Confession: I love proposals. To a possibly unhealthy level.
Seeing someone be into someone enough to voluntarily be with them very early in the morning (like pre-coffee early, for you hot bean water addicts) every day for forever ... it's a beautiful thing that warms the icy cockles of my jaded little heart!
The homies (and the algorithm) know how much I love them and keep my feed deliciously filled with videos for me to cry about.
My favorites usually involve creatives proposing by leaning into their craft; like creating a film, a video game, portrait, and whatever you'd call this guys Google Earth masterpiece. I can't handle it. There will be tears, whether or not I know these people.
I've cried at proposals that I knew d*mn well were staged for photoshoots because I was part of the crew that organized it in the first place!
Having a reputation as a love-loving weirdo tends to make you the first person your friends call when they decide they want to propose. I've helped plan a weirdly high number of proposals for someone who has never proposed to anyone and isn't a professional.
By far, the biggest thing any of my friends stressed about was getting their partners' ring size without blowing the surprise.
Reddit user sept2two asked:
"What is the most non-suspicious way to get your girlfriends ring size?"
I'll give you my biggest tip at the end. Let's hear what Reddit has to say first.
Try Them On
"My husband wears rings and wanted to try mine on even though I have small fingers while he has 'big Shrek fingers.' "
"When he saw how small they were he laughed and was like 'what size is this?!' I told him and 1 year and 6 months later he proposed to me!"
"I was shocked he remembered the size because he sure can’t remember my birthday. 😂 "
Be A Thief - But Beware
"Steal her jewelry."
"Make sure it's something she has worn recently. Don't want to pick something she doesn't wear anymore because it doesn't fit."
"I did exactly that with an engagement ring. So far off it couldn’t be resized and had to re order a new one. Whoops."
"Wish I had this thread a few years ago."
"I took one of her rings to the jeweler super smooth-like gave them all the details I gleaned from her Pinterest and random conversations, they gave me a weird look but made the ring. It came out beautiful!"
"Then the big moment hits, I go to slip it on and turns out, I stole a toe ring like an idiot. Thankfully they resized it easily enough."
"Jeweler must have thought my fiancée was 500 pounds."
"Buy a small square of plasticine at Michael's or art store for a dollar. Then make an impression of one of the rings they currently wear in the plasticene."
"Return the ring where you got it from, make sure there's no putty left behind on it."
"Take the square to a jeweler and have him measure that. They have a set of sizing rings specially for this kind of task."
"The plasticine will not shrink or expand, and will not distort if you're a bit gentle with it. Gives a spot-on measurement."
"This either comes from experience or maybe a scene from Mission Impossible that I can't recall; my guess if the former."
"If you hum the theme song to yourself, do it quietly."
Great Gum Health
"Take a piece of floss and tie it around her finger while she's asleep. Bring that to the store."
"Don't have floss? Go get some so you can healthy gums before you propose."
"This was just an ad for floss."
"Did it work?"
"Had my fiancées daughter draw a thanksgiving hand turkey with her mom’s hand. Then measured the outline and did a little math for circumference. Nailed it."
"My husband did a very similar thing. He had small nieces in a different state and said they wanted our hands to do turkey drawings with, so we both traced our left hands. :) Sneaky."
"Unfortunately, kids are terrible at this activity."
"If you have this angle it's better to figure something out where the parent and child do handprints in clay."
"Diameter times pi for those of you trying to figure out how to do the math."
"Apparently women like trying on jewelry they don't even plan to buy."
"My now sister-in-law took my future wife out shopping and they tried on some rings. She reported back to me and there you go."
"Absolutely, have her go to a place like Pandora with a friend/family member and have that person report back to you."
"That way you can figure out the size, but also get an idea about the style of ring she likes."
"My other half did this the best way."
"They convinced me that our mutual friend Bob was going to propose to his girlfriend, and would I please do him a solid and spend the afternoon with him helping him choose what to buy?"
"Of course, I'm happy to help my friend in this difficult choice. I then spent an afternoon, offering ALL my opinions on what I like, etc etc and of course I try a few on for fun..."
"Hey presto, Bob reports back to my partner, and the ring I get eventually is A) perfect size and B) exactly what I'd choose."
"I didn't even realize it had happened until years later when Bob spilled the beans."
"I made my wife try hers on under the guise of insurance."
"I told her to bring them out, try to evaluate them all for insurance purposes, and then when she had them all lined up I acted like I was just curious in the moment about which ring went on which finger."
"Then I took the wedding ring finger sized one to the jeweler. She was none the wiser till I proposed."
"Some restaurants have paper rings that go around napkins. Next time you go out to eat at one of those restaurants, find a way to wrap one around her finger, and when she's not looking, keep it."
"I wrapped one around mine, and said something like, 'look! This is my size, does it fit you?' And she put it on."
"It was too big, so I resized it for her finger. Then I tossed it on the table, and when she wasn't looking, I slipped it in my pocket."
"Took it with me to the jeweler and the ring was the perfect size come the day."
"It's not uncommon for me to be fidgety and play with things on the table, so the napkin holder game wasn't unusual for us and I still have one of the first napkin rings from one of our first dates in my memory box."
Bag Of Fakes
"My mother inherited a whole pile of costume jewelry, in a variety of sizes, because Grandma had the habit of wearing rings on multiple fingers."
"So I asked Mom if she'd give me some so I could do some intel and see if any of it appealed to my (soon to be) wife."
"We tried everything on and I paid attention to what fit where and what styles she gravitated towards. Wifey didn't like much of it since she has a very different style than gran did - and not much of what she liked fit, but there were a few pieces and I got the info I needed."
"Turns out she has exactly the same ring size I do."
"Oh, and when I went to give all the unwanted stuff back to my mother? 'No takebacks, it's your problem now!' So I have a gallon bag of fake jewelry in a closet."
The Stand In
"You are doing this wrong. Get a cheap plastic ring. Propose. Then go together and find something nice you both enjoy. She might not even want diamonds so if she can pick anything that’s great!"
"My wife is really in to lord of the rings so I got her a prop of the one ring and used that. She loves it and will still wear it from time to time."
"My husband proposed with a plastic Batman ring and we picked out a ring together afterwards."
"Propose with candy ring. let her chomp on that bad boy while waiting for the ring she likes."
"I was the one who solved this problem for my partner years before he decided to propose. I got myself a cute ring that would fit my ring finger once I was sure he and I were getting serious, and I flat out told him where said ring was located in my jewellery box and that any time he decided he wanted us to take that next step, he could feel free to borrow that ring and take it to a jeweller’s shop to size an engagement ring correctly, with zero need for me to be aware of it."
"And that ring turned out to be a great idea, but not for the purpose I bought it for 😝 He didn’t have time between buying the engagement ring and proposing to get it resized, but he’d been carrying around that sizer ring for a while, and the night before he proposed, he was stumped at what to do because he planned to propose at a theme park, but didn’t want to risk the too-big ring slipping off and getting lost."
"After fighting back my tears of joy, I asked if he had the sizer ring I had bought, and when he said he did, I suggested he propose with that instead and I could wear that until we got the proper one resized. And he did, and I wore that ring around the entire theme park with zero worries 🥰 Don’t leave it all up to your partner, people! Help them out! You’re supposed to be a team, after all 😉"
Pinky Is The Way
"My dad got my mom’s ring size by commenting on how small his hands were compared to his. He asked if the ring she already wore would fit any of his fingers."
"He was able to get it over his pinky, between his first and second knuckles. When he went to the jewelry store, he tried on a handful of rings there until they found the ring that stopped at the same spot on his pinky."
Its All In The Details
"My girlfriend (now wife) at the time had talked about marriage and know we wanted to get married so we literally drove over to Kays one day and picked up the ring."
"She didnt know when the ring was coming in, how she was going to be proposed to, or any other details. For those of you that think ring size is important, remember ring sizes do change with body weight/loss and rings can usually be resided unless its made of something that cant. Gold can be resized."
Two Birds Two rings
"Find a cool but absolutely not engagement type ring on Etsy or something. Something cheap but maybe niche that she would actually like."
"Say you really want to get one (heck you wanna support small business right?!) and then ask what her ring size is really casually. Be willing to buy it right then and there to really seal the deal."
"I think they have PDFs out there you can print and cut out, then wrap the paper ribbon around the finger."
"I eyeballed my GF's finger against my own, measured my own, came up with size 9 which was the biggest "normal" size you could get without paying more. Figured if she needed resizing it'd be cheaper to cut a bit of gold out vs soldering more in."
"And it fit perfectly."
Communicate, Browse Together, Surprise.
"Browse rings at a jewelry store together. I'm not joking!"
"I think there's nothing wrong with being clear about an impending proposal. If you've been together a while and are serious about each other, it's probably come up in conversation."
"My husband simply asked me as he was dropping me off after a date one night 'We both know where this is going. So when the time comes, do you want to pick the ring or do you want me to pick it out?' Quick little convo there where we made plans to go to a jewelry store together and look at options so he'd get an idea what I like. And the sales person at the store grabbed my ring size while I was there and made note, along with styles that I liked, for when he went back without me. A couple months later he proposed one night and it was a super sweet and wonderful surprise when it happened, even though I knew it was coming."
"Someone I know said it well: The when and the how of the proposal should be the only surprise about it. The fact that a proposal is coming shouldn't be a surprise."
"There's also the idea of proposing with a Ring Pop (or another toy/candy/goofy ring that's size-adjustable) and then going shopping for the ring together after."
Have Her Help
"Why do you need to get her ring size without her knowing?"
"I understand everyone has different experiences and expectations but I actually took my girlfriend ring shopping with me. She was involved in every step of the process other than purchasing the center stone and paying for the ring."
"Have you thought about doing this process together? I certainly think it's a great relationship builder and my gf got to pick the setting she loved instead of me having to guess or drop hints etc."
"Make up a "fun fact" like "I heard that your finger diameter is the same as the length of your nose" then you measure her finger and then her nose and then just play it off as falling for a fake fact meme."
"On second thought nose length isn't the best since the nose is likely shorter. Maybe go with eye width or something instead"
Alright, now that you've heard what Reddit has to say - here's my biggest piece of advice:
Stress is what gets people busted every single time.
Want to know more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.