These tips on proposing to your boyfriend will help you say the most romantic, scary words on earth: “Will you marry me?”
Here’s a summary of research on how to propose to your boyfriend – the science may help quell the frantic emotions of marriage proposals.
“We are finding men talking about cohabitating as a test drive while women talk about it as a step towards marriage,” says Pamela Smock in A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door. “Some women interviewed said they hoped moving in would fast-track the proposal. But the research on that is inconclusive.”
It’s now normal to date for three, five, and even ten years without making plans to get married – or even a proposal of marriage. If you’re like many girlfriends who don’t wanna wait, check out these tips for the female proposal.
How to Propose to Your Boyfriend
First of all, are you really ready to get married? Read Questions to Ask Before Getting Married.
Shake off the belief that it’s better to wait for your boyfriend to propose
Many men interviewed in Seligson’s book said that the female proposal is often what they needed to walk down the aisle – and they didn’t think less of girlfriends who propose to their boyfriends! On the contrary, the female proposal may have a similar effect as women asking men out on dates…it’s flattering and appealing.
Ask yourself why you want to get married
Figure out your reasons for getting married – and if he would be a good husband. Before you propose to you boyfriend, make sure he’s “the one”! And, make sure you really want to be married. Here are some wrong reasons to propose: you think he’s the best you can do, you’ve already put seven years into this love relationship, your mom loves him, or you’re scared to be alone.
If your boyfriend doesn’t seem interested in you, read Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Text or Call? How to Pique His Interest.
Don’t propose to your boyfriend the way you would want to be proposed to
Don’t propose to your boyfriend the way you would want to be proposed to. Is your most romantic idea of a marriage proposal a candlelight dinner with flowers and soft lighting? That sounds great…but that may not be the best way to propose to your boyfriend. What’s his favorite way to be romantic? What’s his love language? For instance, my husband loves to be hugged – he adores physical affection. If I proposed to him, I’d consider giving him a full-body massage first (or during my proposal!).
Match your “female proposal” to your personality traits
At first glance this may seem to contradict my last tip for proposing to your boyfriend – but bear with me. When you propose marriage to your man, make sure your personality traits are coming through…not just your effort to propose in his “love language.”
For example, I don’t like to wrestle with my husband, and we have different senses of humor. So, to remain true to who I am, my marriage proposal wouldn’t involve wrestling or his comedic style (but he would probably love a proposal like that!). A female proposal should remain true to both personalities. Just like a happy marriage must celebrate both spouse’s personalities.
Expect to be nervous – and be honest about your feelings
My husband was shaking when he proposed, and said he couldn’t believe how nervous he was! Asking someone for their hand in marriage is a huge step – regardless of whether the person who proposes is a man or a woman. So, expect to get a little sweaty. Also, be honest about how nervous or scared you feel when you say “I want to marry you.”
I loved that my husband told me how nervous he was, because it showed his vulnerability and love for me. It made him appear more human and lovable. So, don’t just expect to be nervous…try to share your feelings about proposing and marriage with your boyfriend.
One of the most important things about being married is keeping your identity. Read How to Stay True to Yourself When You’re in Love.
If you have any thoughts on how to propose to your boyfriend, please comment below!
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.