First, build into your life sound character, good habits, and a reputation for diligence, patience, and godly choices. Work on the relationships around you, such as parents, family, friends and co-workers until you are known to be respectful and trustworthy.
Next, figure out a way to spend a lot of time around a particular young lady in a subtle, casual way, say, by hiring her dad to work with you and politely accepting the offer of breakfast and dinner served at her family’s house each work day. You could also attend prayer meetings, New Year’s Eve parties, and even family birthdays with the ease of a friendly bachelor.
Continue on this track for a few months, and there will be no doubt the young lady will have a well-developed interest in you, though she may not show it. Hold out a bit longer, and the answer will be a resounding “yes!” when you speak to her father about dating her, for she will be half crazy by this time to know if you have any intentions and if you respect her as much as she does you.
Next, you should start spending focused time with said young lady, getting to know her, and sharing who you are on a deeper level. At no point in this season should you lose the position of just being yourself. Authenticity is immensely attractive in a dating relationship. It is good to spend time in prayer together and separately, to seek the input of friends and family who know you well and whom you respect, and to continually be sensitive to the feelings of the young lady as the relationship grows. It’s great if you can spend time in a variety of situations, to give each other the chance to observe how you respond to stress, inter-family relationships, inclement weather, and lack of sleep. Try a couple family vacations, a bus accident, a family funeral, volunteering at a summer camp for children with disabilities, and a few dinner-and-a-movie dates for variety.
Finally, when you are certain that this is the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with, go ahead and order the ring. She’ll be on the edge of her seat at this point, wondering when you will pop the question, but you want to surprise her, so here’s a great way to do it…Set out on a drive to nowhere particular, and spend a casual afternoon walking around a pretty lake town, and propose the local fish fry for dinner (again, casual is the key word here – she will have stopped suspecting by this point that today will be the day) Then, at the last minute, change course and head for the fanciest restaurant in town, order a table for two, and while she’s in the powder room, undo the ring from the leather cord you’ve worn around your neck all day, and have it ready in your hand under the table when she sits back down. Then simply hold it out and ask her to marry you. I guarantee she will be so speechless, she won’t remember she’s supposed to answer you as she slips the ring onto her finger and gives you a huge grin. But the first thing out of her mouth when she can speak again will be a breathless and sincere “YES!!!”
Three years ago this weekend, Jeremy asked me to be his wife. I thought this post would be a fun tribute to my awesome guy and the delightful way he won my heart. To read another, more detailed account of our courtship story, visit this page at YLCF.