One of the most common questions I get from readers is how to get a boyfriend to the altar. For guys, getting engaged is a lot like buying a new car: It's a pretty scary decision to ponder, it's utterly terrifying when you actually get up the nerve to make the offer, and absolutely fabulous when you finally get to take her home.
Well girls, if a guy in a plaid polyester suit and a bad rug can get your man to sign on the dotted line, so can you. All you need to know are a few tricks of the trade.
He has to be in the market.
If you're not in the market for a new car, it doesn't matter if they use live gorillas or a big pile of cash - nothing is going to get you into the showroom if you don't want to be there. The same is true for marriage. You can hint, beg and plead all you want, but if he's not interested in what you're selling, there's nothing you can do to make him buy. We hear ads for car dealerships hundreds of times a day, 365 days a year, but we tune them out until we're actually ready to consider buying. The lesson here: When he's in the market, he'll let you know.
Make sure he can pass the credit check.
A lot of times we're so worried about whether or not he wants to marry us, we don't take the time to make sure we want to marry him. I'm not talking about money here - I'm talking about the important things, like honesty, kids, education and family. Are his scores up to your standards? You don't want to lose out on more qualified buyers because you're spending all your energy trying to make a deal with somebody who doesn't make the grade.
Don't try to sell him a minivan if what he really wants is a flashy sports model.
The fact is, a guy already knows what he wants by the time he walks into the dealership. The same is true in relationships. If your guy doesn't want kids, spends all his time alone on a sailboat, and loves his African art collection, don't try to talk him into a suburban daddy lifestyle. You may pressure him into the deal, but it won't be long before he's miserable and suffering from buyers' remorse. It won't be long before he'll start figuring out a way to trade you in for the model he really wanted.
He needs to know the model he wants (you) won't be on the showroom floor forever.
One of the greatest fears in buying a new car is that if we leave the showroom, the car we really want will be snatched up by somebody else unless we make an offer right away. The same is true for men: If he thinks you'll be waiting around forever while he makes a decision, he'll have no incentive to act now. On the other hand, if he knows you may not be available if he takes too much time deciding, he'll be more inclined to lock in the deal and get the one he wants today.
He has to know there are others buyers in the market.
Nothing is more appealing than a car that everybody wants and nobody can get. So what happens when there are a lot of buyers in the market, and not enough cars to go around? The waiting list. At all times you're not in an exclusive relationship, try dating at least three men at a time. Men are intensely competitive, and their attraction to you will increase tenfold if they sense another buyer in the showroom. Plus, you'll have a backup or two if a promising deal falls through. In the meantime, all your potential buyers will be trying to figure out how he can wiggle his way to the top of your list.
Give him a test drive.
Every day of your dating relationship is like a test drive for marriage, and from day one, he's evaluating how you perform. Is your relationship a smooth ride? Does it work with his lifestyle? Or does it break down every few weeks? Either way, he's relying on the test drive when it comes to making the big decision to buy. Your guy has to feel like you're the model he can live with. (At least until the loan is paid off.)
Ring the bell when the deal is made.
The final car sales tactic is ringing the bell when the deal is made. Once he's made the deal, the car salesman rings a big bell, and everybody in the showroom stops what they're doing to congratulate the new buyer. Even though the deal hasn't been signed yet, it's a way to make him feel good about his decision, and keep him from backing out once he sees what the sunroof is going to cost. The same is true for proposals. Make sure you announce to the crowd, friends and family the fabulous, romantic way in which your guy has just proposed. Everybody will congratulate him like crazy, he'll feel a happy rush of emotion, and you will seal the deal.
Lisa Daily, Dream Girl and author of Stop Getting Dumped! All you need to know to make men fall madly in love with you and marry 'The One' in 3 years or less. As seen in/on Cosmopolitan, The Other Half and Howard Stern.
"This chick really knows what she's talking about!" --Howard Stern.