It’s a classic scene: One partner down on one knee, holding a small velvet or silk ring box up to the person he wants to marry. It’s also a scene that doesn’t suit every couple. Choosing an engagement ring is not the easiest task, and if you’re trying to do it without the input of the person who’s going to (hopefully) wear it, you risk choosing a ring they dislike. So, having your soon-to-be spouse go with you to choose the ring sounds like a good idea. But that means you won’t have a ring with you when you propose. Is that OK? Yes, yes it is, with some considerations.

You Can Propose Without the Actual Ring

There is no law that states you must present a ring or anything ringlike when you propose. You can definitely propose without an engagement ring.

However, this brings up the issue of what your partner was hoping for or expecting. If the image they had was one of opening up a little box to find a beautiful ring, you’ll need to consider whether proposing without a ring would be a good idea. It still can be, of course, because it really depends on the partner’s views toward engagement and marriage. It’s also essential that you treat the proposal as a very special occasion that telegraphs to the partner that you’re about to suggest something importantBe Sure You Know Her Views Toward Marriage and Proposal Issues

A lot of people are indoctrinated from a very young age into a world where they’re supposed to have a fantasy engagement and wedding. Some take this very seriously and absolutely want a surprise ring and the whole romantic works. For those people, oh yes, you do want to have a ring ready at the proposal.

But a lot of women (and men and nonbinary people if your partner is not female) are a little more open to variations on the theme. They might understand that you want to be sure that they really do get a ring they love, and that going to the jewelry store with you is a great idea. So, if you know that your partner might be more open to a non-ring proposal, you just have to figure out how to make the proposal special and memorable.

How to Propose When You Don’t Have a Ring

You have a number of options if you want to propose without a ring. One is to use a substitute ring. This option can be cute but also kind of dicey. Presenting a ring that’s obviously cheaper or that’s made out of materials other than metal can be misinterpreted very easily. If you take this route, definitely make the proposal scene private, with just the two of you.

Another option is to plan a private dinner or walk and present some nice non-ring jewelry, such as a small solitaire pendant or gold heart that the partner can always wear – and then see how they’d feel about visiting a jewelry store with you to choose a ring. At this point you can pop the question. And remember, you can always pop the question a second time once you’ve chosen the ring.

There are still a lot of people who don’t understand ringless proposals, so if you want to propose without a ring, make it a private proposal and not one in front of a crowd. Whether you use a piece of substitute jewelry or simply sit down to talk, this is a big deal, and you want to place as little pressure on your partner as possible. Goldsmith Jewelers can help you find the ring of your partner’s dreams.