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Reality Check: the cost of an engagement ring does not equal your worth

By admin on May 14th, 2008 1 comment

Unnecessary Engagement BlingI’m married, and I don’t wear an engagement ring, or a wedding band. For some reason, this makes some people either terribly confused, or questionably uncomfortable. When (repeatedly) asked why I don’t wear either of these things, I simply tell people (nosy women) that I don’t have one because:

a) It’s not that important to me
b) I don’t want a ring or wedding band like everyone else
c) I’ve yet to come across a set that’s unique, my style, and worth the cash it would cost to buy it.

But for some reason, people just don’t want to believe me.

For various reasons, most people don’t believe that I could possibly really, truly not care that much about having a wedding ring – but I’m being 100% honest. I don’t have a problem with women who love the idea of engagement rings or wedding bands. I respect that the majority of married/engaged women have them. It doesn’t annoy me or bother me when I see people wearing said rings – but what DOES bother me is the insane obsession that is placed on the material aspect of a wedding or even marriage.

Take today’s article in The Telegraph called Beware The Rules Of Modern Engagement. While it starts off as a news report on Nick Cannon and Nicolas Sarkozy recycling engagement rings and wedding bands by giving their new fiancees and wives rings that they gave to their previous partners, it ends by discussing how while “some women see the engagement ring as a squandering of cash…most of us still dream of a big ring within a tiny box from Tiffany’s or Asprey’s”. Gag. Me.

Take this quote from thrice engaged Kate Gielgud:

“I have wanted an engagement ring for as long as I can remember. My first impression is of storybook princes giving storybook princesses vast sparkly rings. So I knew from a very early age that it meant being loved, desired, respected and secure… It was very important to me to have a concrete symbol of being adored and wanted.”


I understand and respect that tradition has a lot, if not everything to do with the exchanging of rings. But the sheer expense of them and the nasty Bridezilla selfishness that pours out of some women that say an expensive, diamond engagement ring is a direct reflection of how much their spouse “adores” them is what I find absolutely revolting.

For another fantastic column on engagement rings, please check out Katie Lee’s columns on her eco-friendly wedding.

Cate Sevilla is the Editor of Dollymix. From what you can guess, yes, she had a small, inexpensive wedding.

  • k_sra

    I do and I don’t agree with the sentiment. On the one hand (haha, get it?), a ring is merely a formality of our culture, not actually an important feature of a relationship (like not keeping secrets from each other, or staying faithful). I agree that the ring itself does not, can not, and should not be expected to signify our worth to the other person.

    And yet, here’s the catch… it does! Maybe it’s society’s fault, maybe it’s the way men are made, but many men (not all) like knowing when they marry that they got the “best one.” And the “best one” is the one the guy had to fight hardest to get. (We won’t go into why or what causes them to care so very much or compete with each other) And in keeping with that very basic desire of huMAN nature, to be victorious, the guy whose girl has the biggest ring, is obviously the best girl to get. He adds to her value and his when other people see that ring. Disgusted yet? I know, me too. But let me add one more thought to the discussion: we value that which costs us the most. A man who has had to sacrifice a certain portion of his salary for a woman’s ring before marrying her, regardless of how much he makes, has invested not only money, but emotion in that investment and it makes it more concrete. “I’m doing this! I am paying for something until it hurts me to do so. I am sacrificing for what I believe in. And that is this relationship.” In that light, the ring (or any other sacrificial gift, for that matter) can be seen as how much stock or worth that man is putting into that relationship. It’s not a pissing contest in this light, it’s a sacrifical act of giving that represents a life long commitment to one person.

    I’m not big into rings myself. Diamonds leave me cold. Gold is not my style. I think cubic zirconias are the best thing since sliced bread. In truth, my most valued possession is my fiance’s love. And if he chooses to express that love (in part) through the ring that I now wear, then I am happy to oblige him. Honestly, I didn’t want a ring until I got one. The one I got was created for me by him. It is unique, carefully crafted, tailored to me for a lifetime of change, represents my personality, reminds me how much I am loved no matter where I am. I couldn’t think of a better expression of love than that.

    Wow! long comment. Let me say “thank you” for making me think and “thank you” for letting me share my thoughts as well.

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