You’ve found the one, you’re looking past your next date and on into the future. You’re ready. So…now what?

Asking the woman you love to spend the rest of her life with you is a Big Deal, and you definitely want it to go well. After all, it’s a moment that both of you will remember for the rest of your life. When it comes to popping the question, there are a few key points to consider to make it memorable for all the right reasons.

Here are 5 tips to remember as you prepare to rock her world with the ultimate rock.

propose to your significant other

1. Right time, right place

Just because you feel ready, doesn’t necessarily mean she is. Knowing that you are both in the same place mentally can help you to avoid popping the question prematurely.

There is definitely a sweet spot between Way Too Soon and You Missed Your Window that matters. First, you’ll need to make sure the hormonal rush of First Love has passed—that honeymoon phase of dating that clouds your judgment. Propose during this time and you can’t be sure it’s not lust-driven.

Plus, a premature proposal can scare her off—something that’s almost impossible to recover from. On the other hand, waiting too long can sour the moment.

Expectations, heavy hinting on her part, and resentment building up from you about this dynamic do not the stuff of romance make. Chances are, if you’ve been together for a reasonable amount of time, know without a doubt that she’s the One, and have had a chance to share (and accept!) each other’s imperfections, you’re in the Proposal Zone.

2. Stay true to form

Now is not the time to roll inauthentic. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, don’t plan an elaborate camping trip. If you’re not a sappy romantic, posing as such will only put her off. Your special lady is going to say ‘yes’ to YOU—if your proposal is too contrived, it won’t reflect what you are truly offering her.

Instead, draw from the places and experiences that have defined you as a couple, speak from your heart, and woo her with genuine appeal.

3. To PDA or not to PDA—that is the question

Before you drop an engagement ring in a fancy dessert or commission a plane broadcasting the most important question of your life, consider your audience.

Is your girl the type that generally likes Public Displays of Affection? Is she an extrovert by nature, buoyed by the energy that onlookers will provide? Or will a public proposal only add a layer of spotlight and pressure that would detract from the intimacy?

Marriage is a lifelong commitment to considering someone else’s needs and wants and what better time to start this practice than with a thoughtful and considerate proposal.

engagement ring

4. Devil’s in the details

Once you’ve decided on the location and general concept of your perfect proposal, don’t let a few key details detract from the experience.

One of the biggies here is knowing her ring size. If you’re stuck—ask her friends! Another detail to consider is the weather and extenuating circumstances beyond your control. Considering a beach proposal (as spectacular places in France)—know the tides! You don’t want a crowded beach and screaming kids drowning out your words of love.

5. Relax!

There’s nothing more cliche than a sweaty-palmed, awkward-speech-making proposal. But, sometimes the cliche can come off cute.

Your girl will respond to your genuine emotion, and if that comes off a perspiring mess, believe it or not, she will appreciate the fact that the monumental impact of this moment is being felt by you, too.

Try to focus on her, your love, and that this will be a moment made special by the two of you, more than any perfect preset of proposal etiquette. You’re creating a story that will be shared for years to come, and its uniqueness will be as awesome as you as a couple.

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