Engagement rings are a beautiful token of your other half’s love and dedication. He’s scrimped, saved and sacrificed for that finger bling and poured his heart into finding what he hopes is the ring of your dreams. So wouldn't it be just a little bit awkward if he got you one that you, er, didn't really like?
You’re the one who is going to be wearing it for forever and then a bit longer, so here are my top tips on how you can make sure that he doesn't go rogue with his rock choice.
1. Be honest with your assessments
It’s likely that if you’re at the life stage where questions are being popped, then some of your friends may well be posting up pictures of their left hands on instagram too. It’s a time-honoured tradition that when you are shown another ring you both ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh’ appreciatively, even if you think it’s hideous. In fact, especially if you think it’s hideous.
If you’re with your other half when you’re shown a ring, make sure that he knows your true feelings about it afterwards. If you’re too convincing with your declarations of love for something that actually makes you do a little bit of sick in your mouth, you may end up with a dead-ringer for it yourself. Or, if you’ve just been shown your dream ring, let him know what you love about it and you should receive something similar yourself.
2. Brief your bestie
If you think that your #wifey is going to be consulted on the ring, then make sure she knows exactly what you’re looking for. She can be your best ally in making sure that he stays on track. And, if she does her job properly, she won’t let on that she has been consulted either, keeping the surprise safe.
3. Make use of the Hinternet
There are degrees of subtlety with online hints, so have a think about what is most appropriate for your guy.
At one end of the scale would be browsing online and then forgetting to clear your web history so your research pops up the next time he logs in. But that might be just a bit too subtle for most guys.
Next up would be leaving your ‘dream wedding’ Pinterest board open so that he can find it when he is having a snoop (he will definitely have a snoop).
Getting much less subtle would be *accidentally* leaving a browser window open for him to find the ring that you’ve just been looking at. The 21st century equivalent of leaving a wedding mag open at the right page with an ad circled in red pen.
Probably the least subtle would be to just post the ring you want to Facebook and tag him in the picture. I’m not sure that would help you get engaged any quicker though.
When guys are trying to find out what ring, they’re looking for any hints they can get about what you want and definitely aren’t above a bit of online digging. One of more of these tactics will definitely ping on his radar.
4. Leave your rings out for size-spiration
If there’s one thing that guys have absolutely no idea about, other than your fascination with the Kardashians, it’s the circumference of your fingers. Or the diameter. Or the length. Or any finger measurement, really.
But it’s something that guys know they need to get roughly right when buying an engagement ring, and the prevailing advice that’s out there is to ‘borrow’ an existing ring of yours and get it sized at a jeweler. So make it easy for him. Leave some rings out and turn a blind eye if one goes missing for a day or two.
Yes, engagement rings can be re-sized, but ending up with a ring that is too small and needs to be jammed on at the critical moment, crushing your finger in the process, could ruin the specialness somewhat.
5. Choose the ring together after you’ve said yes
A win-win that I always recommend is for guys to buy just the stone and propose with that, so that the happy couple can choose the setting after she has said yes. This lets the guys keep the element of total surprise, but also ensures that the girl has a say in the most important bit – what the ring actually looks like.
If this sounds like something you think could work for you, then mention that this is how someone you know was proposed to and what a great idea you think it is. Heck, make someone up if you need to, but if you play your cards right then you can engineer yourself the perfect situation. He’ll be relieved at the release of pressure to find your dream ring but be pleased that he still gets to sweep you off your feet with a surprise proposal.
6. If all else fails.. Just ask to be involved
If you can’t handle the thought of not being involved in the search for your ring and you’ve seen in your tea leaves that one is coming up then just ask to be involved in the process and go looking together.
Have a look together online and make looking in bricks and mortar stores into a day out, so you can see what tickles your fancy and just how much you can squeeze into his budget.
But let him do the actual purchasing on his own. It’s a nerve-wracking experience taking the plunge on a ring and one that he needs a bit of time and space to do. Once you’ve given your input, try and forget about the ring because the next time you see it you’ll be answering the most important question of your life.
For guys, choosing an engagement ring isn’t easy. Jewelry purchase is an unfamiliar world for us and not one we’re really comfortable in, but we put ourselves out there and try our very best for you. A little helping hand is always appreciated though, so choose the level of subtlety you think is appropriate for your guy and then get dropping those hints!
Alastair is a Sydney-based Brit who's cracked the code to buying an engagement ring. His eBook How to Buy an Engagement Ring is helping chaps all around the world get the ring that his girl desires for a price the guy loves.