How to get him to propose (without an ultimatum!)

If you’re happily in a long-term-relationship (LTR), perhaps living together, maybe even pet (or child!) in tow, but he hasn’t proposed yet, you might be wondering why. At least, I was.

It was ten years I’d known Blair before we were married me in February (guess he really wanted to be sure, right?). It’d only been eight years since we’d been ‘official’, but I still felt like I was waiting at times. So, what was he waiting for, and could I have helped him propose?


Now, I’m absolutely not saying you should pressure your partner to propose, or worse, give him an ultimatum! If you know you’re (eventually) going to get married, but your partner seems to be dragging his feet or taking his time, there might be more at play than just cold feet. He might actually need a helping hand before he asks for yours.

Give him a sign

There are plenty of reasons your significant other may not have proposed yet, and fear of rejection could be one of them, even if you have been together a long time. If you are able to comfortably talk about your future, and marriage, with him, it will give him a sign that you’re ready to commit – and he needn’t worry about rejection.

If you haven’t already had conversations like this, it will help to ensure you are on the same page, i.e. you want the same things. Yes, might know what you’re up to – but you don’t need to hide your feelings either.

Let him know your style
It’s a story for another day, but I actually chose my engagement ring myself (before he asked, but having no idea that he was going to do so later that day). There’s a certain romanticism about the idea of having him choose the ring himself, but it’s a huge financial decision to make, and that can be scary well beyond just the price tag. I wouldn’t like to choose an expensive watch, or suit, for Blair, without his input, and he felt the same about my ring. So, make life easier for him. Take a photo on his phone, ensure your best friend (and mother) knows what you like, or suggest that (when he’s ready) he purchases just the diamond alone, or a ‘Yes ring’ rather than selecting both style and setting.


Don’t make it intimidating

Going on about your huge wedding expectations, overwhelming him with your dream dress, elaborate décor and 10-strong bridal party. It’s likely that he knows how much a wedding costs, and it won’t help to rub that in before he’s even proposed.


If you feel comfortable that you’re going to be together forever, try to relax about the proposal itself, it’s just one step in your very long lives together. If you don’t feel comfortable, and you’re looking for a ring for security, think about why this might be, and whether you need to talk to him about your perceived insecurity.

Talk about it

Relationships are all about communication, and engagement need not be a taboo subject just because he wants the proposal to be a surprise. Blair and I really understood each other, I knew he would ask, and he knew I wanted him to. Once he did ask (thank goodness, he was sure)… I could then ask “What were you waiting for?”

Well… basically, he said he had to wait until he could afford a really really really nice diamond ring!


I admit… he was right. I’d rather wait until he could buy a nice engagement ring, but I swear that with a little more attention to saving, we’d have been through two or three anniversaries by now, rather than half way towards our first.

If you’re in a LTR, have talked about marriage, but he still hasn’t popped the question, I suggest it could even have more to do with money than does about asking the question itself.

Help him

Here’s where you come in. Help him. No, don’t buy yourself the ring! (Hmm… there’s an idea!) You don’t even have to dampen your expectations (you have to wear it forever!). It’s about communication – the key to any relationship. If all the signs are there, but you know he can’t really afford a ring right away, you could always talk to him and help understand both of your spending together, so he can save faster, and you (both) get what you really want.

As I explained when talking about our wedding savings, 8 years ago, Blair and I printed out all our bank transactions and worked out what we spent on the unnecessaries. If we hadn’t cut those out back then, who knows whether She Said Yes would even be here now.

If you want to do the same, or convince your partner of the potential benefits, Westpac’s new app CashNav does exactly that, albeit a little more high-tech. As a long-time Westpac customer I was more than happy to try it out, and I’m happy to be able to report that I know exactly where my money’s been going (if you read how much my wedding cost, you also know where my money’s been going!).

CashNav shows me how I’m spending my money by automatically categorising my spend each time I make a purchase into things like shopping, eating out and groceries. This lets me track my spend on each category, helps me set spending goals (i.e. no more than 20% of my income on shoes…), and shows me how my spending goals are going. If I want to save for something in particular, set savings goals to stay below a certain spend in a particular category (i.e. shopping). CashNav sends notifications each time I make a purchase so I can tell if I’m staying on track to achieve my savings goals

It really shocked us to see what we spent on takeaways 8 years ago, but even now I’m spending far too much on clothes, and much more than enough on eating out. While I’m not saving for anything right now, if I need to do so in future, I’ll know exactly how to get started.

If you’re a Westpac customer, you can download the app now.  If not, all you need to do is open a Westpac account online (it only takes a few minutes) and then you can start using CashNav to track your spending from there.

Once he’s proposed, check out the little white book wedding diary and organiser, and head to the wedding planning index to get started.


Thank you to Allie and James for sharing their beautiful Queenstown Proposal – ring from The Diamond Shop. 

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