How to Propose to a Girl: a Guy’s Guide to Proposing
The time has come. You just know it is the right time. You are going to ask the woman of your dreams to marry you. You want to spend the rest of your life together, and to announce to the rest of the world: this is the woman for you. But before the big day, you have to propose. Since you have never done this before, how do you do this very important rite of passage? Well, we’ve assembled a couple of men of different ages to discuss their experiences in popping the question, so that you might take your cue from these tried and true proposal experiences.
Timing is key
As with many other things in life, timing is very important in knowing how to propose to a girl. Too early in the relationship and she might feel rushed. This might scare her for a bit. On the other hand, if you wait too late in a relationship, she will be wondering what is taking you so long and may wonder if you’re serious about the relationship at all. In the strong relationship, you will know when the right time has come. Steve Clark, 36, an accountant with a big multinational firm, had been dating Melissa for three years. He shares his experience: “I knew the time was right. Three years of dating Melissa allowed me to really get to know her. At two years, I still had a few doubts, but three is right. I racked my brain trying to figure out the time and place to ask Melissa to marry me. I crowdsourced it to my friends, but none of them had any ideas either. Finally, over dinner one night, I just popped the question. Melissa did not hesitate for a second, and now we have been happily wed for a year. I have never been happier!”
Proposing to the love of your life is not the time to take on a new persona. Realistically think about your own character traits. Are you generally an informal guy? Does the thought of wearing a tux and kneeling down on one knee seem a bit too contrived to you? Your soon-to-be fiancé loves you for who you are and probably would not expect nor want that sort of proposal. Take her to one of your favorite spots so that you both feel comfortable. Plan what you are going to say beforehand, relax, and go for it! She will appreciate your honest simplicity of the proposal. As Shakespeare himself wrote, “To thine own self be true,” and since honesty is a fundamental underpinning to a successful marriage, having your proposal reflect who you are is a great start to a fabulous life together.
In public–Or not
We have all seen those public proposals where the woman’s name appears on the gigantic electronic scoreboard at stadiums or arenas. Creative, yes? Maybe for the first time. Now, not so creative. And then there’s the proposal involving the ring presented in a dish at the fancy restaurant. By the time you are ready to propose, you should know your partner well enough to know if she would prefer to be proposed in front of thousands of sports fans looking up at the Jumbotron scoreboard, in a restaurant with the bemused waitstaff watching or perhaps in a more private place. You should know her personality and not risk public humiliation for her if she is not comfortable with that sort of proposal. Wallace Tilbury, 28, and a data analyst and huge San Francisco Giants fan, expressed is dismay when he knew that having his intended’s name flash up on the Jumbotron, was just not going to happen.” I knew that Jennifer would rather experience my proposal without twenty thousand witnesses since she is such a private person. Sure, I was a bit disappointed that I could not combine my two passions, baseball, and Jennifer, but marriage is just that–thinking about the other person and what would make her happier.”
Think about all the details. Of course, you have thought and thought about this very special rite of passage. You don’t want anything to go wrong. If you plan on giving her an engagement ring when you propose, make sure you know her ring size. That can be tricky to find out, so you can always give her a card inviting her to go with you to a jeweler’s where she can help choose exactly what she wants. It would not be the optimal situation if you were to give her a ring which was the wrong size. If you are proposing without the ring, make sure you have all the details worked out before. Preparation is very important for this special occasion. Know where you want to go, what you want to wear (since you probably want to take pictures of this event), and determine if the date you have chosen may conflict with other things happening that day or evening. Public holidays may mean that that the secluded beach where you had planned asking her to marry you may be filled with screaming kids, picnic-ing families, beer-chugging frat guys and competing boom boxes. Not exactly the romantic scene you had in mind!
Finally, remember to enjoy this memorable occasion
You are dealing with lots of details, but don’t get bogged down with too many. This will be a very important point in your lives together, so relax and enjoy this special time!
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