Right at this very moment I have more than a handful of girlfriends who are in serious relationships and are pining for that “perfect moment” when that “perfect question” gets asked. They all come to me with the same lamentation- “He and I both know it’s going to happen… so why hasn’t it happened?!” I know how it feels – I was there not too long ago. I recently read a blog post titled “6 Things Guys Must Do When They Propose To A Girl” and it got me thinking about the things I should have been doing pre-proposal; so here’s my list of 6 Things Every Girl Must Do Before Getting Proposed To. These are things I wish someone had told me when I was (impatiently) waiting for “the Question.”
1. Get off Pinterest- Seriously.
It’s easy to spend hours and hours looking at the best photographers and the most exotic locations and the cutest happy-crying grooms-to-be. After a while you start to view those things as the standard. The truth is that the things that make it on Pinterest are the best-of-the-best; they are not the norm. Don’t compare your future proposal to the things that have become viral on the internet. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Don’t YouTube proposals.
There are some really amazing, extravagant and lavish proposals floating around on Youtube. There’s a 99% chance that will not be yours. But guess what? The value of a proposal does not lie in how many Youtube views it gets or how many backup dancers your man hired. Your proposal is just as special as David & Lauren’s. Who cares if a million Youtube viewers didn’t see yours? Its your relationship; not theirs.
2. Stop Looking at Rings (unless you’re going to be the one picking it out).
This one comes with a caveat. There are plenty of couples who choose to pick out the ring together or who both go ring shopping so the dude can get ideas. This one does not apply to them. This one is for the girls who want to be totally surprised by the ring they get yet spend hours browsing Robbinsbros.com (or in my case brilliantearth.com) It’s not fair to your boyfriend to both want to be surprised and want him to secretly pick out your dream ring. If you have your heart set on one then tell him; otherwise, trust him to know you well enough to choose something you’ll love.
4. Try really, really hard not to be “waiting for it”.
This is by far the hardest one on this list. I can’t tell you how many dates I spent acting fidgety and nervous because I thought my boyfriend was going to propose, only to ruin what would have otherwise been a perfectly lovely evening because I was disappointed. Many couples (us included) discuss when they plan to get married (I know a few couples who had wedding venues booked before they were engaged.) This can make it really hard to not wonder every moment if “this is it!” But try to be present: it’s a skill that will benefit you your whole life. There will always be things to look forward to, but by savoring the exact moment you are in you can lead a life that is both happier and healthier. An added bonus? When the moment does come there’s a greater chance you’ll be genuinely surprised.
5. Leave it to him.
This will be much easier after following steps 1-4. The internet makes it seem like a proposal is the girl’s moment. If that were true then I suppose she does have the right to decide if there is a photographer, how many flower petals are scattered, how the guy says her name, etc. Ladies, I’m sorry to break it to you, but this isn’t just about you. Do your best to let go of your long list of expectations (“he MUST hire a photographer!”) and just let the moment happen (even if the moment involves him pretending to pee off a cliff… but that’s a story for another time).
6. Enjoy the stage you’re in now.
This goes back to being present. Your relationship will never be in the exact stage that it’s in today. So enjoy it for what it is! Don’t waste the precious time you have now wishing for what’s next.
Amanda Jaynes is a 20-something newlywed living in Los Angeles. She is working toward her Master’s in Marital & Family Therapy and blogs over at Keeping Up With The Jayneses.