OK, OK, everything is perfect. The lights are nicely dimmed in the lovely restaurant in which you are now sitting. A violin is playing in the background. You are drinking a fine bottle of $30 wine. You're ready to propose to your girlfriend, who is sitting just across the table, looking at you with eyes that say "ask me to marry you, you bastard!" So all you need is to pull out the ring, show it to her, and you're off to Tahiti for a happy honeymoon.

Or are you? Where did you get that engagement ring? Did you pick out the right one? Will she like it? Will it fit her? Did you get completely ripped off? Well, luckily for you, we here at SoYouWanna.net have performed extensive research on engagement rings and their ilk. Read on to find out exactly what steps you should take to buy the perfect engagement ring that'll put the honey in your moon.

Before we begin, remember that it's not absolutely required that a man give an engagement ring to a woman. In these modern, crazy times of ours, it's completely acceptable for a woman to give an engagement ring to a man, to exchange engagement gifts, to exchange posy rings (bands with inscriptions of love), or to get his and her matching tattoos. Really.


It has become extremely common for the woman to accompany the man in the purchase of an engagement ring. This is a great idea, because then you know she'll be happy with whatever ring she picks out. It takes all the pressure off you!

If the element of surprise is important to you, however, there are other good ways to begin your quest. For example, consider mentioning to the parents of your soon-to-be-wife that you will soon be proposing to their daughter. In the course of the conversation, you can ask what kind of ring they think she'd like. This kills two birds with one stone: you are seen as a polite, traditional young man for asking for their permission, and you get good info about what kind of ring to buy.

If you have a good reason to avoid entering into any dialogue with your future in-laws (e.g., they are bitter because you killed their dog), then talk to her female friends. If you and your girlfriend have been serious about each other for a while, then the chances are good that your she and her friends have discussed marriage, and along with it, rings. Also, women generally know more about rings than men. Sexist? Yes. True? Yes. And if you can, take her best friend with you to the jewelry store for a second opinion.