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The Top 10 Mistakes Made When Purchasing a Diamond.

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For the Guys: How to Pop the Question

Proposing to your sweetheart is not something you should plan over your coffee break. It's an important occasion that tells her you want to spend the rest of your life with her. It should be thoughtful and memorable. After all, you're only going to do it once so why not get it right?

The secret to a successful proposal is very simple: know what will make her happy. One woman's dream proposal is another woman's nightmare. So really tailor the moment to your special woman, then prepare yourself for carrying it out.

First, consider what type of woman she is. If she's a hopeless romantic, then play to that�whisk her away to a romantic getaway on the anniversary of your first date; send her red roses; sing her a song�you get the idea. If she would cringe at the thought of a heartfelt poem, then opt for a simple plan like renting a DVD of the first movie you saw together or taking her to a place you both enjoy like a park or an art gallery. If she has a particular passion in life such as cooking, get creative and give her a private cooking lesson with the ring for dessert.

Remember this is an intimate moment so don't propose publicly unless you're 100% sure she would be okay with it. Besides, a public proposal often just adds extra unnecessary pressure for you. Whatever you decide, make sure to personalize it for her with aspects that have special meaning to your relationship.

Even if she's been hinting at a proposal, you still want to surprise her with it. Wow her, but not to the point that she's too stunned to respond. That means you should have at least thrown around the idea of marriage as a real possibility before you propose.

Really think about what you plan to say. Let her know how much she means to you, and why you want to share your lives together. It doesn't have to be a long drawn-out speech rehearsed for hours. Simple confessions like telling her the moment when you first knew you loved her or the little things you love most about her will set the mood perfectly. If you get tongue-tied, don't panic. As long as she knows you're being sincere, she'll be pleased about the effort.

When the time is right, whether she's traditional or not, drop to one knee. Every woman will appreciate the gesture, and it will make clear to her that you are serious about your proposal.

And finally, if you have the right ring to present, how can any woman resist?

Tips for Gals: How to Say Yes

The answer might seem obvious to your sweetheart's marriage proposal: a resounding "Yes!" of course!

While you may have your answer ready, it's important to accept graciously especially if something unexpected happens.

First and foremost, especially if you've been dropping hints, do not react by saying, "Finally!" or by giving off the remotest inkling of impatience. No man wants to feel coerced into proposing, and this is a special moment you want to give him credit for.

Realize that the act of proposing is likely a bit nerve-wracking for your guy, so be kind. He's taking a risk because there is the chance you could say no. Help him to relax, and don't be critical if he isn't as articulate or romantic as what you see in the movies. After all, he didn't have a script prepared for him, and he only has one take to get it right.

No matter the type of proposal he's planned, recognize that its purpose is to tell you how much he loves you and that he wants to share his life with you. Stop thinking about dream scenarios; focus on what's happening because this is for real. Don't compare with what others have done; cherish the moment as it happens because it's about the two of you.

Just as you want him to be heartfelt and sincere, you must return the favour. Tell him how much you love him, and why you want to be his wife. Yes, the engagement is a big deal for you, the bride-to-be, but it's also a life-altering decision for him. Be sure to show him how much it means to you that he's asked you to share his life, and wear your ring with pride!
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