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The Man’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage Proposal

The Man’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage Proposal

There is an interesting trend when it comes to marriage: fewer people are doing it. A little more than half of all adults over the age of 18 are married.

The U.S. Census shows that number to be down about five percent from 2000. While this might sound like discouraging news, it's not at all. People no longer feel as though they have to marry in order to fulfil their role in society, and adults are waiting longer to find "the one."

If anything, these statistics make the fact that getting married is even more valuable. It means that you are freely choosing to be with the woman of your dreams, that you're ready to commit your life to that one special person while others are still looking.

A motivational speaker and marriage guru, in his sermon series "Love Affair," Pastor Ed Young says marriage is the most important relationship anyone will ever be a part of. It's not the easiest thing; it's a hard thing -- but it's the best thing, Pastor Young says. For that reason, the day you propose is likely to be one of the single most important days of your life. While most will agree that the wedding day is all about the bride, the proposal is your show -- your chance to shine. The following is a guide to help you get it just right.

Who is She?

Is she bold and outgoing? Is she the kind of girl who would love to be proposed to in front of an audience? You should customise where and how you propose to the person you're proposing to. If she's shy and embarrasses easily, you probably don't want to organise a flash mob. If, on the other hand, she's an adventurer and never shies away from attention, go ahead and make it bold. If she is reserved and most comfortable when the two of you are alone, make it a private affair. The point is to make the proposal fit her personality.

Who are You?

This is your moment, so consider your own personality as you man up and plan the perfect proposal. If you're the kind of guy who would rather be in the background than center stage, you're likely going to be more comfortable proposing in an intimate setting. If you're an "all eyes on me" kind of guy, a stadium, stage, crowded restaurant, or her workplace will work well. Your proposal is only going to be as smooth as your comfort level, so factor yourself in while making your plans.

Who Are You as a Couple?

It's a gross generalisation to say that all women are sentimental, but even those who aren't certainly appreciate a thoughtful man. Think back on your favorite places to go as a couple, the first place you said "I love you," or a place you've always dreamed about visiting together. There's nothing more personal than a proposal made in a place that is special to both of you.

How do You Want to Remember the Day?

Although it's hard, try to think 20 years down the road. In your heart of hearts, how do you think you and your bride are going to want to remember the day of your proposal? Are you going to smile at the idea that you popped the question while jumping out of an airplane, or are you -- as a couple -- more likely to fondly recall a special trip to Napa or back to the place where you first met? Being able to answer that question will help you hone in on the kind of proposal that will be most meaningful to you both.

Need Help?

Think about whether you want to plan everything alone -- from the place you're going to propose, to the ring you're going to present. Get help where you need it. Feel free to ask for her best friend's input, or to have one of your own friends help you arrange a surprise at a restaurant or picnic spot. If you need a placeholder ring because your bride-to-be wants to choose her own permanent ring, consider something pretty enough that she'll want to wear on her right hand. There's no reason not to be a hero twice.

The key to the perfect proposal is marrying your two styles. Find a place both of you will feel comfortable and have fun with it.

Henning Wiechers
has been observing the UK dating market since 2007. He is among the top opinion leaders in the industry.

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