So, you’ve found an engagement ring while cleaning under your bed or looking for your lost keys. Whether you knew a proposal was on the horizon or not, it’s still bound to be quite a shock. You might be feeling a variety of emotions—joy, amazement, maybe even a bit of disappointment that your proposal will no longer be a total surprise. You may also feel some confusion—what do you do now that you’ve found the engagement ring? Play it cool, tell your partner you know, tell a friend—there are lots of ways to go from here.

Don’t panic. Here, we’ll break down exactly what to do if you’ve found the engagement ring before the proposal.

Put it back where you found it—now.

You might want to admire your soon-to-be bling for hours, but resist the temptation. Close the ring box immediately and put the ring back exactly where you found it. There’s no need to let your partner know you’ve found the engagement ring, and the longer you look at it, the higher the chance you’ll get caught red-handed.  

Avoid looking at it again.

Now comes the really tricky part. After putting the ring back where you found it, do not, we repeat, do not take it out to look at it again. Yes, this may be very difficult, but you should try to maintain the surprise element of your proposal as much as you can. If you’ve just taken a quick glance at the ring, you may not remember every detail, so you’ll still feel somewhat surprised when the engagement ring is officially presented to you.  

Keep the secret.

You may want to shout it from the rooftops, but if you’ve found your engagement ring before the proposal, try your best to keep it under wraps. That means, don’t make any snarky comments to your partner (“Hey, you might want to do a better job of hiding that engagement ring” is a no-no), don’t tell your bestie, don’t tell your mom—just don’t. The more people you tell, the more likely it’s going to get back to your partner, and it would likely be super disappointing for him or her. Be as patient as you possibly can—write down your thoughts in a journal if you really feel the urge to spill the beans. Your proposal is likely right around the corner, and you’ll soon be able to show your gorgeous ring to everyone you know!   

Focus on the surprises still to come.

If you’re feeling a bit disappointed that you’ve found the engagement ring and worried that your surprise proposal is no longer a surprise, remember that there are likely elements of your proposal that are still unknown to you—so you\’ll likely still be genuinely surprised when the proposal does happen. Maybe you don’t know when or where the proposal will take place. Perhaps there are other elements to the proposal, like an after-party with your family and friends, that you don’t know about. Also, keep in mind that, according to new WeddingWire data, only one in three engagement rings are a surprise to the person being proposed to. Turns out that 20 percent of couples shop for engagement rings together. So if you already know what your ring looks like, you’re definitely not alone.

If you don\’t love the ring—wait. 

You’ve found the engagement ring and, well, you’re not in love. Right now, the most important thing is to remember the meaning behind the jewelry. Your partner is in love with you and has spent ample time and money finding what he or she believes is the perfect ring for you. Focus on your love for your partner, not on the ring’s appearance. Once the excitement of your engagement has settled down, you can perhaps broach the topic with your partner—but do tread carefully.


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