What to Say When You Propose

Many men put a huge amount of thought into the location and the timing of their proposal but forget to prepare anything to say when they ask that all important question. You might think you’ve bought such a fabulous ring that it will speak for itself, but if your girlfriend is still eying you expectantly after you’ve produced the sparkling diamond, you might find yourself a little tongue tied.

Nobody is going to remember a proposal speech word for word, and exactly what you say will depend on the mood of the moment, but it does help to think about and write down a few notes beforehand so your mind doesn’t go completely blank. When you’re thinking about what to say here are some questions you could ask yourself:

What makes her special?

Writing down all the things that you love about her and that make her special to you is bound to give you some ideas. Maybe you can think of the first moment you really knew you loved her, or something amazing that she’s done to make you think she’s the one you want to spend your life with. Once you’ve written everything down just choose a couple of highlights rather than giving her a long list. Be as specific as you can to make your proposal really personal.

What effect has she had on you?

What were you like before you met her and what are you like now? How has your view on life changed since you met her or are you a better person because of the time you’ve spent with her? Many women like to feel that they have had a positive influence on their partners, or that they have somehow fulfilled a need in them. Try to focus on positive things. A good example could be "Before I met you I always felt as though I was searching for something to make my life complete, but when you’re with me I know I have everything I need".

How do you see your future together?

Try to visualise how you see your future together. Do you want to travel together? Can you imagine sharing Christmases and special occasions? You probably only want to mention children if it’s something the two of you have discussed before. If you don’t want to be very specific you could say something like "Wherever we go and whatever we do I’d love to think I could wake up next to you every day for the rest of my life."

Once you’ve written down the answers to these questions, deciding what to say when you propose should be much easier as you have a wealth of material to draw on. Here are some final tips on making that proposal:

  • Avoid trying to use humour in your proposal unless you are a naturally funny person and humour forms the basis of your relationship.
  • Try to use the words you and we more than the word I, for example rather than saying "I’ve decided I’m ready to get married" say something like "Being with you has made me realise I’m ready to make a lifetime commitment."
  • Even if you’re certain she’s going to say yes don’t be over confident. A little humility is important when you’re asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you.
  • Speak slowly and clearly so she can hear you, and don’t make your speech too long. You want to get to the part where she says yes while the initial surprise and excitement are still strong.
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