Can I Ask My BF When He’s Going To Propose?

Engagement Limbo

Q:My boyfriend has talked about getting married and he recently spoke with my parents and brought along his parents to ask for my hand in marriage. However, he has not proposed.

I am worried he’ll take too long to do so and I also don’t mean to be materialistic but he has not asked me what kind of rings I like.

So I have two questions.

  1. How do I ask him when he’ll propose?
  2. How do I tell him what kind of rings I like without being rude or pushy?


A: Dear Anon,

First up, let’s tackle the big one.

It is always and forever IMPORTANT to have control over your own life and future. And I’m so sorry that all women have been trained that when it comes to one of the biggest decisions in our lives, they should sit around and wait for the men in our lives to make a decision.  But we’re talking about getting married, which is a big damn deal, and you’re being kept in the dark and it’s stressing you out. So short answer: ask him.

That’s the whole post. Just ask him when he’ll propose.

But ok fine, if you’re still reading, I’ve got more for you. Think about it. If it were ANY other major life decision would you sit around and wait without any info? If you were deciding to have kids, or buy a house, or on critical medical decisions, or hell, a bathroom remodel… would you figure it wasn’t your business, or would you say “HEY! We need to make a decision about this shower tile/ new baby/ medical procedure / mortgage”?

In the rest of your adult life, you will need to be proactive about asking for what you want and need, sharing your wishes, and making decisions together. So if you’re not comfortable with it already, get comfortable with it now.

But I get it. You may need a script. So here is a sample one:

“Hey. I know that last month you talked to my parents about marrying me. I want to be honest and say that waiting around is making me anxious, and I want to have some more information on how and when we’re going to do this. (Because note: you are doing this together.) I know you might not want to share your specific plans, but let’s talk timeline so I can relax.”

And then. THE RING. First of all, let’s skip apologizing and calling ourselves materialistic. This is a ring that you plan on wearing on your finger for the rest of your life, and it’s important you love it. APW is filled with a decade of stories of women not voicing their opinion about a ring, and then ending up with one they hated, and trying to navigate the conversation after the fact. Even I ended up with an engagement ring I didn’t love, and learned a lot when I had to replace it after it was stolen (then we custom designed a ten year anniversary ring as well, so the moral of the story is you can always change things). But still. Trust me when I tell you that it’s easier to have the conversation now rather than later. (And we have plenty of engagement ring inspiration to help you out if you need it.)

So let’s give it a go with another script:

“I don’t know if you’ve bought a ring or not, but you haven’t asked me about ring styles. I have some pretty specific opinions on what I’d like, and I’ve put together a Pinterest board to help you out. Let me know if you want to talk about it more!”

That’s it. Tell your partner what you want and need. Ask questions you need to ask, and start practicing for a married life, where you’ll have to learn to stand your ground, and put yourself on everyone’s list. (Because if you don’t, trust me, nobody else will. Take it from a long married lady.)


So APW, what are your thoughts? Did you and your partner discuss engagement in advance? How’d you go about it? Did you tell your S.O. what your ring style was or did they have try to figure it out on their own?

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