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Universal truth: "Of course, every man wants to present his fiancé with an engagement ring she adores — it's a beautiful token of his love and devotion for her, encapsulated in single piece of heirloom-worthy jewelry," says Radika Chin, co-founder and creative director of Dana Walden Bridal.
But let's be honest: Even men with the best intentions sometimes need a little help. So if you'd like to gently point your guy in the right ring direction, here's how.
First, no matter which hint you drop, "dissect it into three parts," says Chin. "Stone, metal, and silhouette. This method allows you to breakdown the most important ring characteristics — and your boyfriend can compartmentalize and remember your different cues when it's game time."
Then, employ one — or more! — of these specific hints to get just what you want.
1. Pin it.
"Pinterest is a revelation in hint dropping," says Elizabeth Doyle, co-owner of New York City jeweler Doyle & Doyle. "Your future fiancé might just accidentally stumble upon your dream engagement ring page."
2. Make your magazine subscriptions work for you.
While you're likely not subscribing to BRIDES yet, there are other publications on your coffee table with engagement ring ads. "Designate 'reading time' for the two of you, where you sit on the couch with a glass of wine, each with your favorite magazine," says Chin. "If you see a ring you love, let out a gasp — which will likely be quite natural, if you love it — and show it to him. Then, mention what you love about it. Be sure to talk about some other things you love to keep from being obvious."
3. Employ your BFF's help.
Your friends can "steer your boyfriend toward styles you like, or even the exact ring you want," Doyle says, without you ever having to say a word.
4. Share what you like on others.
Spot a killer ring on another woman? Point it out to your guy. "Pointing out rings on people or in photos that you like can be a helpful way to give him ideas about your taste in rings," says Doyle.
5. Wear what you love.
By rocking a ring that shows off your style and taste, you'll subtly hint to your guy what you might want in the ring. When you wear it, "you could say, for instance, 'I love the white metal because it's so classic and timeless, plus I love the way platinum looks with diamonds. I prefer simple jewelry that will always stand the test of time, you know?'" suggests Chin. "In this quick interaction, you've already shown him that you prefer white metals, diamonds, and classic settings."