Thinking About Proposing? First, Talk to Your Mom

So, you’ve decided to do it–you’re going to ask your significant other to marry you. Getting engaged is the first step in the next stage of your life, and probably one of the biggest decisions you’ve ever had to make. You’re probably excited, but also super-effing-nervous, right?

Like many guys when they make the decision to propose, you probably have no idea where to even begin with the process of picking out jewelry, let alone an engagement ring or actually proposing. Our advice? Start by having a conversation with someone you trust about bling. For many of you, that person is probably your mom. I know talking about LOVE with your mom isn’t the first thing on your list of “things I want to do,” but I’m willing to bet she knows a lot about this subject.

I asked a few moms about what they would want their sons (or daughters) to talk to them about before proposing. For starters, make sure you have tissues handy for her. If you’re far away, FaceTime does the trick, too. If you’re already married–have this conversation with Mom anyway; it can only bring you closer.

Start by telling your mom you want to propose to your significant other. This is a huge step in your life and you should start by sharing it with her. Not close with your mom? This will bring you closer and establish a new, adult relationship/friendship with mom. Fingers crossed your mom will be excited for you too.

If your mom has ever married, ask her what her proposal was like. Odds are, you likely don’t know the details of this super important part of your mom’s life. It’s easy to forget that she had a life before she even knew you would exist. If you don’t know about how your parents met, or have an idea of what their relationship was like before you came along, now is a great time to find out. Then, how did she get proposed to? What’s her proposal story? How long were they together before? How did she meet the person she married? Would she have changed it if she could? By asking these questions, you’re establishing a connection with your mom that you may not have had before and maybe establish a friendship that goes beyond this wonderful woman being just “your mom.”

Ask her if she knew he was “the One,” or if they talked about marriage before getting engaged. Why did she marry him? Is he her soulmate? Does he make her happy? Nowadays, it’s more common for couples to discuss their plans before actually getting engaged, but for your mother, that may not have been the case. Asking “why,” might help give you some insight about yourself and your relationship, too.

Ask her about her engagement ring. Does she like it? Are there things she wishes she could change? Did she get a diamond upgrade? Even if she wears it every day, ask her about the details and start asking questions about rings and diamonds.

Is there anything she wished she did differently before she got married? This one might open a can of worms–but it also might help open your eyes to something your significant other may want to do before she walks down the aisle.

Ask her for advice on how to be a great husband. You want to succeed at this new identity you’re about to take on–a husband. Asking your mom for advice can help you pave the way for a life of happiness for you and your partner.

Brainstorm proposal ideas with mom about how you’re going to pop the question. Proposing is supposed to be romantic; a heartfelt question that asks one of the most important questions of your life. It doesn’t need to be over the top or expensive, but it does have to be from the heart. When proposing, expressing how you really feel will make the experience more authentic. Mom may be able to help you with this and coming up with ideas–either from her own experiences or just from knowing you and your partner.

It’s 2017: ask both of your future spouse’s parents for their thoughts on marriage. Marriage customs recommend that you “ask her father for permission for her hand in marriage,” but those customs are almost ancient now. Asking both parents for permission shows that you respect them equally, and are serious about marriage and combining your families. This is huge step in your life and your future spouse’s. Even if you are the most non-traditional person on the planet, if your spouse has a relationship with their parents at all, it’s important to try to communicate with them about this next step in your life. Plus, your future in-laws (yikes!) might have an heirloom ring or diamond that belonged to the family, or ideas to help you pick out a ring, or with proposal planning.

Our mothers are the reason for our existence. Even if you’re super close with your mom, don’t you want to get to know her more? In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, rarely do we get a chance to have deep conversations about our lives, loves, and experiences. Do it now while you still have the chance–she’s not going to be around forever. Plus, there’s no better way to become closer to a person than to talk to her, even if you’ve known her all your life.