An Odd Question For You

I’m curious. Conversation in the flat tonight about a flattie’s friend and the engagement ring that said friend received.

Now apparently the lady in question was none too happy about the actual ring which led to a discussion about expectations surrounding an engagement ring. I’ve had this discussion a couple of times before and every time I notice just ever so slightly, of my friends who would like to, one day, get married that I may be the only one who couldn’t give a toss about the ring.

Forget the fact that I don’t have a man to start with, I’ve only just started being attracted to guys again, dating anyone is going to be a huge step. So clearly everything I’m dealing with here is hypothetical.

Usually when I try to start a group discussion, no one comments, so we’ll see how this goes …

Here’s the thing. I have no doubt that everyone who wishes to get married does it purely for love and not for the ring that they may receive, well I certainly hope so anyway. My personal not caring about a ring isn’t one of those passive aggressive “I don’t care but it would be nice if you got me one, not that I want one, no pressure, I’m just saying but I don’t want you to think I saying that so that you think I want one, I’m just shooting the breeze is all, I don’t even know why I’m mentioning engagement rings, what about that All Black’s game next week” things or for any political or feminist reasons which are all perfectly legitimate (well, maybe not the passive aggressive one – that’s just trouble, run, run away). I genuinely don’t care. Ring? Whatever. If Mr Imaginary Man is brave enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me then I think he’s done enough (I may have to have him committed to a hospital, however, as he is clearly, certifiably, insane). I’d be happily engaged, even happily married sans ring.

Usually I guess that my friends tend to have the same opinions as me … however I think that may be the egotistical part of me that likes to think I’m right all of the time (what am I saying, I am right all of the time and don’t need you to make me feel righteous … please make me feel righteous). So, without incriminating yourself (especially those of you in relationships) what is your feeling towards the ring?

Do you care, even a teeny weeny bit, like a smidgen, even if only for your parent’s sake? Or is there something very important to you about having an engagement ring (family traditions etc.)?


6 Responses to “An Odd Question For You”

  1. I care about engagement rings as much as I care about rugby, which is indifference that tips closer to loathing…

    I didn’t get a “proper” ring, nor did I want one. I got a $50 silver ring that I was eying up, anyway, regardless of our impending marriage.

    I’m not sure what it is about diamonds that turns the most rational seeming people slightly bat-shit mad.
    They don’t seem to care that the popularity of the engagement ring tradition was made up as an advertising campaign for diamonds.
    I’m mainly opposed to the diamonds for ethical reasons. Even the money spent on so-called ethical diamonds could be put to better use.

  2. I love rings. They’re my favourite jewellery item (yes, even ahead of earrings). So adding a ring to my collection would be a massive sign of commitment. However being that I have major issues with the institute of marriage (as an atheist and a feminist), and with the concept of advertising your marital status via a ring on the ring finger, and especially with the status of being ‘engaged’ (no offence, but I think it’s extremely strange when people are ‘engaged’ for years – isn’t it fundamentally meant to signal a decision to get married? So why not go ahead and get married? It seems to have been turned into a new status all unto itself so that people can talk about their ‘fiance’.).

    But say I was to get married, or say I was to be in a committed ‘let’s be together forever without a marriage ceremony’ relationship, then I would be all about the ring. But that’s because I’m all about rings. If I’m single and in my 30s (a time at which I expect to actually have high disposable income), I’ll be all about the ring. I’m just all about the ring.

    Anyway, sorry, to answer your question here are some points about engagement/wedding/commitment rings:
    – I would be like ‘wtf?!’ if my partner bought me a brand new ring and I didn’t like it. The only circumstance in which it would be okay for them to go out and buy a ring without consulting would be if they knew exactly what you wanted and were showing off how well they knew you. Otherwise they’re blindly enforcing their (very possibly flawed) tastes on your hand for as long as the relationship lasts. This also includes factors such as buying a brand new ring personally being potentially against ideas of ethical consumption etc (related to diamonds, related to jeweller mark-ups etc).
    – I also think that if you’re investing in a ring as a signifier of relationship commitment then both parties should be doing so… in terms of both paying for it and both having one.

    Um, yeah, so I guess I’m displaying that I do think about rings…

  3. PS yes I know exactly what kind of ring I want, but as I said, it’s not dependent on someone giving it to me… it’s being in a position to acquire it either for myself or with someone else…

  4. So Lou, I take it you like rings then, yeah? 🙂

    Do you have a particular ring in mind for a commitment that would be different to your other ones? Would you expect to do a mutual ring thing?

    I’m with you, Jo, however I have been spared seeing my friends go crazy over diamonds and cuts (they’re either like minded or doing it out of my sight) so that’s probably why I find the whole idea of ring importance astounding.

  5. I don’t really associate rings with commitment, to be honest. So I just have a particular ring I’d like to have, and if it comes through that purpose then so be it… Although if it was in the context of a relationship commitment it would be different in having ‘I love you suguarlumps’ and the date of the first kiss engraved inside it.

    [that was a joke]

  6. PS for the record, the kind of ring I would like is anti-traditional engagement rings in style and origin.

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