I was listening to a breakfast show on the radio just the other day (as I went on a long drive with my daughter) and the topic of conversation was rather interesting – the engagement ring. What I found particularly intriguing was the debate on whether or not men should consult their girlfriends on the ring they intend on proposing with or if it should just be a surprise. Of course, they had several people call in and give their views so let’s take a look at the general vibe.
Firstly, here are some of the main arguments against letting her in on the decision making:
If the woman picks out her own ring, the engagement won’t be a surprise
Many people commented that if a woman has a say in the design, style, and cut of the diamond, then there really isn’t any room for surprise when the question gets popped. There are several videos on YouTube of the most romantic engagements and they all seem to have one thing in common; the woman had no idea it was coming. I’m not quite sure what it is, but there is something special about the moment when the man drops down on one knee and opens that tiny little box to reveal a sparkly new companion for the love of his life. Now imagine if she knew exactly how, when and what he would be proposing with. Would the moment be as special? Would the reaction be genuine?
Many of you will argue that just because she picked out the ring, it doesn’t mean that she had any input on the other details, but I will challenge you by asking this: have you ever known a woman who doesn’t snoop?
The ring is a gift to the woman
I cringe thinking back to what was said about this. The main argument is that an engagement ring is a gift from a man to a woman to declare his love and intentions of marrying her. Being a gift, it should be entirely his choice or in accordance to what his bank account can cover. If a woman doesn’t like the ring that the man picked, she still needs to wear it proudly as it is its representation that matters most. Usually when we pick Christmas/birthday gifts for people, we don’t actually consult them first, so why should an engagement ring be any different?
The man should know exactly what his lady likes before they tie the knot
So this one is a little tricky… All of those who were in favour of not checking in were of the belief that if he thought they were ready to get married, he should know what she likes and dislikes. Choosing a ring that reflects her personality should come as second nature to the boyfriend and failure to do so just shows that they aren’t quite there yet.
The arguments for including her in the decision:
The ring is something that a woman will wear every day for the rest of her life
If anyone were to tattoo something on their arm, it would most likely be a well-thought-out design or something with a deeper meaning. Does the same apply to a piece of jewellery that one wears on a daily basis? The comments on this one were that an engagement ring is very similar to a tattoo in that one will wear it everywhere and should do so proudly. Not many people allow a tattoo artist to just go ahead based on his preferences, so the same should be the case when picking a ring. Let her choose it so she wears it confidently.
The engagement ring is too expensive to mess up
Put very simply, an engagement ring is expensive. I’ve looked up some guidelines on just how much one should spend on this piece of metal and the average response seems to be the equivalent of three months’ salary. Now imagine buying such an expensive ring and your ‘Sheila’ doesn’t love it – or worse, she says no! Letting her into the decision making process also gives the man an idea of whether or not she will be saying yes to the question but leaves just enough power in the man’s hands so he can plan a nice surprise.
Thinking back to when my husband proposed to me, I believe he was spot on with everything. In our situation, we had already agreed to get married and were planning our wedding well before he proposed. It may sound strange to some, but my husband wasn’t one to date if he wasn’t intending on marrying. Of course, he had his fun when he was younger, but when he became a Christian, he changed his views on dating so our union was more of a courtship than anything else. A few months into the relationship, we discussed the ring I would love and I remember showing him several styles, one of which is sitting on my finger right now.
What I didn’t know was that he was going to plan a flash-mob to give me the ring as we had agreed that I would get it on our wedding day. I definitely have to give it to him because he knew every single detail about me, ie. what I liked and disliked, how I truly felt about certain gifts that weren’t my style, etc. That man knew that he had to make sure he popped the question when I had just gotten my nails done and needed to record the moment so I could gush about it later with my friends.
So what’s the story with my engagement ring?
In our personal experience, my husband was the one who chose the ring and decided on if he wanted to pair it with other bands – but he based his choice on the variety I had shown him. I personally think that this was a win in our situation where the marriage was never a question, but I am very appreciative that I had no clue he was going to prepare a spectacle, drop down on one knee, and declare his love for me in front of so many people. I might tell that story one day, but for now, I’ll just leave you with my views on this debate:
Surprise her with the ring – she can always upgrade it after a few years if the design isn’t her style.