Should you involve your partner in the search for your engagement ring?

Or go lone wolf?

You may be struggling with the decision on whether to get your girlfriend involved in choosing her engagement ring.

You might want to surprise her with the ring when you propose, but at the same time you definitely don’t want to balls it up and get a ring that she doesn’t like.

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should involve your girlfriend in choosing an engagement ring, but in this post I’m going to look at three different approaches and talk you through some of the pros and cons of each route.

Every year conducts a survey of the women who read their website about engagement rings – how many rings were diamonds, what the average cost was, how long the guy looked for a ring etc etc.

They also include a question about how involved the girl was in the decision on which ring to buy and the split between the options is very even:

ERG PieChart Involement e1404203159428

So it’s split amazingly equally between the three different approaches. But how do you decide which is right for you? I’ve drawn up a quick list of pros and cons for each, below:

Going it alone


  • Keeps the proposal a surprise
  • Extra brownie points if you get it right
  • More romantic


  • You could balls it up and buy a ring she hates

Should consider if:

You’re extremely confident about your lady’s taste. Would you buy a pair of shoes for her without checking she’ll like them? If not, it’s maybe not the best idea to risk so much on something she will wear for the rest of her life.

If this is the route that you’re taking, this post will tell you how to go it alone and find a ring that your girl will love, without her knowing anything about it.

She’s somewhat involved (you discuss what she wants)


  • Gives you an idea of the style of ring she likes
  • A less stressful process for you
  • Allows you to keep the final price a secret


  • Lose some of the surprise of the proposal
  • She may have expensive tastes and high expectations and ask for more than you can afford

Should consider if:

You’re unsure what she would like but have discussed marriage so she at least knows it’s coming. It allows you to retain some of the surprise – she won’t know when you’ve bought it, what it looks like or when you’ll pop the question.

She’s completely involved (you go shopping together)


  • You are sure to choose a ring she likes


  • It takes the surprise out of it
  • She’ll know how much you’re spending
  • The shop assistant is likely to show her nicer, more expensive rings, straining your budget
  • Haggling with her in the shop will make you look cheap

Should consider if:

Not just for those guys whose girlfriends wear the pants in their relationship, if your other half has very specific taste or if you just have no idea at all what she’d like, then taking her along to choose a ring will ensure that you get a ring that she loves.

The choice is yours

The decision on which route to take is up to you. Most of us aren’t brilliant at being romantic, but buying a ring and surprising your girlfriend is a once in a lifetime opportunity to show how thoughtful you can be.

I was confident I could pick a ring that my now-wife would love. I’d bought her enough jewellery in the past to know what she liked and after eight years together, she’d even started wearing some of it.

However, the jeweller I spoke to said she’d had more men coming in with their girlfriends to choose the ring together.  The decision really is yours – and one you’ll have to make depending on the dynamics of your own relationship.

The Get Out Clause

There is, however, one way that you can get your girlfriend involved in the purchase and knock her socks off with a surprise proposal.

By buying just a stone on its own, you can drop to one knee with a box and something shiny, but still get your lady-friend involved in the part of the ring choice process that is most important to her: selecting the setting.

For me, this is the best of both worlds: you can research and buy the stone that fits within your budget and plan a surprise proposal, while she will be able to choose the ring that she has always imagined receiving.