You’ve been going out for a while now; you know he or she is a keeper and you think it’s time you took the big step on the road to marriage. But they’re taking their time over the proposal and they don’t seem to be in any hurry in popping the question.
You’ve tried bringing the conversation around to the future and you know they see things the same way you do, but for whatever reason, they’re dragging their feet and are showing no signs of proposing.
Naturally, you could pop the question yourself, but then you’ll feel like you’ve pressured them into saying yes (or, horror of horrors, no) and so it’s a decision or conclusion they need to come to themselves.
What to do?
Here are a few things you can do to help move things along in the right direction and finally get them on track to popping the question.
- Chill out
Let’s face it, if you’ve decided marriage (to each other, one hopes) is definitely in your future, then it sounds like you’re in a pretty stable relationship. Arguably, it doesn’t really matter whether the proposal comes next week, next month or in the next year – and the more worked up you get about it, the more nervous it’s probably making them feel about the commitment.
Of course, there’s a thin line between a stable relationship and a relationship that’s totally inert, so if they’ve been making all the right noises but are still dragging their heels, it may mean being a little more direct. So, if being chilled isn’t going to get them to think about proposing, then maybe …
- Be open about it
Being honest and talking about plans for the future – without anyone being under pressure to do something about it right this minute – could be the most constructive way forward. Making it clear what your own ambitions are, without making demands or giving ultimatums (which rarely work and usually have the opposite effect to the one you want), could be the reassurance the person in your life needs to finally spring into action and think about popping the question.
And if nothing else, it’s a chance to find out whether you’re both on the same page when it comes to the years ahead.
- Be sneaky
Sometimes being up front about what you want is completely the wrong way to go about it, so if you think the first two options won’t work, try something a little more subtle. Maybe there’s a mutual friend who could test the temperature over a drink. You could leave a magazine open on a page about weddings or secrete a honeymoon travel brochure among the Sunday newspapers. Or maybe develop a sudden fascination with the TV show Say Yes to The Dress.
- Don’t turn up the pressure
One of the worst things about any wedding discussion is to feel under pressure to deliver someone else’s dream. For many women, their wedding day has been a day they’ve been planning in their heads since long before they met the person they’ll be exchanging vows or promises with. If that’s you, too, then the person in your life is probably painfully aware that there’s a lot to live up to – and maybe the fear of screwing it up is what’s keeping them from taking that decisive step. So maybe the right strategy is to make them feel that the day itself is less important than being with them.
- Make it achievable
Maybe it’s not the prospect of marrying you that’s stopping your partner from popping the question, but rather that the sheer logistics and expense of organising a day that potentially involves co-ordinating a large number of people between several places is just too overwhelming. Putting forward a simple plan doesn’t mean you can’t add to it once it’s under way.
In the end, getting married isn’t something anyone does lightly, and most people go into it hoping it’s the only time it’ll happen to them.
But however you choose to approach what might have become a thorny issue, it’s worth remembering that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!