Valentine's Day may seem like a load of pseudo-romantic nonsense to you but as it looms maybe you should wise up many women start thinking this would be the ideal time for their other halves to propose. Our relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr reveals seven signs that your girlfriend is after a proposal from you.
Let's face it, if she's in love she'll find it hard not to fantasise about the most romantic way you could possibly propose: how you'd do it, where you'd do it and what you'd say. And that's just for starters.
Even a woman who wouldn't normally be caught up in Valentine's stuff might let her imagination run wild when she's serious about you. Here are seven of the signs that tell you she's thinking 'engagement'.
Sure sign No 1
Suddenly she seems to be mentioning 'Wills and Kate' a lot are these old friends you wonder. Then the penny drops and you realise she's talking about Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming marriage. Yes, of course this was a hot topic on every woman's lips when they first got engaged but suddenly it rears its head again... and again.
Sure sign No 2
Quite out of the blue she asks if you think you two have got a 'special' relationship. She seems very genuine and as if she wants an honest answer. She doesn't seem to have a hidden agenda. But take my word for it no woman would raise such a question just before Valentine's unless she wants your relationship to go to the next level.
Sure sign No 3
Any wedding scene on a TV programme or in a film that you're watching together gets dissected into a hundred pieces. She'll comment on what the actress playing the bride was wearing, the wedding venue, the flowers and bridesmaids as well as details of the plotline in the scene. You'll definitely get the sense that she's dragging out the conversation about that one particular scene amongst thousands of others in the film or programme.
Sure sign No 4
Suddenly she's talking about someone she knows who is getting divorced and you reassure yourself that you've been imagining things and that she really doesn't want to get engaged. "Aha," you think, "she's seen the light and knows that engagement leads to the risky business of marriage."
But no, if you listen to what she's really saying about that divorcing couple it's that she'd never intend for things to go wrong with her marriage, etc. Cue thoughts of you two her subtext is about your relationship being different from their disaster.
Sure sign No 5
Heaven help you if one of her friends gets engaged at this time. She'll act like she's all excited for her friend and share every last detail with you about what her friend and her fiancß are planning. Normally these conversations would be reserved for girlfriends. But when she wants you to get weddings on your mind her friend's engagement gives her a perfect opportunity to raise the topic with you.
Sure sign No 6
There you are innocently walking to a restaurant or pub together and her pace slows as you near a jewellery store. You can feel her body halting, and as she pauses in front of the jeweller's window she tries hard not to make it too obvious that she's looking at the rings. If you're not planning on a proposal then move on quickly because any hesitation on your part will be read as a positive sign by her.
Sure sign No 7
Her hinting has mounted to an actual 'ask' she asks if you've got any 'special plans' for how you two will spend Valentine's Day. She wants to well and truly plant the idea of how very romantic this day should be in your mind. Your girlfriend's on a mission and it might be a future with you.
Over the next few weeks watch for these signs. If she ticks a number of these off with her behaviour it may be time to have that 'big' chat about where things are going between you. Not only is it good for your relationship to be able to discuss the big things but there's no point in having this sort of pressure if it's not going to happen.
MSN's relationship and behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr is perfectly placed to give you the inside information on how the female mind works. In each column, she'll reveal the thoughts that race through a woman's mind at a common crucial moment in any relationship.