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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a lot of guys are going to be looking at rings for their girlfriends.  It can be intimidating to try and pick out a ring for the woman in your life, though.

I think you should have some knowledge of her tastes beforehand with regard to the ring. Be it asking her friends or sisters if applicable, then so be it…or browsing her Pinterest if she’s got one. OR if you’re not too concerned with a complete surprise, doing some window shopping with her to learn her likes/dislikes. I’d personally prefer my SO to do the research without my knowledge (asking friends, looking at my pinterest etc) because I’d like the element of surprise better then something you KNOW is coming at some future time.

I think the asking the parents permission deal is one of those things that’s case by case. If she’s close to her family and has a very traditional view of marriage and family then perhaps that would be are really nice touch to ask her parents beforehand. I would also venture that you should also have some kind of relationship with the family prior to this route too. I mean if you’ve never met her father and have very limited experience with her family in general, I might avoid this idea because its about that relationship and the “respect” of asking her hand and the family knowing and hopefully loving you and making a to-do about you asking them first.

Don’t be cliche about it either. Make it meaningful but not super by the book. Christmas and Valentine’s and Birthdays should be avoided as dates to ask. Perhaps the date you became an official couple, your year anniversary? Or if the date isn’t significant, then perhaps the location would be? Maybe the place you had your first date? Or had some really special memory or vacation together or some where that’s just special for whatever reason.

I like the idea of having others in on the surprise. Even if its restaurant staff, a hired photographer, a sporting event billboard operator, group of friends etc, to help make the moment memorable.

It all depends on your tastes.