5 Ways to Get a Proposal Faster (and 1 That Doesn’t Work)

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Ladies, if anyone knows what it’s like to be ready to get engaged and not have a ring on your finger yet, it’s me. Even though I was super-young when I was set for Paul to pop the question–at the ripe old age of 21–we had been dating for eight years at that point. So when he still didn’t propose by our 10th anniversary, I was antsy to say the least. Luckily, the proposal came a few months after we hit the 10-year mark, and I think it happened when it did because I did a few of the following things.

Plan a trip to a romantic destination.
The second-biggest reason Paul hadn’t proposed (I’ll get to the biggest one soon) was that he didn’t know where to do it. We didn’t have a favorite spot in New York, the city we called and still call home, that would make an appropriate setting. So two years after college, once we were in stable jobs that paid enough to cover our bills plus a little extra, I suggested we go to Paris. I had always wanted to go, and Paul was itching to travel, so we figured a place where I kinda sorta spoke the language would work. And while I couldn’t guarantee Paul would propose while we were there, he seized the opportunity.

Pay for your partner’s expenses.
Okay, so the biggest hindrance to Paul popping the question was money. Even though he wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck, he didn’t exactly have a few grand in savings to fund an engagement ring quite yet. Not that I did either, but I had enough to cover both halves of our rent for a couple of months. Paul was too proud to let me pay for my own engagement ring, otherwise I would’ve ponied up in that way. But at least paying our biggest living expense helped him save a bit faster.

Make it clear you don’t need a big diamond engagement ring.
A lot of guys have it in their heads that they need to invest in a center stone that’s at least a carat–some think 1.5 ct. is the minimum. So not true. If you’d be happy with a .5 stunner on your finger, let your guy know. That way, he needs less time to save up.

Make it clear you don’t want a diamond engagement ring.
Maybe you prefer the look of a colored gemstone. Great! They’re often more economical than diamonds. But unless you convey that to your man, he probably has no idea. Again, once he’s aware, he’ll be able to rustle up the funds faster. Don’t want a ring of any kind? Clue in your guy, pronto.

Propose yourself.
If getting married is your main objective, and you’re pretty sure your main squeeze is into it, just ask him your damn self. No couple is any less married because the gal popped the question. Besides, if you’re a same-sex female couple, a gal HAS to pop the question.

And one that doesn’t work…
Issue an ultimatum.

I tried and failed. I said, “Paul, if you don’t propose by our 10th anniversary, I’m breaking up with you.” It was so stupid. We made plans to go out for dinner that night at a restaurant there was no way he’d propose in. So not one bit of me expected to get engaged that evening. But we had a great night. How was I supposed to end our happy relationship after that? When I playfully reminded him that I was supposed to dump his ass, he asked me not to and reminded me that he’s simply saving for a ring. Despite me saying I didn’t need a ring, he was fairly hell-bent on buying me one. And he did just three months later.

Who out there’s just dying to get engaged? Would you try any of the above to get a proposal faster? I highly recommend being patient–seems like the girls who shut up and wait are the happiest when it finally happens.

More About Engagement
Would You Tell Your Straight Friend You Suspect Her Fiance Is Gay?
Should Men Wear Engagement Rings?
The One Thing You Shouldn’t Do Right After You Get Engaged

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  • http://twitter.com/27andaphd 27 and a PhD

    Hon and I have been dating for almost 7 years, about half of that spent living in two different countries. We’ve lived together in two of those, but not the one we want to start a family in (which is not in the US). When we first started dating, he’d mentioned a timeline that after a year and a half, he’d know if he was ready. That time obviously came and went. I think we make a darn good pair, and we get along better, and know each other more than anyone else knows about us (including our parents).

    A few months ago we started talking about family, marriage etc, nothing concrete, but things like how many kids (one, adopted), where we’d live, what would make us happy as a family. Then last week out the blue, we were talking about jewelry (a convo started by him) and he sends along a picture of a ring his maternal grams left his mom. I didn’t like it, and he asked me to be honest, so I said. Then he asked what kind of ring(s) I liked, and I started sending him etsy links. I even sent him links to wedding bands for men. He didn’t protest, nor did he cut off the convo. I’m surprised because the previous times I’d shown him pictures, he’s said “not yet.”

    A part of me is kinda hopeful (I’m sure that you can identify with being with someone for SO long). But a part of me is still in doubt that he’ll pop the question. While he’s done with school (finally), we’re again in a LDR, which I’m sure plays a big role in him not proposing. On the other hand we miss each other like mad.

    I’m kinda desperate and cautiuosly optimistic, but at the same time, so many other times that I’ve expected a proposal (hello Paris 5 years ago and Madrid 3 years after that) and it’s never come, that I’ve kinda given up on expecting one, even when he’s the one starting convos about family and marriage now. Hmmmm, what to do.

    Also, the last not-to-do point … oh I’m sure that would have been a sore one amongst some of the ladies at your previous blogging outlet.

    • mereditor

      It honestly sounds to me like a proposal is imminent–so exciting. The fact that he’s bringing up jewelry with you is quite telling, whether or not you’re living near each other. I hope it comes soon–you’ll have to let me know. Ha, yes, ultimatums were debated quite hotly at Glamour. 

      • http://twitter.com/27andaphd 27 and a PhD

        Happy Holidays. Just a quick follow up, after the convo on jewelry he went ahead and purchased one of the millions of rings I’d told him I liked. Aaaaand he proposed the day after Xmas. We’re getting married in NYC soon-ish as we prepare for a move and we’ll get married in the church later in the year!!!! You my dear Meredith, were dead on 😀

        • mereditor

          Omg, congratulations! I’m so glad to hear that you’re engaged. Ha, I’m thrilled my prediction came true! Lots of luck with wedding planning. Enjoy!