Believe it or not, about four million American men propose to their girlfriends each Valentine’s day. Naturally, Valentine’s Day is a quintessentially romantic holiday and the one time in the year that you may need to have a little planning in place if you’re dating someone. But what if you decide to bring an engagement ring into the mix? That is a game-changer (in a good way or not-so-good-way, depending on the relationship). It can be a great way to celebrate a truly romantic evening together and make it one you both will never forget. On the other hand, it can be considered cliche. Despite the groans and the eye rolling, there are still millions of guys who pop the question so it’s being done with class. If you’re ready to propose, here are a few must-know tips to read before you make your plans.

  1. Surprise Her. 

    If you’ve made plans for a romantic dinner as she would likely expect (even if you weren’t planning on proposing), you can still surprise her by proposing later on in the evening. Go for dessert at different location or curl up together and watch a movie. Doing the unexpected on the expected day can be really memorable for both of you.A lot of men think they need to go overboard to make the proposal special. Experts say while over-the-top proposals are interesting and make for a great Youtube video, don’t do something grandiose if it just isn’t your personality to do so.

  2. Don’t Stress and Keep it Natural. 

    A lot of men think they need to go overboard to make the proposal special. Experts say while over-the-top proposals are interesting and make for a great YouTube video, don’t do something grandiose if it just isn’t your personality to do so.

  3.  Think of Her Personality—In both the proposal and the engagement ging.
    Speaking of your personality in #2, don’t forget to keep her at the focus of this proposal. What kind of woman is she? Is she shy and would she be embarrassed or uncomfortable with a very public scene? Or does the thought of something really public make her excited? Also, be sure to think about whether or not she likes to be dressed up at dinner or dressed down in the outdoors. She may feel uncomfortable getting photos and video taken if she just rolled out of bed and was proposed to on a morning hike.
  4. Speaking of Photos and Video … 

    You’re going to want to capture this special occasion to watch and share with family and friends. Take some time to think about where and how you can best catch the proposal. It might mean something as simple as contacting a friend and having them aware of your proposal plans.

  5. The Engagement Ring. 

    Have you been talking about marriage with her? Have you been ring shopping together and do you know her style preferences? If you can say yes to these two questions, buying the engagement ring beforehand is a great idea. However, if you don’t have solid intel, you may want to consider proposing with a plain band or a temporary ring. It is a ring she will be wearing forever and she will want to have it match her style, so be sure to get this right before jumping the gun.

  6. Don’t Do Anything Crazy. 

    There are some really strange proposal stories that have had us scratching our heads over the years. Guys think of things that sound funny, unusual or silly, but women often don’t find these types of proposals romantic. Run a few ideas by some trusted female friends if you’re thinking of doing something out of the ordinary.

  7. Show Your Emotions. 

    The most memorable and tender of proposals are the ones that are sincere, heartfelt and yes, emotional. Women love to be told why they are loved and why a man wants to spend the rest of his life with them. You will never go wrong with sharing your feelings.

  8. Ask for Help with the Engagement Ring. 

    Proposing can take some planning and preparation, and with all that is already going on in the mind, most men find a few trusted friends to help them out. Don’t be afraid to get them involved, but don’t tell her closest friends if you think they will spill the beans.

  9. Keep a Sense of Humor. 

    All the best planning in the world can’t make up for the unexpected. Weather, bystanders, traffic, and a myriad of other unforeseen things can throw a curve ball into your special day. Don’t get angry, frustrated or flustered. Roll with it and you’ll both be laughing about it for many years to come.

  10. Enjoy the Day. 

    Valentine’s Day proposals are special, memorable and enjoyable because they are a life-changing and part of a time-honored tradition almost as much as an engagement ring is. So enjoy making memories and soak it in!

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