By Carly Silverman
There’s a moment when you realize that the girl you’re dating is the one you want to marry. Maybe it’s waking up together one morning, maybe it’s when she supported you through difficult life changes, maybe it’s when you’re are watching the Netflix original series Ozark, and during a dark, murderous scene she starts laughing because she can only see Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth from Arrested Development, and that’s just the kind of girl you’ll take an oath for.
No matter what moment got you there, you know now that you want to pop the question, which means it’s time to buy the ring. But how do you find her ring size? No one wants to ruin a perfect candlelit, skyline-viewing proposal with an ill-fitting ring. Remember when you tried to buy her lingerie, and it turned out to be sized for a precocious middle schooler, not a grown woman? Guessing is dangerous.
Here are some options to figure out the size of your bride to be’s ladyfinger.
A helpful way to measure ring size at home is a ring size chart, or ring size guide that you can find online. These charts are easy to find and use finger measurements to determine ring size. However, these aren’t always exactly accurate, the safest way to get it right is to go to a jeweler. But, how do you gain these measurements without sullying the surprise?
Sneak a Peak
If she’s a jewelry gal, check her rings, you might get lucky and find a size on the inside of the band, and then you’re done. Just stop snooping there-don’t open any more drawers, that’s her business you weirdo.
Sneak a Peak 2: The Re-Sneakening
You checked her rings and none of them have a size on the band, well you’re already in this deep might as well make it count. If she has a ring she does not wear often or won’t miss for a day, you can simply borrow the ring and take it to a jeweler. Don’t want to risk stealing her jewelry because you already have two priors? There are several ways to get a sort of measurement right there and then. If you have something soft and malleable like Silly Putty or clay, put it in the putty and then use the imprint later to measure her ring size. If you don’t have anything like Silly on hand because you’re an adult man who is not Pee Wee Herman, then use a bar of soap. Press the ring into the soap to make an imprint then wipe the soap residue from the ring. I know you may be thinking: “But I use liquid soap, am I doomed?” Have no fear. If you have a candlestick in the house, push a ring up the candle and mark where the ring stops, then use that to take your measurement, and wipe off the wax. If you don’t own a candle I recommend buying one, candles are lovely, but you can also simply trace the inside circle of the ring with a pen and paper and use that as your guide. Didn’t bring a whole sack of items with you on this adventure? Well then you’re not very heist ready at all; thank god the new Ocean’s reboot is all women. Still, you can always slip the ring onto your own finger and make note of what part of your finger it fits. Then use this to instruct you on your measurement chart or to tell to the jeweler. Careful not to get it stuck though, because that’s the A-story in my sitcom pilot, and I don’t appreciate copycats.
The Ol’ Switch-a-Roo
This trick requires some acting, (read: lying), pretend you’re buying a ring for your mother/sister/cousin/secret other girlfriend, and say that she’s similar in size to your girlfriend, then have your girlfriend try some rings on, and find out her size. Little does she know, you’re actually finding out HER ring size. You’ve done it again; you’ve tricked the woman you intend to marry. What a caper.
If anyone gives you the advice to tie up your girlfriend in her sleep, you should not listen, and report that person to the authorities. But not me, listen to me. If your gal is a heavy sleeper, tie a string around her ring finger then take off the string circle and use that as measurement for your ring chart, or take the string to your jeweler.
Ask a friend/relative/person who may know
A friend may actually know her ring size-although don’t count on that. Female friendship is an interesting animal, but ring size is not usually a hot piece of conversation. If they know lucky you, you’ve solved it!
Ask a friend/relative/person who may know 2: The Re-Askering
If her friends don’t know her ring size, they may still be able to help. Have a friend ask her to try on one of her rings, or have them go jewelry shopping together. There’s a lot of ways a friend or relative may be able to bring up rings and sizing in conversation that’s a lot less suspicious then if you did it.
The Fake Romantic
In an intimate, sweet moment between you and your future betrothed, pretend you want to hold her hand. Once your hands become intertwined, look down at your fingers-TRY NOT TO GET CHOKED UP OVER THE BEAUTY AND ROMANCE OF IT ALL- and see if her ring finger is close in size to any of your fingers. Then use that finger of yours for measurement or thrust that finger at your jeweler.
If none of these work, or you’re just a lazy old so and so, you can always guess. The average size of woman’s finger is a size 6, so give that a whirl. Be prepared to pay to resize the ring later, there are no easy outs in this world, pal.
If the surprise is not that important to you, just ask. If you’re in a place where marriage is on the table, a proposal shouldn’t really be out of left field, so ask her for her ring size. And if she asks why, tell her you keep a running list of all of her measurements for when you build a life-sized replica of her out of latex. Or you know, tell her you’re buying a ring.
Things to Keep In Mind
Even after all this covert recon work, you still may have to have the ring re-sized. Finger sizes can vary during the day, time of year and with temperature, so there’s a chance that despite your best efforts, the ring may not fit just so. However, no matter how you measure, or if the ring fits perfectly, don’t stress too hard, you’re proposing to the woman you love and the ring is just a symbol. So do your best on measurements, buy a ring that isn’t tacky or a result of the blood diamond trade, and prepare for a beautiful proposal.