There comes a time in every man’s life (and ladies too!) where you just know that you’re ready to ask your significant other to spend the rest of their life with you…
This is an important time in your lives and you shouldn’t just throw caution to the wind and pray that things go well. With a little preparation and some serious thought, you can create a moment that the two of you will cherish forever, and your significant other can brag about to make their friends jealous about your awesomeness! The following is a simple and straightforward look at the Top 10 “Rules” for proposing (in no particular order). Enjoy!
Don’t Bring Too Much Alcohol Into the Mix
It’s clear that not all of us were built to stomach such an incredible show of emotion without a little help from somewhere. Granted, holding a séance and channeling your heroic great, great grandfather from the civil war may help but it’s probably a bad idea and will ultimately result in no courage and you looking like a nut. The next best thing is a little Dutch Courage. Notice I stressed, little. A couple shots, a couple beers and done. Don’t go crazy overdoing it, wait for the bachelor/bachelorette party for that. You want to be coherent, able to tell this person how deeply you feel, how you want to spend the rest of your life together and then be able to remember all of it years down the road.
Don’t Propose Unless You’re Committed to Setting a Date
Folks, the fact that we’re preparing to commit the rest of our lives is irrelevant here. Everyone that looks forward to marriage, doesn’t want a proposal only to find out later that there is no intention of nailing down a firm date. When you ask, and they say yes, you better be ready for the hard question once the “proposal high” wears off, “WHEN? You don’t need to go into this thing knowing when but just be prepared to set a date and solidify your undying commitment.
Ask Dad (or Parents’) Permission
Don’t you think that if you ever have a child you might want someone to ask for your blessing before stealing your child away from you forever? Thought so… Seriously though, this is a no-brainer. Asking for permission to marry someone’s son/daughter is a great way to bond with your future in-laws and let them know that you value them. If dad or mom are not in the picture, maybe it’s a sibling or an important person in their life you can ask. Make the effort to reach out, and even if they were to say no, at least you made the attempt and your significant other will know it.
Get Down on One Knee
There are universal signals for everything. From clutching your throat while choking to cupping your hands together in a heart shape when you think of Taylor Swift. Getting down on one knee is instantly recognizable as the universal sign of “I’m about to be proposed to!” Just because a vast majority of people in this world think that chivalry is dead, they’re wrong and this is one small way to show them. Do the right thing, get down on one knee and let your love and everyone around know that you’re proposing and you don’t care if it hurts to stand up afterward!
Pick a Memorable Location
When picking a memorable location, think of a place that either means something to the two of you, or is somewhere magical that you can return to years later. When I say this, don’t think Disney World just because I said “magical.” The reason I mention returning years later is if you propose in your rental apartment, odds are that future occupants will not allow you to waltz in their residence once a year and relive your glorious wedding proposal. Instead, choose a park, go on a hike, or even an intimate dinner at your favorite restaurant.
Speak From the Heart
This is a toughy…I know that most men right now are sweating bullets. Don’t fret, this is one time in your life that a lot of what needs to be said is actually pretty easy to come up with. Just write down reasons why you fell in love in the first place and then spend a little time practicing how you’re going to say it. Trust in the fact that when you’re in the middle of proposing, and the other person knows it’s a proposal, and it's coming from the heart, you could read them the Riot Act and they would be filled with tears of joy!
Don’t Obsess About the Ring
I know that this sounds like sacrilege, but it’s true. We live in a modern world with modern people. The most important thing about the proposal IS the proposal and the life-long commitment that you are offering-- don't forget that! A ring's style can be revisited together afterward and will provide your better half the opportunity to pick an alternative that you both love.
Don’t Propose on a Holiday or Birthday
Seriously??? I wasn’t even going to include this until I started reading about scores of people who proposed on a birthday or major holiday. Let me categorize this whole idea into one simple word, FAIL. This is a cop-out and will make what should have been your soon to be better half, better off without you! Holidays and Birthdays are already special, so choose another day to make a truly special day. (I’m not saying standing around eating hot dogs and drinking beer on the Fourth of July isn’t great but really?!?!)
Make It a Surprise
I’m well aware that there are some people who are not the surprise types but they’re just going to have to suck it up and deal when it comes to this one. Besides, how will they be upset about the surprise if they don’t even know it’s coming! I’m not saying you should hide in a room and pop out like a crazed jack-in-the-box screaming “Marry Me!!!!” but it should be unannounced and spontaneous. Now here is the big caveat to this “rule,” if you have never talked marriage, or have very different opinions, or you’ve only been on your first date for 15 minutes, maybe the surprise will be a bad choice. Make sure that you more or less know that this is the right move and you have some inclination that the answer will be yes. Then, make it romantic and exciting so that when it happens it's a surprise, and in a good way.
Make It Fun
Lastly, make it fun. If you’re miserable, hung-over, apprehensive, having a bad day, whatever… Don’t do it. Wait and make sure that it’s a fun, worthwhile proposal that you’re both going to enjoy. Take it from me, when I proposed, we were arguing on New Years Eve and I decided to propose. I now spend every minute of my life planning on proposing in a great new way somewhere down the road when it’s time to have our vows renewed. DON’T DO THIS, as I am constantly reminded of my folly every time we get together with friends and they are telling their wonderful engagement stories and then my wife looks at me like Hannibal Lecter with a nice Chianti… But you get it, have fun with it and make sure you enjoy what will certainly be one of the most memorable, scary and exciting milestone!