Put a ring on it (OR NOT)
“If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.”
“If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.”
With our legs two-stepping side to side and then pointing to our ring finger, we danced the night away to our favourite lady’s tune at a bachelorette party! Outwardly I was all smiles but on the inside, I felt out of place. Not only was I single, I was the only girl in the group without an engagement ring. Now fast forward to four years later, I met my dear friend and partner in life Hercules. He proposed to me on Valentine’s Day and I still don’t have a ring.
This is what happened when we shared our engagement news…
“What? Why are you so stupid? Why did you say no to a diamond ring?”
“——-” Speechless. Followed by an awkward silence.
“Are you guys poor?”
“Well, you can always get diamonds when you get a wedding ring I guess.”
“Pssh. Who would propose without an engagement ring?”
“If he really loves you, he would still get you a diamond ring.”
Surprised? One day while we were strolling the mall, Hercules wanted to go ring shopping. While we were on our way to the jewellery store, I started bombarding him with many random thoughts.
ME: “Hercules, are you the type of guy that thinks it is important to buy an engagement ring?”
He looked at me with a puzzled face not really certain where the conversation was going.
ME: “Long before I met you, I’ve been thinking about this idea. This idea is driven by many random thoughts, which I’m still trying to piece together. Ok, hear me out. Let me try to articulate a couple of my thoughts to you.”
HERCULES: “Ok, I’m all ears.”
ME: “I’m not saying it’s good or bad to have an engagement ring. It’s just that when I was in Kenya on a medical mission trip, I was taken aback at how happy these kids are with very little possessions. Some would argue that they don’t know any better because they haven’t tasted the alternative. But it makes me think how often I try to find fulfillment in material goods. And most recently, I’ve been following The Minimalists. I’m quite intrigued by their essays about living meaningfully with less stuff. In one of their blog posts “Minimalism Is Not A Radical Lifestyle“, I learned that they only own the things that add value to their lives and they often question their possessions. Now if I apply this thinking to where we are at right now, I would ask myself what is the purpose of an engagement ring? Do I need an engagement ring to feel fulfilled? Do I need it? Why do I need two rings – an engagement ring and a wedding ring? And when you propose to me, will I be celebrating the diamond ring with the perfect cut or celebrating the qualities of the man I have decided to spend the rest of my life with? Hercules, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want an engagement ring.”
Hercules continued to look at me with a puzzled look.
HERCULES: “Uh, I’m a bit shocked. I’ve never heard of such rationalization before.” Looking perplexed, he continued, “Well, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Are you sure this is what you want?”
The days and weeks following, he asked this question again and again. And, I always responded boldly with a yes! So what did we end up doing?
Stay tuned for the second part of the series “To Put A Ring On It (Or Not)”!
In the meantime, I would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts?
Cast your vote below! And, if you have more to share, leave your comments below! [polldaddy poll=8591570]
I think it all depends on your goals as a couple and what’s important to you. I have to admit I’m on Team Diamond 🙂 but I wouldn’t get a diamond if my wedding was unpaid and left with debt at the end of it all, doesn’t make sense!
I agree you should not have to fit into the “status quo.” As long as you both agree and are both happy, that’s all that should matter!
Agree with all comments and posting above for several reasons:
1) First, choosing not to acclimate to the standard idea of marriage means you are choosing to be free from societal restrictions. You’re saying no one object can define your marriage – not the size of your home, the money in the bank nor the size or existence of a diamond ring. Everyone’s marriage is unique in it’s success. A diamond ring, while a great symbol, isn’t necessary to make a great relationship. Sure you’ll get questioned by others, but you’re real friends and family will understand that your marriage is your own and you make the rules, don’t follow others.
2) Conversely to the above, it’s still prudent to study past relationships to see what similar factors contributed to the long term success. Did a diamond ring figure prominently in past happy marriages? If not (and I suspect it won’t) than it need not be something to agonize over.
3) Having a diamond ring is not necessarily a great investment. If you were to look at this purely from a financial standpoint and you had to make a choice between a downpayment on a condo or a diamond ring, the long term benefit from a home outweighs a diamond, strictly from a financial standpoint.
4) Perhaps there’s something else that you value as a symbol more than a diamond that can be a long term symbol of your marriage. If you can find out what that is and share with your future hubby, maybe that would be more important. And it doesn’t have to be something you need to tell anyone else – after all, your marriage is only between two people: you and him.