I Want to Get Married. How Should I Propose to My Girlfriend?

Nick Slade Nick Slade • 6/29/12

There are a million ways to propose to your girlfriend. Whether you ride in on horseback or simply take her to a fancy restaurant, it depends on your style and budget, but there are some things that all decent proposals have in common.

A proposal should be romantic, memorable and creative. “Creative” does not mean “crazy,” so keep it real and keep it personal. Make it private and special, away from friends and family.

Getting married is a huge decision, so it is something that the two of you should have discussed before and have some common understanding about.

The question her friends will be asking her over and over is, “How did he do it?” They will want a play-by-play account of the way you proposed, so give her something to talk about. It could be a romantic moonlit night at the place you first kissed or a limo ride to a five-star restaurant.

Whatever the backdrop, it will be your words she remembers most. You’ve seen some final episodes of “The Bachelor.” They may not always be great examples of healthy relationships, but the proposals always show a lot of thought and a beautiful script.

Take both of her hands and tell her why you want to marry her. Don’t tell her why you want to get married, but tell her why you want her above all other women. Remind her of some silly times when you both laughed till you cried.

Yes, then get down on one knee and ask her to be your wife. If you are going to get the ring together later, have some memento to give her to memorialize the occasion. You can even take a ring off of your finger to give for now to make it feel official (or a ring from a gum ball machine, if she’s a good sport), but make sure your have a ring-shopping appointment set to take place within 72 hours.

Girls start planning their wedding when they are in kindergarten, and the proposal is the first magical moment where the fairy tale begins. Take time to plan it out, try to make it a surprise, and reveal all of the tenderness and love you have to give so that it will be a moment she will never forget.