Proposing Part 1: Why you should propose to your boyfriend

Updated Jan 12 2017
Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns
Will You Marry Me Vintage Silverware Hand Stamped Sugar Spoon by AnvilDesigns

One of the things I learned from my reader survey was how many of you identified yourselves as "ladies in waiting," i.e. women biding their time until their boyfriends propose. Well, girls: STOP WAITING! If you're into questioning traditions, start by questioning the very first assumption about weddings: that a woman's role is waiting for a man to pick her.

I know: it's scary right? You're thinking, "What if he says no?" Well, no one said taking your life by the reins would be easy, and the anxieties and fears of rejection that come up around proposing give you great insight into some of the cultural pressures men traditionally experience.

Proposing is definitely scary, and I'm speaking from personal experience here. As those of you who've read my book know, I actually proposed to Andreas …

On our third anniversary, we went to this pottery painting place. As I'd planned, I painted a big plate with a picture of us holding hands. (Yes, we were naked in the painting. I like painting butts!)

Above the little people, I painted the words "Psst: will you marry me?" Then I put my grandmother's diamond wedding ring onto the plate and slid it across the table to Andreas.

He looked at the plate. He looked up at me.

I looked at him. Nothing happened.

"…Well, will you?" I said.

"Of course!" he said, and I exhaled in relief.

"…But you don't mean, like, IMMEDIATELY, right?" he said. "I mean, of course we're spending the rest of our lives together. But there's no rush, right?"

"Er, I guess not…" I said.

"Awesome!" he said. "I love you!" And then he went back to painting.

I sat and freaked out a bit, but nothing had really changed: we were still just as committed and someday we would get married. Just not quite yet, evidently.

"No rush," in our case, meant getting married three years later.

Grab the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and tell it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way.

This is all to say that I know that it's scary and intimidating and hard. (It should be noted that Andreas has expressed feeling sort of bad for how he handled the proposal. I mean, it all worked out ok, but it wasn't the stuff of swelling violins and magical twinkly lights.)

Of course not all men want to be proposed to, and you know your boyfriend best … I'm thinking that chances are good that if he loves you for being a sassy independently-minded offbeat girlfriend, he's the kind of guy who would appreciate tipping an old tradition on its ear.

When you propose to your boyfriend, you're taking a huge first step toward grabbing the traditional institution of marriage by the balls and telling it that you're doing this on your terms and in your own way. It's an exercise in taking ownership of your life and your journey through it. It's your way of saying, "I'm not going to drop hints to get what I want — I'm going to apply that energy to building the courage to do it myself." This isn't just about proposals. It's about knowing what you want and feeling strong enough in yourself to just go get it.

This isn't to say that it's not a wonderful thing when men propose. Ideally, any proposal is the result of many conversations about what marriage means to both you, why you're committed to each other, etc. It should never really be "popping the question."

But if you've had conversations about commitment and you're ready to get married — STOP WAITING!

Read part 2: How to propose to your boyfriend

  1. The feather was taped to the headboard of our bed and stayed there for three years, a continuous promise that we would get married someday. We giggled and proposed to each other about once a month, to be silly, to renew the idea, and to make sure we were still good to go on that. We just didn't have the money for an actual wedding, not even a small one, so we waited… and waited… and then in 2007 we had children: two adorable siamese cats. After about a year, when they got old enough to get into some major mischief… the poor thing didn't stand a chance. It was a horrid death of blue scattered about the bedroom. o_o

    We eventually decided to f*ck the idea of a wedding and got married at our courthouse for official, medical, and sanity reasons. The civil marriage, now coined the Get-It-Over-With-Already! Day, was cold and perfunctory and the only thing that made it nice and took my mind away from the speed-reading officiant was the real monarch butterfly standing on my shoulder (superglued to a piece of card and pinned on). I had found it dead as of recent in the parking lot a couple days beforehand, and we had actually planned for butterflies to be the theme of our little mini marriage, on the bouquet and my dress was dark orange, dark brown, tan, cream… etc. Monarchs have a very special place in my heart from the main character in a book I am writing, whom I name Anne Monarch. She also loves monarchs and ended up with the last name Monarch and also became a monarch (royalty). And this… *choke*… and this is where I start crying. I think my grandfather sent the butterfly to me. He passed away earlier this year of Alzheimers… he must have wanted me to care for her body and honor it in the
    best way possible. I am honored in return, grandpa. She completely made my day. My husband and I had considered changing both of our last names to represent us as a new family, and I think Monarch would be nice. Maybe I, like my character who often represents me, always was a Monarch? No offense to my parents, but I think we each grow into our own special names and states of mind when we become a new family.


  2. My parents came down about a week later to look at a house with us and afterward we sat and brainstormed a bit. They didn't want us to have the courthouse be our only memory of a marriage, so they offered to pay for a small ceremony and a simple ice cream reception if we could help out some. We were overjoyed with the idea. I didn't think we could have an October wedding this year, I really wanted one, but I was ready to wait a year. Mom said we could do it. It'd be hectic and crazy, but she insisted we could do it, so I said okaaaay…

    Then friends and family started offering their talents left and right over the past two months. One of mom's friends offered a big discount on a hand made wedding cake to my specifications. (I can't wait to see it! I asked for tiers that look like they are covered with fabric sheets, each one a different color, and then monarchs all over it.) My aunt threw me a bridal shower a couple weeks ago. My cousin offered to play piano during our unity ceremony. My absolute best friend on the internet for the last decade (whom I've met in real life a couple times at conventions) is coming up by bus. Just a ton of stuff has fallen into our laps like a sudden burst of candy from a pinata!

    Grandpa sure did like his candy.

    I think I'll get another feather to display along with grandpa's butterfly at the wedding that we are finally having this Saturday!!

  3. I accidentally proposed to my boyfriend last Friday while we were at a party together.

    We'd sneaked away from the rest of the crowd and lain down on the hosts' bed for a few minutes of quiet time together. I'd been thinking about marrying him a lot over the past month.

    Every time l looked at him, all I could think was "I want to be your wife." I really had meant it as more of a reassurance that it would be OK to ask me, that I wanted him to ask me sometime, that if he did ask me, he'd get a good answer. So I just let the words slip out. "I want to be your wife."

    He looked shocked, but took a deep breath and laughed and said he loved me. With the next breath he asked me to marry him. I assured him that of course I would, but I was shocked too. I hadn't meant to propose, just to clear the way!

    Man… years ago I'd asked both of my dates to prom, I'd asked this one if he wanted to date me–and now this! "Can't I just be patient?! Shit! I ruined it; Me and my big mouth!" I was berating myself inside, rather than fully enjoying the momentousness of the occasion.

    When he giggled, though, it set me more at ease. He told me that he'd been planning on speaking with my father about it next week when we go visit my family for a cousin's wedding. He'd planned to ask me after getting my father's blessing, on the anniversary of the day I asked him out–he's offbeat, but as sweet a Southern Gentleman as you could ask for too.

    We talked about it, and he'll be speaking with both of my parents this week and making a formal proposal at a time of his choosing (with a ring that we both like), likely next month.

    I told him I'd been looking at rings. He told me he'd been looking at rings, we decided to swap websites, and it turned out to be EXACTLY the same site (google mokume gane rings).

    So I could have let things unfold, and they would have been perfect…. but they're going to unfold a little differently and still be perfect.

  4. My boyfriend and I have been with one another for three years. We have always had an unconventional relationship where our gender roles are pleasantly reversed. We have recently been having more and more discussions about our future together and the potential for marriage. All of these variables made it clear to me how strongly I wanted to propose marriage to him. The seed was planted… so the tremendious romantic planning began. So last night we were driving to the groccery store and he found the ring hidden in my purse while looking for something! OH MY! D'oh! Seeing him and the ring together filled me up with so much excitement and love. It gave me shivers! My romantic plans temporarily flew out the window as I recited my romantic speech and proposed to him while driving to Fresh and Easy! But it felt right and he said yes. Isn't life funny?

  5. In our case it made sense for me to propose, because my guy was always much more comfortable with the idea of marriage than I was, so he could never be sure if I'd say yes. He repeatedly told me as much. After waffling on the issue for about a year and practically deciding we WOULDN'T get married on principle, we bought a house together. At this point marriage was superfluous–it was quite clear neither of us was planning to go anywhere.

    With the pressure off, we could address the issue as a practical matter instead of an emotional one. When we began "joking" about engagement rings and weddings, I suspected we were both ready. When I stumbled upon the perfect location for a proposal, I knew the time had come for me to take the pressure off him and propose. Even though I planned the whole thing in one week, and it didn't go off exactly as planned, it turned out very nicely and I totally surprised him! His engagement "ring" is actually a dagger, since he's into swords, but it came with a matching ring if he ever feels like wearing it.

    • I also left the door open for him to buy me a ring if he likes, but I'm not putting pressure on him about it. This way he still has the opportunity to surprise me with a proposal if he feels like it.

  6. ok i understand and i want to prpose to my boyfriend to buy my question is do i buy my ring and his or just his someone help me please

    • Definitely just his ring–or a sword or a pocketwatch or a guitar–whatever his heart desires that only you would know!

  7. i proposed, kind of. conversation went from agreeing that we both want kids, and i'd kind of like to raise kids _with him_ to, let's make some kind of committment to each other re raising the kids, to let's have a big party celebrating it, and… a week or so later the word "wedding" was finally mentioned… two months later we bought each other rings…

  8. I proposed to Mark. Three months into our relationship, we were watching home movies and Mark looked at me and said, "I want to marry you someday. Do you want to be my wife?" I agreed but nothing came of it. A year and three months later, I stayed up all night and decorated our home with crayon pictures that I had spent months drawing. One said everything I loved about him and then asked "Mark, will you marry me?" He ran into the bedroom the next morning where I was still sleeping and woke me up and said "yes" about a million times. Two weeks later, he took me to the park where we ride our bikes and dropped down to one knee in front of this beautiful lake and presented me with the ring. It was kind of a fun way – we kept asking each other. I knew from the instant we met that he'd be my hubby.

  9. although we haven't actually proposed to each other as yet, i've got a plan!

    My man really loves comic books and has just created the first issue if his own (aptly named Romance is Dead' ) so a couple of years ago I thought about creating a little comic of my own and have the last page a drawing of us with me popping the question – being a procrastinator (not because I didn't want to finish it but lots of other crafty thing got in the way!) this is still not finished!
    Although I'm not sure if I need to as he's hinted that he has also a plan…
    But we could take inspiration from some of these other comments and both of us could propose…

  10. My boyfriend is proposing to me. I am waiting, but in our relationship it makes sense. He has some trauma in his past that has made it hard for him to adjust to finally having an amazing girlfriend who adores him and would never attack him with scissors (true story, and the least of the things he's been attacked with by former girlfriends!). I have patiently given him time to accept our relationship, and it has been worth it every step of the way. We have had numerous conversations about getting married, and he started hinting last summer about proposing at some point in the future, when he was ready. I informed him then that when he asks, I will say, "Yes." His hinting has become less subtle, right down to his slipping and telling me most of his plan, mostly because he is so used to talking to me about things that in his excitement he forgot to keep it secret!

    He has since explained to me that proposing and choosing the ring is really important to him because it is his way of saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, have children with me, and telling me how important I am to him. There is no way I could step on his toes and propose! And as we met online and I initiated contact, kissed him first, said, "I love you first" (just like another poster!) it's his turn.

    I am quite certain that his plan has been given up in favour of proposing sooner. Neither of us is good at waiting! My side will be to find an earring for him that we both consider the "right" earring, although that will probably take longer than his proposal. But after reading the comments I may just propose back when we find that earring.

  11. great plate kinda reminds me of my experience with my fiancee in Chicago and i live in Oregon. we had been talking of marriage for awhile and i explained to him i do too. we are very happy together being a long distance relationship and in fact the very first one to be working. however he beat me to the punch line and proposed to me what a romeo and i aint no juilet..we decided to have a secret engagement ceromony while i am in Chicago this summer via Handfasting. i am so looking forward to it.. and we decided on celtic bands. What more of a birthday gift could i want..he is a great guy and we decided to be very off beat in our wedding too goin goth. . i say stay engaged a yr the least.

  12. I proposed the FH. I did it totally by accident; we were just snuggling one day in bed and it popped out. We were both fairly anti-marriage so I have no idea why I said it, and he said no; he wanted to be with me forever but he didn't want to get married. We talked about it a couple of times over the next few weeks, and one morning he came home from an all-nighter feeling quite ecstatic (if you get my drift) and said it would be really nice to get married. I told him to wait until he'd sobered up and I'd ask him again; he did and I did and he said yes 🙂 I then got him a ring and he got me a ring and I did the bended knee thing over a chip supper. Romance ain't dead, no siree.

  13. Well, I have been with my guy for almost two years now. It is the most wonderful relationship (boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, whatever) I have ever been in. What's more, I know that he feels the same way. I am ready to get married, and I have made him well aware of that fact. I asked him if he would prefer that I propose marriage to him, thinking that it would take some of the pressure off. He said that he appreciated the gesture, but told me that he wants to propose to me. He said that it was a responsibility that he wants. He is a bit of a traditionalist in some ways (and I love him for it!:)) and believes that proposing marriage isn't just a gesture that can be made by either of us. It is a symbol that he is ready to stand by me and work on our lives together. So although I agree that it is a great idea to propose to your boyfriend, remember that a relationship is about being honest with each other, and knowing what your partner wants as well. So now I am waiting… but at least I get to wait around with the greatest guy on the planet. how many people can say as much?:)

  14. I've been with my boy for a year, but in that time we've become part of each other's families and bought a three bedroom house together, as well as agreeing that we want to get married and have children. So it feels quite odd that we're not engaged at times. We sometimes talk about what we want from our wedding (we're totally agreed on the invitations, piper, band and the fact that we are definitely having an Italian ice cream cart for desserts) but he says he's waiting for the right time to propose.

    There's part of me that would like to ask but, having been a girl who always got "the fuzzy end of the lollipop" in the past, I am actually rather enjoying the anticipation of how, when and where he's going to propose.

    That said, I'll probably know before he does it, as he has to ask my Grandmother's permission (and for her diamond ring, which is to be my engagement ring) before he can ask me. The fact that he has to have permission from the female elders of my family fulfils my feminist urges while letting me enjoy the pleasure of being asked.

  15. I proposed to my man in august. I planned a surprise trip for him to the place he always talked about wanting to see(Ireland),i took him there, i found a romantic courtyard behind one of our hotels,i took him by the hand and led him to a spot next to a little fountain pool,i told him how much he means to me and i asked him to marry me. he's now wearing the carbon fiber ring i'd bought for him ahead of time and we're in the middle of planning our wedding.
    before my proposal i had joked with him numerous times saying with confidence "Daniel,someday you're going to marry me". he always thought it was so funny that i was so sure of myself, but he never denied it. he loves me for being so different,so i figured it was only fitting that i be the one to wasnt that i was in a rush or didnt want to wait,it was just a "me" thing for me to do it.
    some people think its a little weird when they hear that i was the one to ask,but most people think its cool and applaud me for having the courage to do something against tradition.

  16. Ah, thanks for this post. I proposed to mine. I thought it would be easy and I didn't think he'd be very surprised. Wrong on both counts, but hey we're engaged now!

    It is scary, but I didn't want to wait around or to nag him into proposing. So I did it. We were in Canada for our 3rd anniversary and I got him cinnamon rolls before he woke up and wrote it on a napkin. I thought I was going to puke. He started to read it and I burst into tears.

    Anyway, yaaay for chicks proposing! And for those whose dudes did propose, give him a hug and tell him how brave he was because I found it really is terrifying, even if you are reasonably sure the person will say yes.

  17. So – for starters, this took a few months.

    First, I brought it up and we decided we needed more time to think. (Both of us, but him more so than I.) That was November. Then I tried to let it drop, but it was pretty much all I could think about: "I want to marry this man."

    To make matters worse, he kept talking about kids again and again and it was driving me nuts – because I knew he WAS ready. It was obvious in everything he said about parenting and raising kids together and pregnancy and everything. He WAS so ready to be a family. He just didn't see the connections between this life he kept describing and our wedding. But I didn't want to push the issue too soon/too fast and be "that girl." (Sigh. I kinda am "that girl," though. Full disclosure.)

    I brought it up next in our basement a month of two later during a wonderful night that was SO wonderful I was bursting with "letsgetmarriedness." I said – "We should get married." He laughed and asked if I was proposing. I chickened out/kinda wanted to vomit and emphatically said "no." (baaawwwwk…bawwwwwwk….) It felt like one of those nightmares when you find yourself in front of the whole school naked with a clarinet and no sheet music.

    Flash forward (through a few related fights – yes, we're humans, not story characters) to two weeks ago – early March.

    We were in bed watching West Wing re-runs. Again, I'm blissing out. "This is the life I want," I keep thinking. "THIS IS THE MAN." I said matter-of-factly, "We want to get married, right?" He said, "Yeah, I guess. Yes." I said, "Next year – right? This is what we've kicked around. Right?" He said, "Yeah, but why do we have to decide a year in advance? We'll just do it next year. That sounds fine." I said, "Actually, a year-long engagement IS pretty normal." (pause) He looks at me like I'm wearing three heads. "SERIOUSLY!? Are you joking? A whole year to plan a party?" I said solemnly: "yes."

    He begins to see the light. A year of engagement isn't BEYOND ALL IMAGINATION any longer. It's clearly sinking in. His face looks calm. Even a twinkle of giddiness behind his very – if not exceedingly – practical/logical eyes.

    He then said our version of "YES I'LL MARRY YOU!" He said with a close-lipped grin: "Oh man – you're going to be up all night tonight, aren't you?"

    Now we're engaged. 🙂 Getting married in exactly 12.5 months. 😛

    (AND WE'RE BOTH RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY! Seriously – we're chasing each other around the house, laughing, talking about kids, planning this thing people call "a wedding," and getting giddy just being around each other. It's a like a shot of adrenaline in the love machine. We're happily in l-overdrive.)

    P.S. Whew. That was an exhausting couple of months, though, letmejustsay.

  18. I just asked my boyfriend to marry me on Monday. He had been teasing me that I needed to ask him soon, so I knew his answer would be yes. I STILL freaked out. I was originally planning on asking Thursday, but spent all weekend freaking out instead. There was so much stupid internal pressure. It had to be memorable, it had to be special… Finally I gave up and said lets go walk on the beach, then I asked him. Of course he said yes. When people ask if I knew he was going to ask and I say actually I asked him, half of them are shocked, half are like "good for you" I am designing our wedding rings, so my engagement ring will be the practice ring, so neither of us have one yet.

  19. I want to propose to my man, but my question is, what do you do about a ring on the wedding day? Do you regift the one you already gave him? Do you buy a new one, only cheaper? Or do you not give him a "proposal ring" to begin with?

    • Some men wear engagement rings too. Then, they will switch the ring for a wedding band not unlike the women. I have met couples where both the man and the woman have worn engagement rings. You can also forgo the ring all together; a lot of women get engaged without rings too. Some people find rings important and symbolic of the engagement, while others don't. Whatever feels right to you two as a couple.

  20. I think it's super cool to be the lady proposer. It's just not right for us. We've been together for five years now and we've talked about marriage since year one (I think he tried to get me to elope sometime during year 2) but we knew we wanted to wait until we were done with our undergraduate degrees. SO…I'd say I began to get a little antsy around the end of my first senior year (I loved college so much ::ahem:: that I decided to stay for five years)…just browsing wedding blogs, staying up late with my sister looking at bridesmaid dresses. Then, my SUPERsenior year arrived, and it just felt so very right to get engaged, but I didn't say a word.
    In the meantime, we find out he was accepted to medical school (!!!) and began to make some serious plans for our future. I'm doing my nails about every week, hoping to have a ring on my finger asap. Eventually, though, my dreams of a fall proposal, winter proposal (Disneyland for Christmas and San Fran for new years!!), and even a birthday proposal came and went. I finally had a moment. I'll just call it that. Crying was involved. He then proceeded to tell me that he was a dummy and didn't start saving for a ring until just this winter and that he was so sorry he hadn't planned in advance but he was saving up for a super special ring and he was really stoked to do it…in his way with his ring. It was really special for him to pick me out a ring (he's been vaguely keeping me up on his search with new ring facts he's been learning from various jewelers), and he, having always been a super romantic and very thoughtful guy, is intent on planning something special. And knowing that (and loving the crap out of him), I have decided to tuck my antsy-ness back inside and wait it out. We HAVE made a compromise that I have begun to plan the wedding, we've picked out a venue and a date, and I can continue to feed my wedding-loving-monster daily.

    Now he's promised me a proposal before graduation. Which is now in T minus 12 days. 🙂
    Bottom line: I don't think it's really about popping a question like it is the continual discussion of a life you will lead together. Being engaged (officially) won't change anything about how we roll. But I'm still excitedly waiting. 🙂

  21. My boyfriend and I were talking about going on a trip, he wanted to go to Vegas, I said, "if we go to Vegas, we are getting married." He didn't say no! About a month later, we were hitched at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. He is still opening car doors for me and making me laugh 8.5 years later!

  22. I've asked – he thought it was a joke. I insisted I was serious – he laughed and shrugged it off. He thinks a proposal only counts if it's the guy doing it with a ring in-hand…

  23. I proposed to my man and he freaked, I think I tore the last shred of masculinity he had away from him. I just wanted him to know I wanted to get married and he got the hint! eventually he proposed back – 3 years later.

  24. I had considered proposing to him, but a few months ago, right around my birthday, he dropped some hints that he had something special planned for my birthday. I TOTALLY knew what he was doing, lol. So I kept my mouth shut and sure enough, on my birthday, he proposed and I got the most beautiful engagement ring ever. I was so excitedthat I immediately started jumping up and down and I managed to smack my head against the wall.

    However, we plan on bucking tradition in many other ways. Dan is going to take my last name, plus there will be no religion in the ceremony at all. Plus, I have some rather unique wedding ideas that involve things such as 1. A sword 2. The video game Rock Band, and 3. My friend's WWE title belt. This will quite possibly be the most offbeat wedding anyone on our guest list will ever attend – but we wouldn't have it any other way!

  25. The idea of the female proposing to the male is great. But I'm not sure if my boyfriend proposed to me or not. We've been together for almost 4 and 1/2 years and last year he said "Lets get engaged when we graduate from college" We've been talking about marriage and kids for a couple of years now, and we definitely want to do it eventually. We also havent mentioned to many people that yes, we do want to get married, when at least one of us has a career. But both our families and friends assume we'll get married. So are we engaged? Or do we need to announce it? (Which I refuse to do until one of us has a steady job) Would anyone want to give me their take on whether or not I should propose sometime in May? I asked him out and initiated our first kiss, so I'm not sure if he might want to take this one.

  26. it's funny that i just stumbled upon this, tho it was posted days after i proposed to my boyfriend on xmas 2008. i also gave him my grandma's diamond ring and it ended well, but awkwardly. we are just now getting into the thick of planning. thanks for sharing this ariel, and ladies – if you want to propose, go for it, though i kinda suggest hypothetically discussing who will be doing the proposing/what his reaction would be if you did it if you want to avoid potential awkwardness. for me it was terrifying and awkward, but in the end it was totally worth it!

  27. I'm proposing to my partner in 17 days. We are exchanging the rest of our XMAS gifts early since we might not be together for the holidays. I made a scrapbook of our relationship thus far, we've only been together 8, almost 9 months and the last page (the middle of the book) – it says, Will you Marry Me on it. I'm excited, I ordered the ring, it will be here on or around our anniversary – I'm almost tempted to do it all then but I will wait.

  28. I proposed to my partner. It was a lovely event that took much planning. I did first interview a couple guys (our best mutual friend, and the young man at the jewelry store), just to see how they might feel if a woman proposed to them. When I told them that I partly wanted to demonstrate that I wasn't in a relationship to have a man spend money on me, they said it was an awesome idea. The man at the store said he wished his fiancée held the same belief :-X

  29. I proposed to my fiance after several important people told me I shouldn't do that. My son, his best friend, my best friend all told me it was his job and if he hadn't asked, don't expect "yes." Down deep, I didn't feel that was going to be the case, so I went and bought him his engagement/wedding band, got on one knee and proposed. He thought I was kidding, but when he figured out I was serious, he teared up a little and said yes. I think the thing that made it different from a woman to man was that I didn't make a big deal out of it. I didn't put him on the spot in front of a crowd or take him on a fancy date. We were at home alone and he had just gotten done telling me why he would never propose (because felt that a man was expected to do that as a symbol of love and I should know he loved me without a proposal) so I took charge and did it myself. I'm kinda sad I'll never have that moment where he does that for me, but if I'd waited, that moment wouldn't have happened regardless.

  30. We talked about getting married, then asked a friend to make both of us engagement rings. We then planned to propose at different times to one another once the rings were done. Luckily, we both really wanted to surprise the other so through some stealth and luck we managed to pull off some surprise proposals–him first, then me. I have to say, it was a really fun tradition–one that I'd recommend to anyone thinking about proposing to your fella! 🙂

    (you can read more about our proposals on my wedding blog:

  31. I wanted to propose but he kept telling me "there's a plan" and that he wanted to do the proposing. Who am I to ruin a good surprise in action? He proposed, but I wasn't super impressed with "the plan" and called "do-over" only I decided that I was the one who would do it over. While ring shopping for me out of state, he saw a ring that he loved. I bought it, but told him that we'd have to continue ring shopping for him because the one he liked had already been sold. Sneaky, eh? It gets better. So he proposes a week before Christmas and his ring is just burning a hole in my pocket. On Christmas day I put a crumpled up picture of the gps I bought him in the box my ring came in. Before I give it to him, I give him an abbreviated, "I love you, I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you…blah, blah, blah" speech. He opens it and all he gets is a GPS – which took him a moment to figure it out, btw. Next we're about to leave the house to gather with the rest of the family when he notices an unwrapped present with no name tag. "What's this? is this for me," he asks? "Of course sweetie I forgot it!" It's of course nothing more than a block of wood that figured into another plan I had that didn't work out. Strike two, brother! Finally, later that night, under the christmas tree, I give him the real ring in front of his whole family along with the entire "I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, you deserve a special moment as well." His sister immediately yells out, "He's getting a 'man-gagement ring!" And there you have it, the double proposal!

  32. I just recently proposed to my boyfriend of four years…He is from Philly and a HUGE Rocky fan so as we planned his 40th birthday trip to Philly where he hadnt been in 10 years and I had NEVER been, I started making my plans. I proposed to him AFTER running the Rocky steps and right beneath the Rocky statue Ring and all. He was stunned, but it wasnt totally unexpected since I tend to be the assertive one in our relationship. LOL. The feedback we got from family and friends was FABULOUS. Everyone thought it was awesome that I proposed to him.

  33. I want to propose so bad I am 25 he is 29 we have known eachother for twelve years we have only been dating for six months but I know it had always been him. I just don't know how to go about doing it I am tossed between just proposing with no ring or proposing for him with a ring but I am not sure on his size or what kind of metal he would want. Uggg this is the hard part.

  34. If I ever do find a special guy… All I know is that as nice as rings can be it'll have to be something non expensive… I tend to lose jewelry!

    It would be me to ask… I go for shy guys.. I ask them out, I set up dates… I wear the pants 😉

  35. I proposed to my man on Fathers' Day! He kept telling me that I had to propose since he asked me to date him, but apparently that was just his stall tactic haha. I wrote "Daddy will you please marry mommy?" on our daughter's onesie and asked him to change her diaper when we got home from work. He loved it, but felt sad that I was too impatient to wait for him to ask me this winter.

  36. Thanks for this article! I proposed to my now fiance in October of 2012, and our big day is August 17th this year. It was the best moment of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Rory and I went ring shopping, so I I knew we were on the same page. I decided to make the ol' switch-a-roo and proposed to him. He excitedly and happily said yes (like 3 times!). Thank you for the inspiration to move forward with my plan :).

  37. Omg I did it. I bought the ring. Dun dun dun… Now I'm so nervous. I plan on asking him on his birthday next month. I plan on buying a cake with the question will you marry me on it. Not so sure if I should get on one knee or not. I'm gonna do it in private. I think he would prefer it that way. We have been together for three years now dating two years prior. We talk about getting married all the time. So nervous yet I can't wait. Wish me luck. 🙂

  38. I proposed to my bf 3 yrs ago to show him i was serious (1yr after a series of brief splits) & bc i was sure hed never do it.
    The feminist in me decided it was a great thing to do rather than waiting to see if he'd ever "pick me" back.
    We're into woodworking & he wanted a place to put his mail/keys/junk, so i decided to build him a cabinet. I cut all the letters of "will you marry me" out of wood, painted them gold & silver and stood them up on the shelves inside. I evrn bought a cheap silver men's wedding band as a token.
    Set up the camera, put on a mix of all "our" songs, waited for him to come home. In the end i had to delete that video bc it was humiliating and heartbreaking.
    He opened the cabinet and laughed. He asked "are you serious?" And i burst into tears. I couldn't look him in the eye for a week.
    We got "engaged" 2 yrs ago at my proposal, just bought the ring. I call it my fake engagement, or non-engaging engagement ring.
    I stopped wearing it a week ago. Yesterday was our 5 year anniversary. I spent the evening grieving my twenties/ my youth. Turning 30 this year and probably wasted the last 5 years on him.
    This is a terrible comment, i apologize deeply for that. I just so badly needed to get this story out of me.
    Good luck to everyone planning to propose! You'll get what you want or need either way, because sometimes you just need to know what you've gotten yourself into.

  39. I kind of did this. Brian was waiting for the "perfect moment". And, in our long distance relationship, I was worried that we only had a week together before he went home and that we had a lot of paperwork to file for immigration if we were going to do this. So, my neurosis kind of pushed it and I asked first. Then he asked. Then we ordered a ring online. It came while we were a continent apart, but I brought it with me when it was my turn to visit and took it off so he could ask me again (repeatedly). 🙂 What? He knew the answer would be yes, and I wanted to hear the question a few times. 🙂

  40. After what felt like ages of talking about a wedding and "some day" stuff and sort of skirting the issue, I had enough. So While we were walking the dogs I said "So, how about we get married this September?"
    And looked looked at me like a deer in the headlights. Then walked for a bit and thought about it and said "September is way too close, no time to plan anything. Maybe the September after?"
    I said "I really wouldn't want to wait that long. I would go crazy."
    He said "You're really geared on this eh?"
    I started crying.
    He said "Okay. How about May? We can do it for Beltane"
    I said "Is that okay?"
    He gave me a hug, said "Yes."
    After our walk, he went and made a facebook event page and invited EVERYONE.

  41. I told my FH that I kissed him first, I told him that I loved him first, but he had to propose to me first. Which he did. It was lovely but I also wanted a chance to ask him as well. Because it was important to me that he got to say yes as well.

  42. I proposed to my husband 🙂 went out bought my ring proposed to him and after he said yes put it on 🙂

  43. I proposed to my bf last March we had talked about and already had put money down for our wedding. we had made it clear that we needed to ask each other . . . im still waiting to be asked but I know its happening soon. I found it very rewarding asking him we make it a point to be on equal ground in our relationship.

  44. I think breaking tradition is great, especially if you are being true to yourselves. We did not have a traditional proposal: We basically had a discussion and decided together we would like to get married. Then, we went ring shopping together. There was no "popping of the question" involved because we already knew the answer to the question. The only surprise was he went and picked up the ring without telling me, and surprised me at dinner. But I knew it was coming.

    There was also none of that "getting permission from dad" tradition. The only person whose permission I need to marry is me. We are both independent and do things our own way, so the proposal was a great reflection of who we are as a couple.

  45. I know I'm a bit late to the party here, but I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I'm going to propose to my boyfriend in a few weeks when he comes to visit (we're long-distance right now). I have it all planned out and I even ordered matching QALO rings for us.
    While looking online for stories about women proposing to men, all I could find were articles about how to get him to propose or pieces telling me that women shouldn't propose, EVER. It's disheartening to see those articles saying that I'm doing it wrong, but it's so encouraging to be able to read this post and see everyone's stories about their proposals. I'm really happy (and excited) with my decision to propose and it's great to know that I'm not alone.

    Thank you!

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