5 Mistakes Men Make When Proposing


You would think proposing would be easy. What’s so hard about getting down on one knee and asking, “Will you marry me?” The problem is that proposing is so simple men can’t help but over-think and over-complicate the whole thing until they start doing some very silly things.  If you don’t want to be this guy who stupidly hid his fiancee’s engagement ring in a Wendy’s frosty (that she ate), learn from these five mistakes before you pop the question.

Not having a ring

We understand the economy is hitting everyone hard, but you should always have an engagement ring when you propose. No exceptions. If you can’t afford an engagement ring at this time, it’s a good idea is to purchase a cheaper ring and then upgrade the ring later when you’re more financially stable.

Proposing on a holiday

Don’t get us wrong, we love Christmas and Valentine’s Day. But women like for things to be special. They don’t want what everyone else has. And what’s so special about being proposed to on the most popular day of the year to be proposed to? That Monday when she goes to work and show off her engagement ring, there will be two or three other women doing the exact same thing. And trust us, she will not like that.

Forgetting her family

We know it’s a little old fashion, but it’s still preferred for men to ask the girlfriend’s family for permission before proposing. You don’t have to necessarily ask her father, but at least let someone in her immediate family know of your intentions of marriage. Here are some more tips on how to include her family in the proposal.

Hiding the ring in weird places

Don’t hide the ring in her food! No, it’s not cute. And yes, she will go to the emergency room. In fact, don’t attempt to hide the ring anywhere unless it’s your pocket. These proposals might seem cute and unique, but they sometimes backfire. An engagement ring is too costly to be tossed carelessly in a glass of wine or baked into a cupcake. Be smart and avoid this mistake.

Telling her you’re “settling”

There is nothing romantic about hearing a long, drawn out speech about how “we’re not getting any younger, so I found you this ring…” Women want to hear that you want to spend the rest of your life with them, not that you’re settling because they twisted your arm about it. If these are your reasons for getting married, maybe you shouldn’t.

Comments (16)


  1. Mags says:

    Actually, seeing as I’m not the property of my father, but an actual adult human being with rights and everything, I’d prefer my partner consult me first.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I don’t think my bf has any intention of asking my dad, but my dad told me recently he wants to be asked…so old school, but I love him anyway. Dad said at least to have the bf talk to him before we announce it to the world. I get it, he wants to know first and let future fi know it’s cool. The same week my mom told me she doesn’t care at all if he talks to her…my parents crack me up. Not like they haven’t already told me how much they love him and would be happy about us getting engaged, whenever that happens.

  3. Kara says:

    Actually, it is not old school for the man to ask the father (or family). The father is considered the “covering” that the daughter is under. For that matter, it shows complete respect and honor for the man to ask first. Just think, too, of how the family can joyfully allow that man into their lives as a new son/brother!

  4. Mandy says:

    I think a man should ask the womans father or closest father figure to her. I think its sweet, and romantic. Plus it shows that the man actually has some balls! If he can’t ask my father how the heck is he going to man up and ask me!

  5. Randy says:

    Hey Mags, ease up. Asking the father is simply a gesture that your family matters. You may not like it and that’s cool, but don’t state it like the guy is disrespecting you. It’s quite the opposite. No one thinks you are someone’s property.

    Tiffany, your dad wants one chance to make a point to your boyfriend. He’s unsure about something and he wants to get a word in, that’s all.

    My girlfriends father has three daughters, two who had bad marriages, and he is 70 now and has never been asked permission. I did it for him, and I know my girlfriend respects him so much she will love that I did that. It was a formality out of respect, not a necessity, we are adults and she is no one’s “property”.

    Mandy, I’m with you on the balls. It made a statement to him I’m man enough to stand on equal footing, and also serious about being right for his daughter for the long haul. Proposal is Tuesday in San Francisco!

  6. Ryan says:

    I recently asked my girlfriends father for his blessing. I was soo nervous and kept debating on whether or not I wanted to ask him. This conflict was due mostly to fear of being grilled with questions. I decided that it was best to ask for his blessing. The result: He asked a couple reasonable questions, stood up shook my hand and told me that he really respected me for coming to him first. He said he was proud to have me as a future son in law. Do it guys! Especially if want him to help pitch in for the wedding. This act will make him feel more involved in the wedding!

  7. Joseph says:

    I have a question,I been dateing my girlfriend for 1year 7month’s but the bad part is,she is 17 & Half and i just turned 20 years old.I been very scared of asking her dad for her hand in marriage.What are some good tip’s that i can use.i am really lost because i am buying the ring tomorrow and hopefully this saterdat is the day i can ask her to marry me

  8. elizabeth says:

    I have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. We live together in our house however our engagement is now on hold due to money issues. I hate that he uses money as an excuse. He absolutely will not get married without a ring or even something that is smaller than he was planning on buying. Since we live together, it’s basically like we’re already married–it only needs to be official. I am 28 and excited to be a mom but am old-fashioned in respect that I believe we should be married first. Now the future (that we talk about frequently) is on hold due to this house we purchased.
    OK, end rant.

  9. alex says:

    To elizabeth – I thought I was reading pretty much about my life. We’ve been together for while and just bought a house. It has cost more than expected so everything is up in the air again. On top of that the boyfriend says he will only think about one thing at a time. At the moment work is too busy, once it calms down he can think about other things. Before that it was looking for a house, buying a new car, not enough money. He said he will propose when he can has the time. I know he will eventually but the need to have anything in place before hand drives me mad.

  10. Natalie says:

    My boyfriend recently proposed to me without a ring, and I accepted because I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. However, I was very disappointed that he didn’t give me a ring, but I tried not to reveal this. He told his friends in the UK (he is British) that he was planning to propose to me, several weeks before it happened. Now he wants to keep it a secret from everyone else. We are both over 50, and this will be the second marriage for each of us. I am very romantic and traditional, and having a ring would mean a lot to me. I think his idea of keeping it a secret for now is the reason why he didn’t present me with a ring, because then everyone would know. We don’t plan to get married until next year, after we both retire. Perhaps by then he will be ready to go ring shopping, but I am finding it hard to keep this to myself, so I have told a few famliy members and my closest friend. The first thing they said was “did he give you a ring?.” My answer was “no, but he gave me his heart.”

  11. andy says:

    So you people think i should ask her dad first out of respect and its old fashion, you do know this tradition comes from when you used to buy or offer a cow for the bride. i respect my future wife but i really don’t think i’m going to ask her father considering he thinks he hot stuff because he makes a bunch of money and is really good at his job assembling parts. before my future wife was in a car crash where she almost died he didn’t have anything to do with her and now he wants to buy her stuff and go out to lunch and stuff. and now that the debate about money is over her parents are trying to tell her how the spend it or invest it and I’m trying to inform her and let chose what to do with it. so im not asking him for three reasons hes disrespectful to her hes disrespectful to me and the tradition is based of buying your wife the the father

  12. Joe says:

    I’d agree with the father one in general, it’s respectful and shows you have the balls to ask. However, when the father(as in my case)takes no interest in his daughters life, it’s best to ignore him and just straight up propose. Some people don’t deserve to be respected.

  13. Craig says:

    Does this still apply if her father is not a very nice person, has made no effort with you at all in 3.5 years and acts more like a a horrible boss than a would be family member. Where do you draw the line ?

  14. Badger says:

    I personally see where Mags is coming from and understand her feelings. The tradition of asking the father’s permission stems from negotiating dowry during the days when marriage was every bit as much a financial transaction as it was a social one (if not more so, in many cases!). Young women were–literally and in the eyes of the law–the property of their fathers until such time as they became the property of their husbands. That is a fact that cannot be ignored, even though times have changed. While I know people today do not ask the father’s permission in the same way, that history grates on me and I don’t want any part of it.

    My family means the world to me and I love my parents dearly, but to me, the idea of my boyfriend asking anyone’s *permission* but my own is distasteful and archaic. For one thing, I don’t like that it removes the mother from the equation. My mom and dad raised and nurtured me as equal partners, and they both love me and care about my future. Leaving Mom out of the equation seems very wrong indeed! And what about his parents?

    Taking things a step further: I am fortunate that my parents love my boyfriend and have already accepted him as one of the family, but that’s not the case for everyone–and, contrary to all the songs and movies and popular opinion, it’s not always because the guy is a deadbeat and the nit-witted daughter has been too blinded by love to see it. It could be, for example, that the parents object because he is a different race or a different social class. Perhaps they always wanted their daughter to marry the son of some close family friends, but she went away to college and met someone. There are a million reasons. While you would hope that 1) the parents would honor her wishes and be openhearted toward her choice of a partner, and 2) that their saying no would not actually prevent this young woman from marrying the man she loves, why even open the door for the awkwardness of having the answer be “No!”?

    All that said: we want to honor the respectful side of this tradition. Our plan is simply to ask BOTH sets of our parents, mine and his, for their support of our decision to marry. We like this solution because everyone is included, respectful tradition is upheld, but no women are being marginalized (intentionally or otherwise). In essence, we would love their blessing, but we as consenting and mature adults have already made our decision regardless.

  15. jsfah says:

    I’ve always interpreted asking the parents for their daughter’s hand as asking for their blessing and not their permission.
    Of course, their blessing would put considerable weight on your and their daughter’s decision but intentions are what they are.
    If a man were to ask for my (yet to be born) daughter’s hand I’d expect for him to be assertive enough to qualify his intentions as genuine enough not to require my permission but respectful enough to ask for my blessing anyways.

  16. Anon says:

    My girlfriends father is a jackass, trust me…she would not want me asking him

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