11 things to consider before you propose to her

from The Best Way Guide

There’s more to proposing than coming up with original ways to pop the question. Doing it right will strengthen your bride-to-be’s assurance that she’s marrying the love of her life. Doing it wrong may lead to an ill-considered decision that both of you may regret later. Here are some tips to do it right:

Discuss marriage before you pop the question.

“Will you marry me?” shouldn’t be the first indication that you’re thinking about making your relationship permanent. Beyond the romantic euphoria, there are real-life decisions to resolve. Be sure that you agree on whether or not you will have children, how you will handle finances as a couple, whether one of you will stay home with children and any other issues that are important to you.

Don’t propose too early in the relationship.

It’s tempting to impulsively blurt out a proposal in the first flush of romance, but you need to get to know one another well first. How long that time period should be depends partly on how much time you spend together, but at least give your relationship time for the rose-colored glasses to turn clear. For most couples, that takes about a year to 18 months of dating.

Know her feelings about the engagement ring.

While you’re discussing marriage, find out whether or not she wants to select her own stone and the setting. Since this is a piece of jewelry that she’ll wear all the time, it needs to suit her tastes. Even if she wants you to surprise her with a ring that you’ve selected, you should have a good idea of her taste in jewelry.

Select a location meaningful to both of you.

This can be as simple as the restaurant where you had your first date or as complicated as the dream trip to Paris that she’s always desired. Whatever the location, make it a one-on-one setting. Avoid events with big, noisy crowds like sporting events, even if she’s a sports fanatic.

Incorporate her favorite things.

If she loves roses and is on a diet, don’t surprise her with a box of chocolates. If she loves irises, don’t come to the door with a bouquet of roses. When you remember her favorite things, it makes her feel special.

Avoid settings that put her on the spot.

Movies often show a girlfriend crying happy tears as she says yes to a marriage proposal scrolled across the screen at halftime, the ESPN camera zooming in on her face. In real life, this puts tremendous pressure on the woman to say yes, even if her heart’s not in it. This general rule also applies to proposing in front of her family. If her parents like you, she may say yes just to make them happy. You want her to marry you because you’re her one and only, not because she wants to please a crowd. Of course, if your girlfriend has explicitly stated that she’s always dreamed of being proposed to during halftime at the Rose Bowl, then buy some tickets and prepare to ask the big question.

Be creative.

It’s flattering for a woman to know that her beloved has put thought and effort into planning a proposal that will make her happy. At the same time, don’t make the plans so elaborate that something is bound to fall apart.

Don’t put the ring in food.

First, there’s the repulsion factor. Having to lick food from between the prongs of an engagement ring will probably kill any romance that has been building. Second, there’s the risk of ending the evening by performing the Heimlich maneuver over the table or rushing to find a dentist after she breaks a tooth.

Tell her why you want to marry her.

Every woman wants to be chosen because of her unique and special qualities, not simply because it’s time to settle down and take a wife. Tell her exactly what it is about her that makes her the one you can’t live without.

Don’t expect her to immediately say yes.

It’s not an insult if she says she needs some time to think about it or even if says she’s not ready to commit. This is a serious decision, and it does need some serious deliberation, especially if she’s not been expecting the proposal.

Be ready to share the good news.

Bring along a cell phone or a calling card so the two of you can call parents and others with whom you’d like to share the joyous moment.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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