The engagement ring can be a source of pride for women, but also anxiety for men. A lot of fiancées (self not included) like to show their ring off to anyone who will look at it, which can make or break a mood. If you’re showing off the ring because you want other people’s approval, you might get upset when someone doesn’t give you the reaction that you’re looking for.

As for the proposers, they also feel pressure to deliver a nice product and to “pop the question” in a way that’s creative and memorable. So there are some things both sides should keep in mind when it comes to finding the right fit and cut, as well as the actual proposal.

1. Do you want a diamond ring because you really want a diamond ring or because society tells you that you want a diamond ring?

The most important thing to consider here is that diamonds are typically the most expensive option. And this isn’t even including the band, karat and cut yet. It could all delay the proposal, because if he’s not balling, then he’s busy saving for a few months.

Diamonds are also the cause of war and serious conflict unimaginable to the pampered American psyche in parts of Africa and South America. It’s technically not your fault that people are dying behind what’s essentially a shiny rock. But if the industry isn’t patronized, then maybe they’ll lose money, which will hopefully send the memo that this inhumane behavior is unacceptable. Something to consider. And if you don’t care about that, then consider your personal style and genuinely assess if you really want a diamond for you or because Marilyn Monroe told you so.

2. Are you pressuring him for a proposal?

It’s one thing to have a conversation about where your relationship is going and agreeing about what you want. But it’s another when you’re on the same page about getting married eventually yet you keep harassing him. I know someone (no names to protect the guilty) who pressured her man to marry him to the point where not only did they choose her ring together, but they scheduled the day he was going to do it. Seriously? YES.

The beauty in a proposal—at least to me—is when you don’t know that it’s coming and then BOOM! That’s how it happened for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, I know that when I’m constantly told that I need to do something, it makes me do the opposite, or at least delay what needs to be done just for the sake of torture. So think about that before you start nagging.

Everyone’s different, though. So do whatever works for you.

3. Does he know what you want?

There’s a way to tell him what you want with finesse. I’ve always wanted a ruby and didn’t have to tell Mr. Rocque but once. Mind you, the conversation where it was brought came up casually, so I fit it in where I could without being obvious. We just so happened to be talking about whether we’d like to get married some day, and so I segued into asking him, “What type of ring would you get?”

He didn’t know what type of ring he would get. Most men don’t. Actually, most men just automatically assume that their potential wives will want diamonds. So, that’s when I casually slipped in, “Personally, I’ve always wanted a ruby,” and left it at that. Then, to take the focus off the ring I asked, “How would you propose?” and he presented some scenarios.

It was a painless process, and best of all, he remembered.

4. Did you do your research on jewelers?

Zales and Tiffany’s are cool, but think about the mom and pop shops that might do a better job of personalizing a ring, or at least providing important information. Mr. Rocque sought the advice of married or engaged men he trusted about where they went and what the process was. Since then, he’s been passing on that wisdom. So the bottom line is, get your research from more authentic sources. No shade to the aforementioned brands, but there’s something about being bombarded with the same ads that takes away the authenticity of a place.

What things are you considering in your pursuit of The Ring? Sound off below!

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, Chicago-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.