How to Propose to Your Boyfriend

Why not ask Mr. Right?
Why not ask Mr. Right?

You've built a strong, loving relationship with Mr. Right. You have the same dreams and values, and you're both ready for a commitment. You want to take that big leap and build a life together as husband and wife. There's just one little issue -- how to get engaged.

In the movie "Jerry McGuire," Jerry (Tom Cruise) utters that unforgettable line: "You complete me. And I just …" and Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) says, "Shut up, just shut up. You had me at 'hello.'" Jerry sweeps Dorothy into his arms, everyone cries and all is perfect in the world [source: Osgueda].

But what if that's just not your style? Maybe you're more of a take-the-bull-by-the-horns sort of gal. Maybe you're ready to get engaged, he hasn't popped the question, and you don't want to be one of the women author Ariel Meadow Stallings calls "ladies in waiting," women who ostentatiously ogle every diamond ring they see, endlessly gush about their friends' engagements and drive themselves crazy waiting for him to get the hint [source: Meadow Stallings].

What's a girl to do? In years past, the only acceptable thing would be to wait for the man to propose, or move on. A proper lady would only consider proposing marriage in rare circumstances: For example, if her suitor was "below her station" and not permitted by society to ask for her hand. In such a situation, a woman could tell her beau that she loved him anyway and was willing to be his wife [source: Meade et al].

In the 21st century, such old-fashioned rules have gone the way of the corset. We ladies are now free to follow tradition if we want to, or write our own rule books. If you and your guy are the unconventional type, why not ask for his hand in marriage?