A guide to proposing to your partner

Paisley Gilmour
·4-min read
Photo credit: LoulouVonGlup
Photo credit: LoulouVonGlup

From Cosmopolitan

Are you ready to marry your partner but don't know how to propose? Especially right now when everything is kind of closed? Getting engaged during the pandemic, whether it's during lockdown or after restrictions start to lift slightly, doesn’t mean you have to give up on all hope of it being super romantic (if that's what you're into). It just means "you might just have to get a little more creative," as Relate counsellor, Holly Roberts says. "Being limited to how and where you can propose in a way makes it all the more intimate, there’s something special about that." According to Holly and Match's dating expert Hayley Quinn, there are some vital things to consider when planning a proposal or wondering how to propose to your partner. Plus, they're here to share some proposal ideas.

How to propose

Photo credit: fullvalue
Photo credit: fullvalue

Talk about marriage with your partner first

No matter what marriage as a concept means to you, it's not really ever the kind of thing you just spring on a person without ever having talked about it. The likelihood is that if you've got a healthy relationship built on open, honest and constant communication, you'll know if your partner wants to get married one day.

"If you’re thinking of proposing to your partner but neither of you have spoken about marriage, then maybe have a conversation about it first," suggests Holly. "Talking to each other about what your partnership means and whether getting married would make this better or worse is important, and is also helpful in knowing you’re likely to hear a ‘yes’ when you ask."

Photo credit: Jeffrey Coolidge
Photo credit: Jeffrey Coolidge

Tailor the proposal to your relationship

Instead of worrying what other people will think about your proposal or how it will be received by others when you inevitably tell the story, just make it personal. "Create a proposal that feels natural for both of you," Holly says. "If you try to copy something from the movies or what a celebrity did it’s likely to feel awkward and might not turn out as well as you’d hoped. Make it all about your passions, whether that’s food, poetry, music, walking or gardening, try to combine what you both love with your proposal message and it’s sure to make something special even more wonderful."

Proposal ideas

"You can get as cheesy and schmaltzy as you like, especially if no one else is going to witness the proposal," Holly says. She also says you can use humour to help you feel more at ease if you have a tendency to feel nervy about big events. "Whatever you do and however you do it, getting creative and making it personal to you both will make it a memorable, love-filled lockdown proposal.

Hayley insists a great proposal isn't "necessarily about the bling". She says, "it's much more important that it feels thoughtful."

Photo credit: Shana Novak
Photo credit: Shana Novak
  1. Put on a slide show of all your loved-up photos with a surprise message at the end

  2. Bake a cake with gooey writing on it

  3. Send them a love letter with all the things you might struggle to say out loud without crying – just make sure you’re there when the post arrives

  4. Get all the candles out – think Chandler and Monica

  5. If you’ve got kids, get them involved, no one could resist a proposal from your cutest little ones

  6. Do a treasure hunt around your house or flat to increase the anticipation

  7. Sing out from the bathroom window while they’re in the garden to feel like Romeo and Juliet

  8. Go on a virtual tour of where you might have proposed if you were able to travel

  9. If you were planning to propose on holiday, create a holiday at home experience, complete with wave sounds, scented candles, and drinks served from coconuts

  10. For the games fans out there, substitute the usual cards that come with a board game for ones with a special message on them

  11. Print a puzzle that has your proposal written on it

And if you're still stuck for ideas, here's women explaining how they proposed to their partner for inspiration.

SUBSCRIBE HERE to have Cosmopolitan delivered to your door.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

You Might Also Like