New Zealand Woman’s Weekly
SHEERAN THE LOVE
‘Ed nearly ruined my proposal’
When Jason Higgins got down on bended knee to propose to Tina Cummings, his girlfriend of 11 months, during the final night of Ed Sheeran’s three sell-out Dunedin shows, he knew it would attract a bit of attention.
But the spotlight went viral when the flame-haired British musician nearly scuppered Jason’s romantic plans by skipping How Would You
Feel, the song he wanted to pop the question to an unsuspecting Tina.
The curtain and blind fitter was forced to hurriedly propose as the show ended, flashing the 1.0-carat diamond ring he had carefully smuggled into the concert – and luckily, it was a yes from his sweetheart!
“It was a typical Jason move – proposing so publicly when he knows I hate attention, but the way he puts me out of my comfort zone is also why I love him,” smiles the mum-of-three.
The song has a special meaning for the Christchurch couple, who found love the second time around after meeting at a darts tournament in Oamaru where Jason (43), who has two adult children and a three-year-old grandson, plays in the premier league while Tina (35), an at-risk youth worker, plays socially.
“Darts is pretty much the only thing we have in common,” jokes Jason, who had been engaged three times previously but was single for 11 years and living with his parents before meeting Tina.
“Other than that, we’re opposites! I’m a short, bald granddad and love rugby and old-school rock music, while she’s tall, glam, slightly OCD, loves modern pop and is shy. But we hit it off when we met.”
A few weeks later, smitten Jason – who had returned to Christchurch in 2014 after raising his then-teenage children on his own in Australia – convinced the busy single mum to go to a Highlanders vs Crusaders match.
“I’m not really into rugby,” she smiles. “But it was a cold night and when he wrapped his arms around me at the start, then they stayed that way all night, it all went from there!”
Still, they struggled to say the “L” word – until Jason sent Tina the Ed Sheeran song How Would You Feel in a text message.
“I told him I agreed with the lyrics,” tells Tina. It immediately became “their” song – and Tina’s ringtone.
Soon after, they each said the magic three words and six months later, they moved into their cosy bungalow in Kaiapoi with Tina’s three children – son Jackson (15) and daughters Ella (13) and six-year-old Ava Jay. The couple are now planning their big day for September next year.
“The reaction to the proposal has been incredible for the most part,” says Jason. “We haven’t heard from Ed yet, but if he wants to sing at our wedding, he’s more than welcome!”