Proposal Season Is Here—Here's How to Make Sure You Get the Ring You Really, Truly Want

Make your partner's search for the perfect ring that much easier by learning how to drop the right clues.
by The Knot

With proposal season upon us—you know, the months between November and February when a whopping 37 percent of engagements happen—we can't help but feel like love is in the air. 

Maybe it's just the holiday cheer, but the reality is, thousands of couples will be putting a ring on it soon. And if you're thinking your partner might be popping the question this season, read five ways to make sure you get the ring you really, truly want, below. 

  1. 1. Show your partner a picture.

    If you're feeling bold—and know exactly what you want, without a doubt—this might be the tactic for you.

    Find clever ways to show your partner a picture of your favorite setting, cut and style. A web page left open to your dream engagement ring should definitely get the point across. A subtler way: While perusing magazines, point out pictures of rings you like and casually mention what you like about them, or give the photos to a few friends and let them decide what to do with them.

    Pro tip: Don't show any pictures before your partner's prepared to buy a ring. If they're not ready to propose, showing a photo of the exact ring you want might make for a super-uncomfortable situation. The picture route works best if you've made it clear to one another that you plan to get engaged.

  2. 2. Shop together for the ring.

    This is obviously the most practical option, but only if you'd rather have a ring that suits your style than a big surprise. 

    One way to do it: While walking past a jewelry store, casually express interest in stopping in and taking a look. Depending on the store, the salesperson will likely ask if you'd like to try anything on. Another option is to decide on a time to formally shop for rings together.

    But remember, if your partner's a traditionalist, they might be opposed to shopping for the ring with you. If this is the case, consider going "window shopping" together, so there's no pressure to buy while you're out. That way, your partner can go back and buy the ring without you knowing.

  3. 3. Have a close friend or family member go with your partner.

    This might be the best option if you're a traditionalist, or you're too reserved to point out the ring yourself. If your best friend or close family member knows your style, and you completely trust their taste, then this is probably the route for you. 

    To be safe, let your close friend or family member know what you like and don't like beforehand. If there's one ring in particular you love, tell your friend. When it seems like your future spouse is fishing for ring hints, you'll be able to confidently send them to talk to your close confidante.

    Timing-wise, let your partner come to you for hints instead of speaking to a family member or friend, which could be intimidating.

  4. 4. Ask for a surprise.

    If you're a romantic (aka, you want the perfect Hollywood proposal), and your partner's up to the challenge, then this might be the route for you. 

    Simply mention your favorite settings, cut, color and style in passing to make it clear what you like. Then put the ball in your partner's court by saying you love their style and you're sure that whatever ring they choose will be gorgeous. And just in case, make it clear if there are ring styles that you would never wear.

    Pro tip: Patience is key here. Pulling off a surprise proposal takes planning, so don't prod too much.

  5. 5. Design it together.

    Maybe you're not into surprises, and although you don't know exactly what you want, you do know that you want something one-of-a-kind.

    This is important: Make it clear to your partner that you would like a custom-made ring before the proposal. Then come up with ring ideas together and make it a couple's project. Make sure your future spouse has a say too—ask what they think about certain elements and incorporate their suggestions into the overall design. Do research to find a designer you both like, and then commission the ring together. 

    Once the ring is ready, you can decide whether you want your partner to hold onto it for a formal proposal or if you'd like to start wearing it right away.

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