I live for a good surprise. There's nothing quite like the rush of being caught off guard by something unexpected and amazing. It's why I don't watch movie trailers, get super upset when someone drops a spoiler on Twitter, and never, ever shake my presents. I just don't want to risk ruining the experience. The same goes for even bigger surprises, like the signs they're about to propose. I personally don’t want to see it coming. For one thing, I'd probably go into a full-blown existential panic (because I have issues for days), but mostly because that's a watershed surprise that actually means a lot to me, so I wouldn't want it spoiled.
However, not everyone is as spoiler-phobic as I am. In fact, you may even prefer to know it's coming. Whether that's because you don't dig surprises or you just want to have some clue that the relationship is headed in the right direction, you'd just prefer to know. So, for those who do want to see it coming, the good news is, there are subtle signs that you can pick up on, if you know what you're looking for.
1. They Start Getting Mushier Than Usual
If your partner is planning to propose, chances are, they have spent a lot of time thinking about it and coming to the decision that now is the time. According to NYC relationship expert Susan Winter, you might notice your partner seeming more connected, sweeter, and more loving leading up to the big question, because they are in a romantic headspace. "You may or may not have seen this side of your partner before. It could be cute, or come off as a little corny," she says. "But something’s shifted and you feel it. You’re aware that your partner is far more sensitive toward you and your relationship."
2. They Seem Oddly Fidgety
Another sign something romantic is afoot is if your partner gives off an uncharacteristically nervous energy — they are just fidgety and nervous and there is no clear reason why. "These symptoms can occur to a greater or lesser degree for one reason only — your partner wants this moment to be perfect," says Winter. "They’ve got a lot on the line. They know that this will be a moment forever etched in your mind and theirs, so the pressure is on." Well, when you put it like that, no wonder they can’t sit still.
3. They Are Preoccupied For No Reason
We all get distracted from time to time, but usually, if asked, you can point to a reason. However, according to Winter, if your partner is becoming more and more preoccupied, but they can't explain why, it could likely be they are up to something... something good. "You can sense something’s different about them. And though you can’t quite put your finger on it, soon it will all be evident," she says.
4. They Start Casually Asking Questions About The Future
Not every conversation about the future with your partner is a sign they are on the verge of dropping down on one knee. It’s normal to have more general conversations about where you see the relationship going that are more like relationship check-ins to make sure you're still headed in the same direction. However, if you start to feel like your partner is bringing up the topic of your future together more frequently, that should grab your attention.
"Most individuals need to get a feel for your response before they ask you directly. It would take enormous courage to ask for your hand in marriage without testing the waters first," says Winter. "Look for little throwaway comments, such as, 'I bet we’ll still holding hands when we’re a couple of old folks,' or 'We’d make awesome parents,’” These are signs that your partner is gauging your potential response to a proposal.
5. They Develop An Interest In Learning All You Favorite Places
Has your partner suddenly taken a new interest in learning your favorite restaurant, city, or vacation spot? Winter says that it could very well be that they are doing some pre-proposal recon. "Though the question may seem off-the-cuff, it’s an attempt to secure the proper logistics to make it a special moment when they pop the question,” she says. According to Winter, they likely know this is a story that you will be telling your friends and family for years to come, so they are putting in the work to make sure it's a great and meaningful one.
What's tricky about a lot of these signs is that they could easily slip under your radar and be written off as normal relationship things. However, if you start recognizing a few of these signs all around the same time, you might want to start casually dropping hints about your favorite diamond cut and ring size. It's the least you can do to help 'em out.
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