One thing I will probably never do is hide an engagement ring from a partner, and BOY AM I GRATEFUL. Between picking out a ring I desperately hope they won't hate, successively stashing it in our home, and *lying* about all of the above, I would without doubt mess up somewhere between steps two and three. Luckily, love (and lifelong commitment) is about more than just a foolproof proposal. And honestly, accepting each other's flubs is the core of a solid relationship. Here are six women who caught a glimpse of the ring before the proposal.
- "My mom gave my now-husband my great-grandmother's diamond ring, but first asked me if it was ok. To further spoil the surprise, she then put the ring in an envelope and 'snuck' it to him while I was in the bathroom. He brought it home and put it in his sock drawer, where I had to look at it for almost a year whenever I put away laundry. I sometimes got a little wine-buzzed when he wasn't home and would wear it for the evening. The suspense was killing me! Finally, after sitting on the ring for about 14 months, he popped the question in our living room around midnight after I was out with the girls. I was surprised, but mostly relieved the suspense was finally over! He knows that I knew the ring was there, but I haven't yet told him about trying it on a lot when he's not home." —Kara, 26
- "My fiancé had told me early in our relationship that he wanted to buy an engagement ring from his jeweler friend who lived in his hometown. So when we went back home for Easter, I wasn't super surprised when he said that he had to go with his brother on a 'business meeting' with a new potential investor that just happened to be where his friend lived. Not the best liar, but I accepted his sketchy reasoning.
On the flight home, I fell asleep on his shoulder and woke up just as he was texting a picture of the ring to my mother. I shut my eyes and pretended to not see it.When he closed out, I pretended to wake up, at which point he said that his dad sent him a picture of a ring with no other story or information. I responded 'That's weird! Why did he do that?' and he said 'I don't know' and promptly changed the topic. When he actually proposed later that week, I pretended not to know anything about the ring. To this day, I haven't had the heart to tell him that I knew the whole time." —Meghan, 27
- "I knew the proposal was coming for months and that it was happening on our big road trip. My sweet fiancé is not the best with surprises. He just gets too excited and can't keep things to himself. We planned the entire trip together but he asked that I let him plan Wednesday all himself. As soon as he asked that, I knew. The ring was the one thing he was able to keep a surprise for so long. One day before we left on our trip, I was sitting next to my now-fiancé when he opened his phone to show me something. He had shown someone else a photo of my engagement ring right before and so it was the first thing that popped up when he unlocked his phone. He knew I saw it, but we both tried to act like it didn't happen because I love surprises.
Although I wasn't surprised that the proposal was happening that day, there ended up being some pretty big surprises that I never would have known from seeing that photo. For example, his mother had given him a diamond that she bought when she was exactly my age, and he had the rest of the ring custom-made for me around her stone. It was better than I could have ever planned or dreamed. He planned the perfect proposal day. Not a surprise, but it was perfect." —Melissa, 24
- "I found my engagement ring while searching our small apartment for an important piece of paper. My boyfriend insisted it wasn't in the closet, so of course I revisited the closet after looking elsewhere. Behind a pair of shoes, at eye-level, was a white box. As I traced my hand over the embossed sticker from a famous jewelry store, he popped up behind me. I felt weird—they don't write a guidebook on how to find your engagement ring in front of your boyfriend! But we agreed that after seven years we knew it was bound to happen anyway, and he was still going to do it the same way he planned. A few weeks later, over a three-course dinner he made, he told me to pack my bags, we were leaving to go 'back to where it all began' aka the place where we fell in love. It gave me ample time to get my hair and nails done which I was grateful for. It was still so exciting, and even though I knew it was coming, I still balled my eyes out when it happened!" —Corianna, 26
- "The Facebook ad algorithms really spoiled the surprise. My now-husband and I share a computer, and all of a sudden I started noticing that I was getting a ton of jewelry company ads, especially ones focused on diamond rings. Turns out, he'd been doing online research and since he wasn't searching in incognito mode, the ads followed. Granted, we'd discussed it extensively before we got engaged, but still—if you're planning to propose, and you want it to be a surprise, check into your internet security! Because we had had the conversation about getting more serious, it wasn't too awkward for me to say, 'You know, I've never felt that good about diamonds and I really love sapphires—I think they make beautiful engagement rings...'. Then the ads started to change to Etsy and less conventional jewelers, which was great. The ring I now have is an estate sapphire he found on eBay, and it's absolute perfection." —Molly, 31
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.