So you’re thinking of popping the question? Congratulations! You’re about to enter a really exciting chapter of your life. It’s so easy to get swept up in the romance of proposing, however it can definitely help to take a step back and reflect before taking the leap (or knee).

Regardless of whether you’re high school sweethearts, a couple who has met later in life, or a young relationship that’s burning with passion, it’s worth taking a moment to decide if you’re actually ready to get married. It probably helps to know where your partner is at too.

So, with this in mind, here are 5 things you should do before you propose (you can thank us later):

1. Get on the same Page

Discussing marriage with your significant other is so important for the health of your relationship long term. Whilst a surprise proposal is definitely romantic, it’s pretty safe to assume there’s only one answer you’d like to hear when you pop the question. Check in with your partner and see what their thoughts are on marriage – they might surprise you!

2. Speak to the Family

Contact your partner’s parents, or closest family members, and let them know your plans. Hopefully they’re just as excited as you! The days of needing to ask permission have been and gone, but simply letting them know is a nice gesture and shows a great deal of respect.

3. Get the Ring

Provided the talk has gone well, and you’ve got the green light, the next step is buying a ring. When it comes to Valentina engagement rings, there are simply so many to choose from. Don’t be afraid to call in help from friends and family – just make sure they can keep things quiet. The myth of the ring needing to cost a certain price has been thoroughly debunked, so just focus on getting a ring that you think your partner will love.

4. Plan Plan Plan

Now comes the fun part – planning the proposal! The focus should be making it personal, rather than perfect, and keep your partner in mind. For example, if they’re a bit shy maybe don’t propose at a sporting event. Enlist trusted friends or family to help as well.

5. Get your story Straight

Your partner knows you pretty well, so they will probably notice if you’re acting differently. Create some form of alibi or cover so you can plan everything you need to. We normally wouldn’t recommend being dishonest with your partner, however this one case where you can make a reasonable exception. This is particularly important if you’re planning a big proposal somewhere fancy or at a destination. They’ll catch on pretty quick if a big holiday or romantic evening suddenly appears in their schedule.

Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to pop the question to your partner. Good luck!