Finally, the moment has arrived. The man of your dreams drops to one knee and holds out a box with a ring inside, asking you to spend the rest of your life with him. You say yes, of course, this is – woah, wait. Taking a closer look at the ring, you don’t know how you missed this before. It. Is. Hideous. Not just kind-of-not-your-style, but the kind of ring that makes you wince every time you glance down at it and shudder at the thought of Facebook engagement selfies. What’s a girl to do?
Believe it or not, this dilemma is more common than you might think. Outsiders are quick to denounce this as a case of the woman in question being a snob, or a gold-digger, or simply shallow and materialistic. Meanwhile, it’s more often a case not of the ring being too small or not flashy enough but rather of the ring being oversized and ostentatious. And the real problem is the one that lurks beneath it all, the one you hesitate to even acknowledge: “Doesn’t he know me better than this?”
Fact: proposing is a nervy business. Even if marriage has been discussed openly between you before, the act of formally asking for your hand is something quite different. Another fact: guys don’t always understand what girls want. If he’s not sure what kind of ring to pick out because, say, the world of jewellery is utterly foreign to him, he’s bound to be offered that clichéd piece of advice: the bigger, the better. So, hoping to impress you and give you something you’ll be proud to show off to your girlfriends, he goes for the gigantic diamond surrounded by even more diamonds all cloistered together on a massive band which can barely be seen beneath all that bling.
You might fear that confessing your true feelings about the ring will hurt his feelings – aaand, you’re probably right. You might, consequently, be tempted to force yourself to love the ring, after all, it’s about the symbolism, right, not just an object? Think of it this way: what kind of symbol is settling to wear, every day for the rest of your life, a ring that you are relieved to take off if an excuse arises? Dishes? Gardening? Repainting? Yes, please!
The point is, being able to speak to your partner gently but honestly about something that really is bugging you is pretty important, and it’s even more important to do it sooner rather than later or you risk him feeling deceived, too. If there was ever a time to exercise the greatest amount of caution and tact in a conversation, this is it. Be clear and be gentle, and once he’s over the initial sting hopefully he’ll understand and be glad you spoke up. Also, just because you don’t like the way the ring turned out doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. Rather, talk about getting stones reset in the style of your choosing, or having the original metal melted down and recast.
Ultimately, the ring you end up with will not only be more visually appealing to you, but will also be an excellent example of you and your man working together. The memory of being so considerate of each other in an extremely tricky situation is something that is sure to make you smile when you look at that ring in the many years to come.