Five Subtle Ways To Let Him Know
It's Time to Get Engaged

You are ready to get engaged, and you know (errrr...think) he is too. But on top of being the kind of girl who has long dreamed of a surprise and unexpected proposal, you are just also not sure if he is aware that you are eager to start the next chapter with him. If you are not the type to bypass the surprise of a proposal by talking openly with your partner about an engagement, it can be tough to, well, drop the right hints.

Lucky for you, we came up with a few subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways to give your boyfriend that little nudge to propose without coming off as overbearing, pressuring or naggy. For all you know, your man may already have a proposal in the works, but if not, these hints will, at the very least, let him know you won't be embarrassing him with a turned-down proposal. Afterall, the fear of a rejection can keep some guys from asking the question.

1. Turn Other Engagements to Your Advantage

Sometimes, the old adage "when it rains, it pours" rings true as far as engagements go. This is especially true if you're in your late 20s or 30s and at a place in your life (and relationship, obviously) where you want to get engaged. It can seem like someone you know gets engaged every month, if not more often, while you're stuck waiting and dreaming for your very own moment in the spotlight.

Instead of succumbing to the jealousy, look for the silver lining in each engagement. Try to use this downpour to your advantage by letting your boyfriend know how exciting you think an engagement is, how happy you are for the couple or how you admire their expression of commitment to each other. If your boyfriend is not completely clueless, he will start to pick up on your energy.

Even better, you can use each engagement to point out aspects you liked (or didn't like) in order to better help shape his plan for you. In all honesty, you can do the same with friends' weddings too. What "Save the Dates" you liked. Invitations. Bachelorette parties. Etc. But we digress . . .

2. Mask it with Celebrity Commentary

Most of us like to keep up with the latest celebrity engagements, marriages and pregnancies. No doubt some news of such an event will come up when you're around your boyfriend. Use the situation to your advantage: Talk about what you do and don't like about a new engagement ring, what you want yours to be like, and even venture into the topic of what your wedding would be like.

Just be careful that you don't go into information overload. If you have a boyfriend who is a little uneasy (or unsure) about the next steps, too much information can be more overwhelming than it is helpful. However, the fact that you're putting thought into the details of your (hopefully) upcoming engagement and marriage should be enough to give him the nudge he needs.

3. Use the Grapevine

Ask a friend to mention your eagerness to get engaged to your boyfriend. It's a classic, if somewhat heavy handed, technique. If you've tried dropping your own hints and you still don't think he gets it, a mutual friend or one of your close friends could grab coffee with him and just straight up tell him you've been thinking about and talking about getting engaged. They could suggest that maybe it's almost time for him to propose. This method certainly isn't sly, but sometimes it's necessary. Once he's gotten the hint, use Hint & Whisper's Hintlist to set him on the course for the perfect engagement ring.

By subtly nudging your boyfriend in the right direction and then using Hint & Whisper to tell him exactly what you want, you can maintain the surprise and exhilaration of an engagement proposal and make sure everything is perfect, from the timing to the ring.

4. Have an Honest Conversation

We know what you're thinking. "But if I have a conversation with him, it will ruin the surprise!" Be honest. If you're having to drop all of these hints, is it really going to be a total surprise anyways? Probably not. The real surprise is sure to be how he proposes, exactly what the ring looks like, how he asks your father for permission, etc. Besides, there's no tricks or sneakiness involved in this approach, and it is a very mature way to handle a very adult decision: spending forever together.

Use this time to discuss where the relationship is going and what each of your goals are for the future. So long as the future is on the same page, you can rest easy without feeling the need to drop hints, hammer out a specific proposal date, or serve up terrible ultimatums (if you're doing that, there's probably a better blog somewhere on the interwebs you need to be reading titled something along the lines of "Here's Why You're Not Engaged").

5. Plan a Romantic Getaway

If you've been dropping hints and think your man may be ready to propose, plan a romantic getaway for just the two of you. By doing so, you'll be setting the perfect scene for a proposal. Whether it's the beach, mountains or wine country, if he's in a good personal place and ready for forever with you, he likely won't want to pass up the opportunity for a serene and unforgettable proposal. There's not many places that can top a mountain (see what we did there?) or emulate forever like the seemingly endless ocean.

The above hint-dropping methods are just a few among many. Just remember, you want to help nudge a man who is ready for forever, not pressure or overwhelm (and scare) a man who is not. Shy away from sharing daily pictures of wedding dresses, favorite flowers, or honeymoon locations. Most guys don't prefer to be bombarded with that type of not-so-subtle nudge.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the best (most subtle) ways to drop hints that'll get him to get down on one knee!

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