When you’re eyeballing your relationship status and feeling extra eager to take things to the next level, the idea of engagement may be permanently sticking in your brain, so much so that you get the urge to pop the question to your partner.

Historically, men have been the ones to get down on one knee with a shiny diamond and a sappy speech, asking their partner if they want to spend forever with them. While that trend is still soaring, more and more women are taking their engagement into their own hands.

Read on to hear the stories of six women who decided to propose to their partner, and what drove them to pop the question.

I Was Getting Antsy

“I had been dating my boyfriend (at the time) for almost eight years. We never talked about getting married but we started dating at age 18 and life was so messy then, between college, graduating, figuring out a postgrad life, etc. When things felt settled and we both had decent jobs and our own place to live, I started hinting at the idea of marriage. He always would smile and laugh but he never like made a move or said he was planning on proposing. On our eight-year anniversary, I got down on one knee, with a ring I bought for $200 for him and said, ‘Let’s get married.’ I think he was half shocked and half pissed at himself for not doing this first. But he said yes and I forgave him for being dumb and not thinking of proposing first. We’re getting married in April of 2020.” —Claire R., 27

I Did It First as a Joke

“We were drunk and on a cruise with a bunch of our friends. We’d been dating for what felt like forever (four years), and one night on the cruise I got down on a knee and said, ‘Marry me?’ All of our friends went crazy. Everyone thought it was a joke. It was but it also was not. Two weeks post-cruise, he got on one knee and asked me for real.” —Jackie W., 32

Women Should Take the Lead

“I’m so against male-oriented traditions. Like why should the guy be the one to decide when it’s the right time to get engaged? No thanks. I asked my husband to marry me. He was not shocked. He said yes and our wedding lacked most traditions. I didn’t walk down an aisle, I didn’t wear a white dress, I didn’t toss flowers to single friends—I did things my way and it was the best night of our lives.” —Chantel E., 32

There’s No Rule Book

“I’m a lesbian and when it came time to figure out who proposes to whom, we didn’t feel there was any rule book. We talked about marriage for years and without her knowing, I proposed first. She said yes and then proposed to me a week later so that I could have the experience too!” —Jenna B., 41

It Was More of an Ultimatum

“I seriously didn’t admit this to many people, but I proposed to my boyfriend because it was either marriage or we break up. I didn’t do anything romantic but I did say to him over dinner that either he marries me or he leaves. It sounds like a terrible thing to do but I’m not into wasting time. I wanted to get our show on the road after two years of dating. Oh, and he did say yes!” —Elise P., 28

See more: Attitudes Toward Women Proposing Are Shifting—So It’s Time We Start Asking

Life’s Too Short to Wait for Someone to Ask You Anything

“Never wait around for someone else to make decisions for you and your life. Life’s too short. After dating my partner for a year, I asked her to marry me. I was terrified and I always imagined she’d do the asking, but I felt like it was time and I wanted to take a chance and just do it. It worked. She said yes, even though she was shocked that I took the lead and popped the question!” —Tami P., 33


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