Not Engaged Yet

What do you tell people when you are in the ring shopping phase?

Hi Ladies:

I am new here and you all helped talk me down a bit on my heirloom diamond question earlier, so I thought that I would raise another issue with you. My bf and I have been together for 2 years, and living together for 6 months. We have a fantastic relationship and get along well with each other's friends and families. All my friends and family love him and vice versa.

Since about June, everyone in my life- my friends, family, coworkers-basically everyone I talk to on a regular basis have started asking me when we were going to get on with things and make it official. I laughed it off and said "Well you better talk to him about it." We finally talked about getting engaged earlier this month and are starting to shop for rings.

My question is what do you tell people at this stage? Do you let them know that you've talked about it and that an engagement is coming soon or should I continue playing coy and pretend like I have no idea what is going on? I am particularly curious if people told their mothers about impending engagements? I tell my mom most everything, but my bf wants to be able to ask my parents for permission and doesn't want my dad tipped off that it's coming. My parents have started dropping hints about grandbabies. so I am fairly certain that they know that we are headed to the alter shortly, and I feel like I am keeping something from her if I don't tell her about ring shopping- since its taking up a lot of my free time and thought process right now. When I talked to her this week, she asked "what's new" and I lied and said "nothing".  I also may want her opinion on some aspects of the ring.

Does anyone have any insight that they'd like to share?

Re: What do you tell people when you are in the ring shopping phase?

  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    You can tell them you are looking at rings if you want but it may make them pressure you and your BF even more. Personally, I haven't clued in many people to our plans because they don't need to know and I don't want more pressure put on either of us. The ladies here are really the only ones who hear updates about ring shopping.

    It's a little silly to me that your BF feels your dad should be surprised by him asking for permission (ugh, I really hate that tradition, you're adults you don't need permission!). If you want to talk to your mom you should be able to talk to your mom.


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  • I think I may have mentioned to my Mom that we were looking at rings but with the caveat that I didn't want to get too wrapped up in that fact because H could have proposed a long time from when we went ring shopping.  I didn't really talk about it with anyone else as I didn't want to add to H's stress.  Proposing is stressful enough without friends or family member chiming in. 

  • I mentioned to my mom that we were looking at rings. That was about it though.
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I mentioned ring shopping to my mom and that was it.  I was trying to get her warmed up to the idea that I was going to have a wedding since she has social anxiety issues, I was hoping she'd be able to work through that.

    Your time line is really your business.  If people are bugging you it's really up to you guys what you tell them.  Do you know when your BF buys the ring, is the engagement going to happen quickly?  Some guys hold on to the ring for a long time (years even).

    I asked my parents opinions on rings, but in the end we just didn't have the same taste.  My mom also wanted me to go 'as cheap as possible'; but she just wanted me and my FI to elope and be done with it so she didn't have to do any of the wedding stuff (not that she's doing any of it anywasy).

    I agree with the PP, you don't need the added stress in the relationship.  Take your time and enjoy your relationship!!


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  • I didn't really tell anyone that we were ring shopping except my mom and the ladies here.  Mainly because I feel like people were judging the fact that my proposal wasn't going to a be a surprise.. some people gave us a lot of shit for that.

    I wouldn't focus so much on what to tell people, just enjoy this time together and if it comes up with other people you can mention it casually. I don't think you have to go out of your way to make sure to tell people.
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  • You can be as open or as vague as you want to. It's really up to you. You know the people in your life better than we do, so you know whether they will be accepting vs pressuring vs a million other options people can be about the subject.
  • I've never mentioned that BF has given me the timeline of when he will propose. When we were in Maine seeing family, my grandmother asked if she should be expecting another wedding soon, which I just kind of shrugged off. I really didn't want to have that discussion with a whole table full of family. But my mom told her that she wouldn't be surprise. So mom seems to be thinking it will happen, but I haven't brought it up. 

    I know BF wants to "ask" my parents before he does the proposing. But it's not really asking for their permission, rather than just asking for their "blessing" and that they wouldn't totally hate the idea. 
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I told my mom about a month before FI proposed, when he was shopping for rings. We had discussed everything and knew that he wouldn't be sitting on the ring very long after it arrived. It gave her a chance to warm my dad up to the idea of me actually getting married, especially since my FI wasn't going to ask for permission or blessing.
  • GoldenPenguinGoldenPenguin Upstate NY mod
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    I said we were ring shopping. 



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  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Even though we had a timeline, when people would ask me about a potential wedding I would just say that we were "working on it" or that it would "probably be in the near future." I kept it vague because I didn't want FI to be under even more pressure, and I personally wanted everyone around us to be surprised rather than, "UGH FINALLY!" But like @Pepperally said, it's up to you how much detail you want to give. 

    My mom knew about our timeline, if that helps. She even gave him my temporary ring. However, she didn't find out when he was going to propose until about an hour before he did it.


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  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    Um... I didn't really consider it a "phase" of my relationship, but since you asked:

    FI and I did not go ring shopping together, but about 2 months before he ended up proposing, he asked me if I still liked the same ring styles I had shown him about 6 months earlier. I knew then that he was probably shopping for a ring, and I mentioned that conversation to my mom because it made me really excited. I also made sure to tell her that I didn't think he'd be proposing for at least several more months, because I didn't want her to make me any more anxious than I already was. Other than my mom, and the ladies here, I didn't tell any other friends that we had had that conversation, because I didn't want them asking me if we were engaged yet every time we spoke.
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  • Once we decided to go ring shopping, BF is actually the one who is much more vocal about it. He would tell random people if he could "This girl will be my fiancé soon!!!" (He has told anyone who will listen that we will be engaged by Christmas)


    If it comes up in conversation for me, I'll talk about it. Otherwise - he is boyfriend.
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  • PowerDocPowerDoc in my head member
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    I haven't had the issue of people asking yet, but I definitely told my mom as soon as we started shopping. I don't really understand why your BF would want your parents to not be in the know? I'm pretty sure my dad wouldn't respond well to "Hey I wanna marry your daughter," without any prior indicator, but that could just be my case.
    Then again, I'm not coy, and especially about something this major. You're getting engaged! That's exciting; why hide it? :)
  • Man, it was SO HARD not to say much since he surprised me with it, but ring shopping ended up being a pretty long process - almost 2 months.  I only said anything about it to my sister and my BFF, although I thought I wasn't very good at keeping it on the DL from anyone else.  My dad actively avoided SO in the weeks before, so I think he did know. 

    A couple days before my setting came in, my mom reminded me that she's always said I better aim for a 2 carat diamond, so I thought that was kinda funny!  I had completely forgotten about it, but had my stone for over a month by that point!

    Having it just between me and SO was definitely my favorite time of the whole relationship so far!  As expected, as soon as the ring was on my finger, we get constant questions about the wedding, and I'm not a fan of actually planning.

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  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    The same thing you tell them when you're trying to have a baby;

    It's none of their damn business. 

    In all reality though, it's up to you. If it's really that important to your BF to talk to your dad, then I think you should let him do that (unless you're vehemently against it, then you and BF need to talk). 

    If you're that close to your mom, then I think you can tell her that it's really important for your BF to talk to your dad without him knowing, and then go on and share your excitement/get her opinions. Alternately, you could talk to your BF and tell him that you'd really like to be able to talk to your mom about ring shopping etc, but you know how important it is for him to talk to your dad. Does he have to get the ring first before talking to him? Or can your BF go ask for your dad's blessing while you're still ring shopping? 

    And if none of the above applies, then there's this forum right here to get opinions and gush about the whole process. 

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    chloe97
  • My fiance and I kept it just between us.  If anyone asked, we'd say we were talking about it but didn't have any definite plans.  It was kind of fun having a little secret between the two of us.  It let us take our time ring shopping without other people putting the pressure on.  

    I told my mom after we had found one I liked, simply because I was so excited that I HAD to tell someone.  She was under strict orders not to tell anyone else, though, including my dad.  I didn't want my fiance to "ask permission", but I did think my dad would appreciate hearing it directly from my fiance before it was official.  I thought he would enjoy being in on it before we let everyone else know.

    Simply put, feel free not to tell anyone if you don't want to yet.  Whether you tell them now or later, everyone will be just as excited.
  • I did tell my mom that an engagement is coming and she admitted she had suspicions it was coming.  Technically he hasn't even asked me yet but I still hope by year's end he'll ask.
  • I would just tell those who ask that you are browsing at rings at this point with NO pressure on finding THE ONE just yet.  Try delivering that line with the most "I don't give a %#*@" face as you can.

    In my case no one but two ppl knew we were ring shopping and by the time we found one and he proposed people were like wait what?....
  • I am not telling people that we are in the ring shopping phase! There are some people who have been suspecting but we are just denying it! I don't want anyone to put any pressure on my boyfriend on when to propose. 
  • This was all great advice. I told a few of my best friends this weekend and they were super excited, I have not told my mom - but I am seeing her soon and I may mention it. I'm getting excited!
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