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How to Get Him to Propose

by Amy Waterman, host of "How to Be Irresistible to Men"

Sometimes it is easy to find a man that meets our criteria for being a suitable marriage partner.  We can convince ourselves that he is perfect for us simply by his qualifications on paper: handsome, wealthy, honorable ... and, of course, highly interested in wooing us.  What can we do to not mess it up?

A recent question from a reader tackles this very issue.

"I'm 33 years old, beautiful, and always attract men.  I'm divorced and have a daughter.  The problem is all the men I know are not serious.  I mean they don't want any kind of commitment.  Lately I have met a guy and as usual he likes me sooooo much. He is as old as me, successful, he has a very very strong character and he is very rich.  I'm trying to follow some of your rules of not being so available.  How can I marry him?....help me please I think it is my last chance." (Name Withheld, Saudi Arabia)

This is such a wonderful question, especially because it reveals the challenge of turning attraction into a committed relationship.

Women who don't believe they're particularly gifted in beauty or charm often despair of ever "capturing" a man to marry.  They believe that it is their lack of skills that keeps them from getting the man they desire.  Yet what they don't realize is that all women - even women who are gifted with beauty, charm, and attractiveness - feel self-doubt when faced with an attraction that they want to transform into marriage.

Making the decision that you want to marry someone is no light matter.  Often we are more in love with the idea of marriage than with the person we want to marry.  For example, in an article in the Washington Post ("How cell phones changed courting in Saudi Arabia," Kevin Sullivan, August 13, 2006), a young Saudi man explains:

"It's really rare to meet girls here in Saudi Arabia ...  And to feel great in this country, you have to be married. We all want to be married. It makes you comfortable, it makes you happy. I want to be in love."

Those are a lot of expectations to place on marriage.  Yet we often make them unthinkingly.  We believe that marriage (like more money, or a better figure, or more expensive clothes) will make our lives better than ever before. 

Leaving aside for a moment the issue of whether or not marriage can make life better, be aware that marriage-minded women often turn off men.  Why?  Because the man can sense that the only thing the woman wants is a diamond ring.  Some men use this expectation to their advantage and lead you on with the promise of a proposal until they've had all they wanted of you.  Other men feel pressured or used and end the relationship.  They prefer to be with a woman who's truly into them rather than their status or potential as a husband.

Worst of all, the minute you turn away from the pleasure of courtship into the expectation of a proposal, you hinge your happiness on whether or not he marries you.  You stop being happy with your interactions such as they are.  You forget to focus on what should be the most important thing for you during the courtship phase: whether or not he's right for you. 

A man can never be right for you "on paper" alone.  No matter how wealthy, successful, or compatible he is, if he doesn't make you feel fantastic when you're with him, then he's not right.

Any man can behave like a perfect gentleman during the courtship phase.  That's why I recommend knowing a man for a while before plunging into marriage.  The more comfortable he becomes around you, the more he'll show his true colors.  It is this real man that you want to get to know.  Remember that you have a lifetime of happiness or unhappiness at stake.  If you choose a marriage partner based on admirable qualities alone - rather than how he makes you feel - you may end up in an empty marriage where you both respect and care for another but do not truly love one another.

So why you want to marry this man?  Is it because of how he makes you feel, or is it because he's such a catch?

Any decision made from a place of lacking (e.g., "This is my last chance," "I'll never meet someone like him again," "I'm getting older and need to get married now") is likely to backfire.  If you want to marry a man because you think that it's your last chance at love, pull back.  Take a good hard look at him.  Take a good hard look at yourself.  Ask yourself if this man can add anything to your life, or whether he's simply filling a hole.

Once you've found the right man, the man who adds so much to your life that your joy is overflowing, the man that you know you want to spend the rest of your life with, you can be overcome by your wanting.  Normally you're perfectly able to play cool and let things develop, but - you think - this man is special.  I can't lose him.  All those characteristics that worked on men in the past may not work on this man.  How can I prevent the unthinkable: the loss of his interest?

Here are some techniques that I've found to be successful.

  1. Let him set the pace of the relationship.  As women we have a tendency to want to push everything faster and faster until we reach our wedding day.  But if you make a vow to yourself to go at his pace, you never push him further than he's willing to go.  This may even mean holding off talking about your feelings or teling him that you love him before he introduces the subject.  But one thing that I learned from Greg Behrendt (author of He's Just Not That Into You) is that when a man is truly interested in you, he'll have marriage on his mind.  If he's not proposing according to your timetable, or if you suspect that he enjoys the situation too much as it is to want to marry you, then thank him politely and lovingly for the time you have shared together, let him know that you're seeking a husband rather than a boyfriend, and move on.  Losing you may be the kick-in-the-pants that he needs to confess his love.  But if he doesn't come running after you, then you know that he wasn't that into you.  It's really that simple.  (Although, admittedly, it can be terribly hard to accept.)
  2. Enjoy being with him.  I know it sounds obvious.  But the one thing that men want to know is that they will enjoy a woman's company for the rest of their lives.  If you are often unhappy, aloof, or complaining around him, he may feel the interest of pursuit, but he won't be as keen on marriage.
  3. Keep cultivating your own life.  Never drop your own activities for him.  If you move to accommodate him in everything, he'll see you as a doormat with no life of your own.  Don't be afraid to turn him down a time or two if you have other things going on.  Cultivating new hobbies or attending exciting social events will give you something to talk about with him when you meet.
  4. Listen to the hidden messages.  Men aren't good at hiding what they're thinking ... at least, not in a way that any aware woman can't read!  The problem is that many of us only hear what we want to hear.  Listen to his hidden messages.  He may be telling you through his chance comments, gestures, or behaviors that he's not ready for a relationship - or he may be telling you that he's interested in you purely because you seem unavailable and therefore a challenge.  Hone your ability to read his intentions, and don't lie to yourself.  Better that this man passes you by than that you're locked into a relationship with a man who can't reciprocate your love.

All the best to you, and remember that you will have a wonderful and fulfilling life whether or not you marry this man.  It's up to you to stake your happiness on the chance of a future with him or make your own happiness now in the present.

If you would like to get articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox, then why not join up to our free newsletter series? You'll get an amazing 6-part e-course that will boost your attraction and seduction power immeasurably. If every woman knew the secrets we give away in this free course, single guys wouldn't stand a chance! So get my free newsletter now and start your journey to becoming irresistibly attractive. (It's absolutely free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

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