You are going to have to give an Oscar-worthy performance to pull off this step of the intelligence gathering phase. For your part, you’ll be playing the roles of both the devoted boyfriend with a secret and the devoted boyfriend who isn’t even thinking about a marriage proposal.
To set the scene, let’s say your girlfriend suggests going ring shopping, or maybe the two of you are at the mall and she strays off into a jewelry store, or perhaps she rubbernecks while passing by a diamond-laden storefront. If any such scene were to present itself, I have two words for you: Carpe. Diem. It’s time to channel your inner James Bond because you’ve just been personally invited to go undercover for a firsthand look at elusive information that could make your life a heck of a lot easier with little effort on your part.
First things first: you have to play it cool. Remember that you are playing the non-proposing boyfriend in the body of the boyfriend with a big ole secret. Be polite and just play along. Don’t try and throw her off by acting cavalier or dismissive, but don’t show even a hint of eagerness, either. And don’t you dare let yourself get caught in the moment and wind up making the dreaded “Hey, baby, maybe you should try on this one” mistake – even if she’s showing way too much love to the two carat-plus rings and you’re on more of a sub-carat budget. Complete nonchalance is what you are going for.
Another pointer: keep in mind at all times, no matter how much you learn about diamonds between now and then, don’t ever let on that you know a thing. After all, why would non-proposing boyfriend know the difference between mined and man-made diamonds, or how many facets a cushion cut has versus a princess? Play dumb, play naïve, whatever you can do to effectively feign ignorance without going overboard. If she asks you if you know what the 4 Cs are, tell her that you thought there were seven – the Atlantic, the Pacific, the…you get the picture. If she asks you if you like an emerald cut, just utter something like, “Uh, you mean the green one?”
But no matter how much acting you have to do, you still have to pay attention. Watch her with the eyes of an expert marksman and try zero in on what might be catching her fancy. Did she linger by the solitaires? Did she loiter by the three-stones? Or did she seem particularly drawn to ones with diamonds all around the band? Did she seem to favor the roundy ones or was she more into the square-ish ones? Did she try on only the colorless ones or was she partial to the fancy yellow ones? Does she like modern rings or something with a vintage ring vibe? Would she want to be sure that her diamond was socially and ecologically responsible?
In the end, if this type of ring-ogling occasion never arises, not to worry – there are all kinds of opportunities to get your 007 on. For instance, whenever one woman tells another woman that she just got engaged, the first thing the other woman does is grab the engaged-woman’s hand and gawk at her ring. This will always happen. It’s like a law of the universe or something. Watch for situations like this. Monitor your girlfriend’s reaction – is she telling the engaged woman her ring is beautiful the same obligatory way that people tell other people their babies are adorable? Or is she gazing dreamily at the ring and finding herself at a loss for words?
The point here is: be opportunistic but remain vigilant. Playing a double agent might be kinda fun, but you have to remember that first and foremost, you have a job to do and your future is hanging in the balance.
- Stay alert. A key opportunity could arise from a harmless walk down the street.
- Seize the opportunity by taking mental notes
- Listen close. A quick convo with a friend could reveal juicy info.