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You want to propose, but you’re stalling because you don’t know how to choose your girlfriend’s engagement ring. Best case scenario: you have her Pinterest board and that, at the very least, narrows it down to about four dozen rings. Worst case scenario: ya got nothin’. Either way, making one of the most emotionally and financially significant decisions of your lives without asking for her opinion feels a little weird and retrograde. But then again, she definitely deserves the romantic surprise proposal, right?

Welcome to pre-engagement purgatory/hell.

The Solution: a temporary engagement ring.

Click here to purchase a placeholder engagement ring

Diamond engagement rings and moissanite engagement rings by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

(Oval cut, round cut, emerald cut and pear cut. Don’t know what engagement ring cuts she likes best? The loaner engagement ring can help with that.)

Temporary engagement rings exist for this very specific and very stressful conundrum. After years of working with men designing custom engagement rings, we’ve found that the majority of men feel really torn between wanting to have the surprise proposal experience, and wanting to involve their girlfriend in designing the ring. With a placeholder engagement ring, you get the best of both worlds: you can have the spontaneity of proposing, without risking the total buzz kill of her not liking the ring.

Here are some reasons why the loaner ring might be your best bet:

1. You’d like to stress (a little bit) less

You know what’s more stressful than planning the perfect proposal and making sure the words, “will you marry me,” eventually come out of your mouth in an intelligible sequence? Bracing for impact as her eyes meet The Ring. You have enough pressure in selecting a meaningful proposal locale and working up the courage to get down on one knee. Remove one layer of anxiety by not having to finalize the most expensive and least returnable jewelry purchase of your life.

2. You don’t want to kill the moment

What should be the most romantic moment of your life can quickly become the least if she hates the ring. There’s no “do overs” with this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you don’t want to inject it with uncomfy feelings like disappointment, confusion, and panic. If the engagement ring is really not her style, she might spiral into thoughts of, “Does he even really know me?” Not exactly the existential questions you want to stir up when asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you.

Realistically, a ring cannot possibly speak for what you think of the person you love most in life, but if she doesn’t like it, you can bet she’ll be racking her brain trying to figure out what went wrong. And just like you had to work up the courage to propose, she’ll have to work up the courage to tell you that, “Hey–you know that piece of jewelry you spent three months salary on? I want another one.”

3. You’re Not a Jewelry or Fashion Expert

She didn’t let you pick out her outfit today, did she? So why are you trying to pick out a ring that she’s going to be wearing every day, forever. This is especially important if your girl has distinct personal style and is into her look. She will most definitely want a say on something she’s committing to wearing for the rest of her life, and you can bet that a basic ring from a chain jewelry store will simply not do.

4. You’re equals

This is your partner in crime we’re talking about! If you go through all of life’s big decisions together, this should be no different. Somewhere in the endless list of things millennials have killed (sorry not sorry) is the concept of “traditional relationships” where the man makes all the tough choices. Most couples choose to tag team their major decisions, and this is definitely one of them. Telling her that this is a placeholder engagement ring because you value her opinion is totally The Move in this situation. More and more couples come to our jewelry design studio wanting to collaborate on the ring together. If you’re the type of twosome who does everything as as a unit, to design an engagement ring together is a pretty magical experience.

5. You can’t afford to do this twice

You’ve probably thought long and hard about the expense of an engagement ring, and we’re guessing that you only budgeted for the one. If she doesn’t like the ring you chose, it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to have to replace or redesign. A temporary engagement ring guarantees that she gets everything she wants, and you don’t have to do this all over again in a matter of time.

6. You’re going abroad

A vacation proposal? Classy. Losing the engagement ring somewhere between emptying your toiletries into a bin and hastily shoving your bag into the overhead compartment? Not so classy. It’s hard staying organized when you’re in a new place, and this is only compounded by the fact that you can’t tell your girlfriend what you’re panic-searching for in the hotel room. Trust that losing a temporary engagement ring is infinitely better than losing the real thing and wrecking your vacation.

Mountain proposal with custom engagement ring by Abby Sparks Jewelry, Denver, Colorado.

(Proposing on the edge of a mountain? You may want to use a placeholder engagement ring.)

 

7. You need an engagement ring tonight

How spontaneous of you! Sometimes proposals can’t wait, we get it. Maybe her family planned a last minute visit, or you scored a free trip for the weekend, or the holidays just happened to sneak up on you. No matter the reason for your time crunch, choosing her engagement ring should NOT be rushed. Not only are you risking making a hasty decision, you might not have time to properly vet the store you’re buying the ring from. Poorly made engagement rings fall apart. It happens. And that’s a situation you want to avoid at all costs (see: #5.)

8. You’re thinking of proposing without a ring

Don’t. Just don’t. We shouldn’t have to go into this, but you can bet she will be texting her girlfriends and consulting ye olde Google to find out “Am I really engaged if he didn’t give me a ring?” With a placeholder engagement ring, she gets the proposal experience that she (and really everyone) deserves, and you get to avoid committing to the cost and finality of the real deal.

 

Loaner Ring, a temporary engagement ring by Abby Sparks Jewelry, Denver, Colorado.

(Abby Sparks Jewelry Loaner Ring)

Finally…

If you want to propose to your girlfriend but you find yourself stalling, it could be because you’re stressed about getting the ring right. This is super common, however being stuck in pre-engagement limbo is not fun for anyone, and it can create major tension and insecurity in your relationship. It doesn’t matter if your reason is noble; you want her engagement ring to be absolutely perfect–good luck explaining that to her, as she’s in the dark and wondering what the hold up is. When you go the temporary engagement ring route, it’s win-win. She gets the romantic proposal, you get the confidence boost of knowing she’ll get a ring she loves, and you both get to start your marriage on the right foot.

Ready to get out of limbo? Get the loaner ring, and see why it’s been featured in 5280 and Style Me Pretty.

book an appointment to work with Abby Sparks Jewelry, custom jewelry designer in Denver, CO