I am not directing this post at anyone specific, so please don’t take offence to it.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time on Facebook has seen the photo album show up on their News Feed. Almost all of the cover photos are the same, her hand with the ring in focus.
Let me say, I am always happy to see people get engaged. I am excited for them to be starting their lives together. Engagement, and marriage are both wonderful things in my eyes. While I love engagements, and marriage, I do not love the engagement ring. It has become the focus of engagement, in my opinion, to an unhealthy extent. If you watch most any engagement happen:
– He will get down on one knee
– Open the ring box while saying, “Will you marry me.”
– She will look at the ring
– She will then answer
They will allow the ring to become the focus of the situation. When the pictures are taken afterwards, the ring is the centre of many of the photos. When she tells her friends about the engagement (guy or girl friends), their first request will be to see the ring.
Imagine an engagement without a ring. He says, “You are the most important person in my life. I cannot imagine it without you anymore. Will you marry me?” She says, “Yes, oh yes, I would love to.” She tells her friends about her engagement, and they say, “Where’s the ring?!?” She says, “We decided we weren’t going to have a ring, but celebrate our engagement in another way.” The response would be pensive at best in the majority of cases I believe. She would then probably be warned by some how a guy not willing to buy an engagement ring isn’t someone with whom she should be making long term life choices. The rest would have words with each other about, “How concerned they are for her.” They would likely view the lack of a ring as a lack of love/commitment. I feel this is a very fair North American assessment of how this situation would go.
The common thought at this point in the reading is probably, “This guy is probably cheap.” This is not the case. I believe something should definitely be done to commemorate the engagement. Something together, which reflects us as a couple. This could be anything from trips to tattoos. I would prefer a memory making event between the two of us, instead of an item. Could cost more, or less than an engagement ring, the dollar amount has nothing to do with my thoughts on the subject. When/If I ever get engaged, I want the focus to be on her and I building a life together. It will not be a point of preaching either. We will not put our noses in the air, and with our best Thurston Howell III voices proclaim, “We are better than other people.” If asked the answer will be simple, “We wanted a simple engagement which reflected us, so we did X instead of the ring.”
I know my stance on this may drastically reduce my chances of finding a potential mate, but I am not worried about it. This is not a secret I would spring at the engagement, if we were to get to the point of marriage, she will be aware of this, as I will be aware of her expectations.