7 Ways to Get Him to Propose

Ultimatums are scary. Ultimatums can backfire. There are some scenarios, of course, where the guy really is dragging his feet and needs a little extra nudge. Let's assume that's the case here. So how do you get him to propose?
by Jeff Wilser; the editor of ThePlunge.com and the author of The Maxims of Manhood and The Man Cave Book.
  1. 1. Frequently talk about your dream wedding

    photo by Laura Novak / The Knot

    He'll love this! Show him photos of ice sculptures, wedding dresses, flowers and wedding cakes. If, however, your boyfriend is not Franck from Father of the Bride, consider a different route. He probably likes the idea of marrying you, but the specific tactics of a wedding can seem overwhelming.

  2. 2. Give the runner a signal

    photo by Julia Newman Photography / The Knot

    There are loads of possible reasons why a guy hasn't proposed, and fear of rejection is one of them. Eliminate this fear. Give the runner a signal that it's okay to round the bases -- you can do this with innuendo subtler than "I expect you on one knee by midnight of December 31."

  3. 3. Let him know what kind of ring you want

    photo by Julia Newman Photography / The Knot

    For 99 percent of men, the idea of ring shopping is perplexing and terrifying. We know that it's supposed to be expensive and diamond-y, and that's about it. What kind of shape, setting and style do you want? You can say something like, "My friend Julie just got engaged -- her ring is gorgeous. It's just perfect; it has yada yada yada..." He'll see through your little ruse, but so what? (You just gave the runner a signal.)

  4. 4. Withhold sex until he gives you a ring

    photo by Getty Images / The Knot

    If you find yourself nodding in agreement to this suggestion -- "yes, yes, a little leverage" -- there's not much we can do to help.

  5. 5. Have your parents confront him

    photo by Veer / The Knot

    Do this ideally over a big family holiday dinner. Your dad can ask, "What are your intentions with my daughter?" and this should put him at ease. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) Or maybe...

  6. 6. Be comfortable with a proposal in 2012, not 2011

    photo by Christy Tyler Photography / The Knot

    You'll spend the next 50+ years together (or if you're Kim Kardashian, the next 50+ days). Think Big Picture: Does it really matter if you get engaged in December or June?

    Of course, if he's been playing Hamlet (to wed or not to wed...) for five years and you're at the end of your rope, and you know in your gut that IT'S TIME, DAMMIT, there's really only one strategy you need...

  7. 7. Have an honest conversation

    photo by Thinkstock / The Knot

    No games, no trickery. Without framing it as an ultimatum, talk about how you both envision your future together. Where is this going? When is this going? Try not to nail down a specific, concrete date -- this saps the proposal of spontaneity and romance -- but you can have the conversation in broad strokes.

    And if that fails, you can always withhold sex.

Up Next
Chicago engagement photography next to Lake Michigan
How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged?
What's the average dating time before marriage, and how soon is too soon to get engaged?
by Rachel Torgerson and Ivy Jacobson4 min read