10 Things You Should Never Say When Proposing to Your Girlfriend

Trying to decide what to say when proposing to your girlfriend can be very difficult. How do you summarize what you feel for her and why you want to spend the rest of your life with her? What are the perfect words to make her swoon over your marriage proposal? More importantly, what should you NOT say during your proposal?

what to say when proposing to your girlfriend

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When writing your marriage proposal speech, there are certain things that you should not say. These words and phrases may cause her to question your motives, provide her with an unhappy memory, or make her down right angry!

Below is a list in order from “she may get a little upset” to “she will be boiling mad” of 10 things you should never say when proposing to your girlfriend:

10. “My mom (insert anything here, anything at all).”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: For whatever reason, girlfriends and wives often have mixed emotions about their mother-in-laws. Something about the competition to be the most important woman in your life gets their blood pumping. Unless you’re absolutely sure that your girlfriend has nothing but love for your mom, it’s probably best to leave mommy out of your proposal speech.

What She Will Think: “Again with his mother? Am I ever going to be put first in his life?”

9. “I never wanted to get married.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Don’t remind her that at one point in your life you never wanted to get married. If you say this, it will make her question whether you have really changed your beliefs or not. Even if your beliefs have changed, some things are better left unsaid.

What She Will Think: “If he never wanted to get married before, will he still want to be married in five years?”

8. “I’m willing to overlook your (insert meaningless flaw here).”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Don’t mention a meaningless flaw or bad habit during your proposal. This is the time to build her up, not tear her down. You may hate that she snores or is a bad driver, but overlook it while you ask her to spend her life with you.

What She Will Think: “I don’t know if I can handle a lifetime of insults from him.”

7. “If (insert action here) happens, then we can get married.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Your proposal should not be contingent on some future event or outcome. Want to wait until you graduate college? Want her to find a job first? If you’re not willing to accept her now and forever as your wife, then don’t propose yet. Filling her heart with false hopes is worse than not proposing at all.

What She Will Think: “All he ever makes is promises, promises.”

6. “I’m willing to give marriage a try. What do ya say?”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: This isn’t a decision to ride a roller coaster. Marriage is a lifelong commitment to one another, including the tough parts. If you haven’t seriously considered this proposal, take some more time to decide if you’re ready for marriage.

What She Will Think: “Is he serious, or is this proposal a joke?”

5. “I spent $(insert dollar amount here) on the ring.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Yes, you probably spent a big wad of cash on the ring, but don’t bring it up or tell her how much you spent. If you do, you will look petty. Not only that, she will either be upset that you didn’t spend enough and therefore under-value her (this is an irrational thought anyways), or she will feel that you spent too much, making her feel uncomfortable and forgetting about what the proposal is really about. Save the finance talk for later, just enjoy the moment, regardless of what it cost you.

What She Will Think: “He really only loves me enough to spend $250?”

4. “You’ve finally beat me into submission.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Seriously, marriage is not something you should feel forced into. It’s also not something to joke about just because you feel awkward expressing true emotions of love. Take the opportunity of your proposal speech to once and for all shed the “I’m too manly to show I care” crap, and be real.

What She Will Think: “He doesn’t really want to marry me. He just doesn’t want to lose me.”

3. “I’m sorry for (insert bad thing you did here). Will you forgive me and marry me?”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: A marriage proposal is not an apology. Right your wrong well before proposing. Like months before. You don’t want the memory of standing her up while you stayed out late drinking with the boys fresh in her mind during your marriage proposal. Apologize and move forward well before proposing.

What She Will Think: “That’s right, I’m still mad at him.”

2. “I’m willing to settle for you.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: If you consider yourself settling for her, then don’t get married. You should be proposing because you cannot envision your life without this woman, not because you think you can’t do any better. She deserves someone who will cherish her forever, even if that person is not you.

What She Will Think: “This jerk thinks he is settling for me? I’m out of his league!”

1. “My past marriages may not have worked out, but ours will be different.”

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Sure, you may have been married before, but don’t go reminding her of that! The last thing a woman wants to think of when being proposed to is that you have done this all before. Forget the past, and focus on the future.

What She Will Think: “He’s already done this before for some other girl. If I marry him, will we end up divorced too?”

What do you think should never be said during a marriage proposal? Let us know in the comments.


Read the Guys Guide to Proposing Marriage eBook for more information about writing a marriage proposal speech.


Shawn Waite

Shawn Waite is husband to a wonderful woman and father to identical twin daughters. He is the author of the Guys Guide to Proposing Marriage, which helps you plan the marriage proposal of her dreams. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @GG2Proposing.

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