You don’t need to be a millionaire to make your woman feel special when you propose. This is the day when you embark on a beautiful journey and it’s up to you to make it as romantic, memorable and exciting as you can. This is a day that will be talked about forever. Her friends will want to know about it. Your friends will quiz you about it. Even that annoying aunt of hers will probe for details.
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If you are going to ask the girl to marry you, you should make sure that you’re truly in love with her and that she feels the same. This is of extreme importance. If you’re not sure of this, attempting even the most romantic proposal could lead to a rejection.
Don’t underestimate the surprise element and what a big effect it could have on your woman. A few days before the proposal, don’t start conversations about marriage. Don’t ask her “How important is marriage to you”. Don’t drop hints like “In six days, I’m going to ask you something” or “I have really, really, really special plans for Saturday…something so special that you can’t say no”. She should not get a whiff of what you have planned for her and if she’s a woman of average intelligence, she could. The effect of the proposal will be diluted if she already knows that you’re going to propose.
Forget feminism on this day and make her feel special by doing chivalrous things for her. Feminism does not mean being unromantic. A lot of men use equality or feminism as an excuse to be lazy and not plan anything special for their woman. Woo her, say sweet nothings and sweep her off her feet. Open the door for her, pull the chair, etc. It’s difficult to refuse a man who’s always nice.
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I cannot stress on the importance of the venue. If you take her to a villa in the woods or a nature resort, half your work is done. Classic locations like the beach, mountains, river side, etc., will never fail. A woman needs little convincing if she’s in a beautiful and romantic place. You don’t have to go all out and spend loads of money on the venue. Take her to a quaint little restaurant that she’s always loved. Choose a place that has some history connected with the both of you. If you first met at the museum, take her there and propose to her in front of the antiques. If she loves village fairs, take the effort of finding out if there is a fair around town. Do something personal like lighting dozens of candles on your terrace. Place a rug in the centre. Get some great wine or champagne and pop the question.
Choose a ring that fits in your budget. You don’t have to spend your life savings and get her the kind of ring that Marc Anthony got Jennifer Lopez. Buy a decent ring that you can afford. More importantly, it has to be something that she will like. It is acceptable to ask sisters, girlfriends, co-workers, etc., for help. Some girls just love the whole charade of the man being all hush-hush and sneaking off to consult her friends on what she would like. If not anything else, it will make her feel special and important.
Do not forget to attack all her senses. Play great music. Make a personalized CD of all her favourite tracks. Include the song that you could truly call “our song”. Needless to say, the music should be romantic and soft. Avoid heavy metal, death metal, garage sound or electronica. Also steer clear of frivolous pop and bubble gum songs. No Britney Spears or Back Street Boys.
Make arrangements for delectable food with some nice wine. Finger food is sexy since you can eat with your hand. A couple of appetizers and a couple of entrées should be fine. No heavy duty stuff that requires dedicated knife and fork cutting. This is not the day to be cheap. So no take-away Chinese or pizza. Make arrangements for a great dessert like strawberries and cream or pie with ice cream. If you can, try to rustle up a meal yourself. Do not be over-ambitious, just stick to basics. She will appreciate your effort and who can say no to a guy who cooks!
Make an effort to look good. Shower and shave. Wear clothes that she likes. Splash on your extra special cologne. A woman will always appreciate the fact that you dressed up for her.
Now, after all the preliminary activities are done with, it's time for the real thing—the question. How do you propose? Choose a classic way of delivering the actual proposal. Start by telling her how she’s made you a different person and how you want to make her happy. You could put the ring in the champagne glass. Some people put the ring in the dessert. You could announce it on the digital scoreboard during half-time of a big game. Whatever the method, be sure that your girlfriend is comfortable with that kind of declaration. For example, if your girlfriend is shy, then don’t propose in a public place. If a public display of affection turns on your girlfriend, then maybe popping the question in a secluded spot could seem a tad watered down for her. However, remember that public places are fun but could lead to a lot of embarrassment if she turns you down.
Compliment her. This is not the day to play mind games and be stingy with praise. Tell her how she’s a traffic stopping beauty. Tell her how her beauty has bedazzled you. However, don’t get graphic and anatomical. Do talk about her virtues, inner beauty, strength, etc.
If your girlfriend is unsure and needs time to think, respect that and try not to pressurize her. If there’s some hesitation, you can spend time talking about common interests, ideologies, ethics, etc. to make her feel that you’re like two peas in a pod – that you belong together.
She should be able to imagine your life together. If you don’t have anything in common, laugh about it and state that opposites attract. If you have certain advantages or virtues, capitalize on them, whether they are academic qualifications, wealth or your looks. Be careful of the tone that you use. Stay away from anything that sounds pompous or arrogant. Avoid anything on the lines of “You’ll never get someone as wealthy as me”. Instead, you can say “You won’t have a thing to worry about. I will take good care of you and treat you like a queen”. Most women love being cherished, nurtured and taken care of. Her desire for security will work in your favour.
When you propose to her, you’re making the transition from a boyfriend to a prospective husband. Displaying husband-like traits will really assure her that you’re the one. Women like men who take control of or seem to have a hold over the situation. Do not appear nervous or fidgety. Stay calm and composed. Also, overconfidence and cockiness is a real put-off. This is also not the place to display and discuss your past conquests.
If the girl says “no”, understand that everyone has the right to decline a marriage proposal. Do whatever a reasonable man would do to convince the woman. If she loves you and is in the same place as you are, she will accept you. If she doesn’t, don’t sulk or mope. Also, don’t get aggressive and abusive. Ask for reasons, in a calm and collected manner. Don’t force the girl to discuss the reasons right away if she doesn’t want to. Chances are that she will be flustered and surprised by the proposal. Maintain your dignity and try to move on. If you spend months pursuing someone who is not interested in you, do consider that you may be missing out on some other girl who’s far more keen to be close to you. Give it time to heal and explore other options.
If the girl says “yes”, pop open the bottle of champagne and celebrate. This would also be a good time to kiss the girl. Use your discretion in a public place. Take a picture if you can, even if it’s on your cell phone. This would be a fantastic memory when you’re sixty four and drinking a hot cup of cocoa next to the fireplace. For now, don’t start planning the actual wedding and don’t get caught up in details. Enjoy the day. Count your blessings and start this new journey with lots of love.