Getting married might be a high-stakes decision, but that's not to say it isn't super exciting. If you think you and your partner are ready to take that step, but they haven't popped the question just yet, waiting for the big moment can be nerve-wracking. Will they do it at a romantic dinner? On vacation? The possibilities are endless, and if your curiosity can't be tamed, you might want to keep an eye out for small gestures that could mean your partner is proposing soon. (It's OK if you're not completely surprised. I won't tell!)
There's actually a pretty good chance that you'll know when your partner is about to propose, just based on how well you know them. "It's true that if you are really attuned to your partner's style of communicating, then you can trust that your love instincts are picking up those tells that your partner wants to propose," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, relationship expert, previously told Elite Daily. If you're super close, live together, or just have a gut feeling that something's about to happen, then your intuition might be right on the money.
However, if you want some more concrete evidence that you should be prepared for a proposal, then there are some small, but meaningful, gestures you might notice from your partner that could mean they're gearing up to pop the question. Here's what experts say to look out for.
1. They bring up engagement rings or ask about your ring size.
This is definitely pretty obvious, but if your significant other has been talking about, looking at, or thinking about engagement rings more often lately, they probably have a proposal on the brain. "Your partner might comment on a friend's wedding ring, and ask your opinion as to whether you thought it was too gaudy or just right," Wish said.
2. They act nervous or jumpy.
Proposing to someone is a big deal, so it's only natural for your partner to be a little nervous in the days and weeks leading up to it. For example, if your partner continuously checks their watch, taps their foot, or just acts jittery in general, they might be about to do something major. "These symptoms can occur to a greater or lesser degree for one reason only — your partner wants this moment to be perfect," NYC relationship expert Susan Winter previously told Elite Daily. "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."
3. They start to emphasize the importance of family.
If your partner wants to spend the rest of their life with you, they might suggest hanging out with their family more often. "Your partner could also talk about your meeting his or her parents," Wish said. "If you've already met them, your partner might suggest doing more things with them, such as going on a vacation or celebrating the holidays with them."
If your partner is close to their family, chances are they'll be suggesting all sorts of hangouts before they get down on one knee.
4. They start to feel you out.
When your partner is ready to propose, they'll probably start to talk about your future together even more than they (hopefully) already have. "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," Winter explained. "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.'" If your partner wants to talk about how things will be in 10, 20, or more years, they could also be planning a proposal.
5. They always want to talk about weddings.
When someone is about to propose, they (obvi) have marriage — and weddings — on the brain. Don't be shocked if your partner keeps wanting to talk about a recent wedding they attended, or how fun a certain wedding was and what they want theirs to look like. "Your partner might also talk favorably about his or her married friends and how wonderful their wedding was," Wish said. "Regardless of the exact words, the 'wedding' word might come up more often in conversations."
While it's fun to be prepared (especially if you want the perfect ring selfie and therefore the perfect manicure), it's also fun to be surprised and be in the moment when the proposal happens. Sure, scope out and see if your partner has made any of these small gestures recently, but don't think too much about it. Enjoy this time, because it doesn't last forever.