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Oh, the engagement ring. You want it to be just right (after all, you'll be wearing it for the rest of your life) and yet you don't want to come off as picky, bossy or overly paranoid about what he chooses and the imminent (or not) marriage proposal. It's a subject best handled with tact and subtlety, of course, but if you really want to be happy with the bling he slides on your finger, consider one of these ideas for ensuring success:
1. Show him a picture, casually: Men are visual creatures, and talking at length about the princess cut sapphire with diamond baguettes that you've ogled since junior high just isn't going to cut it for him. He needs to see what you have in mind. But don't email him photos. Instead, be more casual: Next time you're flipping through a magazine, try pointing to a photo of a ring you like. (Fight the urge to tear out the page and tuck it in his hand—trust us, he'll do that when you walk out of the room!)
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2. Put a trusted pal on the case: If you're worried he's not going to get the right engagement ring for your style, or just think he could use a little assistance, ask a trusted pal to reach out to him and see if she can go along when he's ring-shopping. She'll know exactly what you want, of course, and he'll feel better pulling the trigger, knowing that the ring he buys is BFF-approved.
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3. Window shop together: One of the sweetest things couples can do is saunter into a jewelry store together and dream. If he's cool with it (and you feel comfortable) try on some bling and show him what you like. Most salespeople will tactfully write down the rings you love and tuck a card in your guy's hand as he leaves.
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4. Think outside of the box: If a surprise just isn't your thing and you'd like greater control over the ring you'll be wearing for all of eternity, consider doing what many couples opt for, and design your own engagement rings. The project can be a bonding experience, and you'll have total control over the style, size and shape of your ring. Bonus: You can design coordinating wedding bands, too!