They say love breaks all the rules—but since you’re probably feeling out of your depth as it is to just wing it, here are the answers to your FAQs (and some crib notes on how to hack it).
1. Do I have to ask her dad/mom/fairy godmother first?
It’s a sign of respect, sir. Even if you’ve been together for a while and both your families expect
you to tie the knot any moment now, the elders would still appreciate a heads-up. “I’m a daddy’s
girl and my dad told me after the proposal na mas naging panatag siya kay Pol because he made
an effort to let him know beforehand na magpo-propose na siya,” says Jen, 31.
Pro tip: Schedule an inuman with your best friend (and soon-to-be best man) after. You’re going to need it—lots of feels are sure to come after you shake hands with your soon-to-be in-laws.
Loophole: If you’re too much of a wuss, and if you and your girl have truly been in talks to get hitched, then maybe you could get away with a propose-first, break-the-news-together scenario, and face the ’rents as a united front.
2. Do I have to get a ring?
Hear that slow buzzing around your ears? That’s the collective voice of all of womankind saying
All ladies like pretty shiny things regardless of the occasion, and this is the mother of all moments when a pretty shiny thing is in order. An engagement ring is an investment, and not to get to touchy-feely about it, it’s definitely a sign of your commitment.
Pro tip: There’s no need to go full Dingdong and buy a boulder-sized rock. See FHM’s guide to picking a ring below. Also, this is one time a previously engaged bro will come in handy. You can trust that he will know how you feel (and where to go to score a sweet deal).
Loophole: If you’re a smart-ass who wants to pinch every penny, consider getting a pretty solid piece of rock to stand on as both engagement and wedding ring. Ask your jeweler for infinity bands—chicks dig those. Hope your new fiancée is stunned by its value and agrees to use one ring instead.
3. We haven’t really talked about taking it to the next level yet. Is it a good idea to propose?
In a word: No. If you haven’t talked about tying the knot, what else haven’t you talked about?
How can you be sure you know how she feels about a lot of stuff? Women are more complicated
nowadays—they’ve got careers, biological clocks, and bucket lists buzzing around inside their
pretty little heads.
“Getting married isn’t on top my priority list right now,” says Andrea, 29. “My boyfriend understands na dadating din kami dun, but for now, it’s enough to know we’re working toward our future life together.”
Throw feelers out. Everything is just a matter of right timing.
Pro tip: Gauge her reaction at opportune moments, like at her cousin’s wedding or best friend’s bridal shower. You’re sure to get an earful of how ready/not ready she is.
Loophole: If you already have a child/have one on the way, all the reason you should talk first. Don’t go jumping the gun so you can play bahay-bahayan. Her stand on the matter might surprise you.
4. Help! I don’t have a house yet/substantial life savings/a car/all of the above! Should I still propose?
That depends on how comfortable you are with that, buddy. But hear us out—if everyone waited
until they had a million bucks in the bank, no one would be walking down the aisle anytime soon.
You don’t need us to tell you how hard life is: having your own house, car, and huge bank account isn’t the rule in your twenties—it’s the exception. Consider, truly, where you are right now: Do you have at least a bit to live on tucked away? A steady job? Financially able parents should shit hit the fan? Life doesn’t end after you get engaged.
Pro tip: Ask your girl what kind of life she imagines herself living in the next five to 10 years. If it’s something you can provide, then what’s stopping you from whipping out that ring?
Loophole: If you’re an irresponsible moocher with a gambling problem, that isn’t the same as “not having substantial life savings.” Marriage should be the farthest thing from your mind.
THIS IS MOMENT
Ring in sweaty hand? Time to plan the next Buzzfeed-worthy proposal—or not
Ultimately, it depends on your girl. Is she the type who loves being the center of attention, with
secret dreams of being a viral video star? Then good luck with whatever park/plane ride/hot air
balloon/concert you have cooking up. But we have a pretty big question...
Are you making the proposal about you? (If you tick any of the options below, then you’re about to come off as a pretentious douche in the viral video of your life.)
-You want to be famous as the guy-who-proposed-with-that-crazy-scheme
-You want people (not just your fiancée) to think that you’re the most original guy in the world
-You are itching to have a flash mob, aerial drone, and hundreds of rose petals be your background as you drop to one knee
-It’s not just your girl you want to impress—it’s everyone
Here's how we see it: There’s a very fine line between giving your would-be-wife an
epic moment to remember forever because you love her, and giving her an epic moment just
because you can. It’s your girl’s moment to shine. Why overwhelm her with gimmicks, complete
with cameras in her face? Take her out to dinner, or wait until wherever your next seat sale
takes you. Pull a Jericho Rosales and score pogi points with God as you propose in front of
her church congregation. More points to ponder:
Determine her comfort level with crowds. Do you think she’d like to have her parents and BFFs waiting in the wings? Or is she a just-the-two-of-us kind of girl? We vote keeping it private so that the we’re getting-married sex isn’t awkward.
Watch your wallet. You just plunked down a bundle for the ring. You know weddings can run into the millions. You’re officially about to be the head of your own little family of two. And still you think a stadium lit up with candles and string quartet is a nonnegotiable expense?
Ask her friends. Girls yak about their dream proposals all the time. Get her girlfriends in on it (and try not to notice their green flushes of jealousy).
Note the nice touches. A nice card, maybe some flowers, you, freshly shaven. Just because we’re telling you now to go over the top doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make at least a tiny bit of effort.
Make it fun. If someone is pissed at your proposal—be it her best friend who you coerced to folding bits of paper into hearts for hours, or her parents for having to drive to Tagaytay, or the unknown motorists stuck in traffic because you shut down an entire street for the spectacle—then maybe, you’re pushing it a bit too far.
Catch her by surprise. That’s the only reaction you’re looking for—and you can do that simply by pulling out the velvet box. When you see your girl’s face, that marching band you hired isn’t even going to matter.
Think about what you’re going to say. The shit you spew will run on loop through your fiancée’s brain for the rest of time (primarily for sumbat purposes). Run through it a bit in your head, and pack a hanky. We’ll try not to laugh when you start bawling.
Congratulations, bro! Your part in this is officially over—and when your blushing bride starts boring you with wedding fairs and color schemes, hit us up for a beer (it’s the only way you’ll survive the wedding planning!).