There comes a point in every guy's life when he realizes pretty much all his friends are in committed relationships, his Facebook newsfeed is filled with pictures of engagement rings, and his junk mail-to-wedding invitation ratio is surprisingly even.
Now that wedding season is approaching (though it's hard to tell if it ever really ended), you might be having some serious thoughts about taking that next step yourself. (Especially if your long-term girlfriend is dropping hints left and right. How many times can she invite you to join Pinterest?)
But before you pop the big question, you probably have some of your own that need to be answered. Luckily, we're here to help. As for whether or not she'll say yes, that one's out of our hands.
Does your girlfriend often mention her mom's her best friend? Is she close with her dad? Does she frequently head home for sit-down dinners with the fam? Then yes, you should definitely ask their permission. It’ll mean a lot to her—not to mention them—in the long run, and unless you’ve done something to really piss them off, it’s doubtful they’ll say no.
If she hasn’t talked to her folks in years, use your best judgement; but there's probably someone in her life to whom she constantly goes for advice. It's best to tell those close to her beforehand (just mention it—you don't have to give dates if you think they'll spill the beans). It's a respect thing—not to mention they might have answers to any questions you have.
It honestly depends on the girl. If she loves surprises and grand gestures, go for it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing (hopefully), so you want to make it special—something she’ll remember forever.If you know she’d hate being stuck in the center of a flash mob, or you don't have the time, money, or energy to get Taylor Swift on the phone to make an appearance, there’s nothing wrong with something intimate. Think back on things the two of you like to do together or places you’ve enjoyed going on dates to get some ideas.Really unexpected is always a big hit, especially if she’s a planner, so try not to drop any hints or raise her suspicions. For example, tell her (numerous times) you don't see the point in getting engaged anytime soon, and later, make plans to celebrate her new job/weight loss/birthday/any excuse you can think of at a nice restaurant and pop the question there.How to Tell When You're Not Wanted>>>
How do you figure out her ring size?
If you live together or you spend lots of time at her place, just swipe one of her rings from her jewelry box, take it to a jeweler, then quickly put it back. If not, enlist the help of her mom or a friend. Have them ask her "because they want to get her a really nice birthday/holiday present.” This might be one of the most important steps in the whole process, because once the ring is on, she’s going to have a hard time taking it off to get it resized. 10 Dirty Talk Dos and Don'ts>>>
Is she really ready—or just comparing herself to her friends?
If every girl in your girlfriend’s friend group is getting married, she might be feeling a little left out and just want a wedding of her own to plan. You know her best, though—so do you think it's wise to get married now? Would you be doing it for the right reasons? If you’ve been together for six years, practically finish each other’s sentences, and know there’s no way either of you could ever be with anyone else, it’s probably time to put a ring on it. Just remember, though, marriage is supposed to be a foreverkind of thing (as in, coming home to the same person every day for the next 70 years), so if you're not sure you're ready to make that sort of lifetime commitment, wait until you are. If that person truly loves you and your relationship is in a good place, there should be no rush—it's not like anyone's going anywhere!The Best and Worst Date Ideas>>>
How much should you spend on a ring?
On average, guys tend to spend somewhere in the $5,000 range, but there’s really no rule. If you’re able (and want) to spend more, do it. If you’re a man on a budget, you can find some great-looking options for less. Clusters of smaller diamonds, rather than one big rock, might allow you to knock some dollar signs off. There are also sites that sell pre-owned engagement rings (such as IDoNowIDont.com) people no longer want, possibly because the relationship didn’t work out. Of course, that doesn’t mean the ring is bad luck or damaged—it's just cheaper!The 10 Most Common Sex Mistakes>>>
Should you get insurance?
Yes! You won’t regret it. Do some Googling to research the best policy, but you'll most likely want to look for something that covers lost rings as well as stolen ones. Also, find out how much you'll get back in the event something does happen—is it just a fraction of the price or the whole thing? It may be "just a ring," but there's sentimental value attached to it, so in case the worst should happen, you'll be glad it's an easy-to-solve problem later on. What the Hell Is Testical Ironing?>>>