Engagement Rules You Can (and Should) Break

engagement rules

There is no denying that the post-pandemic world has changed the definition and expectations of what is socially acceptable. This applies to engagement ring shopping, where traditionally couples followed rules deemed “the right” way of doing things. But haven’t you heard? All engagement rules are off! The process of engagement ring shopping and proposing has changed indefinitely. In the spirit of change, we break down three popular engagement rules that you can (and very much should) consider breaking this year. 

Engagement Rule #1: He has to Propose

One of the most traditional engagement rules that couples are familiar with is, “the man” must propose in the relationship. However, times have changed as we are seeing a large advocacy for feminism and inclusivity for LGBTQ+ couples. Gender roles are no longer restricted to one sex. It’s no longer the story of “how he asked.” In fact, “The Knot” discourages you from letting society determine your decision. Susannah and Taylor’s engagement was definitely a great example of this.

Engagement Rule #2: Proposing with a Ring

I know Beyoncé made a literal song about putting a ring on it, but do you really have to? Ring shopping is not necessarily the same experience we had prior to the pandemic. Shipping delays, limited stock, and virtual shopping have shifted perspective, and proposals are no different. Here are three ideas to make your proposal an enhanced experience with or without a ring

  • Other jewelry can be a substitute or temporary option to invest in. A watch or pair of earrings can be just as pricey – if not more so – than a traditional engagement ring. Perhaps your partner is not a ring-wearer or you don’t know their preferences yet. Try something unique on for size!
  • Pet proposals add that extra bit of fluff to your moment. Throughout the pandemic and the common shift to working from home, an increase in foster parents and adoptions have occurred. It’s the best time to expand your family and sweeten the proposal to your significant other.
  • Musically enhance your proposal with a song or dance. Tender moments with your partner can best be expressed with romantic lyrics and good music.

Engagement Rule #3: Breaking Your Budget

Another old engagement ring shopping rule is that the buyer should spend about two month’s salary. We believe that your investment should be manageable and a personal choice. Creating a budget is a helpful way to narrow down the perfect ring that reflects what matters most to the buyer. Consider the following items when finalizing your budget:

  • Making craftsmanship a priority? Cartier and David Yurman are famous for their ring settings and quality jewelry – but also consider the financial investment. You’re buying craftsmanship, quality, name brand bragging rights, and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • Does sustainability matter to you? Jewelers like Tiffany & Co. have pledged to be a part of the initiative along with other leading companies to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Tiffany & Co. is one of several popular jewelers that are committed to traceability of each gemstone or diamond and following the criteria for responsible mining practices
  • Looking to add a splash of color? Adding gemstones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires can make your engagement ring unique and most likely not affect your budget if you are shopping in the $3-5K range. Other less expensive stones like tourmaline, aquamarine, and topaz have also become increasingly popular.

Make Your Own Rules

If the post-Covid era has taught us anything, it’s that love is a force that empowers us through tough times. Love is inclusive and explores well beyond traditional gender role boundaries. The bottom line, don’t be afraid to break all the rules when shopping for an engagement ring. Set your own standards and invest in a purchase (and invest in engagement ring insurance) that reflects your partner and yourself as a unit that will stand the test of time.


Zillion partners with jewelers to offer their customers lower rates on jewelry insurance. If you don’t see your jeweler on our list, we’re sorry, we won’t be able to offer you a quote for insurance. If you purchased from a Preferred Jewelers International retailer please email us at partners@myzillion.com and let us know the name of the retailer. Thank you.