If you're currently in a relationship that's gearing up to be long-term, then you likely have one eye on your partner for signs they are about to propose. It can be an exciting time as you think about the future while casually fielding questions about your jewelry preferences. But how can you really know?
Unless your partner is the sneakiest of them all, they'll likely start acting a little differently. You know, making late night phone calls and digging though your jewelry case. (Chill stuff like that.) If you love a surprise — and have already talked thoroughly about marriage — then I highly recommend you let them do their thing. But if you've yet to have any type of serious chat, take this opportunity to talk.
Because, even though it takes some of the romance out of it, it's so important to be on the same page before any rings are exchanged. "Marriage is too big of a decision to be left up to one person," says sex therapist Stephen Duclos, LMFT, CST, in an email to Bustle. "If someone says, 'I want you to marry you,' he or she needs to have a good idea that it’s going to be OK with his partner. Talking about big subject matters — such as marriage — is key to a healthy relationship." Once you two agree to move forward, then you can get back to excitedly waiting for them to pop the question. Here are some signs that big day may be on the horizon.
1. They Start Using The Word "We"
If your partner is seriously considering a future with you (and vice versa, of course), then you might notice an uptick in their use of the word "we." As licensed professional counselor Terri DiMatteo tells me, they've officially begun to envision their future with you. So it'll suddenly be "we" this and "we" that.
2. They Comment About Married Couples
When you're single, or just casually dating, it can be difficult to relate to married couples. So take note if your partner suddenly can't stop talking about them. "[They] ... may start to comment on other married couples and share [their] opinions about how others are participating in married life," says DiMatteo. "[Their] mind is shifting from thinking as a single person to thinking and acting as a pair."
3. They Have A "Sparkle" In Their Eye
You know your partner well, so it'll probably be incredibly obvious that's they're up to something. "If [someone] is about to propose, you might see a giddy smile or sparkle in [their] eye," international relationship and dating expert Megan Weks tells Bustle. "[They] likely won't be able to hold it in completely and will leave slight hints or glimpses toward the upcoming engagement." Cute.
4. They Ask About Your Future Schedule
If you two live together, you likely have a pretty firm grasp on each other's schedules. But if your partner is planning to propose, they may suddenly take it to the next level. "[They] may get unusually controlling about plans or about you staying in town during a certain time in the future," Weks says. If they ask what you're up to the weekend of the 15th eight months from now, take it as a sign.
5. You Catch Them On The Phone More Often
While shadiness is normally a bad thing, you can't help but notice your partner is on the phone more often — and it feels OK. As Weks says, "You may find [them] on some secretive ... phone call or acting strange, but you'll still have a warm feeling in your heart because your intuition will tell you so!"
6. They Make A Special Dinner Reservation
Birthdays and other holidays aside, you should definitely pay attention if there's a fancy dinner on the horizon. As Duclos tells me, any reservations at fancy restaurants or places you don't normally go may mean they're about to pop the question. This is also true if the dinner date is somewhere meaningful, like where you had your first kiss.
7. They've Been All About Redecorating
When someone's getting ready to welcome a partner into their life, they may prepare the way by redecorating and getting rid of all their "single" stuff. As noted on TheKnot.com, "You may notice certain items have disappeared from their pad, like their college posters ... [This] could be the start of major changes — your partner is making room in their life for you, both physically and emotionally."
8. They Plan A Surprise Getaway
Have you spotted plane tickets floating around your apartment? Perhaps to that exotic locale you've been dying to see? "If vacations like this are out of the ordinary, then expectations of a proposal are not unrealistic," says relationship expert Samantha Daniels, in an email to Bustle. "The best option is to embrace whatever [they have] planned, since [they] will enjoy romancing you up until the proposal moment."
9. They Want To Hang Out With Your Fam
While you've probably already met each other's parents, pay attention to your partner's sudden desire to visit your family. According to TheKnot.com, "... if they're now the first to RSVP for your nephew's birthday party, or jump at the chance for a weekend visit with your parents, they're ready for the next step."
10. They're Involving You In Big Decisions
While you've likely already made big decisions together, you may notice your partner has been considering your opinion even more. "They may have gotten a job offer they're consulting you about, or they've thought about whether the two of you should move into a more spacious apartment," noted the TheKnot.com article. These are all signs your partner views you as a partner, and knows that marriage means navigating these things together.
11. They Seem To Suddenly Like Weddings
Usually the people who love weddings are the ones about to plan them, so take note if your SO suddenly cares about centerpieces. And while you're at it, keep an ear out for any comments they make about your friends' engagements. As Slisha Kankariya, of the online jewelry retailer Fourmine.com tells me, it may be they're listening for your reaction to better judge how you'd feel about a proposal.
If you spot these signs, there's a good chance your SO is ring shopping, dreaming about the future, and ready to propose. Just make sure you have a convo first, so you can both go into this big decision on the same page.
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