If you find yourself reading this, chances are you are on the verge of embarking on a quest that intimidates many: the hunt for the perfect engagement ring. Not only will this adventure be an exercise in thinking like your partner and a foray in the fashions of women's jewelry, this will be a BIG decision. What particular ring will make her heart skip a beat? What particular ring is "the one" (just like you), that will be her best companion for better or for worse, in sickness and in health and as long as you both shall live? What will be the implications if you choose the "wrong" ring?!
Well, have no fear and please cease hyperventilating. There are better uses for that bag, mainly as a means to disguise your winning gem, because after reading this article you will know everything you need to skillfully select the ring of her dreams.
1.) Don't stress and obsess, but be thorough and thoughtful.
The old adage, "attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure" comes to mind here. Catastrophizing about the look of disgust that will wash over her face and the series of unfortunate events to come if you choose the wrong ring is simply not helpful (and in most instances, not realistic)! Sadly, many people adopt this mindset of defeat (manifesting either as procrastination, overwhelm or disinterest) before they even begin.
However, the chances are if you are in a position to make this decision, you know more about your partner than most. You are more than qualified to take this on successfully and it's good to remind yourself of that from the very beginning. Once a positive mindset is adopted, you establish the foundation for an adventure and fun learning experience rather than an ordeal laden in self-doubt and buyer's remorse.
Now you're cookin. However, be careful not to wane too far in the opposite direction. Being too nonchalant about a big decision is not the way to go either. This ring will after all, be a symbol of your undying love and adorn her finger for the rest of your respective lives. Be prepared to invest sufficient time in this quest and follow the remaining steps to ensure you make the best decision while having loads of fun in the process.
2.) Use a lifeline.
Ok so here you are: confident but not too cocky, not too anxious, not too nonchalant; ready to embark on the world of engagement rings like a champion. So, where do you go from here? While establishing a positive attitude is a necessary first step, that alone won't get the job done right.
Establishing direction is the necessary second step. Using a Lifeline (consulting a friend or family member of your partner) is a perfectly acceptable means of gathering insight about their ring predilections. If you've got it all figured out, you could just use said lifeline to call your Dad and tell him you've got this in the bag (a la Who Wants to be a Millionaire's John Carpenter), but if you're like most people, it will be helpful to take advantage of lifelines sooner rather than later to get you going in the right direction.
A few of these different directions could consist of metal preference (white gold, yellow gold, platinum or other options), stone (diamond, sapphire, other) and style (estate/vintage, modern, designer). There are certain people who have the details of their dream ring figured out down to a T, while there are others who are more open and receptive to many possibilities. Hopefully your lifelines will be able to disclose which camp your love falls into.
3.) Consult an expert.
To the surprise of many, jewelry stores are not intimidating. In fact, at Tick Tock Jewelers, our days are enlivened by wide-eyed grooms-to-be who are just beginning their search for the perfect ring. Contrary to popular belief, one needn't be well-versed in engagement rings prior to shopping and can actually glean a wealth of information on the first visit.
4.) Take a look at her favorite jewelry.
So: The woman you love. We're not saying you don't pay attention to small details-- you may very well be able to distinguish the tone of her sighs and her texts. You may be well acquainted with all of her different laughs and what they each mean. You may even finish each other's sentences (and sandwiches). However, only good can come from taking a peek at her jewelry collection, taking note especially of the pieces she wears frequently. This will provide a lot of useful information about the kind of metal she prefers or at least the color (white gold, yellow gold, rose gold) and her overall style preferences (flashy, simple, vintage, modern). If she only owns silver and white gold jewelry, the chances are high that she would prefer a white gold/platinum engagement ring. Likewise, if her jewelry is bold and dramatic, it could be reasonable to assume that she could fall in love with an engagement ring of a similar ilk.
5.) Listen to her.
Every woman is different. Some women have been fantasizing about their dream proposal scenario/ring and planning their wedding since their 10th birthday. These women may already have blueprints of their dream ring and dream dress. Other women may have never given any of this more than a fleeting thought. The majority of women may fall somewhere in-between and know at least what kinds of rings they do and don't like. If you listen to your partner and have the ability to pick up the subtle and not-so subtle hints, chances are you may already know more than you think. If your partner doesn't like surprises and prefers blueprints, she may have already bluntly let you know exactly what kind of ring she is hoping for, saving you ton of investigative work. However, a lot of women fall into the category of, "still wanting to be surprised yet, with exactly or near-exactly what they want". These women will be dropping subtle and overt hints that they hope will register with you. Notice the hints! Any "casual" mention of rings in any circumstance should be noted.
6.) Reflect. (Think about the woman you love).
If investigating and listening aren't giving you the kind of leads you were hoping for, take a step back and assume the classic position of The Thinker. Or just reflect casually about the woman you love. Think back to when you first met, your first dates up to your recent dates and why your paths crossed in the first place. Sometimes it can be easy to get wrapped up in the task at hand and lose yourself in a world of rings. Instead, sit back for a little while and lose yourself in thought about the woman who is going to be the world to you. This may provide great clarity.
7.) Go with your gut.
When all is said and done, only one ring can be chosen. Attempting to make this selection on your own to preserve that magical element of surprise was a bold move (nicely done)! Take a moment and compare yourself to other bold, successful people who have found themselves in the midst of a big decision. What do many resort to? Their gut. After you've done all the work and analysis you can do, it is easy to still find yourself torn between two or three options. The most indecisive of us may frequently feel lost in a limbo land between our heads and our hearts, but the ones who push through have learned to acknowledge that oft-suppressed voice of the gut. Don't just acknowledge it; respect it! Listen to it.
Thank it for still whispering to you despite the shouts form the logical mind, the impulsive heart and the fearful Id. Because no matter how complex a decision may seem, deep down we just know. You are at this point for a reason; likely because the love you have for your partner is beautiful and strong. At your core there is trust; in your gut your believe. Apply this shimmering faith to whatever ring you feel best represents your love, your partner and just go for it. Congratulations!