A woman wearing an engagement ring with her hands over a man’s; How to propose to a man.

How to propose to a man: Ideas for proposing to your boyfriend

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In modern society, men aren’t the only ones who can propose to their loved ones. Traditionally, of course, men had to be the ones to pop the question because they had all the rights — however, we’re thankfully past those days now!

With that in mind, the answer to the question “Can a woman propose to a man?” is a very simple hell yes! – we love to see women proposing too. But don’t worry: our guide to how to propose to a man goes into greater detail than just that!

Can a woman propose to a man?

As long as you’re of age and consenting, anyone can propose to anyone – thankfully, the outdated laws that only gave men the privilege have long gone.

What remains now is a societal expectation that the man in a heterosexual relationship will propose to the woman. Fortunately, though, this is changing too: in a study by Glamour, a whopping 70% of men interviewed said they’d be happy to be asked instead of doing the asking. So not only can a woman propose to a man, but lots of men would like them too!

With that in mind, you may now be wondering how to propose to a man!

What’s different about women proposing to men?

In short: nothing, really! In years gone by, the first piece of advice on how to propose to a man might have been ‘wait for a leap year’, a throwback to Bachelor’s Day — or Ladies’ Privilege — in which women were only allowed to propose to men on 29th February after an old Irish tale involving St Patrick and St Bridget. However, as women proposing becomes more and more common, the novelty of this particular date is becoming less and less necessary.

How to propose to a man

Make sure you’re on the same page

No matter who’s doing the asking, it’s always important to know that you and your partner are on the same page. Do you know how they feel about marriage and what they see for their future? Do you know if they feel ready for it? And also, would your partner be comfortable with you proposing to them? Do you know how they’d feel about you taking the role of the proposal?

Personalise your proposal

Instead of thinking about how to propose to a man in general, we think it’s more useful to ask yourself how you should propose to yours in particular. To get some ideas of how to propose to your man, think about what kind of proposal would your partner like. Would they love something adventurous and epic or something lower-key and more intimate? Would they like it in front of people, or would they like it to be a more private affair? Would they like it somewhere fancy, or would they love nothing more than being asked the question whilst at home, sat on the sofa?

The most important thing to do is to plan a proposal that feels right to you and your partner, rather than one that looks impressive to the outside world but doesn’t quite fit you as a couple. (Of course, it’s totally possible to have a proposal that looks good and feels right – that’s where we come in! Here are some ideas to get you started on how to propose to a man.)

Organise the ring

This step also requires a bit more thinking when deciding how to propose to a man than the other way round. Unlike wedding rings, which both parties traditionally wear, it’s customary for only the proposee to wear an engagement ring.

But why should they get all the fun?! Maybe you want to propose with an engagement ring, but you also want to wear one too – in that case, why not get matching rings?

Ask for the blessing of their loved ones

Of course, nobody needs to ask anybody’s parents for permission to marry anymore – we’re people, not property after all – but it’s still a nice gesture and a mark of respect to ask their loved ones for their blessing before you pop the question.

Practice what you’re going to say

Your proposal speech doesn’t have to be a War and Peace-style epic – it just has to be from the heart and contain the magic question. (For more info on what to say when you propose, check out our guide here.) But whatever you’re going to say, we always recommend that people practice it beforehand – it gives you one less thing to stress about on the day.

Be yourself

Above all, the best thing to remember when planning how to propose to a man is to be yourself. Sometimes when doing something that goes against the norm, it can be super easy to tie yourself in knots trying to balance other people’s opinions and expectations. Still, really the best thing to do is to just focus on being yourself. Over and above you being a woman proposing to a man, you’re you proposing to your man – that’s much more important when planning how to do it!


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Proposal ideas with kids

Proposal ideas involving your child - whether they’re yours, your partner’s, or yours together - are a really wonderful way to lay the foundations of the new stage you’re entering into as a family unit. It not only shows your partner that you’re serious about your future together, but it also clearly communicates your love to your little one as well, helping them feel included, and reassuring them of their place in the family even in a time of change.
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