How Soon Is Too Soon To Propose?

Learn the signs that tell if your relationship is ready to shift to the next level of intimacy.

Reviewed by Katharyn Engers, MA, LMFT Katharyn Engers Katharyn EngersMA, LMFT
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc Experience: 5 years

There is no perfect length of time to propose and reveal your heartfelt desires after finding your soulmate or perfect match. But how soon is too soon to propose?

Everyone has different opinions about when to pose this question. So if you are unsure what your partner is thinking about your relationship, do not pop this question too early. Proposing your crush requires a perfect time, and several factors. Preparedness, compatibility, trust, expectations, and relationship history need to be in the positive direction. Next, consider your life goals and long-term plans, and have a conversation about the future of your relationship.

In addition, make sure to discuss relationship milestones such as living together and meeting your partner’s family, which may also be important in certain cultures. Deciding on the right timing to propose can be a tough decision, as it requires careful consideration and thought. This article explores when it is the right time to propose to your beloved for marriage or engagement and how long you must be in the relationship before popping the question. Scroll down for more information.

How Soon Should You Propose?

You don’t want to be ’that person’ who proposes too soon. You need to be assured your partner will say yes! Here are some key factors to consider before popping the question.

1. Your Relationship History

Spend some time reflecting on your own past relationships: did your ex rush the relationship or take things slowly? Ask yourself whether there are any characteristics in your current partner or relationship that had a negative impact on past romances.

How long were they with their exes? There’s nothing more embarrassing than proposing to someone and having them respond, ’it was nice knowing you.’ When embarking on a new relationship, it’s important to gauge your partner’s readiness for commitment.

2. Your Relationship Goals

What are your relationship goals
Image: Shutterstock

If your relationship is going great, it doesn’t mean that your partner wants to get married. Find out what your ultimate goal in a relationship is before you bring up the topic.

Do they want success and a great career first? Where do you stand in their family? You need to know your partner’s relationship goals before taking this major step. Otherwise, it can end terribly.

3. Mental Preparedness

How does your partner feel about marriage in general? Are they anti-marriage, or do they feel like it’s important?

Some people are terrified of the idea of marriage, even if they love you. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love you enough to marry you. All it means is that they aren’t ready for such a major step in a relationship. The best thing to do before proposing is to find out how they feel about being married.

4. Don’t Forget To Talk About It

Don't forget to talk about it
Image: Shutterstock

So, your partner is in love with you. Now, you need to talk through the particulars. Don’t spring a proposal on them out of nowhere.

What are their family’s thoughts on marriage? Do they expect it soon or want you both to remain engaged for a while? Do you want to look at rings together or pick something individually? If you are getting married, communicate with the other person and confirm that your goals are aligned. Otherwise, your marriage will not be eternal.

5. The Proposal Itself

You have all the information about your partner and their feelings on marriage, but what is the best way to go about it? How do you want it to happen? If they want a big proposal with a perfect ring sprinkled with romance, make sure you are doing it right. People remember life-changing moments like this for long, so make it special for them to cherish forever.

However, if they are low-key people who don’t need all of the bells and whistles, take that route instead. Don’t make them uncomfortable because you feel like it should be a certain way. All that matters is that they say yes and mean it truly.

Donn Ross, a blogger, shares his story of proposing to his partner. He met his partner on a dating app and admits to having a whirlwind relationship. It took him 3 months to take the relationship seriously, and finally, after a year of dating, he proposed to her with a surprise proposal story he wrote for her. He writes, “In hindsight, the proposal didn’t need to be an orchestrated surprise. I could’ve followed all the generic clichés and Mary would still have thought it was special because I did it for her. She’s not marrying me because I’m so romantic. I think a big reason why she’s marrying me is because I don’t take shortcuts. I made the extra effort when proposing, but more importantly, I’ve made, and will continue to make, the extra effort on the little things for her, and for us. I won’t get lazy and take her love for granted (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Men often think about confessing their love first, and they took (97.3 days) to consider saying “I love you”, while women took 138 days (1).

If you are wondering, ‘should I propose?’, look for these signs to help you decide.

Clear Signs Your Partner Is Ready For A ‘Yes’

1. They Know You Are About To Pop The Question

They know you are about to pop the question
Image: Shutterstock

Do they know that you are planning to ask their hand in marriage? It might be that they have given pretty good hints. They might have dropped clues about the ring or a romantic proposal or asked why you haven’t proposed yet. These are sure signs that they are ready and waiting for you to pop the question.

2. They Trust You

If they know you so well that it feels like nothing can ever come between you two, they may be expecting a proposal soon. After all, it’s not easy to imagine spending your life with someone and have them suddenly turn around and say that they don’t want to get married. Since they trust you so much, they might think something is wrong if you haven’t proposed yet.

3. They Want You To Propose

They want you to propose
Image: Shutterstock

If your partner is asking you why you haven’t popped the question yet, it’s probably because they are ready for you too. Some people wait for a proposal breathlessly, and they want it more than anything. If your partner is telling everyone that you are going to propose soon, chances are that they want nothing more than for you to ask them the big question.

4. They Are Planning Their Future With You In It

Remember that a proposal is not just an invitation to start planning a wedding. The proposal is about the future you and your partner want to create together. If both of you are creating long-term goals together, talking about having children (or not!), and having tough conversations on topics like finances, these are key indicators that you are in a partnership looking towards a wonderful marriage, not just a beautiful wedding.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Consider it too soon to propose if they don’t show interest when you talk about your future together.

Should couples wait to get engaged until they have dated for a certain amount of time? Keep scrolling to find out!

Does It Matter How Long You Have Been Together Before Getting Engaged?

Does it matter how long you have been together before getting engaged
Image: Shutterstock

No. There are some couples who are in a relationship for years before getting married, and other times both partners just know that they will get married after a very short period of time.

Couples who have dated for a long time before getting engaged may know each other well and are willing to make a lifetime commitment. Also, waiting too long to get engaged can be a mistake because couples often realize they don’t know each other as much as they thought. This lack of information about each other can drain the relationship, leading to constant fights and an ultimate breakup.

On the other hand, couples who have been dating for a limited time may discover they aren’t compatible with one another. This can end in wasted years of their lives together before realizing that they should never have married in the first place.

There is no set rule as to when people should get engaged because every relationship is different. So, rather than asking how long to wait to get engaged, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know enough about your partner to make a lifetime commitment?
  • Have you and your partner had serious conversations about the future, family, and money?
  • Are the two of you growing together?
  • Is your partner your biggest cheerleader? Do they encourage you to reach your goals and celebrate your accomplishments with you?
    Is there trust, mutual respect, commitment, and effective communication in the relationship?
  • Is this relationship going anywhere, or is it just wasting time?
  • Are you truly in love with your partner?
  • Does your partner love you truly?

If you desire to ask your partner’s hand in marriage, here are some risks to consider before you go forth and propose.

Risk Of Waiting Too Long To Propose

Risk of waiting for too long to propose
Image: Shutterstock

1. Risk Of Mixed Signals

The longer the relationship goes on without a proposal, the more pressure builds for the “perfect moment.” Unfortunately, this pressure can sometimes lead to hesitation, not everyone can handle this burden. If you have been together for a long time and are waiting for the ‘right time’ to propose, your partner may end up finding reasons to put it off bit by bit until they end up having cold feet about getting married at all.

2. Social Pressure

It is best to avoid your friends or family put a burden on your partner. It might make them uncomfortable. Otherwise, not only will their proposal be out of social obligation, but also whenever someone congratulates you on your engagement, it may feel like a leash around your neck.

3. Risk Of Being Resented

Sometimes waiting too long to propose can generate resentment and confusion in your partner. In addition, there are many ways in which people view proposals and some have a very traditional approach. So, if you are the one who wants to propose, but are waiting to make sure you can do it “right,” it might be a good idea to communicate this to your partner so you both are on the same page.

4. Risk Of Breakup

If you are dead set on asking your partner’s hand in marriage, remember that forcing someone into a major life decision is never a good idea. If you want to keep your relationship intact, don’t make your partner feel like they have no choice but to agree. Instead, be patient and let things happen naturally.

What Is The Average Dating Time Before Engagement?

The waiting time for most couples before they get engaged stands between 2-5 years. You can date for 12 to 18 months to find out whether you are ready for a lifetime of commitment to your partner. So, if you find yourselves in this range, it might be the right time to start thinking about popping the big question.

It is never too soon to propose! You have found the love of your life, and you want to spend every waking moment with them. Of course, proposing shouldn’t be a hasty decision, but if you are certain, don’t hold back. The sooner you propose, the better! Ultimately, the right time to propose is when both partners feel confident in their decision-making to commit to each other for life.

There is no perfect time to propose to your partner. Instead of thinking about the perfect or right time to propose, think about your relationship’s history and achievements. Every relationship is unique so worry less about how soon is too soon to propose. It’s natural to have nerves or doubts about when to propose. Instead, consider your long-term goals, stop comparing your relationship to others, and make sure to have a conversation about the future of your relationship before proposing. Communication is essential in a relationship, so make sure to have open and honest conversations with your partner. However, there are some risks of waiting too long to propose. Hence, just wait for the right moment and propose to the love of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to propose after 6 months?

You should give any new relationship ample time to know each other better before going forward with a proposal. While 1-2 years is the ideal time for most couples, if you feel you’re ready for it after 6 months, you should go ahead with it.

Do guys get nervous before proposing?

Since it is a big step towards a life-long commitment with your favorite person, a little nervous excitement is normal and shows that you are really keen on this person. However, if you find yourself too jittery, scared, or unsure, you may actually need to rethink your decision.

Do I put the ring on her finger when I propose?

While you can propose anywhere, anytime, and any way you prefer, if you decide to propose with a ring then ideally you should put it on her finger after her approval.

Key Takeaways

  • Proposing to your partner requires the perfect time and several other factors like preparedness, compatibility, and trust.
  • Your relationship history also needs to be in a positive direction.
  • Consider your life goals and long-term plans, and have a conversation about the future of your relationship.
  • In addition, make sure to discuss relationship milestones such as living together and meeting your partner’s family.
how soon is too soon to propose

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Want to date them before getting engaged? Check out this video to understand how it can be the best decision for a peaceful future married life.

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Let’s Get Serious: Communicating Commitment in Romantic Relationships
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Katharyn Engers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 4 years of experience. She earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, in 2017 and is currently practicing in the state of Washington. She is passionate about empowering individuals who have, at one time or another, felt stripped of their power and are ready to full bio

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