1 ‘What if she says no?’ No matter how strong your relationship is… No matter how many times you both discussed marriage… This panic-inducing moment of self-doubt will run through his mind at least once. It’s especially nerve-wracking if this proposal is in any way public. And if that’s the case, he better have a good escape plan just in case. Something better than going, ‘Haha, okay’ and running away as fast and as far as he can until he collapses from exhaustion.
2 ‘What if she says YES?’ If you don’t say ‘no’ then the odds are pretty strong you say ‘yes’ instead (although, there is the chance of the ambiguous but devastating ‘maybe’). This might seem obvious, but he also needs to come to terms with the idea that he’s agreeing to marry you. And duh, he wants to, but this is still a huge leap to take. He can’t propose and then change his mind and yell, ‘Just kidding!’ Well, he can, but ideally if he didn’t want to marry you he’d figure that out before buying a ring and proposing, is the point.
3 ‘I should rehearse what I’m going to say nine more times.’ If you’re at a fancy restaurant and a guy disappears into the bathroom for an extended period of time, there’s only a handful of things he could be doing. He’s either having the worst bowel movement of his life, he’s doing drugs, he’s left the place entirely, or he’s rehearsing how he’s going to propose to you. Obviously context is important here: if this is your first date, he’s probably not getting ready to propose. Hopefully.
4 ‘Wait, do I have the ring?’ Sure, he could just go with a slip of paper and an IOU in case he left it at home, but the ring is a pretty important component of this whole ‘proposal’ thing.
5 ‘Is this ring stupid?’ You picked a bad time to second-guess your choice of jewellery, my dude.
6 ‘Is this proposal stupid?’ Suddenly he’s second-guessing everything he’s planned for the past few months.
7 ‘I should pee.’ Debatably the most important thought he’ll have. The next few hours after a successful proposal are a whirlwind. You’ll both want to call your family. Take a dozen selfies and pick the best one to post on social media. There’s a lot going on. So it’s really bad form for him to say, ‘I gotta pee’ and run off right after proposing. Empty bladder, full heart. That’s the best way to go into a proposal.
8 ‘My life is about to change.’ It’s normal to get jitters right before a giant, life-changing event, no matter how sure of it he is.
9 ‘OUR lives are about to change.’ It’s an important distinction to make here, but it’s a moment that will hit him like a freight train carrying other, smaller freight trains. This isn’t just about him any more. This is about the both of you.
10 Let me just pat my pocket once more to make sure I really have the ring. Can’t be too careful.
11 ‘It’s game time.’ Hopefully, he says something less lame to psych himself up. But at a certain point, he just has to jump in and do this, nerves-be-damned. What’s the worst that could happen?
This article was originally published on Cosmopolitan.com.