Photo: Unplash (Priscilla Du Preez)
It’s an exciting time in a relationship when it becomes more serious between you and your SO and your “what ifs?” start turning into “when?” When it becomes so easy to just picture an engagement ring on your finger, shouldn’t it be just as easy to talk about it?
Talking about engagement rings may seem like one of those taboo topics that if brought up at the wrong time – may scare your S.O. away. While you may not want to pull a move like the Bachelor and bring up engagement rings after three dates, it really doesn’t have to be scary to talk about options for getting engaged.
So, to help you become engagement ring discussion experts we decided to come up with seven tips that will help you know when to bring the conversation up and how to talk it out with your special someone. Say goodbye to engagement ring fears and start planning your happily ever after!
Just as if you were making chocolate chip cookies or planning a vacation to Greece - timing matters.
You don’t want burnt cookies, an overcrowded vacation and you definitely don’t want a poorly timed ring discussion.
My advice for perfect engagement ring discussion timing?
Follow their lead.
If your S.O. is comfortable talking about your future together and marriage, then they’ll likely be comfortable talking about engagement rings. Pick a time when you’re both relaxed, happy and distressed when you start to bring up ring shopping.
If either of you is feeling frustrated, upset, tired or hungry – it may not be the right time. Wait until you’re both in an emotional state where the discussion can be positive and productive and leave you both feeling excited about the future.
I consider myself a conversational turtle of sorts. Whenever I have to have a hard conversation or confront something, I will do anything I can to avoid the topic and usually just revert back into my shell to escape it.
Please don’t be like me.
Beating around the bush, dancing around the topic or hiding from it all together is not going to get you anywhere.
The key is to be direct in telling your S.O. how you feel and where you’re at. The more straightforward you can be, you’ll leave less room for confusion between you and your S.O. If your beau knows exactly where you are at, they’ll be more likely to open up about what they want too.
Go forward and march into that convo as confident as you can be! If you time it right, you have nothing to worry about. Trust that if you are honest and direct, the conversation will flow smoothly and will allow you two to start looking for your dream ring.
Oftentimes talking about rings put a lot of pressure on your beau to find your perfect ring, have enough money to afford it and plan an elaborate way to propose.
Avoid this if you can!
Approach your ring discussion as a team. Plan to go shopping together, talk about budgets and plan a timeline for getting engaged. Do your best to make your S.O. feel just as much a part of this as you are.
But what about those of you who want to be surprised? According to the bridal mastermind site The Knot, only one in three proposals are a surprise today. They attribute this to the fact that partners today are more commonly meticulously planning and discussing their future together long before an actual proposal happens.
This idea of planning together is the future y’all.
Teamwork does actually make the dream work! The less pressure you make your partner feel, the greater your engagement ring finding process will be.
Once your S.O. knows you are tackling ring shopping as a team, come prepared with examples of what you like. If you leave it completely up to your partner to decide what you like - you may be unhappy.
Starting the conversation about what you want with a question like: "I have some pictures of rings I like that I found on Pinterest, do you want to see them?”
If your beau is like most people, they'll be interested in seeing a few pictures. Pick some of your favorites and point out what you like most about each. If you know you want white gold or a solitaire diamond, let them know. The more confident you can be, the less stress your S.O is going to feel.
However, don’t feel like you have to know exactly what you want right away. Trends and styles of rings are always changing and your ring taste may change too!
Just make sure you get a general idea of what you like and start there.
Also - do your best not to overwhelm your S.O with a bunch of super specific ring details. It’s likely that when you first bring up rings - they don’t need to know what prong count you want or what exact carat of gold you want. Save those details for when you actually go shopping and you may save your S.O from a stress meltdown.
When bringing up something as exciting as ring shopping, it’s important to not get caught up in everything YOU want. Remember this is a two-sided discussion and so make sure you take the time to listen to your partner's opinion. While they may not be the one wearing the ring they are going to be involved in the process of shopping, buying and proposing so make sure you do your best to include them in every decision.
Only 8? Ladies! Let’s help our S.O. out a little bit by listening, talking budgets and allowing them to have an opinion.
For instance, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted for my engagement ring and when I wanted to be proposed too. However, when I started talking to my boyfriend, he had other ideas. Turns out my plans didn’t exactly fit within his budget, and neither of us knew the first thing about how to get the ring I wanted at a reasonable price.
But, after listening to him and taking in his concerns, we started looking around for the right ring for the right price and we were able to find an option that fit the budget and fit my dreams for my ring.
Moral of the story is: don’t assume your S.O. doesn’t have an opinion. My husband loves my ring just as much as I do and it’s way more special to me because we figured it out together.
Ring shopping can put some serious stress on a relationship if you’re not patient.
Remember, when starting to discuss engagement rings, don’t put a deadline on anything.
Work together to find out what’s best for you both of you, and don’t complain. Maybe your S.O. wants to move a lot slower than you while looking for rings and that’s okay. Just continue to be patient and communicate your needs to each other.
But what happens if you talk about ring shopping, but nothing ever gets planned?
Remember Tip 1 and look for the right time to bring it up again. Don’t pester or press your S.O. about it, just remind them with love and try to only bring it up when you’re both in a frame of mind to talk about it.
Remember: pressure is only good if you’re talking about Instant Pots.
It’s also important to realize that everyone’s engagement timeline is different. I’ve had friends who got engaged after only 2 months of dating and I’ve had friends who got engaged after 4 years of dating. Every relationship is different and it's so dangerous to compare.
So, as frustrating as it can be to be patient, just trust that you and your partner will figure it out in the time that’s best for your relationship. It’ll all be worth it when you finally have that ring on your finger you’ll be grateful you waited for YOUR perfect timing.
The last and probably most crucial tip is don’t forget to love your S.O.
Sounds stupid right? How could you possibly forget to love the person you want to marry?
It actually might be easier than you think. Did you know that almost 20 percent of engaged couples never make it to their wedding day?
That’s almost 1 in 5 weddings that NEVER happen.
While we know there are many different reasons why couples call their nuptials off - it’s no surprise that the stress of engagement rings and getting engaged can, unfortunately, cause a huge riff in some relationships.
How can you make sure you and your S.O. are not one of those statistics?
Remember the reason why you wanted to get engaged in the first place – and let that be the focus of everything. Keeping this perspective will allow you to approach everything with less stress and more excitement about just being together. Your S.O. will appreciate your confidence in your relationship and you’ll go into your marriage stronger than ever.
One way to make sure you don’t lose sight of what’s really important is to spend time together where you don’t talk about ring planning at all. Go on a fun date, binge watch your favorite Netflix shows or go on a hike nearby. Spending this kind of time together will strengthen your relationship and show your S.O. how much you love them.
Above all else remember that in times of stress and uncertainty when it comes to engagement ring discussions - the quote from Gail Lynn Goodwin “Love is always the answer” is actually the answer.
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We here at JUNE decided to scour the internet and ask experts all about what people are paying for engagement rings and what you can expect to get for the price you want. While there isn’t a perfect answer of how much you should spend while in college, we’ve got an idea of what people are spending and how you can nail down a budget that works for you