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How to Propose to Your Girlfriend

Updated on January 14, 2012

The day you propose marriage, to your true love, is bound to be the most important day of your life. Do it right and it will be the start of a life long union. Do it wrong and well, let's not go there.

In this article we will go through all the steps in making your proposal work, while steering you clear of the potential problems.

The family

Whether you like it or not, you aren't only marrying a person, you are marrying into a family. It is critical to maintain a good relationship with them.

Traditionally you seek the girl's father's permission, first. The idea being: if he, as the head of his house hold, is happy with the marriage, the others will fall in line. Assuming you have a good relationship with him, the right way to ask is in a private conversation. Look him straight in the eye and say something like: "I intend to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage, I would like your permission to do so".

If he doesn't like the idea, but his wife does, you might get her to convince him to reconsider.

It not being the seventeen hundreds and all, if your girl's family objects, you can still marry the her. It's just easier if they are onboard.

The pillars of a successful marriage proposal

There are three parts that have to come together for a successful proposal: timing, location and the ring.


In order to have a successful marriage you need to know the other person. Which means you need to have been dating them for at least 3 months.

Here is a checklist of things you should know, before you pop the question:

  • Is she a crazy bi#$& ? Love is a bit like a drug, a good drug. It impairs your judgment. Go to your friends and family and find out if she is a "keeper".
  • What is her mother like? You need to have a close look at her: mind, personality and looks. Girls tend to turn into their mother over time?
  • How does she treat her family? This is an indication of how she will treat you.
  • Does she have any history of genetic diseases in her family.
  • How many nasty habits does she have and can you live with them?
  • What does she look like without her makeup on?
  • How is she, in the sack, are you compatible? Does she enjoy sex?

If she has recently had an emotional shock, like a death in the family. You need to give her some time to get over it.


Typically people like to propose at a place that has a specific significance to them. Like where you met or where you had your first kiss. Alternatively you might consider a picnic or a fancy restaurant.

Stay away from places where you might get stuck together like on an ocean cruise. Also the more private the better, only do it publically, if she likes that kind of thing and you are sure she will say yes.

The ring

The engagement ring is very important to your wedding proposal. It is the token of your love that she will be wearing for the rest of her life. So it's worth making sure you buy the right ring.

You need to know what her ring size is before you buy it. First try asking her mother. If she doesn't know borrow one of her rings, you can find it out from there.

I recommend buying the ring online, as it will work out cheaper, than buying it at a shop. To the right, I have put 4 of Amazon's best selling engagement rings, browse around a little and look at their rings for ideas. You might also try using Amazon's create your own ring.

The actual proposal

For the actual proposal I recommend you wait till you have her undivided attention.

You get down on one knee, you open the ring box, so she can see the ring. Then you say something along the lines of "<insert name> will you do me the honor of becoming my wife".

If you enjoyed this article you might also like How to get a guy to propose to you.


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    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Years ago, I considered buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend. The problem was that she was my ex-girlfriend. I was so in love with her and so delusional that I actually thought that proposing to her would somehow win her back. I'm just glad that I didn't go through with it. I liked your little checklist before the would-be fiancee braves a proposal. Great hub. I'll be sure to stop back in when the time is ripe.

    • jGaunt profile image

      jGaunt 9 years ago from London

      marlagrace I am sure that, that is a valid concern. But if you go to an honest seller like Amazon and you research what you are buying. I think you can nock a couple of hundred off the cost, of buying it in the shops.

    • profile image

      marlagrace 9 years ago

      i'm not for buying the ring online. my fiance almost did that and then got advice to visit a local jewelry shop. he was able to inspect the ring before he bought it, and they brought in diamonds for him to choose from. it also helped develop a relationship for us to get wedding bands and any future jewelry. buying online can be scary. my friend's fiance bought a ring online and it turned out much, much, much smaller than he thought. and the girl, while happy to be engaged, was somewhat disappointed by the ring as well.