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 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.
Methods When You Don’t Need To Surprise Her
Often the direct approach is the easiest. If surprise proposal is not what you’re going for, just ask. You’re clearly in a place where marriage is on the table, where a proposal won’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.
Look at a Ring Size Chart
A helpful way to measure ring size at home is a ring size chart. These charts are easy to find and use finger measurements to determine ring size.
Take A Trip to the Jewelers
Ring charts aren’t always accurate. The safest way to get it right is to go to a jeweler and have them measure her hand. They know what their doing, have been doing it for years, and can probably do it in their sleep. And while you’re there, the two of you can check out a few rings.
Methods When You Want To Surprise Her
Sneak a Peak
If she liked jewelry, presumably she has a whole selection of rings she likes to wear. Check ‘em out when she’s not home. 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.
Borrow and Return
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, simply borrow the ring and take it to a jeweler.
Take an Impression
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 Putty on hand because you’re an adult man who has put childish things aside, 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.
Use a Candle
If you have a candle in the house, push it through the hole in one of her rings until it can’t go any further. Mark that spot on the candle, then remove the ring, clean off the wax, and put it back where you found it. Measure the circumference of the candle at the spot where the ring stopped, and you have your ring size.
Use A Pencil and Paper
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.
Use Your Finger
Didn’t bring any of these items with you on this adventure? 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.
Perform the 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.
Use a String
If anyone (other than your girlfriend) tells you to tie up your girlfriend in her sleep, you should not listen, but 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. Works best for the real heavy sleeper.
Ask a friend and/or relative
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!
Enlist the help of a friend and/or relative
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.
Compare Finger Sizes
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.
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. The important thing is that you’re proposing to the woman you love. The ring is just a symbol. 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.