Cold feet? Second thoughts? Sudden urge to change your identity and flee to Mexico? No, I'm not talking about pre-wedding jitters. I'm talking about a condition affecting thousands of men who want to propose to their girlfriend but who are afraid of doing it wrong.
If recent trends are to be believed, a proposal isn't a proposal unless it has a theme, a cast of extras, several locations and a massive budget. But that’s not a proposal – that’s a Hollywood movie. And if grand gestures aren't your style, chances are it’ll turn out to be more Hammer horror than When Harry Met Sally.
But there’s no need to panic. Asking the woman you love to spend the rest of her life with you doesn't have to be a big production. If you’d rather keep it simple (without looking stupid), check out our countdown of the top 21 performance-anxiety-free proposals:
21) Take her away from it all
It may sound cliché but do not underestimate the power of the weekend away. A different location, away from all that domestic ordinariness, creates the perfect atmosphere for popping the question.
20) Get hot in the kitchen
Sure, you could throw money at a fancy restaurant. But nothing says “I love you” more than donning an apron and making a mess in the kitchen. Wine and candles are a must, as is doing the washing up yourself.
19) Make it a mystery
Buy as many identical gift boxes as you can in different sizes. Place the ring inside the smallest box then place each box inside the other, filling them with candied almonds, rose petals and confetti.
18) Drive her crazy
Hire a fancy chauffeur driven car and pick her up for a mystery tour. Have the chauffeur take you on a scenic route to your favourite restaurant and propose on the way. Add champagne and roses – or vodka and lilies – for effect.
17) Picture a happy ending
Buy a nice album and fill it with photos of your relationship – from the time you met until the present. Add ticket stubs, receipts and anything else that will remind her of the time you've spent together. Put a photo of the engagement ring on the last page...
16) Wake her with a smile
You’ll need to set your alarm for this one! Wake early to fix her breakfast in bed, complete with freshly squeezed juice, Belgian waffles, fresh strawberries and a diamond ring. Hide the ring under an egg cosy to keep it a surprise for longer.