This huge step is one that more and more women are taking every year -- and it’s not because they’re desperate or afraid of ending up a spinster.
Nope times have changed, despite what Jane Austen novels and 90s RomCom’s would have us believe. In fact, more women are proposing simply because why not? They’ve found their person and they’re 100% ready to commit. Why would they have to wait for the guy to pop the question?
We don’t need to wait around to be asked for our hand, or to be given away. We can do the asking. We can belong to ourselves. We have the power to redefine traditional engagement and wedding norms into something that represents true equality in a partnership - more than any other time in history.
And honestly, we are 100% here for it.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of asking your man to be by your side forever, before you get down on one knee in the age old tradition and pop the question, let’s talk about what your proposal could look like, because we think proposals got a little makeover. Especially if we’re going to be the ones doing the asking.
Make sure you’re asking because you want to
Before you decide any of the other fun and juicy deets of planning out your perfect proposal, there are a few hard hitting questions that you definitely need to answer for yourself before you go askin’ anyone anything -- and the thing is you gotta be 100% honest.
The first BIG questions is: Why are you asking? If the answer is anything other than: it feels like the right thing to do, popping the Q to your guy is probably not the best idea. Getting honest with yourself here is going to be crucial, because if you’re asking him to marry you just because you’re tired of waiting on him to pop the question, well, let’s just say the chances of your proposal having picture perfect ending are pretty slim.
Never propose to someone to “force” their hand. They either want to marry you, or they don’t. And if the relationship seems like a dead end, you’re much better off holding out for someone whose head over heels for you and feels the same way about marriage.
There isn’t a proposal in the world that can “make” someone feel differently about marriage.
Know your guy
Ok, this sounds a little silly -- but thanks to social conditioning it’s worth reiterating. Before proposing and being the first to commit to the other, it’s important to know how your significant other is going to respond.
There’s a lot of baggage and stereotypes the come along with who “should” be asking who, and even if your guy says YES, his ego may be a little bruised. It’s possible thanks to social conditioning, or simply how he pictured this day going in his head, that he may feel like you stole his thunder and you definitely have turned tradition on its head -- so the key is to know how your guy is going to respond.
The simple way to avoid any weirdness? Let him know that you’d like to be the one to pop the question in this relationship. Or if this was something he had his heart set on doing, planning a dual proposal where you each get the chance to ask is an easy and fun workaround. You’ll also get double the engagement story to share with friends and family!
Planning = perfection
When asking your boyfriend to spend the rest of your lives together, it goes without saying planning the specifics is going to make your life so much easier (and help with those jitters too!).
The key is to not over plan the situation, day or event. Not only does “under-planning” leave room for romantic spontaneity, but it also takes the pressure off if things don’t work out “perfectly.” The point is to enjoy the time you spend together regardless if you got the best table in the house or not.
That being said, don’t dive-in headfirst with no plan at all. Here are few must-plan things that will make your proposal easy and unforgettable.
There’s no need for one knee
You’re already turning tradition on its head, so why not go ALL the way?! When planning a proposal, there are a lot of “shoulds” that come with the territory. But don’t let shoulds get in the way of what’s perfect for you as a couple. Go for something unique that both of you will enjoy -- no need to go for a long walk on the beach at sunset if that’s not your thing.
Just be sure when you’re planning, to keep in mind whether you want the proposal to be private or public and what you think your guy would prefer as well, that will go along way with helping you decide what and where you’ll want it all to go down.
You don’t have to go for regular bling
We think the most important thing here is to know you have options when it comes to presenting your partner with a gift to signify your engagement -- you know we’re all about the rings, so we say go for it.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that you can’t expect him to buy you an engagement ring -- especially if you don’t give him some sort of promissory gift as well. Your gift could be another piece of jewelry like a watch, bracelet, cufflinks -- or maybe even having one of those items inscribed. Or you can be totally different and get him something like artwork or something unique to what he would love. It’s not about the ring, but about the promise. So don’t feel pressured to buy a ring, especially if that’s not really his jam.
Just in case
Part of planning a proposal is being prepared for all outcomes… even the less than savory ones.
If it’s not an immediate yes, don’t panic: take a breath and just calmly ask his reasons why. Don’t jump to conclusions and assume you know the reasons why he’s not saying yes right now -- so be sure you’re actually listening. It’s okay to be bummed, but this doesn’t mean your relationship is over.
Of course, we do recommend talking out your plan to propose ahead of time, not just to get a read on how he feels about you popping the question, but how he feels about getting married right now in general. Surprises are fun, but finding out if your boyfriend is ready for marriage at the time you pop the question - is not.
While some traditions are beautiful and absolutely have their place, when it comes to asking the person you love most to spend the rest of your lives together, there’s not better time to break tradition and do what’s best for you and your SO.
And what’s more, there’s no right or wrong way to propose and that definitely includes who’s doing the asking.
Did you propose to your boyfriend? If so, how did you do it? We’d love to hear your story in the comments