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Proposal Etiquette: How to Not Screw it Up


You’ve been dating long enough to know her 30 minute get-ready-for-bed routine and you have so many of her dirty clothes, extra toothbrushes and hair ties at your house that it’s time to pop the question. You’ve learned, despite her little quirks, that she is the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with and it’s time to ask. First of all, congratulations!

Many men can be commitment-phobes, so making this first step is monumental. You want to make sure that when you do ask, however, that it is a memorable and special moment in both of your lives. You’ll be telling this story to your grandchildren, remember!

Recent studies have shown that 80-85% of women were “disappointed” in the way they were proposed to. That may sound a bit daunting and suggests that there are some non-appreciative women out there. With the right amount of preparation, planning and intuition, you’ll be just fine. Guys tend to agonize over exactly how to propose, and some websites suggest planning everything down to the very last minute. Talk about nerve-wracking! You should spend enough time preparing for your proposal, but a proposal will have varying degrees depending on how intricate your idea is. Make sure to take it seriously because your girlfriend will. We’ve created some basic do’s and don’ts when you do decide to take the plunge, and finally, some good proposal ideas based on common personality types.

Do your homework. Just like you did your homework on the engagement ring, you’ll need to consider what type of girl she is and make sure your proposal reflects that. If she’s traditional and romantic, a crazy or loud proposal may make her reconsider her answer. If she’s shy, a huge public proposal may not be the way to go. By taking the time to think about your future fiancé, you’ll demonstrate that you care about her on an intimate, personal level. Mushy? Yes, but women are bonkers for this kind of stuff.

You may also need to be creative in arenas such as the setting and the date. Perhaps consider asking on the day of your first date, a holiday that has special meaning to the two of you, or even New Years to start the year of right! Whatever location you select, make sure it holds some personal value.

Do make it a surprise. Women live for surprises. A proposal is exciting news for everyone, but telling her best friend or your mother will almost guarantee a spoiled proposal. Try to stay calm and not let your nervousness give away your plans.

Do’s, Don’ts and Proposal Ideas Cont’d

Do tell her why you want to marry her! Instead of stumbling through those four words, why not add a personal touch to your proposal? Tell her why you know she’s the one for you, what it is about her that you’re so in love with. It will only mean so much more.

Do Share the News. Even if your new fiancé is the gossip queen of the city, make sure you share the news with your circle of guy friends-after all, they now owe you a few round of drinks at the bar.

Now that you have a few things to keep in the back of your mind of what to do when you propose, make sure you heed the following “don’ts” to ensure a smooth proposal.

Don’t make it public. This is essentially the reverse of the “do make it a surprise.” If you must tell anyone, make sure they either physically cannot speak or are at least 1000 miles away from your girlfriend and live in a hobbit hole.

Don’t hide the engagement ring in food. Please! Do.Not.Do.This. Sure, it’s all over the big screens, but the actors KNOW what is coming. Your girlfriend will not. Picture a huge ice cream sundae with a beautiful ring sinking into the whipped cream while your girlfriend unknowingly inhales it. You’ll either be visiting the doctor or the dentist by the end of the night.

Don’t make the proposal too complicated. The more that is involved, the better chance there is that something will go wrong.

If you’re still having trouble creating a proposal idea of your own, here are some based on some common personality types.

For the Romantics:

1. Send her one rose per day for 11 consecutive days so that on the 12th day, she’ll be expecting the last rose to complete the dozen. Instead, show up with a dozen more roses, an engagement ring and ask her to marry you. Or, if you can’t wait 12 days, send her one rose per hour for 11 consecutive hours and on the 12th hour, show up with a dozen roses, an engagement ring and a proposal ready.

2. Bring her back to the spot where you went on your first date. Tell her that ever since then, the relationship has grown so much and you hope that she feels the same way. Then ask her to marry you.

3. Propose to her on Christmas. Put the ring in a box and hang it like an ornament on the tree. After all the presents have been opened, tell her there is one more special gift for her. Direct her to the ornament, and get down on your knees to propose.

4. Book a room for the two of you at a fancy hotel. Decorate it with flower petals that lead to the bathtub. Give her a robe and ask her to look in her pocket. After she finds the ring, propose, then give her a relaxing massage in the tub.

5. Buy a piece of jewelry for her and engrave “marry me” on it and present it to her.
For some audio-video help, check out this link to some good, bad and scary proposals:
Cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/relationship-advice/crazy-wedding-proposal-videos. Guys, just please don’t make it as unbearable as the last video on here.

For the Adventurers:

1. Arrange with a local adventure guide for a private hot air balloon ride for just the two of you (and the pilot). Schedule the time so that it covers either sunrise or sunset. Some companies provide a full meal with a table setting and the works. Present the diamond in a box as the dessert at the end of the meal.

2. Take her bungee jumping. When she gets to the top, reveal the letters “Will you marry me? Jump for yes!” at the bottom.

3. Plan for a trip to an aquarium with your girlfriend. Pre-arrange a show in a large scuba tank and arrange a mock presentation of some-sort. Bring along a scuba slate and write “will you marry me” and present it to her on the other side of the scuba tank.

a. For a better idea, visit this link for a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORE3-iqqnlE

Do drop to one knee! We’re not living in the 1950s, but it’s what every girl wants to happen!

Andy Moquin is an experienced jewelry veteran, he has spent over 20 years designing wedding rings, engagement rings, and custom jewelry. After selling more than $30,000,000 in diamonds he now spends most of his time educating consumers, you can visit his website at Wedding Rings Engagement

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Listed: December 25, 2011 12:38 pm