ring in velvet ring box

Photo: Cadey Reisner Weddings

The holiday season is a common time to see signs of a proposal coming. Aside from the festive lights donning homes and trees, families are already coming together to celebrate—what’s one more thing tack onto the celebration? For these reasons and more, the high season for engagements tends to be November through February. In fact, statistics show that nearly 40 percent of engagements occur during this time period alone.

We can’t deny that there is something incredibly alluring about your special person getting down on one knee amidst the often snowy setting that accompanies this time of year. “The season is about family, community and anticipation of gifts and love,” says Lisa Bahar, marriage and family therapist. “It is also a time that people have perhaps more time to express their commitment versus the hustle and bustle during the other parts of the year.”

Are you questioning whether or not you’re seeing signs of a proposal coming this holiday season? See if any of these signs sound familiar.


Your partner asks you about your family traditions

We’re not talking about your partner questioning if your mom prefers apple pie over pumpkin—we’re talking about your partner inquiring about your family’s stance on getting permission before a proposal. “You may have discussed it before, but if now your partner is actively listening, wanting additional details (what family members, why it is important to you, how far ahead, etc.), he or she might showing some marriage proposal signs,” says Terri Orbuch Ph.D., relationship expert and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great. “This discussion happens in the fall or over the holidays, but whenever it occurs, be ready to give as many details as are important to you.”

Your partner asks what you think about certain rings

This might sound like a no-brainer and one of the clearest signs of a proposal coming, but if your partner is super stealth, he or she might slip the question into a conversation that seems unsuspecting. For example, upon you responding to the news that your friend got engaged, your partner might ask you what you think of her ring. “Again, this is a discussion you may have had previously (and in the past you may have given your partner hints along the way), but your partner is now bringing up the discussion to understand and process all the details and traditions that might be important to you,” Dr. Orbuch explains. “If your partner is asking questions —specific ones— this is a big sign that he or she is trying to get the proposal right.” If you're on board, give as much detail as you’d like to ensure he or she picks the right ring for you.

winter engagement photo

Photo: Kate Wenzel Photography

Your partner seems to be talking to friends and family more often than normal

If your partner’s family lives nearby, one of the biggest proposal signs is that he or she is going over to visit with them more often, or neglecting to invite you when he or she normally would. If your families live far away, you might notice your partner is talking to them more often. “Your partner may even give you a clue, like telling you they know something about your parents that you didn't tell them previously,” says Dr. Orbuch. “Your partner may even say something to you like, ‘I'm so excited to go visit your parents this holiday season,’ when you've never heard that before!” Keep an eye out for signs that he or she is communicating with your family more than usual.

Your partner is planning a big trip or weekend getaway for just the two of you

If your partner usually swoops you off your feet with an exciting excursion, it may be tough to know whether or a planned trip is one of the signs of a proposal coming. But experts agree that trips away together represent romance. “Trips related to love and settings can set the stage for a romantic experience,” says Bahar. If you notice your partner asking you which weekends you have free in the coming months, you may want to schedule an appointment to get a mani and pedi!

Your partner is acting strange, but not in a bad way

Especially if you’ve been with your guy or girl for a while, you know when something’s up. Could this be one of the signs of a proposal coming? Maybe he’s been pacing the apartment but won’t give you a reason for his increased anxiety—or maybe she’s been spending more trips than usual to the mall and doesn’t have as much free time as she usually does. Trust your instinct. “Women, especially, are intuitive—they can usually feel something is stirring,” says Bahar. “I would encourage the one who will not be taking on the task of proposing to give their partner the gift of letting him or her surprise them.” In other words, even if you think you know your partner’s going to pop the question, let him or her do it on their own timeline. If you do feel he or she is going to propose and have concerns or don’t want to commit, Bahar recommends seeing a therapist explore the best way to approach and how best to respond should you sense it.”