the former first lady explains the couple used to always “quarrel” about marriage. She was traditional and wanted to tie the knot, and Barack didn’t really believe in the institution of marriage.

When they were out at dinner one night, they once again found themselves at loggerheads over the subject.

“We weren’t fighting, but we were quarrelling, and doing it attorney-style. We punched and counterpunched, dissected and cross-examined, though it was clearly I who was more inflamed. It was I who was doing most of the talking,” she writes.

Then a waiter arrived with her dessert.

At first Michelle didn’t even notice the dark velvet box on her plate.

“Inside it was a diamond ring,” she recalls.

“Barack looked at me playfully. He’d baited me. It had all been a ruse. It took me a second to dismantle my anger and slide into joyful shock. He’d riled me up because this was the very last time he would invoke his inane marriage argument, ever again, as long as we both should live. The case was closed.”

This isn’t the first time the Obamas have spoken openly about their relationship.

Earlier this year, Obama’s former communications director Dan Pfeiffer released a new book called Yes, We (Still) Can. 


In the book, which details his time as a White House staffer, Pfeiffer talks about the sage advice Barack gave him just before he proposed to his now wife.

Barack, who’s been married to Michelle for 26 years now, believes there’s three questions you should ask yourself before marrying your partner.

“Here’s the advice I give everyone about marriage – is she someone you find interesting? You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life, and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things,” the former President told his staffer.

“Does she make you laugh? And I don’t know if you want kids, but if you do, do you think she will be a good mum? Life is long. These are the things that really matter over the long term.”