By Marie Haaland // SWNS


It takes 36 hints over the course of almost eight months — for people to get their significant other to propose, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 engaged Americans revealed 54% dropped hints to their partner encouraging them to propose, but it took some longer than others to pick up on it.

The most common hint was revealed to be “accidentally” sending texts or emails with advertisements for rings (59%).

That was followed by purposefully putting on shows or movies about weddings (like “Say Yes to the Dress”) to spark a conversation (45%) or enlisting their friends to start conversations about engagements (38%).

Respondents also admitted to leaving open tabs/websites about weddings (37%) and casually pointing out rings while shopping together (31%).

Commissioned by De Beers and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found that while these hints work sometimes, other people remained oblivious.

Of those who proposed, half (49%) said they got so tired of waiting for their partner to get down on one knee, they decided to propose to their partner themselves.

But regardless of who in the relationship proposed, 75% said there’s nothing in their proposal they would change, and 67% enjoy sharing their “proposal story” with friends and family.

When it comes to the proposal itself, respondents said the most important piece was the ring (51%) — even more important than their partner saying “yes” (17%).

Other important pieces of the proposal were found to include the photos both during and afterward (38%) and who else was present during the proposal (36%).

Fifty-six percent believe the ring is so important that it can’t be a “real” proposal without one.

“Getting engaged is one of the most emotionally intense experiences many people go through, said Sally Morrison, De Beers Group. “Taking the time to plan the details that will make this a truly special, memorable moment sets the tone for a lifetime of ‘being engaged’ in each other — listening, paying attention and demonstrating love with carefully chosen words and acts.”

But despite the importance of the ring itself, less than half (38%) of those who proposed to their partner knew their ring size ahead of time.

Of those who did, the most common way they found their partner’s ring size was by taking another ring to estimate (27%) — while 23% measured their partner’s finger with string or something similar and 19% said their partner came shopping with them.

Not only is the size important, but so is the style, and the most common gemstone for engagement rings was revealed to be diamonds.

For those who had a diamond in their engagement ring, the most common cut was princess cut (44%).

“An engagement ring signifies a huge milestone in a relationship and is a symbol of bringing together the lives of two people. There’s a lot of pressure to get it just right,” said Morrison.

“But the most important thing to keep in mind is the person you’re buying the ring for. Choosing a style they will be proud to wear and one that reflects their personality will ensure that the ring will be worn and cherished for a lifetime.”



  1. “Accidentally” sent texts or emails with advertisements for rings 59%
  2. Purposefully put on shows or movies about weddings (“Say Yes to the Dress”) to spark a conversation 45%
  3. Enlisted friends to begin a conversation about engagements 38%
  4. Left open tabs/websites about weddings 37%
  5. Gone shopping together and casually pointed out rings 31%
  6. Brought up a conversation about engagement rings 28%
  7. Talked about favorite styles of rings 26%
  8. Made clear the ring size that was needed 18%
  9. Outright said they wanted to get engaged 18%
  10. Talked or joked about being married in the future or referred to things that would happen “when we’re married” 11%


FORMULA: 7.57 months between dropping the first hint and becoming engaged x 4.69 hints per month = 35.5 hints total


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