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How to Propose to Your Girlfriend

Tailor your proposal to fit your girlfriend's personality, and you're sure to get a yes.
Tailor your proposal to fit your girlfriend's personality, and you're sure to get a yes.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

So you've splurged on the perfect engagement ring and you're ready to pop the question to the girl of your dreams -- now what? Many grooms-to-be struggle to find just the right words and the best place to stage the perfect proposal. After all, she's dreamed of this moment her entire life, so you don't want to disappoint her. Plus, you'll probably be telling the story of your engagement many times over the coming years, so you want to make sure it's a good one. Above all, you want her to know just how much you love her, and of course, you want to make sure she says yes!

To create a memorable proposal moment, tailor your proposal to fit her personality. Don't ignore what you know about your bride-to-be in an effort to go over the top or to attempt something none of your friends have done before. Enlist family and friends to help you decide on the perfect plan, and practice what you'll say ahead of time so you feel more comfortable when it's time to pop the question.

No matter what type of proposal you decide on, there are a few things you should avoid doing when you're planning to propose. First, don't ask her to marry you before the time is right. If you've never talked about marriage and sharing a future, you're better off waiting until later in the relationship. Next, avoid overcomplicated proposal plans that leave you so busy and stressed out that you can't enjoy the moment. You could also get so lost in the planning process that she starts to get suspicious and wonder what you're up to. Simple plans are more likely to go smoothly and reduce your risk of proposal disaster stories. Finally, don't hide an expensive engagement ring in food. Not only is this a messy proposition, but you also face the risk of a night at the emergency dentist or doctor if things go wrong -- not exactly romantic.

Now that you know what to avoid, take a look at some of these romantic, creative and traditional proposal ideas, and find one that's best suited to your relationship.