Congratulations! You’re on your way to being one of the happiest people on earth!
Studies show that married couples are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who remain single.
Now that you have found “the one,” it’s time to find the perfect engagement ring to show your true love (and everyone else!) that you are in it for the long haul.
My boyfriend (who is now my husband) had the pleasure of me bugging him to propose for an entire year.
Needless to say, I was rather impatient.
But, fortunately, he was wise enough to wait beyond our first date at a sushi restaurant to get down on one knee (although I certainly wouldn’t have minded if he did; I fell for him immediately–and hard).
What he understood–and I didn’t care to think about–was the real financial implication of buying me an engagement ring.
Let’s face it.
Although that ring will be admired and treasured by your family for generations to come, it is one of the most financially significant yet least functional purchases many of us will ever make.
As eager as I was to get a commitment from my man and show off a sparkly rock to prove it, I am so glad now that he took the time to plan and save money before really jumping into the ring-buying process.
Looking back, I see that it was a great exercise in patience for both of us.
That time in our lives was filled with hope and excitement that we had found each other and fallen in love.
But going through that period of careful consideration about purchasing an engagement ring (and getting engaged, in general) helped us both develop a little more as adults and acquire the greater patience and self-discipline we would need to get over those first few hard times as newlyweds.
See? That pretty piece of jewelry you eagerly wait for and eventually buy is so much more than a decoration on your finger!
It’s part of you maturing together as a couple.
So, that year went by, as they always do, and off we went on a Saturday morning to find the perfect engagement ring.
I was excited that he had invited me along to have this experience together as a day-long date.
Although we didn’t finalize a choice or set anything in stone that day (pun intended), we spent quality time together and got to learn more about each other’s tastes and preferences.
For example, he knew I liked pearls and had bought me some beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and earrings on various occasions while we were dating.
We both agreed that we didn’t love the look of any pearl rings that we saw in the jewelry stores we visited.
That really surprised me.
I actually wasn’t wild about diamonds leading up to that day.
However, it surprised me to see how much I enjoyed the look of a diamond ring once I tried a few on my hand.
Even blue sapphires, which I had never considered before, stood out to me that day as looking so elegant as accent stones.
I came away feeling I could put up with wearing sapphires every day forever, too!
Not only did we learn together what I wanted in an engagement ring.
I also got to see the huge variety of rings available for men to wear as wedding bands.
My imagination had not traveled far beyond a simple, yellow gold band for him, but it turned out that he wanted–get this–more of a Super Bowl ring!
He ended up with an 8-millimeter-wide, white gold behemoth topped with four diamonds of its own, but that’s a story for another day.
One last surprising aspect of our ring shopping excursion was the huge difference in feeling from seller to seller.
One merchant was so intent on speaking to my boyfriend alone that she actually sent me outside so that she could give him advice without me hearing it.
It made us both uncomfortable, but we went along with it to be polite and then got out of there pretty quickly.
Another stood out as being so enthusiastic to show us any engagement ring we wanted to see.
She answered all of our questions and taught us a lot about the technical details (like those famous 4 C’s) without making us feel pressured to buy anything right then or acting disappointed when we didn’t immediately finalize a choice.
This allowed us to enjoy the time together, understanding that the symbol of our commitment was not a purchase we would be making on impulse.
There are other times when an impulse buy won’t cause too much harm, but shopping for engagement rings is definitely not the time to be hasty!
It was a long day of trying on rings and gathering information, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Who knew that there were so many different ways to cut a diamond?
Should we really worry about colors and inclusions?
It made for some great conversation at lunch and dinner that day, for sure.
Taking that day to shop for engagement rings was tiring but so beneficial to both of us.
We got out there and did it together, and, a short time after, he purchased a ring, on his own and made a choice based on a lot of good information.
He actually ended up buying the engagement ring online as he is a big online shopper.
He looked at a few different sites but ended up buying the engagement ring from luxsly.com
He thought about what I liked, what we had seen and been drawn to together in person, and–perhaps the most important factor–the simple fact that he knew me so well after a year of paying close attention and being my sweetheart.
It still amazes me how he was able to pick an engagement ring that is so “me.”
I had seen so many rings that I really liked when we went out shopping that day. But the fact that he made the final choice on his own made it even more special to me.
I knew that this once-in-a-lifetime gift came straight from his heart without any pressure or nagging from me.
Especially after all I had put him through just constantly insisting that we needed to get engaged!
The day he proposed was a complete surprise.
We were planning to fly out for his family reunion the following morning. To be honest, I was not looking forward to the trip.
It was nice that I had been invited to come. But I hated the feeling of just being the girlfriend he was bringing along.
I had desperately hoped he would be able to introduce me as his fiancé.
I was disappointed, but in all the last-minute preparations for our trip, I just forgot about the whole idea.
He was about to get me good, though.
Under the ruse that he needed me to help him finish packing, he asked me to come to his house.
I should have suspected something when he was dressed up so nicely and led me out to have a chat in the garden.
You would think I’d realize what was happening when he began a sweet, sincere speech that brought tears to my eyes, saying how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
Somehow, I didn’t see where he was going with it all until he actually got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.
He pulled out a ring.
A simple, white gold band with a prong setting holding a beautiful 3 carat heart-shaped diamond.
It was perfect, and I was finally his fiancé.
That is, as soon as I said, “yes,” of course.
There were definite takeaways from our ring shopping experience.
Both in what we would have done differently if we had the chance to do it over again, as well as overall wisdom for couples preparing to settle down together.
First, I would suggest setting a simple, overall goal for each stage of the process.
Are you just seeing what is out there?
Do you need to find out what the future bride will like best?
Are you looking to learn more about various gems and settings?
Do you just want to see what you could get with your current budget?
Make sure that both of you are on the same page before walking into a store.
Communicate your goal clearly to the seller to avoid awkwardness or discomfort.
Second, keep an open mind.
Remember that the jewelry business is a vast industry of its own, and there is so much to learn from those who work in it.
Even if you’re determined to use a family heirloom to pass along. Or if you already know exactly which type and cut of stone you want. Try some different possibilities that you hadn’t considered before, even if it’s just to play around a bit.
Let a jeweler advise you and make suggestions, and you can always go back to your original plan.
Third, respect one another as partners throughout the process.
The way in which you approach this important purchase should bring out the best in both of you. The expirence will lay an excellent foundation for how you will approach financial decisions together in the future.
Consider one another’s feelings at every step and communicate clearly if there is something you love. Whether it be a stone, a setting, or the look in your loved one’s eyes.
Lastly, have fun together.
Choosing a ring should be an enjoyable experience, and no aspect of it should come between you.
Hold hands as you walk.
Smile at one another.
Have a meal together after you’ve gone shopping.
You’ll appreciate the chance to sit down and talk, and it’s completely okay if the conversation is about something other than all the bling you’ve been exploring.
In the end, one ring will become “the” ring.
It will stand as a mark of all that has been in your life as a couple and all that you look forward to in the future.
If the giver has the final say, as mine did, express true joy and gratitude and give credit.
Even if you just treasure it in your own heart, that the one you love did his best to express his love for you in this special way.
The giver, of course, should be equally expressive of gratitude to the one he loves for all that she is and ever will be.
If you make the final decision on an engagement ring together, make sure that each of you absolutely loves at least one feature of the piece. Whether it be the setting, the cut of the stone, the size, or whatever!
It is a sign of your devotion to one another when you can tell your friends and family something that your fiancé adores about you, your ring, or anything else!
An engagement ring is the symbol of a beautiful transition in a couple’s life.
Not only do they promise to be together forever.
They also pledge to grow stronger in love, selflessness, and tender care for one another. Learning side by side to put one another’s interests, and the union they’ve made, above their interests as individuals.
Daunting? Yes. Serious? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Learning selfless love and devotion to one another is a huge part of what makes those married people the happiest on the planet. Love elevates us to a higher quality of life than we could ever achieve on our own.
If the promise and commitment are a little overwhelming, though, the ring is the fun part!
There’s a sobering side to that, too, of course.
Because an engagement ring shows the world that you are making a commitment.
Whereas the growing trend these days is to eschew the tradition of settling down in favor of remaining unattached. (Don’t believe that lie, by the way. Remember Desperado? His “prison is walking through this world all alone.”)
Again, have fun together during the time that an engagement ring is in question.
You might not remember every detail about this exciting stage of your relationship, but you’re bound to hold on to at least a few special moments.
Make each on the best that it can be, for both of you. Best wishes!