You like to do things your way, so you're going to ask him the big Q.
Credit: Laura Ford

You're totally in love and want a future with him-and he feels the same about you! Though you've discussed marriage together and you're both ready for it, he hasn't actually proposed yet. Since he's not the conventional type, you've decided to do the asking instead. Good idea! Since a woman proposing to a man is still uncommon and the "rules" are few, there are only a couple of things you should know.

Plan to make it romantic.

Women aren't the only ones who appreciate a well-thought-out plan. Though a spontaneous proposal, where you wait for the right moment to happen, may seem like the most romantic way to go, a proposal you put some thought into is more meaningful. It doesn't have to be a big and extravagant gesture involving a 50-piece orchestra or a baseball stadium venue, but it should involve a place, time, or event that means something to the two of you, such as the college campus where you met or the anniversary of your first kiss. Setting the scene will also boost your confidence when the time comes to ask the magic question.

Don't worry if you're nervous.

This is a life-changing moment-frazzled nerves are typical, no matter which gender you are. Breathe deeply, look him in the eye, and start talking.

Getting down on one knee isn't a requirement.

Back in the day, it was a way for a man to show respect and humility for his lady love, but if it feels prehistoric or awkward to you, don't do it.

Think about what you'll say.

If you have something in mind to say, you'll be less nervous. Speak from the heart and tell him why you love him and how much he means to you, then do the big finish: "Will you marry me?" Then when he says, "Yes!" expect tears and hugs to follow.

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Enjoy feeling empowered.

There's something about going after what you want instead of waiting for it to come to you that will make you feel pumped.

You don't need to give him a ring.

Unless, of course, you want to shake things up even further! If you want to give him something that signifies the commitment you're making, give him an item that's personal and long-lasting, like a wristwatch or cufflinks, if he wears them.

Some people will disapprove.

When your friends and family find out you proposed, most will be like, "You go, girl!" Then there are the traditionalists who don't approve of change. They firmly believe that the man-on-his-knee-holding-a-ring-box scenario is the only right way to get engaged. Ignore them-their opinion doesn't matter. Don't defend yourself and offer justification for your proposal. As long as your guy was happy about it, you're good.

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