female hand with engagement ring Equallywed’s editor in chief shares her expertise on all the tricky questions that come up when you’re tying the knot.

Dear Kirsten,
We’re two women in love, and we want to get married. We each want to surprise the other with a ring and ask the question. If this were a straight relationship, I guess the guy would propose to the girl. Neither of us is a guy, so how do we do this? Whoever goes first gets to be the one who does the surprise, and then what’s the point of the second person doing anything? Is there a solution we’re not thinking of? Has anyone else come up with a workable idea? How have other same-sex couples become engaged, if both wanted to do the asking? —Confused On One Knee

Dear Confused,
Let’s think of this as surprising each other with an invitation to go on a date. Both invitations are equally special, though who does it first might be considered the braver or more prepared of the two—as well as the one whose story is told first when people ask to hear your engagement story.

Many Equally Wed readers have talked to us about this very issue, and the solutions are as varied as the couples themselves. But it usually boils down to most couples choosing to select their engagement rings together, and then knowing proposals are imminent. Some, like one of our Real Weddings couples Jesse and Fernan, have been so in sync they actually proposed to each other on the same night—unplanned!

You could also plan a proposal evening together if neither of you likes the idea of getting to be the one to surprise the other. It would be like a wedding ceremony where you write your own vows, so what’s being said by each of you is a surprise, but you both know that in the end, you’ll be asking her to spend the rest of her life with you and vice versa.

The purpose of the second person in the relationship proposing is usually if the original proposer wants to also be swept off her feet with a proposal or has the need to wear an engagement ring. It’s not necessary, and not all lesbian couples do it. But if you both want it, that’s all that matters.

(Readers, have you been in this situation? What did you do, or what would your advice be for this reader? Leave your suggestions in the comments.)