The jewelry ads start after Halloween and don't let up until the new year. If you're in a serious relationship, it's enough to make you ask, "Should I propose?"
Commercials aside, the winter holidays are a popular time for engagements. It's easier to slow down and enjoy time with loved ones around Christmas. For some people, that environment is perfect for a marriage proposal.
But deciding to propose is different than knowing how to propose. Read on for three steps you should take to plan a great proposal any time of year.
Make Sure You've Talked About It
This is a critical step that too many people overlook. The topic of marriage must get discussed before you pull out a ring. That's true regardless of if you've been together six months or six years.
If you don't talk about it, you won't know for sure that you're on the same page. Hints are one thing, but they're no substitute for a direct conversation.
Talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend about how you see the future. If you're together in the future, that's a good start. But make sure you both want the same things, including marriage.
If your girlfriend says, "I'd like to get engaged in the next year," listen to her. If you can't commit to her timeline, she deserves to know.
But if you can commit, you should start planning something concrete. Don't say you'll worry about it later if you know she's expecting a proposal soon.
Pick a Ring
When you talk about marriage, you should also talk about what your partner's ideal marriage proposal might look like. That will often, but not always, include a ring.
Some couples like to wait until after they're engaged to go ring-shopping. Others have no problem doing it before everything is official. It all depends on you and your partner's preferences.
Seek out a brick-and-mortar jewelry shop if that's what you're comfortable with. But you also have plenty of online options as well. Ask your girlfriend to select some designs on a site like www.rockher.com.
That gives you an idea of some styles she likes. It also preserves an element of surprise. She'll know that you're going to give her a ring soon, but she won't know exactly what it looks like until you get down on one knee and open the jewelry box.
Find the Right Time and Place
Once the ring is in hand, it's up to you to pick the right time and place. But make sure you're not missing anything first.
For instance, not every woman expects you to ask her mom or dad for permission before you get engaged. But if yours does, you can't skip that step.
After that, think about a place and time that's special to both of you. For example, if you started dating in December, consider proposing marriage on the anniversary of your first date.
Should I Propose? Figuring Out the Answer
The perfect proposal doesn't have to happen in public. Many couples prefer something more intimate, like a proposal on Christmas morning when you're both still in your pajamas.
Asking "Should I propose?" comes with some built-in pressures. Focus on what you and your sweetheart want first. Worry about everyone else later.
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