Can you get engaged without a ring?

We all know the classic scene of a marriage proposal where the love-struck guy gets on one knee holding a box and asks his lovely fiancée to be his wife, revealing a stunning diamond ring. The bigger and blingier the better.

But some ladies today aren’t into the whole “put a ring on it” idea. Whether it’s a rejection of the diamond’s crass commercial history, a discomfort with the way they’re mined (though “conflict-free” diamonds are an option), a desire to have something more unique or meaningful, or a belief that spending 3-months’ salary on a rock is ridiculous (read: keeper), your gal may wish to think outside the box when it comes to the engagement ring you’ll get her.

no ring proposal

Non-diamond wedding rings

Non-diamond rings are a great alternative. The options for engagement rings are endless when you think outside of the diamond solitaire box. Try a would-be heirloom with an ornate setting, or search for an unexpected stone like sapphire, emerald, or even watermelon tourmaline. For example, a dragon’s breath opal engagement ring is a gorgeous example of a stunning piece of jewelry. Dragon’s breath “opal” is a manmade stone created by fusing metal dust with molten glass. The stone has a red body, but flashes electric blue.

murano glass wedding ring

Even if your girlfriend is the non-traditional type in many matters, she may surprise you (and even herself) with her desire for a diamond. This is a ring she’ll be showing off to her friends after your proposal and likely wearing for the rest of her life, so you want her to be proud of it, and for it to elicit fond feelings, rather than disappointment, whenever she looks at her hand. However, picking the right engagement ring is a big decision and investment, putting a lot of pressure on the one proposing. They’re already feeling the stress of whether or not their heartfelt proposal will be jubilantly accepted. That is one of the reasons to keep picking an engagement ring for after the proposal, so you can do it together.

Do you need a ring to be engaged?

The most important thing to remember when there is no ring with the proposal is to focus on the question itself rather than the tangible symbol of that commitment. Some tips to keep in mind when proposing without a ring include:

  1. Do not draw attention to the fact that the ring is absent, but rather demonstrate that even without a piece of jewelry, it is important for the couple to be together with love and respect.
  2. Do not try to explain why the ring is missing. For a couple truly in love, that explanation is unnecessary and irrelevant.
  3. At the same time, do not belittle the proposal simply because the engagement ring will come later.

With or without a sparkling diamond, the question should be asked with sincerity, honesty, and love.