What to Say When You Propose to Your Girlfriend

Are you planning to pop the question to the person you love?

It’s a big and nervewracking moment, and merely saying, “Will you marry me?” doesn’t seem too creative. A little preparation will surely go a long way.

Here’s what to say when you propose to your girlfriend, as advised by experts.

Joe & Angela Carte

Joe & Angela Carte

Creators, Mini Riches

“I love you more than I knew I could ever love. Will you marry me?”

Proposing to your girlfriend is a heavily emotional and nervewracking moment. You’re asking this person you love if they are willing to spend the rest of their life with you—you’re laying your whole life out there!

Don’t be self-centered

Angela here! In many ways, women are different, but women are very much the same in some ways. When proposing to a woman, your lady will want to hear your depth of love for her. She will want to listen to what you see in your future with her and what qualities she has that you fell in love with.

She does not want to hear any criticism, how you think you are settling or giving something up to get married, or how great you may be, and she is so lucky to have you propose to her. All of these things point to your narcissism, and you need to reconsider why you are proposing.

Keep it simple

Joe here now, and I think another piece of great advice for what to say when proposing to your girlfriend is to keep it simple and put a little more thought into the actual proposal. I set up a summer photoshoot for Angela and me, and I proposed during the photography session—be sure to let the photographer know your plans!

This photography session gave us photos to cherish for the rest of our lives. Not only do we love the pictures from our proposal, but our children will as well when they get older.

In line with keeping the actual proposal simple, I did just that when I asked Angela to marry me. I said, “I love you more than I knew I could ever love. Will you marry me?” Keeping it short and sweet worked well for me—we’ve been married for 13 years now and have five kiddos.

Amy Olson

Amy Olson

Relationship Expert, The Absolute Dater

“There’s no one who could tolerate me as you do in all my worst (and best) moods. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

Every love story is unique in its own ways, and so every proposal needs to be unique too. There’s no “one size fits all” while proposing to your girlfriend. If you really want to see her crying the tears of happiness, write a proposal of your own.

No one knows your love story better than you.

You are the one who is head over heels for your partner and has spent so many years in it. You know how you met, fell in love, been through the ups and downs, and still survived. So, reflect on it and start thinking of all the qualities you love and respect in your partner. Once you know that, start to include them in the proposal.

Say, for instance, you love how she always supports you in your thick and thin; you can say something like, “There’s no one who could tolerate me as you do in all my worst (and best) moods. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

Put it down on paper and do a dry run

On the day when you are proposing, the emotions will ride high. Sometimes so high that you forget what you have to say and just go blank. This is a lifetime moment, and you don’t want to miss it in the heat of the moment. So take a pen and paper and write it down. Practice it in front of the mirror a few times.

Don’t worry; all these efforts will worth it when you see her little happy dance with sheer joy in her eyes.

Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S.

Sharon O'Neill

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | Author, A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage

A proposal needs to feel genuine and loving and caring for the very special person that you love and respect.

I would suggest that a future husband take the time to consider all the reasons and traits that this is the person he wants to marry (honesty, compassion, etc.) and then write about these considerations to be read and maybe given in a beautiful journal. Be creative!

Give her a gift that marks the moment

Give a gift (beyond the ring, which for many will be picked out together). It should be something that will last forever, something that ‘marks’ the moment, not to be lost over the years: A gift that will always sit on her dresser, or a night table or the shelf of a bookcase.

A simple “I Love You” on a block of wood, a book of love poems, a special little stuffed animal that has a certain meaning for you two. It would certainly be very special if it also contained the time, day, date, and year of the proposal.

Sam Whittaker

sam whittaker

Relationship Expert, Mantelligence

You have to prepare how you will do it

If you’re getting ready to pop the question to the love of your life, then congratulations. Proposing is a big milestone—which calls for a big preparation. You have to prepare how you will do it. Will you do it while doing one of the romantic things you do for her, or will you do it on a normal day?

You also have to prepare what you will say to her. Sure, you’ll be saying a variation of the famous “Will you marry me?” but before you get to that, you’ll have to prepare something, of course. So, what should you say when you’re finally proposing to the woman of your dreams?

Here are three things to say when proposing to your girlfriend:

Build it up

Proposing can make you nervous. However, don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Don’t say, “Will you marry me?” right away. You have to make sure that you build up to it. Get in the momentum. You can start off with an anecdote that captures the essence of who you are as a couple.

Look back to when you first met

You can include in your anecdote how the two of you first met and how you were in awe of her. This is a good way to start because you’re starting at the beginning of things. This will put into perspective how far you’ve come as a couple.

Share the story of when you realized you wanted to propose

An important part of your speech could be saying when the moment you realized that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her was. This will give her the idea that you really see something in her. This will explain why you’re already ready to spend your whole life with her. This makes things a whole lot sweeter.

Once you have prepared everything, get ready to say the question. Once it’s all done, it calls for a big celebration. You’re now on your way to spending forever with the love of your life.

Stephania Cruz

Stephania Cruz

Relationship Expert, Datingpilot

Take the time to reflect and write down why you want to marry her

Knowing what to say when you are proposing to your girlfriend can be much easier if you take the time to reflect and write down why you want to marry her.

Reflecting on things such as the major turning points in the relationship that made you realize she is “the one.”

  • What made her stand out amongst other women?
  • How was your life before you met her, and how is it now?
  • Can you see a future without her by your side? Why not?

These types of reflective questions can serve as a guide to help you come up with your proposal and can look somewhat like the following:

“Before I met you, my life was…. Then I met you, and you stood out to me because…. My life changed at that point, and now my life is…. because you are in it. As we continued to date and got to know you more, I found myself falling deeper in love. Then…. happened, and that is when I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you and can’t see a future without you. Will you marry me?”

Reflective questions, such as the ones mentioned above, will help put your thoughts in order and create a heartfelt proposal.

Dr. Brooke Smith

Brooke Smith

Confidence Counselor

Let go of the pressure around making your proposal perfect

If you’re thinking about proposing to your girlfriend, you probably know each other pretty well. She might even be one of your best friends.

Start by letting go of the pressure around making your proposal perfect. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture unless you want it to. Fundamentally, the proposal is just a conversation between two people about maybe doing a thing together in the future.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. What do you love about her?
  2. Why is having her in your life important to you?
  3. What do you want to do together, as a team, moving forward together?

In terms of the actual proposal, the most important thing is to clearly ask her if she wants to get married to you. If you are circling around the question without actually asking it, she might not know that you’re proposing.

Say as much or as little as you want about your love, your relationship, and your future. Just make sure to include the actual question eventually.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I choose the right ring for my girlfriend?

Choosing the right engagement ring for your girlfriend can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by considering your girlfriend’s personal style and preferences.

Does she prefer simple and classic designs, or does she like unique and unconventional styles? Pay attention to the jewelry she already wears to get an idea of her tastes.

Another important factor to consider is the type of metal and the size and cut of the diamond. Research different metals and diamond cuts to find out what best fits your budget and your girlfriend’s preferences.

If you’re still unsure, consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member who knows your girlfriend well for help. They may be able to offer valuable insight and guidance.

Remember that the ring is only a small part of your proposal. The most important thing is your love and commitment to your girlfriend, so don’t get too caught up in the search for the perfect ring.

Should I ask my girlfriend’s parents for permission before proposing?

Asking your girlfriend’s parents for permission before proposing is a traditional gesture, but it’s not always expected in today’s world.

However, it can be respectful and considerate, especially if your girlfriend has a close relationship with her parents.

If you decide to ask for permission, you should do it in person and have a thoughtful conversation with her parents about your intentions and your love for their daughter.

However, if you don’t feel comfortable asking permission, proposing without permission is perfectly fine. Remember that the most important thing is your relationship with your girlfriend and your commitment to each other.

How can I make my proposal special and unique?

When you propose to your girlfriend, you want it to be a moment she’ll never forget. You can achieve this by tailoring your proposal to your relationship and girlfriend’s interests.

Consider what makes your relationship unique and incorporate those elements into your proposal. Maybe you both love hiking and could propose at the top of a mountain.

Or perhaps you have a special song that means a lot to both of you, and you could propose to someone during a private concert of that song. Get creative and think outside the box!

Another way to make your marriage proposal special is to include a sentimental touch. You could use a family heirloom like your grandmother’s engagement ring or take your girlfriend to a place that holds special memories for both of you.

Whatever you do, ensure the proposal reflects your love and commitment to your girlfriend and relationship.

How can I calm my nerves before proposing?

Being nervous before you propose to your girlfriend is normal! After all, this is a big moment you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

One way to calm your nerves is to practice what you want to say beforehand. You can even rehearse in front of a mirror or with a close friend or family member. This will help you feel more confident when the time comes.

Another way to calm your nerves is to remind yourself why you want to propose in the first place. Focus on your love for your girlfriend and your anticipation of spending the rest of your lives together.

You can also remind yourself that your girlfriend loves you and will be happy about your proposal, no matter how nervous you may be.

Finally, take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Remember that this is a happy moment and that you’re taking a big step in your relationship. Take a moment to appreciate the moment and enjoy the experience.

What if my girlfriend says no?

It’s hard to imagine your girlfriend saying no to your proposal, but it’s always a possibility. If your girlfriend says no, staying calm and respectful is important.

Take time to listen to her reasons for saying no and try to understand her perspective. If you’re both open to it, you can use this as an opportunity to have an honest conversation about your relationship and your future together.

It’s possible that your girlfriend just needs more time or that there are other issues that need to be addressed before you’re both ready for marriage.

Remember that a marriage proposal is just a moment in your relationship and doesn’t define your love for each other. If your girlfriend says no, take some time to process your feelings and consider your next steps.

The most important thing is that you’re both happy and fulfilled in your relationship.

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