(Closed) Getting a ring vs. Proposal

posted 7 years ago in Rings
Post # 17
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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@missamysmiles:  Thanks 🙂 I think I mixed up what you were trying to say (I think a lot of posters did, lol), and now I understand what you’re saying about people viewing their ring as a material object ONLY, with nothing to do with their fiance. Like someone else said, the Ring boards are for appreciating the beauty of your ring as an object, and the rest of the website is for stories about your lovely SO!

Post # 18
384 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

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@DarlingClementine:  “If I’m getting on board with an anti-feminist symbol, I’m damn well choosing it haha”
I love that soooo much.  Sometimes it bothers me that I want that visible symbol of betrothal, and this calms my brain.  love!

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@missamysmiles:   I am designing my own ring, semi-with my SO.  We are using stones from both of our families (uber-romance on that), but the stones are unusual sizes and I am crazy picky when it comes to bigger/fancier jewelry.  So, I am designing it, and he sees the udates regularly.  WHen it is complete, it will be mailed in his name, and he gets to propose when/how he wants.  SO has been much more concerned that we would have a lack of romance with simply deciding to get married and get a ring, so he really wants to plan our something elaborate/ridiculous.  For myself, the proposal doesn’t have to be anything special, as him formally/vocally announcing that he wants to be with me forever will be beyond special.  

If left to him (and no family stones), he would have gotten me my least favorite cut of stone (marquis, his favorite), or spent far too much money to get the cut I originally wanted (Asscher, and I can’t deal with spending that much money).  

Post # 21
8434 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I guess my issue that I’m raising more than anything is when becomes very much about what is yours and your decision and the SO is seemingly completely out of the picture

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@missamysmiles:  I personally haven’t seen a lot of this on the boards from women making all the decisions (I’m not a ring person so maybe that’s why).  However, it seems like this is how the more “traditional” proposal is with the man making all the decisions and the woman being completely “out of the picture,” so to speak.  Not sure why one way would be weird and not the other.  I personally think as long as the relationship works, there is no “right” or “wrong” way for a proposal/ring.  My husband and I were pretty middle of the road, both of us had input.

Post # 22
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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@steph_lady:  Haha thanks. Actually, that’s why I’m getting my Fiance an engagement present too! I found a place that does fingerprint impressions into silver, so I’m getting a little pebble pendant for him. Quite romantic as we met on a pebble beach. But I’m choosing it for him and I like that fact. What can I say- I’m conflicted! Or…. a control freak. Haha

Post # 23
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My Fiance and I picked out my ring together because he asked for my help. I will be wearing it for the rest of my life, so he wanted to find something we both liked.

As far as the proposal aspect, it didn’t happen. Fiance and I had been talking about getting married for a few months before we went to look at rings, it was a mutual decision to get married. I didn’t want or need a big romantic proposal, and didn’t want to put the pressure on my Fiance to do that. We are both very happy with the way things happened.

I also don’t think it’s a very new phenomenon. My Mom and Dad got engaged basically the same way. They talked about marriage and decided that they wanted to get married, and then they went and bought the ring. No big romantic proposal.

Post # 24
3723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@missamysmiles:  It’s good that you’ll be grateful with whatever your Fiance decides to get you. I am sure it will be a beautiful ring. I however, while happy and delighted my FH proposed, if it was not my style, I would have let him know and we’d find a ring that suited my tastes better. I am deserve to be as thrilled as FH, for sure!

I think you don’t see all of these oh-gee-I’m-so-happy-I-even-got-someone-to-propose-to-me stories because every Bee on here is unique with different backgrounds, desires, personalities, etc. You may experience a certain type of person in your circle but here on the Bee, we have a little bit of everything.


Post # 25
13649 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I get that some couples ring shop together or that the ring and the proposal aren’t always done together.  That’s not what confuses me.  What I don’t understand are people who have shopped for a ring,  even  put a deposit down on venues, or set a time line to marriage and don’t consider themselves engaged.  To me, once you’ve decided to get married, you’re engaged, with or without the elaborate proposal or the ring. 

Post # 26
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Maybe I can help bring some light to this discussion on how Engagements have changed … as I am a Bee over 50.

Gone are the days of full-on surprise proposals (ala Hollywood).  There was a time when a guy & girl dated, didn’t talk about marriage much if at all… and then the guy just decided he was head over heels in love and wanted to make this girl his wife, went out and bought a ring and proposed.

That was very much the reality that I grew up with… and was still pretty common even when I got engaged the first time in the 1980s.

(And sadly, because “the romance formula” worked in the movie industry… this is what you’ll still see in some way portrayed in romantic comedy movies)

I was a witness to how things changed greatly in the 1980s.  And I was part of that movement as more and more couples started living together. 

My first Hubby and I graduated from Uni, and we talked marriage.  He bought me a “Promise Ring” (birthstone) and he moved out of rez and got settled in his first job / new career with the promise that he’d save money like crazy that first summer, (he took a summer sublet on a student apt near campus) and we’d get engaged at the end of it… and we did.  Shortly thereafter… I moved in to what would become our first apartment.  We were Engaged and living together… maybe not the norm for the time… but certainly not an exception either.

Since the 1980s living together has become more acceptable… respectable even.  It is what most couples do.  It is a right of passage for most young adults sometime in their 20s.  It is not looked down upon by others, and people my age who have done it, actually strongly advise our kids to do it also before settling down and making what we hope will be a life long commitment.

What has changed is WHEN living together happens.

In my case it was when we were Engaged.  Nowadays, it can happen at any point in a relationship.  Consequently… the dynamics of relationships and when they become serious has changed… so in turn, Engagements when they happen have also had to change.

Now it isn’t unusual for a couple to not only be living together several years, but also to have joint finances, own a house, maybe even have a baby together before they get engaged.

Nothing wrong with any of that… but this has changed the dynamic of Engagements & Marriages.

Most women I believe still want to marry, some are adamant that they won’t have kids without marriage.  And some are equally as adamant about the other elements like joint finances, a house, or living together without a ring.

Thing is tho, if you are living with a guy 24/7 already, many guys just don’t see the requirement for getting married nearly as early in life as they did when they didn’t have you around 24/7.  More so if a gal has assumed the full-on role of WIFE. 

(I strongly believe that there is a HUGE difference between WIFE and Girlfriend.  Some say no here on WBee… in so much as they say that if you love some one 100% and are living together, then you should give your all to the relationship… I say no, because if you are to be one who wants to marry… and give your all then the guy has nothing to gain by seeing WHY he should move to marry you.  As women we say a Wife is something we want… but then we turn around and act like a Wife anyhow.  If being a Wife wasn’t important to us… then WHY the want to be one?  Hence the old saying… that so many cringe at “Why buy the cow”… but the truth is… there is a lot of credence in that statement… you can’t complain when he treats you like the wife without the benefit of a ring… if you put no value on being a wife vs girlfriend only other than the ring and the change in status.  If you hold something up in life as important… then one needs to find a way to frame that importance to be different from the norm)**

When I was in my own 20s, men were more apt to propose at a younger age solely because it meant there would be a change in status for them (and a perceived benefit… including regular sex… which By The Way men still quote as a benefit of being married). 

Sure sex was happening outside of marriage… but the fact was if a guy wanted to be with his Girlfriend more then to make that happen he had to ask her to move in / marry him.

Not to say that every live-in resulted in marriage, cause they didn’t.  People still broke up for a variety of reasons… but living together was both a test to see how living under one roof went, as well as a nod to a possible long term relationship (marriage).  But it usually was a prelude to marriage.  A gal would move in once Engaged, or the couple would get engaged shortly thereafter.  Engagements lasted 1 to 1-/2 years on average.  Followed by usually a BIG White Pouffy Family Wedding (somewhere between 50 and 150 people).  Parents weren’t always so keen on us moving in together, but they accepted it in so much as it regularly was a sign that the couple were serious about each other, and the last step on the road to Engagement / Marriage (lol so all was forgiven in time)

Fast forward 30 years.  When a couple doesn’t have that same belief about living together and where it fits into a long term relationship / road to marriage, then there are bound to be discrepancies in how Marriage is approached.

Living Together is soooo much the norm now that no one blinks any longer.  The Waiting Boards are filled with girls who say they can’t figure out why they are waiting after 1, 3, 5, 10 or more years.  Sadly, some are waiting because they don’t undestand how men think… which is more an element of men’s nature than nuture.  So the gals are waiting because:

(a) they didn’t make NOT WAITING a priority / possibility for the man

(b) they have assumed “the role” of Wife and he has now gotten quite comfy

(c) so in love with the man (or they see they have too much at stake to leave) that they have put everything about the man ahead of themselves in the relationship… too afraid to rock the boat in case he was to leave them

As women they’ve given over their WIFE card without the benefit of the commitment, ring, proposal or marriage.

And yet that is what they ultimately want… marriage to this man (or in some cases… just marriage as a life long dream)

NOTE – this is different from the women who are quite content in their relationship status with the guy they are living with… because they took the time to know themselves, and define themselves and their relationship and convey that to the men they are with.  If they are waiting, they are doing so by choice… knowing that marriage (LIFE PLANS have been exchanged) has been discussed, and there is a timeline in place.  That is a women who knows what she wants out of life, and her value, and how she DESERVES to be treated.  IMO not enough women taking that approach.

** Which is WHY I said earlier… one should clearly be able to know the difference between Wife & GF… and how they differ.  And how to keep them apart, and act differently for each role.  You can still live with a man… just don’t give him your full-on WIFE LIFE until you are a wife.  I certainly was a GOOD Girlfriend when I was dating / living with Mr TTR… but I was not his wife.  I now am a GREAT WIFE… because my being a wife is very different than being a Girlfriend.  For me being a Wife means more than being a GF… so in turn, I do more as a Wife vs Girlfriend (ie combined finances – buy a home – invest in our future – don’t worry so much about things being 50/50 more apt to not keep score – go out of my way to show him more of my talents… lol, be that in the kitchen or the bedroom, etc).

Ok back to Engagements & Proposals…

IF you are living with someone 24/7.  And want to get married, then chances are the topic comes up.  And it takes on however much significance as you wish to give it.  If the guy is keen… then it will be a positive experience.  And the guy will be “engaged” in the conversation / process.  Which means talking about Rings etc a lot easier.  In which case I think most couples are on common ground and they either go out to look together, or the girl does some research and gives the guy an idea of what she is hoping for.

Therefore when the guy does ask (and that is all a Proposal really is… someone… guy or girl… actually saying those words… essentially saying… I Propose we get married… and the other person says yes) it may or may not happen with a ring in hand.

Many a gal is asked casually at home.  Some of us on vacation.  And for some gals it just happens… no real asking whatsoever… be that because they’ve just daydreamed about marriage so long living together (in the future when we are married we will have the cutest kids) that a ring is just presented… no Questions asked.

In reality a ring can be there when the time is right… or a ring may not be anywhere in sight.  Some guys just bubble up with emotion, and ask… no ring in the mix (lots of bedroom cuddling proposals these days).

So there you have it…

Engagements that happen the old Hollywood way (surprise) still are big news… be that here on WBee, YouTube or the national news.  Which well sadly just go on to perpetrate the idea that it is an over-the-top thing that a guy does when he meets Miss Right… and inturn causes some women to say “I do so much for him, I am sooo perfect, why hasn’t he asked me yet”

But more than likely when an Engagement does come, it comes with a lot less fanfare (lol, you didn’t mention in your Question the women who get ticked that they didn’t get a Hollywood Proposal as they wished for… he just asked her when she was in her sweatpants in the kitchen making dinner)

In my own life.

My first Engagement went as per the plan laid out.  End of summer we went ring shopping.  It came in on time.  He picked it up.  Brought it home, slipped it on my finger and we went out for a nice dinner.

This time round…

Mr TTR & I had talked marriage.  He knew my LIFE PLAN / Timeline.  He knew I wanted to be married before the end of 2012.  I left the Proposal up to him.  He said the “magic words” when he was ready.  It happened on a beach inMyrtle   Beachon our Easter Vacation… no ring in sight.  We went ring shopping afterwards.  It was perfect.

Hope this helps,

PS… Why the ring disappointment for some.  Well really the same reason there are Waiting Bees that are disappointed that they haven’t been asked yet.  Poor communication, expectations, and this idea some how that Hollywood Proposals are the norm.  If you want to be Married or Engaged one needs to speak up.  If one wants a particular type of ring one needs to say so.  If one wants no public display of over the top Proposal (ala Jumbotron) then one needs to convey that as well.  Men are not mind readers.  They are pretty basic creatures.  They love to please their women.  If we want them to succeed for us, then we need to be fair and give them some direction.  I strongly believe that as women the best thing we can do in life is KNOW WHO WE ARE… and then confidently portray that to the world… and that includes our SOs.  And guess what, they appreciate it.

Nothing sadder IMO than the posts I see here on WBee where a girl is Waiting on a man who may in truth never marry her.  Or a man who has been hurt by a Fiance who dislikes the ring.  These are not the man’s fault.  It is the fault of the woman who didn’t talk to her man… tell him what it is she wants / needs.  And LISTEN to what it is he had to say back in reply.  Be that he isn’t ready for marriage (or worse yet doesn’t want to marry… or marry her).  Or maybe he does, but he doesn’t have the money to get her what she wishes for (or that he will get her what she wants… as men love to please… BUT it means it will take a far greater amount of time).

As women we truly need to realize that Hollywood & real life can be vastly different.  The Cinderella fantasy is nice… but it truly is just a story written for little girls, and not grown women !!


Post # 27
384 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

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@DarlingClementine:  awesome.  I’m considering getting him a man-ring of some kind.  FOr the wedding he wants tungsten carbide, so I am thinking about getting him a “fancier” one as an engagment gift.  I found a seller on etsy that sells original Viking rings for a surprisingly decent price, so…..

Post # 28
9535 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@missamysmiles:  i had the best proposal ever.  it was a scavenger hunt through the city. i had to solve poems to get to each location.  at the final location, Fiance was waiting.  i got my ring a few weeks later. 

that being said, my proposal date was not a surprise. a few weeks before Fiance asked me if I would be ok with a proposal without the ring since it wasn’t ready yet.  i said i would because i wanted to start planning and we wanted to get married about 8 months later.  i knew it was going to happen one of 2 weekends.  when it didn’t happen the weekend before, i knew when it was.


Post # 29
3099 posts
Sugar bee

@missamysmiles:  Why aren’t these proposal stories? Why aren’t they, he proposed! Look at my ring!l

I see these types of stories almost every day.  I’m not sure what boards you’re on, but these pop up constantly.

Post # 30
295 posts
Helper bee

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@This Time Round:  +1… Different generation, different view!

If the decision to get married together is mutual decision before the  wedding, then why the need for the ring altogether. -> because a sign of his commitment to you is always very welcome!

I can’t imagine that nowadays the surprise proposals are happening without having discused marriage at least once. Every couple talks about their future and both know when the time is ready.


I still see the ring he will pick as a symbol of his love for me. Ofcourse I already told him what I like and what I do not like but still want to be surprised with the ring he picks.

Post # 31
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I don’t want to offend anyone but I don’t think it should matter what the ring is like and I hate seeing threads about ladies wanting to return their rings for something bigger and better.  My Fiance picked my ring himself and boy it feels so special that he picked it with me in mind, it makes it worth so much more. I mean, I understand getting it swapped out if it’s faulty but HAVING to be part of the ring choosing process to make sure you get what you want and that he doesn’t get too small a rock?!?! In my opinion, it’s unromantic. 

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