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a couple at a surprise proposal sparkler marry me sign

Source: NAK Photographer/

Like in so many other parts of business, politics and life in general, women are taking charge! The rising encouragement for women to reject traditional gender roles and be a boss is infectious, empowering ladies from all over the world to maximize their independence and be more confident than ever. This not only applies to career and personal goals, but also in terms of dating and relationships.

Now, more than ever, typical gender norms within heterosexual couples are shifting to reflect a more equal balance. This shift allows women to have more of a voice and a choice in their relationships with their male partners. If women are making pivotal relationship decisions, too, what’s to stop them from asking the big question? That is to say, what’s stopping them from popping the question? As limits and outdated norms pertaining to dating continue to fade away, so do those associated with engagement and marriage plans. Ladies, if you’re planning to propose to your man, here’s what you need to know! 

Planning Your Marriage Proposal: Everything You Need to Know

Consider Timing

Before you make the jump on proposing to your man, make sure this is the right time. Of course, communication is everything in a serious relationship, so look back on previous discussions and conversations before you make your decision. Have you talked about marriage and engagement before? Take it slow and go over these things in your head before popping the question. This is the rest of your life we’re talking about!

Another thing to consider is how he’ll take the proposal. If you’re strongly considering the idea of proposing to your boyfriend, chances are you’re dating a dude who’ll take it well. However, people can be surprising, so at least bring up the idea beforehand. Maybe it takes a little bit of the surprise out of it, but this is a better-safe-than-sorry scenario if you aren’t 100 percent sure it’ll play out well.

the excalibur ring

‘The Excalibur’ Ring

Find The Perfect Ring

One decision that might be tricky leading up to a proposal is finding a men’s engagement ring for your guy. You want his ring to reflect his personality, but there are definitely a lot of options to choose from. Work within your budget to find something that works well, whether it be a simple gold band or something more extravagant. 

Since this is rather uncharted territory, there aren’t many rules! As the person proposing, you might want to pick out your own ring as well. On the other hand, you might want to wait until your partner says “yes” to the proposal and shop for your engagement ring together. The perfect proposal for you might not actually feature a ring. You hear proposal stories from time to time that didn’t have a ring or had some sort of stand-in. It’s really not unheard of, so don’t stress if you haven’t found the perfect ring just yet.

Shop Affordable Men’s Engagement Rings

Another option is to get matching couple rings. These rings either match or complement each other so that you have something similar. Couple rings are a great way for a woman to propose so you can put on your rings together at the same time. 

Plan It Right

While there are many proposal ideas out there, it doesn’t have to be like a typical engagement. After all, you’re already breaking the mold with the actual proposal part, so why not try out something new and different? For example, you might want to get a few close friends together and have a little gathering where your loved ones watch you propose and then pop some bubbly afterwards! If you’re thinking of making it more intimate with just the two of you, make it meaningful by proposing at your favorite place to go together or even in your own home. Get creative, too. Think about incorporating a home-cooked meal, your pets or even a heartfelt love letter into the mix. The more personal you make it, the better.

Of course, if you like the idea of the traditional engagement season and leaning into all the fanfare that goes into many proposals around Christmas and New Year’s Day or again around Valentine’s Day, go for it. Just because you’re breaking the mold doesn’t mean having to throw everything away if you don’t want to. Leave behind what doesn’t make sense and keep what does.

a couple making a pinky promise with their rings visible

Be Confident in Your Decision

It can be daunting and quite intimidating to take on a task that women typically have not done before. However, women proposing to their man or partner should be out of love and respect for the other person. 

If you love him and you know in your heart this is the right decision, then don’t let anything hold you back! There’s a first time for everything, but luckily you don’t have to be the first woman to propose to her boyfriend. We aren’t entirely sure who was, but we know for sure that you won’t have to be. That task was probably done somewhere in the very early 20th century on a Leap Day. There’s an Irish tradition that encourages women to propose to men on the 29th of February, though it really never caught on with much widespread enthusiasm. Still, fellas, if your girlfriend wants to take you out to a romantic dinner on February 29, get your shirt pressed.

At the end of the day, this is you choosing to be with the love of your life forever. It’s less about gender roles and the notion of what “typically” happens within relationships. When the time comes for you to propose to your significant other, revel in the fact that you have found your person and that you want to create a life with them. 

Go through with your plan and, even if you get emotional, don’t be scared to pour your heart out. That’s half the fun of it anyway — at least when it comes to recounting the story it’ll be half the fun.

If you’ve come this far, you’ll know it’s the right time to be proposing to your man. Get down on one knee (or don’t) and ask him! 

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