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Keys to a Successful Proposal

November 04, 2014 6 min read

Bustle posted an article last week about the top 5 reasons that marriage proposals get rejected according to the coupon site VoucherCloud.  It’s a pretty interesting read with fascinating findings, but nothing that’s actually all that surprising to us since our company deals in one of the key parts of the occasion.

Here’s what the study found were the top 5:

  1. Unromantic proposal setting: 67 percent
  2. Poor ring choice: 53 percent
  3. Bad wording of the proposal:51 percent
  4. Lack of trust in the relationship: 39 percent
  5. Scared of the commitment: 36 percent

Let’s do a breakdown of each of the points now.

1) Unromantic Proposal Setting

Some guys might look at this and panic because a lot of the proposal videos and such that you might see online feature grand romantic gestures that probably cost a lot, but really you don’t have to go quite that far.  What this point illustrates is really the state of mind of yourself and your partner in the relationship and where the “caring” really comes in.  Relationships and love are not selfish, so the thing with a romantic setting is that it just has to be about the two of you as a couple and, of course, them.  If you look up the worst proposal fails, you’ll get tons of videos featuring proposals in really public locations that aren’t really all that romantic like shopping malls, TV shows, or sports venues, but it depends on the couple and how much those locations mean to the both of you.  If only one of you cares or those places aren’t particularly special to either of you, they’re not good settings for your proposal.

If both of you are hardcore into sports, love the same team, and a huge part of your bond is about going to games and cheering, then a sports venue proposal might work for you.  If you like sports, but they don’t and only come out with you for moral support by taking an interest in your hobbies, chances are that you’ll get a rejection because you made the day all about you and not about them and your relationship with them.  Know your partner.  If you propose, you’re saying they’re special to you and you want to spend the rest of your life with them, so show them that you know them and that they are special by planning the big question around their interests or things you’ve done together.

Some of these things could be pretty inexpensive too.  If your intended is enamored by the look of the night sky, a drive out to a remote location where you can look at the stars may only cost a tank of gas and maybe some candles from the dollar store.

2) Poor Ring Choice

Some might look at this and think “Oh, so the diamond wasn’t big enough.”  Yeah, no…not necessarily.

There’s a lot of things that go into choosing a ring.  You don’t just go to a jewelry store and pick just anything there because there are a LOT of design choices.  One look at our own engagement ring collection could tell you that.  Not only that, but there are ten distinct shapes for diamonds and colored gemstones and some of them like cushions even have different variations.  Picking a ring in design, stone type, and shape is a huge undertaking and no two people have the same interests or tastes.  If you pick a ring with a cushion diamond, but for whatever reason, your beloved prefers colored gemstones and pears, it’s still a poor ring choice.  Same with picking a halo ring for a person who maybe doesn’t like all of that glitz and glitter.  It isn’t about going into a store and thinking, “This one looks pretty to me!”  The ring is something that they will be wearing that reminds them of you and their relationship with you forever.  They’re wearing it, so you should take the time to find out what they like and pick the design that makes them feel special and takes their tastes into consideration.

Some of the many diamond choices!

Some of the many diamond choices!

That said, some ladies do like a center stone that is big and impressive, but that isn’t the end all be all.  It’s also about quality and getting the most for your money.  I’ve seen some rings around online where men have dropped thousands for a diamond that was absolutely hideous just because they wanted size.  Size without consideration to clarity and color of a diamond means nothing.  If you get a 3 ct diamond that is full of black inclusions because you thought only size mattered, you’re still going to get a “No” because you bought an ugly diamond and might as well have mounted a piece of charcoal onto the ring. (This is also a thing I’ve actually seen!  It’s also entirely different from rough cut diamonds which would have been about half the price of what this one guy in the story I saw who paid for a poor quality 3 ct round brilliant cut diamond.  She said “No.” Plain and simple: know what you’re buying!)

The engagement ring is an investment.  It doesn’t have to be super expensive, but it’s a piece of jewelry that represents the two of you as a couple and because it can be a huge financial investment, it’s also about smart shopping and showing that you can be trusted with large purchases.  Buying the ring without taking into consideration your partner, their interests, or even making sure you get a good deal on a good quality diamond for what your budget will allow is a sign of really poor spending habits and a red flag for how finances will be handled once you’re married and have your credit and tax filings joined.  If you’re not thoughtful and a smart shopper now with an engagement ring, what are you going to be like with the other big purchases in your relationship like a car or your first house?  Does their input on a life changing purchase matter?  Everyone wants their opinion to matter and and that’s key to a successful relationship, so taking the time to try to find out their tastes is important.  The result needs to be a responsible one that will satisfy both parties and that’s what ring choice also represents.

3) Bad Wording of the Proposal

This goes along with the proposal setting and how you go about choosing the ring.  You don’t have to be Shakespeare or a truly eloquent poet yourself, but the wording you choose should be about them and make them feel special.  Of course you should tell them how you feel about them and actually state it, but this question is more about how they’re special.  If they didn’t mean a lot to you, you wouldn’t be proposing right?  So make the occasion as much about them as possible.

4) Lack of Trust in the Relationship

This should be super clear.  If you don’t have trust in your relationship, you really don’t have a relationship.  It’s possible that your choices for reasons 1-3 could also diminish some of the trust in the relationship depending on how you execute them too, but at a core level your relationship needs to be a stable, healthy, and trusting one.  If someone’s seeing problems with trust already before you’re married, it’ll be hard to convince them to say “Yes.”

5) Scared of the Commitment

This could go either scared of the commitment of marriage in general because it’s a huge, meaningful thing or scared of the commitment with you.  There’s any number of reasons for it, but at the end of the day we as people basically don’t want to get hurt and if we take the step, we want to make sure it’s the right thing for us to do or else we end up with a lot of headaches down the line.  Some people might be a bit fearful of the dynamics currently in the relationship with the aforementioned trust issue in #4 adding to the fear of the commitment, but it also might be a matter of different places in your life where perhaps the commitment might interfere with personal goals.  Some others might even just be afraid in general of what it means to take that step with anyone and it isn’t necessarily you even if you’re special to them.

We hope you enjoyed this rundown of the top 5 reasons proposals get rejected and take some of the information to heart.  At debebians, we’re all about making your day special and we put a lot of emphasis on matching our clients with the ring that means the most to them and making dreams come true.  It’s what we do, and we think that it is a key to a successful proposal.  Be sure to check out our engagement ring collection to see how we can help you with point #2!


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