The holidays are the unofficial start of engagement season.

By Nancy Mattia
December 16, 2020
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He's nervous, he's sweaty, he's about to propose! But those are the day-of signs—for weeks, you've been finding other clues that suggest a marriage proposal is imminent. If he's acting out of character or has a sudden interest in looking in your jewelry box, you could be right! The following are other indications to look for.

He's working a lot of overtime.

You both care about your careers, but he's been logging more overtime than usual. Late nights in front of the computer and must-answer emails or phone calls after 5 p.m. seem to be the norm. Why is he working so hard? Don't be surprised if you peek over his shoulder and see his laptop is open to a page on diamond rings—it might not be work at all, but rather important research.

His casual attitude towards spending has made a 180 turn.

It's not that the two of you are rolling in the dough but you're not in a money crisis either. You pay your rent on time, fund your 401ks, and have money left for your favorite indulgences, whether it's a vacation account for future trips, ordering takeout from your local spot, or a little online shopping. Now he looks stricken when you bring home the more expensive paper towels or when you add multiple appetizers to the takeout order. The other night he questioned whether you two needed both Netflix and Hulu.

He's been studying up on diamonds.

The proof: When you tell him a friend of yours just got engaged and her diamond was huge, he asks about the stone's clarity. Clarity? Really?

He's been chatting with your family members or friends—without you.

Sure, he could be taking a vested interest in becoming better friends with your friends, or maybe he's asking your mom for the recipe to your childhood favorite dish so he can surprise you with dinner. But he also might be asking them what they think about the ring setting he's leaning towards or if you'd want a public or private proposal.

He suggests the two of you go visit your parents next month.

In the years you've been dating, he's never been the first to suggest visiting your folks. Does he have a plan? Before he summons up the courage to pop the question to you, he wants to pop a question to your dad: "May I marry your daughter?"

He plans a fancy dinner or date night.

This is actually a red herring, and you know it. He's made other seemingly proposal-perfect plans to keep you guessing as to when the big question will really happen. But don't play detective too hard—a surprise proposal is a fun and memorable way to show off his creativity and commitment!

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