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How to Get Your Boyfriend to Propose

April 25, 2014

As women, we often over-think and over-analyze and plan our lives to the minute. If we don’t get a degree, have a career, find the right person, get married, buy a house, get pregnant, have children, and find wealth and happiness all according to our desired timeline, each step we “miss” can feel like a massive failure. I know. I’m one of those over-analyzing women.

I have a friend who wants to be engaged to her boyfriend. He’s really great: funny, sweet, kind, and adores her. He just hasn’t proposed yet and my friend is really hoping it happens soon. (No, the “friend” is not me!) To make light of the situation, we partnered up to bring you this half-serious, half-humorous take on how to get your boyfriend to propose. Don’t worry… we ran it by our Man Council for additional advice. These tips are Man Council Approved.

how to get your boyfriend to propose

How to Get Your Boyfriend to Propose:

  1. Be the kind of person someone would want to marry. Be interesting. Work hard. Travel, value experiences, and try new things. Doing this solo will give you something to talk about; doing this together will strengthen your relationship.
  2. Communicate. Communicate openly about what marriage means to you, how you feel about it, what you hope to get from your marriage, and if you have a timeline. The goal is to know how your partner feels and hopefully get on the same page. Us ladies often need your help quieting the ticking of the biological clock and you men out there need our help not getting too comfortable and also remembering that a wedding requires money (as in, you have to actually save up for a ring and wedding day and honeymoon and all that fun/”fun” stuff).
  3. After communicating, stop talking about getting engaged. Seriously. Just stop. At least for a while. There’s nothing more anti-sexy than being nagged about engagement. And yes, men do see this as nagging. You will inevitably get the opposite reaction you are looking for (waiting longer! or no engagement at all!)
  4. Speak their Love Language. If your man feels loved, he’ll be much more likely to feel comfortable moving your relationship forward.
  5. Ask yourself why you want to be engaged so badly. Keep asking yourself why, why, why, until you get to the deep psychological reasons. Maybe you feel insecure because everyone around you is getting married, maybe you just need that honeymoon really badly, or maybe you’re feeling disconnected from your significant other. Maybe you legitimately love them and are ready to commit. When you have your reason, (see #2!) communicate with your boyfriend and see if you’re on the same page. It’s possible you’re not, and that’s something you’ll need to address.
  6. Ask yourself: what’s in it for him? You clearly think he’s a catch, but what makes you marriage material? Make sure you’re contributing enough value to the relationship and to his life that he has “proof” of your marriage-worthiness.
  7. Be loving and supportive of their hobbies, their friendships, and of them. No one wants to marry Debbie Downer or Constance Controlling.

J-slice offered an alternative suggestion: knock out your boyfriend (or get him drunk) and when he wakes up, tell him he proposed and just doesn’t remember. That gem is brought to you by the mind of an 11-year-old boy. Note: this method is not approved by our Man Council. Or our legal team.

Additional Advice From the Man Council:

If your boyfriend seems to not be ready, it’s probably good to find out why. I’m serious about this: engagement might not have occurred to him. Or it could be something deeper, like they want to be in a different (read: better) place in their life so that they feel able to properly love and take care of you.

On the flip side, if your boyfriend is ready and asks you for help picking out a ring or guidance on the style of proposal you prefer, don’t act like they should already know that. (Turn off!) They might already know, it’s true, but they just want to make 110% sure that you’re happy.

If your man hasn’t proposed yet, what methods have you tried that clearly didn’t work? If you’re already engaged or married, what tips do you have for the non-engaged ladies? How do you get a man to put a ring on it? If you’re a man reading, please join the Man Council and chime in!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2014 4:47 pm

    Hi there, I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and I love your posts. I’m always able to relate to them! Speaking of…

    Ah I’m at that stage in life where all my friends around me, including myself are wondering the same thing! Fortunately I have been able to have that talk with my boyfriend and according to him, since we both just started out in our careers he wants to focus primarily on establishing himself in his field so he can save up for a solid foundation for us to start ‘our’ life together on. A lot of my girlfriends’ boyfriends seem to feel that same and since a lot of them have been in their relationships for 5+ years, they don’t feel the need to rush into it until they feel the other aspects of their lives are in order. In the meantime, I like to talk with my boyfriend about rings! We have visited jewelry stores together and tried on rings just for the hell of it. That way he knows what I like when he’s ready to propose.

    • April 29, 2014 8:27 pm

      Thanks for following and now commenting, Christina! Happy to hear from you!

      I can so relate to what you’re saying, and I think my friend (who I wrote the post for/with) can too. I really believe that’s the situation they’re in, whether the boyfriend admits it or not ;) Guys feel good about being in the right place and being able to provide, right?

  2. April 25, 2014 8:31 pm

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!! I almost laughed out loud when I read J-Slices suggestion! (Although, hey, it COULD work). ;)

    • April 29, 2014 8:26 pm

      I am certain women have tried that and I bet many were successful!

  3. April 28, 2014 12:05 am

    I have so much to say! Brace yourself. (Like, go refill your coffee and take a potty break, then come back.)

    1. Have you heard of Engagement Chicken? http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2006/07/engagement-chicken

    2. Do you read A Practical Wedding? OMG so good and not a typical wedding blog. It’s a lot of talk about relationships and doing what’s right for you. Anyway, They say that it’s okay to get your ducks in a row, but ducks are wily. I’m telling you, it’s brilliant stuff. That’s why I still read it years after getting married. http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/07/ask-meg-surviving-the-pre-engaged-state/

    3. Girls can propose, too!

    4. You gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. This is why it’s important to talk. (Like you said – communication!) Both parties need a clear idea of what’s expected. Stephen and I lived together before we were married, but I made it clear that before one of us would move for the other’s job, I needed more of a commitment. (He proposed in March, we moved for my job in August.) Was I going to dump him if he didn’t propose? Probably not, but if he didn’t want to commit at that point, I would have seen it as a sign that we wanted different things and perhaps we would have been better apart if that was the case. It would have at least warranted a very serious conversation or two. (Sort of like when Rory and Logan broke up at the end of Gilmore Girls. I always thought, “they could still be together even though she said no!” but the truth was that they couldn’t. She wanted different things. And I think it was for the best.)

    5. There’s no rush, unless there is a rush. We started dating in 2001. Got engaged in 2007. Got married in 2009. Granted, we met when we were 16, so we had a lot of growing up and just living life to do first. It was important to me to get engaged when we did, but I was in no hurry to actually get married. We took our time getting our ducks in a row and saving money. New Years Day 2009, I had a moment of clarity when I realized that I didn’t want to end another year not married. We got our butts in gear and spent the year seriously planning. Our wedding was small but it was so perfect. Even with things that went wrong, I look back at it as a purely joyful day.

    There’s my mini-novel on engagement and marriage.

    • April 29, 2014 8:24 pm

      1) Nope. 2) Gonna go read now! Already had someone see your comment, go read, and told me it’s a wealth of info! 3) That’s what Corey said! But I didn’t include it because some guys are weird about that. 4) I love that you just gave an example from your life AND from Gilmore Girls. 17 million Cool Points for you! I get where you’re goin and I can relate. Good advice! 5) I definitely agree on living and growing first.

      Gosh, it sounds like you could write your own post (or whole blog or BOOK!) on this topic! Thanks so much for your insights!

      • April 29, 2014 9:45 pm

        This is a topic on which I clearly have many thoughts! I blame the fact that I read APW semi-regularly, so this is all top of mind. I will say as for girls proposing to guys, Stephen would have been upset had I proposed to him. I guess just as some girls dream about getting proposed to, some guys dream about doing the proposing. That’s the kind of thing where communication is key!

  4. April 28, 2014 5:51 pm

    Hahhaa! J-slice cracked me up!!

    Great advice. I agree with all that you listed!!

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