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Despite modern trends, it remains more likely for the man to propose to the woman. However, this should not deter her from taking the plunge and proposing to the love of her life if she feels that this is appropriate and would be received positively. But, whether you are the prospective future bride or groom, there is no doubt that the prospect of a proposal is still rather nerve-wracking. While we cannot guarantee an excited “YES!”, there are a few steps that will likely make it easier and avoid an unexpected response.

Try to be as sure as possible that he or she does want to marry you. You should have at least discussed this with a fair amount of seriousness in the recent past. Your discussion should have included factors such as whether you both want children, any possible relocation, future goals and ideals. This will have prepared him or her for the prospect of marriage so that you are not left standing in front of a wide-eyed, gaping partner, taken completely by surprise and having to consider the prospect afresh. It is easy to confuse the exhilarating feeling that you first feel with someone as undying love, but it is far wiser to make sure that you have been together for long enough to be sure that this is, indeed, the person you want to share life’s little ups and downs with.

Making it a surprise, though, is still very important. Just discussing the fact that you would want to get married does not mean that you have spoilt the surprise or that you do not need to put any effort into the surprise proposal. Unless you know your future fiancé (hopefully) wants a public proposal, opt for something intimate and discreet. The proposal is a very special and private moment, and should be reserved for the two of you, unless there are special circumstances.

Once you have decided where to surprise your partner, practice how you will do it. Include details such as getting down on your knee, presenting the ring, taking it out of the box without fumbling with anything, and so on. This will make you less nervous and clumsy, and will put your partner at ease during this exciting event. Also, visit the area in which you plan to propose to make sure that it is private enough, not prone to bad weather, that there is actually a place for you to drop to one knee, etc… The spot you choose should hold some significance to you as a couple so that he or she can remember it fondly.

The ring that you select for your partner should reflect that you know them and their style well. It may be a good idea to pick up their comments and reactions to rings they have seen other people wearing, or that have been on display in shop windows. Asking someone else to help you pick it may be advisable if you have a good relationship with her mother, sister or friend. If your partner has indicated that he / she would prefer to design their own ring, take this seriously and allow them the freedom to do this. If this is the case, you may present just the diamond, or another piece of jewellery when proposing.

If you are the prospective husband, always speak to her parents before proposing to her. This shows respect, and will almost certainly earn their favour.

When you propose, be creative with what you say, as long as you mean it. Tell your partner why you want to marry them and what you see in your future together. This will not only melt their hearts, it will also leave them in no doubt of your feelings and intentions with them. Being creative also means not churning out the lines made famous in movies, or putting the ring in the bottom of the champagne glass or in the food.

Do not be surprised or disappointed if your beloved asks for some time to think about their response. This shows maturity and likely reflects the same time you put into this decision in preparing for the proposal. It is only fair to allow them the opportunity to digest the offer and come back to you with a sincere and willing reply.

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