winter engagement photo NYC
Felix Javier Photography

Whether you and bae are high school sweethearts who have been together for a decade, or you met more recently through an online dating site, there's no set timeline for how long a relationship should last before it's time to get engaged. But once the time comes for someone to pop the question — however long that is for your relationship — there are a few signs that will clearly let you know that your partner is about to propose. If you're anxiously waiting for a proposal or simply want to know what to expect down the road, take note of things like changes in your partner's behavior, impromptu hangout requests from your BFF, or a sudden case of zipped lips amongst your family.    

Wondering if your engagement is just around the corner? Here are seven hints that your partner is about to propose.

Missing Jewelry Mishap

Don’t be surprised if you notice a random ring has gone missing from your stash of jewelry. Your significant other needs to know your ring size, so it's less likely that you've misplaced the ring and more likely that your partner has sneakily "borrowed" it because they're about to propose. Our advice: keep mum about the missing ring and pretend like nothing happened so you don't foil your S.O.'s plan — although feel free to share the excitement (quietly) with your closest friends!  

The Tight-Lipped Syndrome

Your partner could be keeping more quiet than usual because of the anxiety that goes along with researching and picking out the perfect engagement ring (from your “hidden” Pinterest board, perhaps?). But when it comes to talking about forever, an open line of communication is always better than not talking at all. Don't freak out or get offended if your S.O. is suddenly tight-lipped — casually ask them if there's anything they need to talk about (something other than the impending proposal could be on their mind), but don't try to force an answer out of them. If you suspect that they might be about to propose, nagging will only intensify those butterflies that they're likely experiencing. 

Out-of-Character Activity Ideas

Let's say that a typical date night for the two of you consists of getting carry-out dinner, watching a movie on the couch snuggled up with a blanket, going to bed early, and waking up late. But if your significant other wants to go a theme park, concert, museum, or suggests another unusual date night idea out of the blue, something might be up! 

cute candid engagement photo
Jillian Knight Lifestyle & Wedding Photography

Saving Money Means A Lot

Remember when we said out-of-character activities could be a sign that your partner is about to propose? Well, what happens if your going-out-to-dinner date nights stop occurring on a regular basis? It doesn’t necessarily mean things are going to end. The average engagement ring costs about $5,000, so in reality, skipping dinner dates could be a sign that your S.O. is saving up for that hefty payment. 

Family Stops Asking, “When Will It Happen?”

If your relatives have constantly been spamming you with questions about when you're getting engaged and then suddenly drop their act, they might be trying to keep their mouths shut so as to not ruin the surprise. Either your S.O. is planning a proposal with your family, or they know all the details about when it's finally going to happen. But fair warning: once you're engaged and married, the baby questions are likely to start rolling in (sigh).   

Best Friends Schedule Mani-Pedi Dates

Maybe your best friends know something you don’t, and they want your hands to be ready for that sparkly new piece of bling! With elaborate proposals and professional proposal pics on the rise, your squad is looking out for you by ensuring that you feel your best when the big moment arrives. Other scenarios include planning a get-together with your entire group of friends, spending the day at a picture-perfect location (like a vineyard), or going shopping for new outfits. At the very least, these are great excuses to spend extra quality time with your favorite people, but they're also signs that your friends know your partner is about to propose.

Vacations & Last-Minute Getaways

Treating yourselves to a rejuvenating stay at a five-star resort, taking an annual trip to your favorite vacation spot, and spending the weekend at a cozy B&B are all fabulous ways to reconnect with your S.O. every now and again. They're also prime opportunities for a proposal! If you have a special getaway coming up or your partner suddenly says, "Hey, let's skip town for a weekend!," it could be a sign that they're about to propose. Just don't focus too much on whether or not the proposal will happen — you should enjoy your time together no matter what.