The wedding season is coming and you will be reading lots of count-downs about how to make your wedding unforgettable. But there would be no wedding without the engagement, and no engagement without a man who once decided to take out his credit card, buy the ring and, in a more or less imaginative fashion, popped the question. While most women are absolutely thrilled to be proposed to and we notoriously shed plenty of tears of joy, let’s be real here: those tears never fully cloud the reality of who the man of our heart is. After all, we really know who we are marrying and decided to marry them despite many things.
Based on multiple interviews with my girlfriends and our experience as engagement ring sellers, we have come up with 9 types of men and their engagement ring shopping styles:
1. The Procrastinator: he is never in a hurry and/or something always stands in his way. He assures you that you are the love of his life and feels terribly guilty when you give him “the look” when another one of your girlfriends just got engaged. He means well and eventually proposes, but you accept the ring with tears of joy mixed with a relief and a quiet “about f*ing time” whispered under your breath.
- Pros: you may score a really awesome ring because he will want to out-do all his friends and will be heavily motivated by guilt for keeping you waiting for so long.
- Cons: you may be a bridesmaid many, many times before you become a bride. He may also drag you past your fertile years.
2. The Claimer: it’s never too early for the claimer to pop the question and claim you as his woman. After the fourth date he will run to Zales and buy a cheap bubble gum ring and shove it onto your finger (ignoring the puzzled/scared/astonished look on your face.) Cute and romantic when you reciprocate his feelings or can’t wait to wear a wedding dress (which you picked when you were 19 and still single). A little scary when you are the type who likes to take things slow.
- Pros: you never have to wonder if he is serious about you. You may be the first one of your girlfriends to get married and have awesome bachelorette party before it becomes a commonplace in your girl pack.
- Cons: you may be stuck with a bubble gum ring for years, because claimers seem to immediately settle into sweet sense of security and it is hard to motivate them to buy an actual ring.
3. The Romantic: he has been carrying his grandmother’s Holocaust ring in his wallet since he turned 16. He will pop the question in the most romantic setting, weep and sob as he kneels down and puts the ring on your finger.
- Pros: meaningful and sweet. You will have some really awesome story to tell both about the ring and the engagement itself.
- Cons: you may be stuck with some pink Russian gold ring with an unidentified gemstone forever. It would be a bad taste to ask for an upgrade. Ever. And you are kind of required to pass down the ring to your daughter and she may hate you for it.
4. The Researcher: before he picks the ring for you he will become a diamond expert, a setting expert, a metal expert. He will research trends, techniques, prices, sources and sizes. He will make sure that gold mine in Guyana doesn’t hire children, diamonds are blessed by African shaman and diamond setter is paid above the minimum wage (they always are. They make a lot of money, actually). When he goes to buy the ring he considers himself smarter than the jeweler and he is not afraid to show it. He will pick an amazing ring for you, but there will always be a nagging thought in the back of his head that he might have forgotten to research something.
- Pros: chances are that you will get a high quality, beautifully crafted ring with a dazzling stone.
- Cons: as a self -proclaimed jewelry expert he will now scrutinize all your girlfriends’ rings and lecture their men about what they should have bought.
5. The Undecided: he is on a first name basis with managers and owners of every jewelry store within 50 miles radius. He has a special folder in his inbox devoted exclusively to communication with online jewelry stores. He emails 7 questions a week, takes 3-4 weekly trips to physical locations and has at least 30 female sales associates try on the rings he considers. He likes the process of looking but despises making decisions. He will finally decide, but he will never be completely confident about his choice.
- Pros: he really cares and is willing to put a lot of time and effort to make you happy.
- Cons: you will have to assure him for another 10 years that you REALLY like the ring he picked.
6. The Special Order Buff: he is an artist and a designer at heart and he has “a vision”. He places multiple special orders, introduces more and more improvements, argues with the designer, makes a return, places another order and cancels it a few days later. He comes up with insanely intricate designs only to end up with a plain solitaire.
- Pros: you may get a truly original, personalized ring no one else has.
- Cons: if you get enough complements about the ring, he may want to design more things and will consider himself the fashion guru of the household.
7. The Suspender: he has moment when he wants to buy a ring right away. He is excited like a child and hints to you that “the moment” is coming. Then he realizes how much the ring cost and how big a hassle it is to find the one he likes, so he loses enthusiasm like a puncture balloon loses air. And he suspends the ring idea for 6 months. After 3 or 4 of such episodes, pressured and nagged, he will end up buying whatever you want and he can afford.
- Pros: you will get the ring you really love.
- Cons: living in uncertainty and constant suspension is believed to cause stomach ulcers.
8. The Insecure: he hates shopping, gets overwhelmed with selection that is too big and will come straight to you and ask for your help picking the ring. He will have you do all research and happily provide funds (willing to stretch his budget because he feels guilty and inadequate).
- Pros: you will get exactly the ring you want.
- Cons: you won’t be able to tell any sweet stories about how you had no idea that he was about to propose. The engagement itself also may be a little awkward (Should I cry? Should I act surprised???)
9. The Uncatchable: he thinks marriage belongs in 19 century, paying even 15 dollars for a ring is a complete waste of funds and the very idea of commitment or any kind of spectacularly romantic moves make his stomach turn. There are no real pros of stumbling upon a male specimen like this one, so I won’t even try to come up with anything. He may eventually turn around and change his mind, but it may take way longer than you are willing to wait.
All of that being said, and all jokes aside – the man you love did propose, gave you an awesome ring (unless you scored the Uncatchable one) and your life is about to change forever. So congratulations!
Tell us which category your man falls under and share with us your engagement story.