It’s the age-old question: when will he ever propose? Have you been in a long-term relationship and are wondering if this is ever going to escalate to the next and most serious stage of commitment? Has he been dropping hints, but you aren’t seeing any follow-through? Do you know that he is “the one” but aren’t sure where he stands? If you want your man to propose, there are ways to go about it without putting him in a pressure-cooker. In fact, pressure is the last thing he needs if you are waiting for this step. Follow these tips to get him to take that scary step and hold your hand through it all.
• Know his readiness. You aren’t going to get a man to propose if marriage isn’t even on his radar. Test the waters a little bit by dropping subtle hints about marriage to test his readiness potential. Mention one of your friends just got married or engaged, drop famous long-term couples into your conversations and make hints about the kind of guy you want to marry one day. He knows you think about it; you just have to show him that you want him to be thinking about it too, subtly.
• Show your readiness. It’s not enough to know his readiness; if he is thinking of you this way, he wants to know your level as well. A man won’t ask a girl out who may or may not say yes, and a man won’t ask a woman for her hand in marriage if he isn’t sure where she stands on the subject. Show your readiness without beating him over the head with it, and he will be that much closer to asking for you for the rest of your life.
• Bake him a chicken. Sounds too weird or obvious? When a man walks into your home and smells a roasted chicken, he starts to picture that in his future. Think that’s too hokey or manipulative? Glamour magazine published a recipe in 2004 called “Engagement Chicken” that reached occult status due to its surprising success. What’s the worst that could happen? You burn the chicken, you both laugh it off in the restaurant that you wind up in, and he loves you even more for trying so hard for him.
• Actions speak louder than words. Show him through actions that you are wife material. When his car breaks down, show up and help him solve the problem. When his grandmother is in the hospital, make the phone calls he needs handled and send food to the family members who are too busy to take care of it themselves. Buy Christmas presents for his nieces because he forgot, and send him thoughtful text messages when he has a bad day at the office. If you want to be his wife, show him that you will be a good one before he even thinks about popping the question.
• Address his fears. He won’t enter a lifelong commitment with you if he thinks he isn’t good enough, and men are just as human as women are. It’s important to not only address them but also assure him that his issues are okay with you. Treat his fears the same way you want him to treat yours. When he knows you love him, baggage and all, he will love you the same way in return.
• Get him out of the comfort zone. As much as we want this to be an easy step for a man, men don’t value what they can get easily. Bob Grant, relationship guru and author of The Women Men Adore and Never Want to Leave, says there’s something to be said about making him uncomfortable on occasion. It’s about sticking to your standards, knowing your worth and holding to your opinions, even if he doesn’t always agree with them. A valuable man wants a woman who challenges him once in a while. It shows him that you aren’t going to settle for any one and that you really are waiting for “the one.”
• Tell him how you feel without being too eager. This is another one of those arts that you need to practice. Let him know what you want next, without pressuring him or bugging him about it.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to marriage and getting him to propose, there is no quick or surefire way to do so. You simply need to become the woman who he never wants to leave, which you can accomplish by showing him that you are open to a commitment with him and are valuable wife material but can handle the obstacles in life with him, without pressuring him. And let him walk into a home that smells like freshly roasted chicken won’t hurt your chances either.