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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  March 9, 2004
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Proposing on Valentine's?
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Well why not!  It is the most romantic holiday of the year, but we understand that the task can be more than daunting.  After all, your loved one is going to share the story of "how you proposed" to the whole universe. So here are a few pointers to help you pop the question with all the precision of cupid's arrow.

1. Just because Hallmark celebrates Valentines, doesn't mean s/he was intending to! Please let your girlfriend (or boyfriend) know that you'd like to take them out to dinner on February 14th. Nothing is worse than planning an elaborate marriage proposal, only to find out days before that your fianc�e-to-be is going to be out of town on V-day.

2. Know you face the risk of decline.  Valentine's Day comes around every year and we don't want February 14th to be a painful reminder of your past rejection. So if you choose to propose on V-day, and it turns out you really were clueless about your relationship's future, please be prepared to deal with next year's anniversary of unrequited love.  Better still, know thy love and you won't be disappointed.

3.  Ok enough negatives.  This is about the undying spirit of love!  Valentine's Day celebrates the unique bond that couples share, so we recommend that your proposal should be just that -- unique to both of you.  Look back at your relationship and identify some key moments in your shared past - the place you first met, danced, kissed, eat together.  Recreate some of those precious scenes from the past and top off the evening with your proposal to continue making history with her.

4. Plan a special trip for Valentines. We don't recommend popping the question on a plane -- with messenger pigeons hard to find, it may be frustrating to be unable to share the good news with your family and friends. So wait till you get to your final destination.  Alternatively, you can also plan to drive to a nearby getaway for Valentine's, but then surprise your sweetie before you head out with your proposal and 2 tickets to Paris instead. The city of love promises to make her heart skip a beat (not that you haven't had that effect on her already mon amore).

5. 14 ways to say I love you. Write out 13 Valentine�s Day cards each with a message beginning with the words "I love the way you..." and describe a specific thing you absolutely adore about your beloved. Number the cards and lay them down in a path for a fantastic trail of love. Have the fourteenth Valentine card surrounded by a circle of red candles with your ultimate proposal and ring hidden within.

6. I say Public. You say Private. Just because you don't have stage fright and revel in crowds, doesn't mean your loved one enjoys the same exposure.  For the best proposal this Valentines Day, think about what your partner would love and plan something accordingly. This could be as intimate as breakfast in bed with your ring being the special of the day or as public as an announcement on the score screen at a stadium event. 

7. Lucy in the sky with diamonds.  For those of you who want to shout out your love to the world, hire a skywriter.  A great pilot will take your plans of marriage to another plane.

8. Keep it simple.  A proposal doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive to be beautiful. (The ring already took care of that!).  Just getting down on one knee and asking your love to marry you is still steeped in traditional romance.  The aura of Valentine's Day will make it all the more special.

9. Let it snow. If you're going skiing with a group of friends this Valentine's Day, get them to help you write the name of your sweetie and the question "Will You Marry Me?" in the snow. Then cuddle up in a ski lift and hold on to her so she doesn't fall off as you approach your proposal below. And please, don't drop the ring in the snow!

10. Haven of love.  Transform your home into a potpourri that breathes sensuality, desire, romance, and eternity.  Stimulate all her senses with an indulgence of red rose petals, maroon candles, soft jazz, fondue, aroma oils, fluffy cushions and the frost of a ring.

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