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how to propose to a man HEADER

Ladies, want to switch it up a bit and be the one to propose? Maybe you pride yourself on being a modern couple, or maybe you’re just sick of waiting around for him to ask? No matter your reasons, you might not be 100% sure about how to propose to a man. 

From preparation to creative ways to ask him, and even what to do when he says yes (or no), this guide has all your answers. 

Not only will it prepare you to deal with the answers, it’ll provide several ways to pop the question. 

This guide also offers some creative ideas to make your proposal one of the most memorable moments of his life!

couple talking at home

Step #1: Talk About Marriage

If you haven’t talked seriously about marriage with him, you might not want to pop the question just yet. 

While it’s awesome to surprise him with a marriage proposal, it’s something you both need to talk about beforehand.

Even if you’ve been together for two years or more, if you haven’t talked about marriage yet, there’s probably a reason why. 

You need to know he’s committed, and that marriage is something he wants. 

Even if he wants to get married “someday,” does he think you’re both ready now? Is he even OK with being asked, or is he really attached to being the one who proposes?

When you’re wondering how to propose to a man, you first must make sure you have the greatest probability of success. 

A “no” could break both your heart and the relationship. Basically, just communicate with him to know you’re both ready and there won’t be any awkward and painful surprises.

how to propose to a man couple at baseball game

Step #2: Know His Personality

I hope that if you’re committing the rest of your life to this person that you know him intimately. 

Even so, do a bit of digging to determine the best way to propose. Think about the following:

Introversion vs. Extroversion 

Introversion vs. extroversion is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot, but often used incorrectly. 

Basically, it has to do with where you get your energy from — people or being alone. In this case, it can help you decide how public or private to make your proposal.

If he needs a lot of alone time, is more quiet than talkative, and doesn’t like large groups of people, he’s probably an introvert. 

For the introvert, you might consider a more private, less showy proposal that focuses on the intimate and personal.

If he’s fairly talkative around everyone, loves to be around people, and isn’t shy about sharing what he thinks, he may be more extroverted. 

For the extrovert, you might consider a more public way in how to propose to a man surrounded by family and friends, or one that is a grandiose demonstration of your love.

Hobbies 

Are there any hobbies you can incorporate into the proposal? Maybe he enjoys fishing and you can propose in the middle of the lake. 

If he’s a sports fan, you can use the typical “jumbo-screen” proposal. 

Maybe he’s into classic cars and you can have a parade of hot rods drive by with one letter of “Marry Me” painted on each car. 

If you want more than just the traditional marriage proposal, consider incorporating his hobby somehow.

Close and Old Friends and Family 

Even if you’re not planning on having a public or grandiose proposal, you’ll still want to know who his close family and friends are so you can either inform them before hand, “ask for permission,” or let them know soon after it’s official.

If you’re planning on a more public proposal, you can ask his family and friends to be involved. 

Maybe they can be a distraction while you set up, be part of a flash mob, or even just be there to celebrate.

It there’s any friends or family he’s close to, but doesn’t get to see very often because they live far away or something, this can be an excellent opportunity to have them come visit as part of your “proposal gift” to him.

Traditional Values 

Chances are, if you’re wondering how you propose to your man, you’re probably not dating a guy that is super conservative or traditional, but it’s still worth considering his values. 

Maybe he’s a romantic at heart and has been planning how to propose to you.

Will he want you to ask “permission” from his family, and will his family be OK with you being the one to propose? 

What kind of value do his family and friends have? Even if he doesn’t share them, he might take some criticism from them if you’re the one who proposes. 

Does he have an idea of what a proposal should look like, even if it comes from you, or does he think that whoever is doing the proposal should be the one to decide how to do it? 

These are all things you should take into consideration before you decide to propose to him.

woman writing down proposal ideas

Step #3: Pick A Creative Idea

While you can just do a “traditional” proposal, you may want a more creative or grandiose idea. 

Though many of the below options are definitely “showier,” there are also some more traditional and romantic ideas if your guy would prefer those. 

Remember, it’s all about what you know he’ll like.

Sporting Event 

This is a classic idea for a reason, unless the person is really opposed to it or thinks it’s tacky, it’s usually a memorable moment for everyone involved. 

If your man is a die-hard sports fan, take him to see his favorite team. 

During the match you can propose to him on the Jumbo Screen and the camera will probably take a video of it and everyone will cheer. 

This option can cost a bit of money, and really puts the pressure on him to say yes, so don’t do it unless you’re extremely certain he will say yes and will appreciate the attention.

how to propose to a man fortune cookie proposal

Fortune Cookie 

There are plenty of websites who will make custom fortune cookies for you. Definitely one of the more unique ways in how to propose to a man.

You can make one with “will you marry me” inside and partake in some of the most delicious, addictive food together — Chinese. 

This method can work for both private and public ways. 

If you’re into having more people around, stash the fortune cookie in your purse, go out for Chinese, and when they bring the cookies, switch one of them with your custom one.

If you’re in for a more private proposal, order Chinese, slip in his favorite movie, and give him the fortune cookie at the best time — either during the movie or after, it doesn’t matter!

Romantic Dinner 

This one is a classic and super easy. 

Take him out to a nice, fancy, romantic restaurant (or even his favorite casual dining place) where they’re sure to have nice atmosphere and his favorite food. 

Whether you “just” propose or do something fancy like put the ring in a glass of wine doesn’t matter. 

You can even get a more private booth if you don’t want everyone in the restaurant knowing your business. 

This is a time-tested, fool-proof way in how to propose to a man. It won’t be anything outstanding or unique, but it’s also not risking putting him in an awkward position.

how to propose to a man sky writing proposal

Sky Writing 

If you have money to burn and want to profess your love to an entire city (and beyond) consider hiring a sky writer to propose. 

A sky writer is a pilot who will use smoke to write a message in the air.

Make sure your man is in a place where he can see the writing, like at a festival or other outdoor gathering. 

Also make sure you include his name so he knows it’s for him, otherwise you might be helping other couples propose!

Painted Bluff 

If you live near large hills, bluffs, or even mountains, and he’s an outdoorsy type, consider having your proposal painted on the sheer side of a cliff. 

This’ll have to be huge, and you’ll probably need a professional to do it for you, but it can really be an awesome way to proclaim your love for your man.

You can even make it a trek to get to, spending the day hiking there and back so you can spend time with each other on top of seeing this awesome display of love. 

If you’re going to do this, you should probably get permission from the appropriate people.

flash mob proposal

Flash Mob / Marching Band 

One of the more extravagant and involved ways in how to propose to a man is to organize some sort of crowd to help you propose. 

A marching band is a slightly more classic way of going about this, but flash mobs are all the rage lately.

Other cool examples of this could be a jazz band, rock band, barbershop quartet, or even some sort of public speaker or announcer at a public event. 

The point here is to do something very exciting, and very public. Getting a lot of people involved can really lead to an energized moment.

Treasure Hunt 

One really cute and fun way to propose is by setting up a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt for your guy, especially if he’s a bit of a “kid at heart.” 

This could be as public or as private as you want it to be.

Give him a clue to send him to a place in town, preferably somewhere you have a shared memory. 

At each place, give him a clue to the next place. Make sure to send him to at least six to eight different locations. But probably no more than twelve so he’s not too tired or takes too long.

The last clue should lead him to wherever you’ll be waiting, either alone or with a bunch of people to celebrate. 

Do a little proposal speech, ask him to marry you, and celebrate. This is a flexible, super fun, and potentially very inexpensive way to propose.

newspaper proposal

Newspaper 

Taking out an ad in the newspaper can be easy and relatively inexpensive while still being a romantic gesture. 

This is particularly suited to guys who read the newspaper every day. 

But you could also just make sure to leave it someplace he’ll see it. Or maybe you have a ritual of doing the crossword or reading the comics together.

Either way, make sure he sees it, and this can be a cute, relatively private way to propose. You can even keep the newspaper clipping for a memory!

Set The Hook 

If your boyfriend loves fishing, consider a nice, calm proposal on the lake or river. 

There are few things that can beat such a view, and the calmness of the day could be an incredibly intimate experience to share.

Destination Proposal 

Who doesn’t like a vacation? And what better place to propose than a relaxing, exotic place? 

It doesn’t even have to be a foreign country — plan a trip to a cabin, a city only a few hours away, or even just stay in a hotel for a weekend.

When you’re considering how to propose to a man during a vacation, the point is to get away for a bit and have some time together before you pop the question. 

This will lead to wonderful memories, an intimate experience, and be almost like a “pre-marriage honeymoon.”

how to propose to a man couple wedding planning

Step #4: Moving Forward

Hopefully, there’s no doubt he’ll say yes. And if you’ve talked about marriage, he probably will!

In that case, announce your engagement to the world, celebrate, set a date, enjoy being engaged, and plan the wedding.

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but you two will do fine. Embrace the challenge and support each other as a couple and it will bring you even closer!

If he doesn’t say yes… this doesn’t necessarily mean “never,” but you may really need to consider where the relationship is going. 

You need to consider why he said no. Is it a fear of commitment? 

Maybe he’s just not ready just yet. If there’s some hidden problem, or he doesn’t like the idea of marriage, in general, you’ll need to think hard about if the relationship is over. 

It’s possible you can live together or be a permanently committed non-married couple, but is that really what you want?

You’ll need to start the process of either picking up the pieces or fortifying the relationship.

Determine if it’s over with him. If it is, you’ll need to cut him out of your life to move forward. 

If you still love each other, but want different things, consider if the relationship needs to end. 

After evaluating your situation post proposal and realizing you still love each other, figure out what you need to do to get him ready.