How to tell that a man is about to pop the big question.
1. He’s extra helpful. If your guy shows a sudden interest in doing dishes or picking out sheets at Bed, Bath & Beyond, he may be trying to prove he’s husband material. “Before he pops the question, he’ll subconsciously seek out ways to show off his domestic side,” says Tamsen Fadal, co-author of Why Hasn’t He Proposed? “He wants to make sure you see him as a partner who pulls his weight.”
2. He talks himself up. Even though you have a career of your own and can take care of yourself, most men still want to be on solid financial footing (good job, decent salary, clear credit) before getting engaged. “It’s instinctual for men to want to provide for their partner,” says Les Parrott, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Crazy Good Sex. “So they’ll frequently point out their ability to do so in the weeks leading up to an engagement.” That means he may brag a little about an accomplishment at work or casually hint that he’s receiving a larger than usual bonus.
3. He acts like you just started dating. Think back to the past few weeks. Has your guy been unusually attentive? Maybe he’s brought you just-because flowers or taken you out on elaborate dates. “He’s pulling out all the stops to make sure that when the time comes, you say yes,” explains Fadal. Yeah, it’s a tad sneaky, but he’s also making those gestures because he’s genuinely excited about the possibility of marrying you. “Planning a proposal reignites that new love buzz for a lot of men,” says Parrott.
4. He quizzes you. When it comes to the actual will-you-marry-me moment, most guys want it to be as personal and meaningful as possible. That may require digging up some little-known facts about you. If your boyfriend has been asking random questions about things like your favorite flower or a childhood memory, he may be gathering info that will help him plan the perfect proposal. “Not only does he want it to be special for you, but he knows all of your friends will ask, ‘how did he do it?’, and he wants you to have an amazing story to tell,” says Parrott.
5. He’s really concerned about the details. On the big day, you can bet your guy will be ridiculously nervous. “Even if he’s certain you’ll say yes, he’s still anxious about whether or not he’ll be able to pull off whatever it is that he has planned,” says Parrott. If he’s typically laid-back but freaks out about being on time to dinner, or he’s borderline aggressive when he insists you order the chocolate cake for dessert, it’s possible he’s got something up sparkly up his sleeve…or least in a little box in his pocket.