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A common question that guys struggle with is whetherthey should involve their girlfriend in the process of choosing the ring. The thought of blowing her mind with a surprise proposal featuring the perfect sparkler is enticing, but this carries with it the very real risk that you
could choose a ring that she doesn't like.
There's no right or wrong answer to this question and there are three ways to tackle it:
1. Going all out secret squirrel
2. Discussing options with her before shopping yourself
3. Taking her with you and shopping together According to another survey by theknot.com, the split between the options is very even:
NOT INVOLVED - 35%
The ring was a total surprise
SOMEWHAT INVOLVED - 31%
Purchased or shopped together
INVOLVED - 34%
Discussed what she wanted
Before you decide which is the right route for you though, take a minute to think about if the roles were reversed and you were letting your better half make a significant decision for you. Whether it's choosing your car or picking your tantasy football team, would you trust her to make the exact right choice with no supervision?
I will talk you through some of the pros and cons of each of the options and help you decide which to go for.
Going it alone
- Keeps the proposal a surprise
- Extra brownie points if you get it right
- More romantic
- You could balls it up and buy a ring she hates
Should consider if:
- You're extremely confident about your lady's taste.
Would you buy a pair of shoes for her without checking whether she'll like them? If not, it's maybe not the best idea to risk so much on something she will wear for the rest of her life.
If this is the route that you're taking, I'll look at how you can go it alone and find a ring that your girl will love, without her knowing anything about it in the next few posts.
She's somewhat involved (you discuss what she wants)
- Gives you an idea of the style of ring she likes
- A less stressful process for you
- Allows you to keep the final price a secret
- Lose some of the surprise of the proposal
- She may have expensive tastes and high expectations and ask for more than you can afford.
Should consider if:
You are unsure what she would like but have discussed marriage so she at least knows it's coming. It allows you to retain some of the surprise - she won't know when you've bought it, what it looks like or when you'll pop the question.
She's completely involved (you go shopping together)
- You are sure to choose a ring she likes
- She will feel empowered
- It takes the surprise out of it
- She'll know how much you're spending
- The shop assistant is likely to show her nicer, more expensive rings, straining your budget
- Haggling with her in the shop may make you look cheap
Should consider if:
Not just for those guys whose girlfriends wear the pants in their relationship, if your other half has very specific taste or if you just have no idea at all what she'd like, then taking her along to choose a ring will ensure that you get a ring that she loves.
The choice is yours
The decision on which route to take is up to you. Most of us aren't brilliant at being romantic, but buying a ring and surprisingg your girlfriend is a once in a lifetime opportunity to show how thoughtful you can be. I was confident I could pick a ring that Faith would love. l'd bought her enough jewellery in the past to know what she liked and after eight years together, she'd even started wearing some of it.
However, the jeweller I spoke to said she'd had more men coming in with their girlfriends to look at rings together, although guys usually made the actual purchase on their own. The decision really is yours - and one you'll have to make depending on the dynamics of your own relationship.
The Get Out Clause
There is, however, one way that you can get your girlfriend involved in the purchase and knock her socks off with a surprise proposal. By buying just a stone on its own, you can drop to onen knee with a box and something shiny, but still get your lady-friend involved in the part of the ring choice process that is most important to her: selecting the setting. And, to make sure that none of the magic is lost in the proposal, some jewellers will mount the stone in a temporary mock-setting, so you can still slip it onto her finger when she says yes.
For me, this is the best of both worlds: you can research and buy the stone that fits within your budget and plan a surprise proposal, while she will be able to choose the ring that she has always imagined receiving.