Shade Bio

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How To Get Him To Propose

Hello Darling Otherbeasts! Happy one-day-closer-to-Friday Day!

How To Get Him To Propose: A Savvy Girl's Guide

Finally! A one-stop, all in one guide, chock full of all the information out there in existence, on how to get him to finally propose!

I have scoured the internet high and low, condensed about 12 pages worth of articles all saying the same thing and some different things, complied the most important and recurring themes, to bring you the patented tried and true methods on how to get your guy to propose. Think it's never going to happen? Tired of waiting? Want it to happen soon? Then your search is over! Read on, my fellow ring-longers.

  • Casually bring up marriage indirectly and impersonally.  You can mention one of your friends (or one of his) who recently got engaged; or comment on one of those infuriating "Every Kiss begins with Kay" commercials, example: "How sweet, I'd say yes too if I were in her shoes!" Don't have a serious conversation about getting engaged until you've at least casually and light-heartedly discussed it with him.  
  • Get his opinion on marriage. Some men are very blase about getting engaged - they're fine with it, but they'd also be fine without it. Remember, that ring around your finger is the noose around the neck of his "bachelor life." If this is the case, don't expect an enthusiastic response about getting engaged and accept that it's something he'd be doing mostly because you want to.
  •  Approach conversations about the future gently. If his response to your indirect approach is about as lively as his response to asking him to do the dishes, slowly start being more direct. Don't beat around the bush; guys don't pick up hints like women do, they practically need a frying pan to the head to take notice of something serious - it's black or it's white, grey does not exist - so try initiating conversations with, "If we get engaged." Watch his reaction. If he carries on with the conversation, great! If he avoids the subject, drop it for now. Remember, getting engaged may have been your dream since you were 7 years old and wanted to be a princess when you grew up but this may be a brand spanking new topic of conversation for him.
  • Calm his irrational fears. Men are often concerned with the idea that once they're engaged to a woman - even if it's you - that she'll magically change overnight somehow, either into the wicked witch of the east or worse: his mother. Perhaps he's feeling insecure and what he's doing with his life right now doesn't really match what he has in his head about what a potential fiance should be. If your relationship is solid and not suspect, it could be time to engage your creative brain for compromises. The legalities of marriage have him worried? What about getting a prenuptial agreement? What about having a ceremony, but not signing a marriage contract? If he can't afford a ring, can you live without one? If he doesn't want a big wedding, how about a weekend in Vegas?
  • Employ logic when talking of engagement. You're a savvy woman - it's why you're reading this - so if your guy is a logical thinker or a Capricorn, appeal to that part of his brain. Practical and legal benefits of engagements leading to marriage include putting your honey on your insurance plan, or visa versa, being eligible for more government benefits and filing joint income tax returns. Logic.
  • Avoid vicious cyclea. Aside of them being generally unhealthy, they really squash your chances at engagement: that one recurring argument. Somehow it just keeps rearing its ugly head. You argue about it, which makes him less inclined to marry you, which somehow (gee, I wonder) exacerbates the issue. This could be anything ranging from financial issues to dissatisfaction with sexual performance. Put your past behind you and leave it there.
  • Avoid repetition. It's quite likely that if you mentioned wanting to get married once, it's burned into his brain (not in a bad way). The more you bring it up and talk about it, the less he hears it.
  • Friends and family need not apply. You may think your friends are being helpful by casually slipping in engagement comments to him, but it will likely make him feel ganged up on. (How would you like it if his buddies constantly hinted to you about how much he likes getting his toenails clipped?) Let him come to the decision on his own, without the advice or urging of those in your life.
Those sound too run of the mill for you? 
Remember what an engagement is at its core: 
A Business Transaction.
  1. Don't Be Too Eager. You've still got options, ladycake, and if he can get the milk for free then why buy the cow? You could have your pick of any man, and he knows that, so don't let him forget it. Don't get stuck in a rut of comfort.
  2. Need Him. It's a proven fact that men love to feel needed; it's what drives them. Don't confuse needing him with desperation, there's a fine line. Make him feel needed. If he manages your joint finances, express your gratefulness. If he cooks for you, express your appreciation. Even if you can open that jar of pickles because you're an independent and strong woman, ask him to do it for you. Okay, enough with the cliches, part of needing him is being willing to share your own insecurities with him and needing him to understand them. Don’t hide your emotions or play with words. Tell him exactly how you feel. Tell him you feel like the relationship is not moving forward. No guy who really loves you would make you feel like you’re hanging by a thread all the time. And if he really does love you, he won’t be upset to hear that. Instead, he’ll say something that makes you feel better.
  3. Be The Woman He Fell In Love With. Regardless of how life changes around you, don't become someone he doesn't know. Remain true to yourself and always be the woman he fell in love with - sure, he leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor every day when he comes home from work and the desire to nag is overwhelming - but how would 'early-relationship you' have reacted? Chances are that nagging wasn't involved. Don’t withhold something just to punish him. You’d be behaving like a child. Really, do you want him to propose to you happily or do you want to arm twist him, gag him and shove marital bliss down his throat?
  4. Take It Easy. You might love to gab with your girls over wedding magazines, photos of ice sculptures, wedding dresses, flowers and wedding cakes. Do this to him before a ring is on your finger (and even after it's on your finger) and he might run screaming in any direction but yours. He probably likes the idea of marrying you, but the specific tactics of a wedding can seem overwhelming; he's a guy. Save that talk for your girls. If you can’t stop panicking, tell your boyfriend how you really feel. Tell him you’re really happy with him and your life, but are afraid of the future because you have no idea what could happen. Additionally, tell him that your life seems too good to be true, like a happy bubble that may burst anytime. If he has any sense, he’ll know it’s time for him to make some assurances to you.
  5. Never Give an Ultimatum. First, it's just downright rude and mean. Second, most guys when prompted with, "Give me a ring or say goodbye," will choose the latter option. It’ll never work. On the other hand, it might just backfire and force him to harden his stance on not getting married just yet.
  6. Rejection Hurts. There are hundreds of possible reasons why your guy hasn't proposed, and fear of rejection is possibly one of the biggest ones. Eliminate this fear by making it clear you would say yes in a hypothetical situation. Okay, yes, men are bad at getting the hint but being too direct as in, "I expect you on one knee by midnight of December 31," is a bad idea.
  7. Men have to be mentally ready. Your man has to be mentally prepared to propose and move into the next stage of his life. No one can make up his mind for him, not you or anyone else. It’s a thought that will strike him like a bolt of lightening when he least expects it, and just like that, he’ll be ready to get married.
  8. Men wait for the right time. Men have a right time for everything in their life, at least most well organized men do. During one of your weekend conversations with him, find out what his goals in life are. Once you hear his dreams, it’ll help you understand his priorities and realize when his right time to get married is.
  9. He learns from his friends. Men think they can never be manipulated. But in reality, they’re constantly manipulated by people in their lives, discreetly or otherwise. Take a good look at his friends. Are they married? Do you know their opinions on marriage? If all his friends are single, big chances are, he won’t be ready for marriage too. He may love you, but he may not be ready just yet to love you as a wife. Good news if he has a friend or two married.
  10. Bad Reaction. If he retaliates badly, it only means he’s just not ready to commit no matter what you or anyone else says. A guy may truly love you, but he may not be interested in marriage. Can you deal with that? If you can’t handle that, and are really serious about getting married soon, it’s probably time to ask yourself if you’re with the right guy for you.

Okay, enough of that. 
Here's the most valuable information of all.

To be honest with you, despite all of this information and these tips and tricks, I have to give you my sincerest, heart-felt opinion. Yes, we can pine away dreaming of the day Mr. Right will finally pop the question, but wouldn't you enjoy it so much more if you knew it came from his heart, his brain, his soul, rather than yours? Because, lets face it ladies, how pleased would we truly be if for one second we knew that this was our idea and not his? How many times would you wonder, "Did he propose because he wanted to... or was it because I wanted him to?"

Seriously. Think about it. I know that desire to have a big shiny rock (or for most of us it would be just fine if it was a brass ring with a plastic bauble from the quarter machine) on your left ring finger is overwhelming at times; our friends are getting married, we think we're getting to old, our time is running out, "I don't want to get married when I'm thirty!" We have all been there. Shoot, I wanted to be married at 23, have kids at 28, and be on with my life... but here I sit, 29 years old, been engaged twice, and currently no ring on my finger (though I have the perfect man in my life despite his lack of popping the question abilities).

But I digress, the reason I'm wanting to give you my honest-to-God opinion is because I've been in the position of being unhappily engaged. I thought being engaged was the thing I wanted the most; I had been with this guy almost three years, kept seeing in my mind that ring on my finger, I even suggested just forgetting the ring altogether and going to Vegas, I was desperate to be engaged. Then it happened. He proposed. I had a large say in his proposing to me, and subsequently I doubted the entire situation. I had gotten what I wanted: I finally was engaged. But it brought a lot of things into sharp focus: I was engaged to the wrong man for me, and despite the perfect one carat diamond on my finger, I felt empty inside; like something was missing.

I have two examples for you:
A friend of mine, she's 25, still plenty young in years and beautiful, had been with her guy since high school - so lets say they'd been together 5 years - and she finally decided that she wasn't waiting anymore. She dropped hints, made suggestions, and then altogether got downright nasty and issued an ultimatum. The guy wasn't a deadbeat or anything, he was 25 years old, one year left of college to finish, and on his way to getting a decent job. Well, she got so fed up with his supposed "inability to commit," that she broke up with him. Upon looking back at the situation, realizing she might have acted a little bit rash, and tried to re-patch things with her guy, he was nowhere to be found. He jumped ship, ran away, left, and all without looking back. He didn't even return her phone calls. It was like he was glad to be out of that relationship. Now she has to invest (waste) another 18 to 24 months of dating a new man for the potential to get engaged? Who's to say he'll propose? Or worse, what if she threw away Mr. Right because his timing didn't suit her impatience? Interesting.

Conversely, I have another friend, also 25 years young and gorgeous, who had been with her guy since high school - so lets say they were together for 8 years - she knew that she loved this man, that he was perfect for her, and regardless of how many hints or suggestions she dropped, he would just not propose. He was finishing college, had a job, etc. However, regardless of the lack of proposal she hung in there... it had been 6 years into their relationship and she was still without a ring. I think she might have just given up hope (but more than likely she knew that regardless of marital status he was who she was going to be with for life). Suddenly, BAM, one day she had a big ol' shiny rock on her finger. A year later they were happily married, and a year after that they have a child on the way. Also interesting.

Men Are... Men
The thing is, men have a plan inside their mind, and they're going to follow it regardless of what we, as women folk, have in mind. It may be that they want to finish college first, get a steady job first, make sure they can feel like a provider before betting you half their stuff that they'll love you the rest of their life. Guys are guys. End of story. And if it comes down to it and we tell them to propose or get lost, chances are your guy will run for the hills.

My point is this: don't let your overwhelming desire to be engaged to be married overrun your common sense. Yes, it's hard to see all of your friends from high school getting engaged, getting married, and having babies (if that's your deepest desire). Remember that even though we're not in high school anymore, there's still a lot of peer pressure floating about saying, 'This is what you should be doing.' Then when you throw is societal pressure and your biological clock, my gosh, it turns into a ticking time bomb. It's hard to cope with the fact that you thought your life would be on a different path than it is - I think to myself very often, "This is not where I thought I would be 10 years ago." But the truth is that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not married to the first schmuck that ever proposed that was in my original plan because if I was I'd probably have two or three children, he'd STILL be cheating on me, and I would be MISERABLE. Honestly, he was a rotten tomato... or a bad apple... take your pick, they're both fruits.

The Hardest Question
If you have a man in your life, be thankful that he's IN your life. If he does all the right things, says all the right things, treats you like a queen, he's faithful, and you can't imagine your life without him - then be happy. Don't let the thought of "If I only had a ring," interlope and rob you of your happiness. Look at Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, all these years they've been together, and no marriage. If that sounds ridiculous to you then I want you to take a step back and be objective and ask yourself a very hard question: What's your motivation for getting engaged? If it's anything other than, "Because I want to spend the rest of my life with him," you're doing it for all the wrong reasons. And even if your answer is because you want to spend the rest of your life with him, what is a ring on your finger going to prove? Can the ring guarantee commitment? (See Divorce Rates.) Can the ring guarantee loyalty? What does a ring say? Nothing. Not a damn thing.

So if your answer was you want to spend the rest of you life with him, loving him, being loved, being happy and fulfilled... what's stopping you?

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade


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