Should You Channel Travis Barker and Buy an Oval Engagement Ring Like Kourtney Kardashian’s?

There's only one way to find out if an oval diamond is the way to go

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian embrace on the street in New York. Barker proposed to Kardashian with an oval engagement ring.
Travis Barker proposed to Kourtney Kardashian with an oval engagement ring.
Gotham/GC Images

Perhaps you’ve heard the news? Following Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly’s cringeworthy GQ interview last week, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have been forced to one-up their celebrity couple friends/doppelgängers by straight up getting engaged — with an approximately $1 million oval engagement ring, no less.

Barring any particularly strong affinity for Blink-182, the only reason this news is likely to be of much interest to you, a man, is if you happen to be planning a proposal at some point in the near future. If you are, you are likely enmeshed in the tricky business of ring shopping and now wondering if you, too, should pop the question with an oval diamond engagement ring. The answer is: I don’t know, and neither do you. The only person who does know is the woman to whom you’re planning on proposing.

Oval diamonds may very well be among the most popular engagement ring shapes of the moment, or certainly will be now that Kourtney Kardashian has one. But that doesn’t really matter. Engagement rings — in most cases the most meaningful, personal piece of jewelry a person will ever wear — are much less about current trends than they are individual taste and preference. Chances are the woman in your life already has some idea what kind of engagement ring she wants (perhaps even a very specific idea), and it probably has relatively little to do with current engagement ring trends or whatever diamond shape her favorite celebrity is rocking.

Unfortunately, this means the answer to what kind of ring you should purchase is not one at which you can easily arrive by simply googling “best engagement rings for women.” Sorry to disappoint. However, there is a relatively easy way to figure out what kind of ring the lady in your life wants: you can ask her.

As we have previously established, the “surprise” engagement ring is not only an antiquated tradition, but is also among the biggest engagement ring buying mistakes a man can make. To be clear, I am not suggesting you simply pop the question with a blank check and tell your bride-to-be to go pick out her own ring — unless she, like me, happens to have a screenshot of the exact ring of her dreams saved in a folder on her phone called “This Is the Only Engagement Ring You Will Ever Accept.” But surprising her with an expensive piece of jewelry she will wear every day of her life without even consulting her is simply unwise, and almost bound to lead to disappointment.

In most situations, you and the woman you are planning on proposing to are probably on the same page — by which I mean she wants whatever kind of ring she wants, and you want to give her what she wants. The only problem is that you may not know exactly what that ring is. Don’t worry; no one expects you to be a mind reader, and not being able to divine exactly what diamond shape, color, setting and band your woman has in mind out of the millions of options out there does not make you a bad or careless partner. The most expensive jewelry purchase of your life, and one meant to represent your undying love to a person, is not the time to take a shot in the dark. You’re gonna want her input.

An oval engagement ring like the one Travis Barker gave Kourtney Kardashian for their engagement.
An oval engagement ring like one Travis Barker gave Kourtney Kardashians (though hers is obviously much bigger).
Glasshouse Images

That said, chances are both you and your prospective fiancée still want there to be some element of surprise when it comes time to present her with the final product. I get it; it’s tricky and requires you to tread a very fine line of figuring out what she wants without ruining the surprise. Fortunately, the good news is that most women who have even the slightest idea what kind of engagement ring they want are more than willing to talk about it at length with pretty much anyone who will listen given the opportunity. Even better news: there are plenty of slightly subtle ways to provide that opportunity without saying point blank, “Hey, I want to propose to you. What kind of ring do you want?”

One example? A high-profile celebrity engagement. Whether or not you’re usually one to keep up with the Kardashians, the Kourtney and Travis engagement is major news right now, making it easy enough to bring up casually. Chances are, she’s already seen the ring and formed an opinion, which she will be more than willing to share with you. Not only will this help you figure out how she feels about oval engagement rings, specifically — it will also provide an opportunity to ask more questions about what she does and doesn’t want in a ring.

Listen, you don’t have to be a super sleuth. If you are planning on proposing, your partner probably already has some idea — or she should, anyway. Some element of surprise is one thing, but generally speaking, no one wants to be blindsided by a proposal. If marriage is in your future, you and your partner have probably already discussed it well before you even thought about buying a ring, so why shouldn’t you discuss the ring itself, too? At the end of the day, she wants what she wants, and she wants you to get it right as much as you do. All you have to do is ask.

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