What to Do if You Find the Engagement Ring

A woman opening up a ring box with a diamond engagement ring in it.

Despite what rom-coms may tell us, getting engaged (for most of us) is hardly a complete surprise. At this point, you’ve hopefully had conversations about the next step in your relationship and when you may eventually want to tie the knot. However, a proposal is something that your future spouse usually plans in secret—hoping to catch you off guard while you’re making dinner, out at your favorite restaurant, or even right when you get home from work. But what happens when you accidentally spoil their surprise by finding the engagement ring before the question has been popped? Should you pretend like nothing ever happened? Leave the scene of the crime? Here’s what to do if you found the ring before the proposal.

Put the Ring Back Exactly Where you Found It

A diamond engagement ring in a red box against a wood background.

It’s unlikely that you were trying to snoop for the engagement ring, and it probably happened when you were looking for your long-lost pair of tennis shoes or when you misplaced your keys. Although it can be so tempting to try the ring on once you find it, try to resist. You definitely don’t want your partner to know that you’ve found it, tried it on, and evaluated it before they even got a chance to ask you to marry them. Plus, you definitely don’t want to be caught red-handed with the ring on your finger!

Don’t Tell Anyone You Found the Ring

Whether you find it hidden in their sock drawer or saw it in a pocket in their backpack, it can be all too easy to want to call your best friend or your mom to confide in them that there is a ring and a suspected proposal happening soon. If your partner has hidden the ring from you (albeit not very well), they clearly want to keep it a surprise—so don’t spoil it by letting everyone else in on the secret! As hard as it may be to keep it to yourself, try to keep this news to yourself.

Look Forward to the Surprise of the Proposal

Once you find the ring, you might go through several stages of emotions such as shock, excitement, fear—and maybe even a little bit of disappointment at ruining the surprise.

But don’t let that disappointment linger too long. Instead, focus on the excitement and surprise of the proposal that’s to come. You may have found the ring, but you’d have to be a super sleuth to figure out when and where your future spouse will propose. As hard as it may be, push the ring out of your mind and relax—an even bigger surprise is coming your way.

Don’t Pressure Your Partner to Propose

A woman proposing to her girlfriend with an engagement ring on a city rooftop.

Now that you’ve found the ring, it’s only natural that you’d expect that a proposal is coming very soon. The ring is there—so what’s the big hold up? However, you may get disappointed when days go by and then weeks with no proposal in sight.

The worst thing you could do in this time frame is to get impatient and angry with them for not proposing and then resort to pressuring them to do it sooner. Trust that there is a plan in place and you being impatient and asking about it could spell disaster.

It’s not a Bad Sign if You’re Nervous

Everyone has different reactions to big life changes. Some people are elated while others are a little tentative (and maybe just the slightest bit nauseated). If you found the ring and immediately got nervous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship is doomed and that you need to break up. Getting married is a big life step, and it’s only natural that you feel all sorts of feelings about it.

However, if you found the ring and it’s starting to bring up all sorts of doubts about your relationship, now might be the time to explore those feelings rather than later when the question is popped and you feel a lot of pressure to give a certain answer.

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