You’ve been dating your guy for a while now and you are starting to dream of white picket fences and a Vera Wang dress. And after a year of dating, enough time has gone by for both of you to have said the “L” word, so the question of whether or not he’s into you has been answered.
Now the question is whether or not he is thinking of proposing to you. Guys are all different in how they go about doing it. Some guys know they want to get married right away and they propose quickly while others will even wait years before they propose. That may have something to do with them wanting to make sure they are making the right decision.
Believe it or not, there are always subtle signs that your man is thinking about marriage or even proposing. Unless, of course, your man happens to be a total master at keeping things on the down low. Still, we think we still may be able to help you in the process.
Whatever your guy feels, he can’t hide it for much longer. After one year of dating, here are 20 subtle ways to figure out if he’s thinking about marriage.
20-He Starts To Act Nervous
Now before you start getting those, “he’s cheating” vibes, slow down and consider the possibility that he may be nervous for another reason. “You may notice that he is acting strangely and you feel that something is going on,” says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder of online relationship community Relationup, and Relationship Therapist. “When you confront him, he is vague and awkward.”
There is no need to worry about anything else going on if things have been good in your relationship.
After all, “This may mean that he is planning the marriage proposal and is nervous about the big step.”
19-He Starts Talking About Having Children
Guys will rarely even broach this subject unless they are already thinking of settling down. If he starts talking about wanting children or starting a family, you can bet that he wants to marry you. Otherwise, he wouldn’t even bring it up. A guy isn’t about to talk about children with someone he doesn’t envision spending his future with. It’s always a good thing to have the kids talk sooner rather than later to make sure the two of you are on the same page, but if your guy starts asking out of nowhere, that could mean wedding bells.
18-He Seems Closer To Your Best Friend Or Sister
No, they aren’t having an affair, or at least we hope not. Just kidding! Chances are she is helping him plan a proposal or picking out a ring.
You might notice that your guy seems like best buds with the person that you are closest to.
“That’s because he’s asking them to keep the secret and help him pick a piece of jewelry with which to propose,” explains April Masini, a New-York-based relationship, etiquette expert, and author. “He’s also getting some counseling from them, and this newfound closeness may be a sign you’re about to get a marriage proposal.”
17-You’re Meeting The Most Important People In His Life
We’re not just talking about meeting mom and pop for the first time, that’s a given in the first year of a relationship. But if he invites you to Ireland to meet that grandmother who is super important in his life, it might be because he’s ready to settle down with you. If he’s lining up the most important people in his life for you to meet, that’s because he sees you in that group as well. If you haven’t met these people after a year, you might want to consider having “the talk” with him to see if the relationship is going anywhere.
16-The Splurging Has Stopped
If you know that your guy doesn’t worry too much about spending money but all of a sudden, he seems a little cheap, don’t worry just yet.
There might be a reason for your guy’s newfound thriftiness: the need to save for bling.
You might notice that he wants to eat at home more often and is just not spending money as he used to and “this means he’s likely thinking about the future and a way to buy you the ring of your dreams,” says Slisha Kankariya, co-founder of Four Mine. After all, he has to think about an engagement ring, a wedding, and maybe even buying a house in the future.
15-He Couldn’t Be More Committed To You
If you guys aren’t even committed at this point, then a marriage proposal shouldn’t even be a thought in your mind. You need to be able to claim this guy as “all mine” before you can start planning a wedding. A guy is going to show you that you are the most important person in his life by committing to you. That can be in a few different ways. That could mean becoming exclusive with you and swear off all other ladies or it could mean moving in together. Commitment means something different to everyone, but if he’s proven he’s committed to you, then that’s a step in the right direction.
14-He Discusses The Future With You
Now, this could happen in a few different ways. As we said before, talking about children is a way of discussing the future. But that’s not just it. He could be talking to you about your future life together in regards to a huge trip to Europe or moving to a different city or something like that.
If he has included you in on his future plans, you can bet you will be getting a proposal.
“He regularly starts talking with you about a future life together,” notes Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor. “This shows his heart and intentions.”
13-He Gets Weird Around Marriage Talk
Don’t freak out of your guy starts to get weird around marriage talk all of a sudden. It may be because he’s been thinking the same thing himself and doesn’t want to be outed just yet. “If he starts to sweat or get uncomfortable any time marriage comes up when he didn’t before, it’s definitely a way to tell that something’s up,” says Vikki Ziegler, celebrity divorce attorney, relationship expert, and author of “The Pre-Marital Planner.” She notes that “it’s likely that, while he’s very much in love with you, the commitment is very nerve-wracking, and he wants you to say yes!”
12-Your Relationship Has Made Huge Progress
There are always signs in a relationship that you are your man are progressing to the next level and you have likely seen some of these signs. For example, maybe six months ago he was only at your house some of the time, but now he spends at least four nights a week at your place.
He may now have a section of your closet that he uses for his clothes.
Or maybe he’s cleared out a drawer or area of the closet for you at his place. These are all signs that you guys are working towards spending a life together.
11-The Timing Is Just Right
Sometimes it’s just the right time, and you know it and so does he. In one study, 81 percent of men surveyed said when it came down to deciding to get married, it was when they realized that it was the right time for them to settle down. The “right time” could mean he got the promotion he was waiting for, his finances are in order, or he no longer lives with his parents. Part of being ready to be married is that men need to feel like that are established and can take care of another person. A lot of guys are still old-fashioned in the sense that they want to make sure they can take care of you in the way that you deserve.
10-He’s Protective Of His Phone
There could definitely be a strong argument for the fact that he’s hiding his phone for sinister reasons, but there unless there is another reason to not trust him we would caution you to not freak out.
If he’s normally open with his phone and suddenly he always has it on him he could be planning something big.
Duh! Like a proposal. “Don’t assume what he is hiding is going to cause you heartache,” cautions Milrad. “In fact, the opposite may be true. It may be that he is emailing with jewelers, hotels, restaurants, and family or has pictures that he needs to keep a secret.”
9-He Knows You Want To Marry HIM
That’s a big deal because some girls just want to get married period. Sometimes, it’s almost as if they don’t care who it’s to. According to a post on Daily Mail, one guy stated, “I’ve gone out with women who start talking about marriage after two months,” he adds, “It’s insulting. They don’t even know you yet, haven’t met all your friends or family.” A guy isn’t going to marry just anyone. He’s going to want to make sure you also want to get married for the right reasons, and not just because he’s the next available catch.
8-He Wants To Spend A Holiday Alone With You
It’s actually pretty common to be proposed to on a big holiday. For the most part, proposals happen on New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, or sometimes even your birthday.
If there happens to be a big holiday where he has stated that he just wants it to be “the two of you,” there may be a reason for it.
“If you’ve been together for more than a year, he’s a traditionalist, and he’s told you he’s taking you somewhere extra special for the holidays, prepare for a proposal,” recommends Masini. “Whether it’s dinner at a luxurious restaurant or a weekend in Paris, many men use a romantic holiday to leverage that seasonal goodness and make it a night to remember.”
7-He Starts To Talk About Your Friend’s Engagement Ring
If a guy starts having an opinion on rings, he might be fishing for information. After all, it’s common for women to comment on other’s engagement rings. We have our own tastes and it’s a great way for your guy to get info without tipping you off. You may have even notice that in the past he didn’t care about such conversations, but lately he has had a keen ear when it comes to talking about your friend’s engagement ring. We definitely don’t make it easy on our guys, but if he asks, feel free to give your opinion freely. It might mean you wind up with the ring of your dreams.
6-He Mentions What A Great Mother You Would Make
You won’t get a bigger sign than this one: when your guy says you’re mothering material. If your guy says something along the lines of you would make a great mother, then he has seriously considered what it would be like to start a family with you.
He’s definitely considering you to be wife material.
It’s not just women who have biological clocks ticking, and there comes a time when guys start thinking about starting a family, too. Odds are, if he wants to plan a family, he’s going to want to get married first, and that’s where you come in.
5-He’s Spending More Time With Your Family
If he’s trying to bond with people in your family, that might be a sign that your boyfriend wants to move things to the next level. “He wants to go golfing with your dad or spend time bonding with your little brother,” says Kankariya. “He’s made the extra effort to be around your family on special occasions.” If he wants to marry you, then it’s only natural that he would want to get to know your family more. He may even want to ask for your father’s blessing or get your mom’s opinion on how to propose. He might even be inviting them to a surprise proposal.
4-His Friends Say He’s Different Around You
If his friends are mentioning to you that they have never seen him like this before that’s a huge sign. Things that his friends might be saying is, “I’ve never seen him this happy” or “He’s different with you than his other girlfriends.”
That’s a big deal when these comments are coming from his closest guy friends.
The fact that they are even noticing a change in his behavior says a lot in itself, but these pals also know your guy better than anyone else (except you). If he’s as happy as they think with you, he’s likely plotting to keep it that way forever.
3-Your Birthday Is Coming Up
Do you feel like something big is about to happen? Has he given you certain vibes that your birthday will be a big deal this time around? “If you’re coming up on your birthday or the anniversary of your first date, there’s a chance he’s going to propose,” says Masini. “Lots of guys like to propose for your birthday, or because it’s that landmark anniversary—one, two, or more years—as they feel it’s a good time to pop the question.” If you sense something odd near your birthday, he could be gearing up for a bigger celebration than ever before.
2-He Suddenly Disappears
For the year you have dating him, you have always known where he was at any given time.
He’s generally open with you about things, then all of a sudden, he is less open.
“He starts to tell you he’s going one place, then comes home hours later with no proof of where he’s been. He’s most likely been spending secret time shopping for a ring, talking to your parents, and asking them to have your hand before popping the question,” Ziegler says. Obviously, this is based on you having a great relationship where you aren’t worried about him cheating.
1-Your Family Is Overly Excited
Does your mom keep checking in on you about how your relationship is going with a wide grin on her face? Then something might be up. If your mom knows that you are about to be engaged, it might be hard for her to keep it in. Especially if you and your parents or siblings are close, this one is a dead giveaway. “Your family may be overly excited to hear from or check in with you. You get a lot of ‘so what’s new’ or ‘anything to report?’” says Milrad. “It is likely that they have been informed about the upcoming marriage proposal and their excitement is palpable.”