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How to Propose: Tips for the Guys

You can do it in the Louvre. You can do it in a car. But if you really want to please her, you'd better do it soon.

As wedding season gets into high gear, single women across the country are battling bridal envy, making summer the ideal time to remind her that she isn’t always going to be a bridesmaid.

Read On for 5 Proposal Ideas

But don’t let the “when” and “where” get in the way of the “what.” Chances are your lady wants the rock a lot more than she wants a synchronized swimming troupe to spell out “Will You Marry Me?” with their bodies.

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“Most of the extravagant proposals are to satisfy the man and not the woman, because the woman would much rather have the ring on her finger than it sitting in his pocket for two months while he figures out a place to propose,” said Laurie Puhn, lawyer and relationship expert and author of "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life.

David Kaiser, a 26-year-old from Faifield, Conn., realized that time was of the essence. He recently asked for his fiancee Maria’s hand in marriage after a chance encounter at a jewelry store.

“I went to pick something else up for Maria and decided to ask the saleswoman about their diamonds. I looked at a couple of diamonds and I saw one that clicked. I called her dad and proposed to her in the dining room two hours later," he said.

While women still tend to wait for the guy to pop the question, in most cases it is the gal who initiates the topic by saying things like, “How do you feel about marriage?” — an informal proposal in and of itself.

The only thing for the man to do is get down on one knee and officiate the commitment with a pricey symbol of his love.

“In today’s society, women are part of the decision at least 50 percent of the time … the act of getting on one knee with a ring is a ritualistic tradition that announces the formal agreement to the public," Puhn said.

Since most women make their eagerness to get hitched known, proposing should be a simple, anxiety-free experience.

"The man thinks he is being judged by the size of his proposal, not just the size of the ring. But a woman actually cares more about using the moment to say how you feel about her, and it doesn’t matter if you are on vacation or in your apartment,” Puhn added.

According to a poll in the April/May 2005 edition of Women’s Health magazine, two out of five women would be delighted to give their hand over a lobster dinner, while the March 2006 issue of In Touch magazine reports that 35 percent of all women are just seeking a bended knee, both a far cry from Tom Cruise's Eiffel Tower/press conference proposal to Katie Holmes.

Click here for the Tom Cruise Celebrity Center.

Click here for the Katie Holmes Celebrity Center.

"[A TomKat-like proposal] is just using the moment to gain attention, and if that’s what you need, you probably won’t have a happy life together,” said Puhn. “Something that extravagant is for theatrics and anything theatrical is fake. If you are going all out just to impress others, you need to check yourself and ask, ‘Am I doing this for the right reasons?'’’

Still, many feel the pressure to pull out all the stops, which prolongs the process of engagement, as the planning of a romantic scenario can be quite daunting.

To expedite the process, as well as take the burden off of yourself, you might want to go with some of the following proposal options, which are geared toward every personality.

For the Woman Who Loves a Little Competition

After a nice dinner at home, pour a couple glasses of wine and invite her to play you in a friendly game of Scrabble. After the tiles run out, rearrange the letters on the board to spell out “Will You Marry Me?"

Tip: Make sure you let her win. If you are dealing with a super-competitive person, she might demand an immediate re-match, leaving you with little time to make her swoon.

For the Woman Who Loves a Good Workout

Plan a Sunday outing to your local rock climbing wall. While your lady is changing, place a jewelry box on the ledge at the top of the wall. When she gets to the box, hold up a sign down below reading those famous words.

Tip: Make sure your lady isn’t klutzy. The last thing you need is your new fiancee plummeting to the ground with excitement, especially since it’s hard to show off a diamond ring when you have a cast on your left hand.

For the Hopeless Romantic

Try spelling it out in rose petals, if you can handle the cheese factor. Or do it in one of her favorite locations, like the beach, the library, the museum...you name it.

For the Drama Queen

Face it, some people like being the center of attention, and if that’s your gal — and you don’t seem to mind — plan a surprise party and invite all her friends and family. Everyone will be more than happy to pitch in, so appoint a decorating committee to lavish the place with white balloons and paper wedding bells. Immediately when she opens the door, get on one knee and do your thing.

Tip: Have someone on camcorder duty, as this kind of girl will want a documented copy of the proposal to watch on a regular basis for the rest of your lives.

For the Movie Buff

Invite your girlfriend to go with you to this week’s “must-see” movie. Little does she know that you have already worked out a pre-coming attraction “Will You Marry Me” clip on the jumbo screen. This also works at her favorite sporting event.

Tip: Buy popcorn beforehand and insist on pre-show bathroom use. The last thing you want is her ordering half the concession stand while the jumbotron reads, “Linda, will you be my wife?"

If none of these options seem suitable, remember that almost every proposal is romantic.

“Don’t look for perfection. The perfection is in the asking itself, and not in the where you are or what you are doing. There is romance in simplicity,” said Puhn.

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