Engagement rings have been the traditional way of officially telling your partner that you are ready to settle down with him or her. However, that’s not a rule but simply a norm that people from different parts of the world follow – a universal gesture of love. This does not mean that your bond is not as strong compared to others if you cannot or will not offer a ring to your love. Here are creative alternatives to proposing without a ring.
Make it yourself
If you don’t have the budget to buy engagement rings that could cost you a limb and you have enough skill and time to devote to making your own ring, then go right ahead. You can use practically any metal you can get your hands on. This could be tin, stainless steel, iron or even copper wires. Then, if you need some stone or a crowning piece, you could use a gem from old jewelry, or you could even preserve some small flowers in resin to make a cool and environment-friendly engagement ring. Another option is to simply carve out a ring with wood, which isn’t hard and will win you brownie points for thoughtfulness and effort. If your gal is into ecowaste or is someone who loves saving the environment, then I can guarantee this is a sure winner!
Propose with a memento or with a poem or a song of your choice
Now if you can’t really make anything with your hands, why not make something out of your mind? Dedicate a song, a piece of poetry, or even your love story to him or her. Include a couple of mementos, such as tickets of your first concerts, out of town trips, and the like. And if you have lots of these keepsakes in hand, why not make a scrapbook out of it? Store all your precious memories via photos and mementos. Add a few blank pages towards the end of the book. Once your partner gets to that point, that’s the time that you get down on one knee and ask to be his or hers forever.
Give an heirloom
An heirloom is a convenient yet very precious gift to your significant other when proposing. You’re lucky if it’s a ring. But if not, any other heirloom is worth it as long as your partner understands its importance to your family.
Use a different jewelry piece
If you don’t have an heirloom to give away, then you could also choose different jewelry pieces to match the preference and style of your partner. Perhaps, your boyfriend is not someone who would appreciate being given a ring, so you could choose a watch instead. If your girlfriend isn’t a ring type, maybe a beautiful necklace would do the trick.
Get a pet together
Not all couples want kids. Some choose to be a fur parent. So, if you’re absolutely sure that your partner wants that cute little Pomeranian from the shelter or even a cat that looks like Garfield, then by all means get that for him or her. This will add a sense of purpose and it will show that you want to start a new life with him or her, possibly till the end of your time. A word of caution, though. Please be very sure that you and your partner will want to keep a pet. Being pet owners is a big responsibility and that’s what makes it all the more special.
Suggest a couple tattoo
This one would only work if (a) you are both into tattoos or (b) your partner never had a tattoo but is open to getting one for the right reasons. The good thing about this is that you could put the tattoo on your finger, to mimic an actual ring, or you could choose to put it on different body parts. Just be sure to wait until he or she says yes before getting one for yourself. You may regret this later on.
Buy tickets to go see the world… or at least a part of it
Most people dream of visiting some of the best places in the world. However, only the lucky few get to do this during their lifetime because it isn’t cheap and it’s not as if you can simply uproot your life to see the wonders of the world. So your significant other will definitely appreciate you surprising him or her by planning a romantic getaway to all his or her dream destinations.
Make it a novelty
A lot of marriage proposals have gone viral over the past years and you can either try one of those or use them as an inspiration to make your proposal a memorable one. Try doing it in the middle of a stadium or with a balloon ring or heck you can even go down on one knee in the library with a classy paper ring if you want!
Something responsibly grand
If the previous suggestion sounds too incredulous for you, then you could do a grand gesture that’s both responsible and would make your partner understand just how serious you are about them. If you have enough cash and you don’t want to spend it on a ring, you could pay for their student loans if you want. You could repair your partner’s hand-me-down car complete with a cool paint job (that you’ll know they’ll loves). You could also organize a benefit concert for their chosen shelter or foster home. Just be sure to know what they really want.
Use your words
If all of these aforementioned options put a risk on your finances, you could simply be honest. Confess your love as wholeheartedly and as sincerely as you can. Jessie J was right – it’s not really all about the money. Being broke should not stop you from professing your love to someone. But it is a big consideration if you want to start a family, so be wise. Whatever choice you make, just be certain that it’s worth it for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
If you’re thinking about proposing with a temporary ring, check out our article which details how to it right. Alternatively, if you think you want to go with a ring after all, check out our guide on engagement rings.