Professor's House

Proposing to your Girlfriend – Asking for her Hand in Marriage

“It’s about time,” you think, “she’s waited this long, I don’t know how much longer she can wait.”

Pull up your socks, young man!

You’re right, her waiting longer is an iffy proposition so if you love her and want to spend the rest of your life with her, pop the question soon or else she’s going to get bushed by unfulfilled expectations. After all, she’s an attractive lady and you’ve caught a few men staring at her. Be the gallant soldier she met the first time and prove your undying love by asking her to marry you.

Proposing is not the end of the world. It may signal the end to bachelor freedoms but it’s certainly not the end of the world. Besides, you’re no longer looking like a bachelor on the prowl. Sometimes the married look looks better on some men! We suspect that after six long years you’re mentally prepared for “husband-hood” and maybe fatherhood.

Ways of Proposing to your Girlfriend

The way you propose depends on how old fashioned or modern you are. If you’re old fashioned and go for the traditional ways of proposing, you can:

  • ask to meet her parents so you can ask them;
  • invite her to dinner in a special restaurant (please, don’t take her to a diner) and present her with the ring; or
  • invite her to dinner in a special restaurant and pop the question. Explain to her that you’re still trying to clear your credit card issues so the ring will come next month;
  • rent a chalet up in the mountains and as she’s preparing dinner, kneel before her and ask her to be your wife; or
  • you can take her to an amusement park and propose to her when you’re at the highest level of the roller coaster. Of course there’s a chance she won’t hear you amidst all the screaming guys and gals, so you can ask her again when you’re off the roller coaster and your legs are about to give way.

 

If you’d like something different that very few cowboys have ever dared to do, here are a few suggestions:

  • put the diamond ring under her pillow when you wake up the next morning, or if it will fit into her contraceptive pill case, put it in there. Just make sure she doesn’t take the morning after pill when she’s standing by the toilet;
  • take her to Hawaii, don on some scuba diving gear and propose to her when you’re surrounded by barracudas underwater (they’re harmless, in case you didn’t know);
  • if she likes to work out at the gym, put the ring in one of her sneakers, but make sure it’s got a protective bubble wrap around the box in case she’s overweight and crushes the stone with her foot (if it’s a genuine diamond, it won’t break);
  • if she has a circle of trusted friends, get those friends together in a restaurant and request them to say in chorus, “Michael wants to know if you’ll marry him” and then have them present the ring to her (don’t follow this suggestion though if she’s a very private person and considers a proposal a very private matter);
  • here’s a real unique way: go on your honeymoon before you get married. Tell her that you’re going on your honeymoon. Then she’ll say, “but you haven’t asked me to marry you!” Then you say, “is my asking you that important?” Then she’ll say, “well…yes…I never presume anything.” Then you bring out the ring and put it on her finger, then you say, “okay, I’m asking you now.” Watch the tears stream down her eyes.

When Proposing…

There’s this thing about refinement, proper etiquette – whatever you want to call it – about proposing to your girlfriend. The way you propose could have an impact on her acceptance or refusal, so it does not mean that just because you’ve been dating each other exclusively, she’s ready to be your lifetime partner. Women are emotional, sensitive creatures and they’d like to think that they’re truly loved and hence are being proposed to, not just being “accommodated” by their boyfriends because they presented the ultimatum. The only reason a woman gives an ultimatum is she believes that someone else will take her more seriously. Time is going by and she does want to settle down and bear children.

So a few pointers might help –

  • don’t propose as though you’re giving in to pressure and that you’re only proposing to her because she might leave you;
  • don’t propose in ordinary circumstances just to save money. Create a romantic atmosphere. The extra effort you make – dinner, dancing, expensive ring – will convince her of your love;
  • if you’re both young and come from the same socio-economic class, we don’t think there’s a need for a pre-nuptial agreement, unless you both have legal orientations and want to avoid future bickering in case a divorce looms in the horizon;
  • when her friends or your friends tease you about proposing finally, don’t shrug your shoulders and say, “heck, goodness only knows what would have happened if I waited a day longer.” You shouldn’t feel like you’ve been forced into this;
  • after you propose and she accepts, don’t start taking her for granted and behaving like a jerk. A diamond ring does not represent a closed and final transaction. She can always change her mind if she sees a part of you that she doesn’t like.

Proposing to your girlfriend is a time of joy – a moment of happiness that both of you hope will last an eternity. Make your proposal a symbolic representation of your love, not an economic or social negotiation.

It also goes without saying that proposing to your girlfriend is a commitment in itself. Nurture your relationship and don’t stop demonstrating your love – even if you demonstrate it in small, humble gestures. People fall in love everyday, but don’t treat love as if it’s another item you put on the agenda and can check off once your proposal is accepted. Roll up your sleeves and express your love in as many ways as you can. Do it while she’s still young, attractive and a blooming rose, and continue until she turns gray and the color of her eyes has faded, weakened by some illness that no one wants to talk about. Prove to her that she’s very much the young rose that you fell madly in love with.

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