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Do you tell him you hate your engagement ring?

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on February 18th, 2011 12 comments

Whether you’ve been together for years or have had a whirlwind romance, you will forever remember the moment when the love of your life pops the question. Everything is perfect: the setting, the words, the ring… Oh yes, the ring… What if the ring isn’t right?

The engagement ring is something you will be wearing from now until forever – it will become part of you – so what if the sight of it repulses you? OK, it will take a lot for a ring to make you turn on your heels and run away, but the burning question is: do you tell your husband-to-be the truth and risk hurting his feelings or do you risk spending the rest of your life looking down at a sparkler you hate?

First of all you should have dropped more hints about what type of jewellery you like and hate early on in the relationship. If you’re not vocal about your preferences, chance is that he’s not going to magically pick the right ring when the time comes. Do you keep a blog and are secretly hoping your boyfriend will get down on one knee without you knowing? Make sure you blog lots about rings! He might head there for inspiration…

Speaking from personal experience, men might also turn to those who would know: the best friend, so make sure she – or he – knows what your taste in diamonds is. Rectangular, round, oval, princess, marquise, pear, and droplet – the cut makes all the difference when it comes to this particular ring.

If not, hope that he proposes with a plastic ring or a hula hoop so that you can head to the jeweller and choose the perfect engagement ring together.

Now, the trickiest situation will be if the ring is a family heirloom – like Kate Middleton recently experienced – yet it is something you would rather not be seen wearing. The solution? Simply say you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing such a valuable item every day and keep it somewhere safe and only wear it on very special occasions. Then buy a shiny new diamond for everyday wear – clever eh!

Or simply go for the safest choice. Make it known that you want to get married and choose the ring together and forget about the ‘surprise’ element of getting engaged. Picking the ring together can be just as romantic.

Been in this situation? What did you do?

Image: De Beers

  • Susan

    My husband wasn’t stupid enough to buy a ring without me being there. He proposed to me & then we went to buy one later.

  • lorie

    My fiance just proposed with the most beautiful ring I could ever hope for!! We had went looking several times and he really knew what I liked. And he finally found something he loved and knew I would love the minute he seen it and had to buy it and surprised me with it!

  • Elisabeth Edvardsen

    That’s great news Lori! Congratulations!

  • Siew

    My finace asked me what kinds of rings I liked months before he strongly considered buying one, and asked my friends. He wanted any proposal, if there was going to be one, to be a complete surprise, hence asking early. His take was this: the ring is a gift from him to me, and he’d like to make it a surprise and special, and hope that I trusted his judgment. I did, and he custom designed a beautiful ring that fits my style perfectly!
    My advice/take: Be open to styles you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Don’t get too attached to one particular ring, and (if it’s important to him to surprise you) let him pick it and let the ring grow on you!

  • Rachel

    I can understand the reason for an expensive engagement ring back in the days when a broken engagement meant disaster for a woman. It acted as a kind of insurance policy. I simply cannot understand why they are considered necessary now. Also, the very fact that diamond prices are kept artificially high by the suppliers was enough to make me not want one. My engagement ring is an antique, set with a large, good-quality beautiful semi-precious stone. It cost a fraction of the price of a new diamond engagement ring, and unlike those diamonds did not immediately depreciate on purchase. A friend of my husband’s had his proposal rejected, so tried to return the ring to the jeweller. He was horrified to learn how little he would be offered for the ring as he had no idea how over-priced diamonds were.

  • Trish

    Tnis happened to the lady who lived across the road from my mum. When her husband proposed to her, she hated the ring but knew he couldn’t afford anything better. They went camping for their honeymoon and she lost the ring, so they were going to buy a replacement, but that was too expensive. So they combined the diamonds from both mothers engagement rings and designed their own – which she absolutely loves.

  • Triptrap

    My husband consulted my friend and his mother and sister when he went shopping for a ring. This was well after I had explicitly told him that I did not want a diamond…I preferred a cultured diamond (similar to how they make cultured pearls). I also feel the prices are inflated and that the mining process is destructive to the environment among other reasons. An antique would also have been lovely. So with all this advice and information the ring my husband proposed with was a modern simple band of 5 brand new diamonds mined in Russia. Aside from the diamonds it was just not my style at all. I kept the dislike to myself although expressed my surprise that he bought exactly what I had said I did not want. A couple of days later he asked me if I liked the ring and I could not lie. I told him it was the best gift anyone had ever given me and that I liked it but didn’t love it. He told me he knew his chances of getting it right were low so he made sure it could be exchanged before he bought it and that the shop also had a collection of antique estate jewelry. So together we went to the shop and I picked out the ring that had been his second choice and had the jeweler use a diamond I had been left by my grandmother after her death. So in the end I have a beautiful ring I love that holds a reminder of my beloved grandmother. I still don’t know how he bought me diamonds though!

  • Elisabeth Edvardsen

    Thank you everyone for your comments! Great to hear your engagement ring stories!

  • Pingback: 80% of British women would say ‘I don’t’ to the wrong engagement ring | Bridalwave()

  • Desiree

    My then boyfriend now husband picked out my engagement ring. It was GOLD with a CLEAR round center stone. (I had wanted white gold with a canary princess diamond and had literally folded corners of magazines down and shown him and talked about them to help him out).

    When he proposed, I was so thrilled I didn’t even SEE the ring till hours after wearing it… through tears I saw the opposite of what I’d wanted and wondered who helped him choose and how he chose this particular style. I was torn with what to do and say. Knowing how proud of himself he must’ve been for keeping it a surprise, and how romantically he’d proposed (just outside the restaurant where we’d had our first date and later would marry outside of), I decided not to say anything and see if I could just live with it.

    At times I wish we’d picked one out together so I could get the one I wanted originally, but my mind quickly shifts to what the ring means, how sweet it was that he picked it out and romantically surprised me, and that it symbolizes eternity with my wonderful husband of (now) almost one year! And the canary princess diamond fades in the distance as we move into our future together!

  • Another year

    Yeah, I have no idea. I sent my now husband pictures of the rings I liked, we went shopping together, I told him what I did not like (and sent him pictures) and when the day came he picked a ring I hated. I told him years later and he wondered why I didn’t tell him earlier. 

  • Jen

    We sat together and researched online and bought one online at was good experience..

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