over time. For the modern woman, this commitment no longer represents ownership or duty towards a man. If we now view marriage, and proposals, as an act of love, commitment, and respect, then women should feel just as empowered as men to get down on one knee. 

If you want to propose to a male partner but feel limited by societal pressures, we’re here to inspire and encourage you. Women proposing to men is becoming more common, and for good reason! It’s the 21st century — why shouldn’t we propose if we feel it’s the right time? Why should that choice be left to men only? Here’s everything you need to know about how to propose to a man.

The Changing Face of Proposals

A Brief History of Marriage Proposals

The concept of marriage goes back centuries, with the first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies being found in 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia. It would be thousands of years before the sacramental nature of marriage was written into law at the Council of Trent in 1563. Of course, today marriages can be entirely secular. 

Traditionally, marriage was associated with a degree of ownership that a man would have over his wife. Thankfully, this is mostly a thing of the past in many cultures. It’s still not particularly common to see a woman proposing to a man, but it’s not as rare as you might think. Women in Ireland have been proposing on leap day for many years! 

Why More Women Are Taking the Lead

The good news is, you have no obligation to wait for a particular day. Women are equals and deserve to feel comfortable proposing to the men they love. Women can propose too, and they should if they feel inspired to. Though only 5% of women in straight marriages are the ones to propose, this number is much higher than it used to be. 

How to Propose to a Man

Planning Your Proposal

When planning a memorable proposal, take the time to reflect on what your partner would prefer. Should it be a grand gesture or something more intimate? Should you propose in public or in private? You’ll also need to purchase rings and select the perfect time and date to pop the question. 

Proposal Ideas for the Modern Woman

Your proposal should be unique and personalized to your relationship. If you and your partner are outdoorsy, you could propose while on a hike. If you have a favorite restaurant, you could propose there and even arrange for live music. Love going to sports games? Consider proposing there and making it a grand gesture!

Navigating Reactions and Emotions 

Handling Mixed Reactions

There’s always a chance that someone in your circle, whether a friend or family member, reacts negatively to your proposal. If you get mixed reactions from loved ones or society in general, it’s important to keep perspective. 

If you and your partner are happy with the proposal moment, their opinions ultimately don’t matter. It’s key to remain secure in your decision, knowing that you did what felt right and potentially inspired other women to do the same. 

Embracing Your Decision

Finding the courage to propose to the man you love takes strength. Remember that it was your strength and immense love for this person that led you to this decision. Besides, one survey of 500 men found that 70% would be thrilled if a woman proposed to them. All to say, the stigma around women proposing has lessened considerably over the years. 

Stories of Women Who Proposed

Inspirational Real-Life Proposals 

The idea of proposing to the man you love may be anxiety-inducing, but you’re not alone. Countless women have taken that big step, popped the question, and got their fairy tale ending. Here are two real-life stories from A Practical Wedding and Global News that may help you make your decision. 

Feel Empowered to Plan Your Proposal

In a healthy and happy marriage, you need respect, love, trust, and equality. One way to lay the foundation for this is to propose to your male partner, regardless of what anyone may think. No one’s opinion matters except yours and your partner. If you would like help planning your dream proposal, our expert proposal planners are there to support you.