I don’t want or need an engagement ring.
First off, I feel the need to share that I have always been a romantic. I used to want the white wedding. I used to want the engagement ring, the traditional ceremony, the white table cloths, the full program of events, and the expensive dress. But let’s be real… I used to want this because of what society and my family expects of me. Now, I’m convinced that I don’t need an engagement ring because I’ve re-sorted my priorities, values, and ideas of what I think a wedding, a marriage, and love should be. I’m still a romantic, but a different kind of romantic now.
I’m not trying to be overly practical. I’m not trying to bash on anyone’s traditions. I’m not hoping to spark controversy. All I want to do is share my thoughts about not wanting an engagement ring because of the lack of representation for women like me on media.
Reason #1 — I don’t wear rings.
At the moment, the only jewelry I wear is earrings and watches. Rings get in my way, so I just don’t wear them. If I had to add an expensive engagement ring to my finger, I’d have such a hard time adjusting to using expensive jewelry on my hands.
On another note, I can barely keep track of my earrings and watches… I actually worry that I might take off my ring one day to wash my hands, put it in my pocket, forget about it, and lose it.
Reason #2 — Money.
Engagement rings are expensive. I’ve heard on many occasions that the rule of thumb for how much an engagement ring “should” cost is 3x the person’s monthly salary. I can’t stomach the thought of making my boyfriend spend that amount of money on a ring when we could be using the money for a downpayment on a house or our ridiculously high student loan debt.
I do not want to start my engagement, wedding, or marriage in debt. So, babe, if you’re reading this, please know that I don’t want a ring (or an expensive ring for that matter). Our money will be better spent elsewhere.
I just want you.
Reason #3 — I’d rather have a wedding band.
The exchange of wedding bands is symbolic of a love lasting for eternity. The exchanging of wedding rings came from the Romans and it is worn on the left hand ring finger because of the idea that the vein is in that specific finger (referred to as the Vena Amoris or the Vein of Love said to be connected to the heart). I adore that. I adore the symbolism, and I appreciate the fact that this is a tradition that has carried on for centuries. Because of this tradition, I’m very okay with not having an engagement ring on my left hand ring finger once, then adding another one at the ceremony.
Reason #4 — I’d rather take photos.
While engagement rings are a sure way to share with my family and friends that I am engaged and plan to enter a new era of my relationship, I wholeheartedly believe that there are other ways to deliver the great news. My favorite way is with photography. (Because my boyfriend and I are photographers.) I would rather do a photoshoot and storyboard the photos on my blog to announce our engagement. Maybe it’s the photographer in me that values photos more than a ring, but hey… I have my priorities.
I’ve heard of some accounts where couples would announce their engagement by getting a tattoo together, buying a home together, or taking photos of their feet standing on the exact spot where the proposal happened. There was another story I found about a couple who pretended to have their family come over for a surprise engagement, but in reality they were attending the wedding on the spot.
Reason #5 — I fear receiving an unethically-sourced blood diamond .
This is a legitimate fear of mine. I try my best be a conscious consumer and stray away from companies and brands that test on animals, harm our planet, or does anything else to harm anyone/anything. As a result, I’ve done my research about diamond trade, and it wasn’t pretty. I don’t like the idea that I could potentially have a diamond ring on my finger that was mined by a less fortunate person who was paid less-than-deserved per hour and could barely feed their family. I just can’t.
I also have yet to find trustworthy companies in the diamond mining business that is environmentally sound, and conflict-free. I’ve heard of Brilliant Earth and Tiffany & Co., but I’m still unsure of how to prove that these companies provide environmentally friendly diamonds. Can I trust regulations and requirements such as the Kimberley Process Certification to prove that the diamond is ethically obtained and sold? I don’t know.
Reason #6 — I feel like I’d have to get a man-gagement ring.
I’m all for equality, so under equality, it would only make sense for me to give my love an engagement ring if he were to give me one. It only seems fair. Luckily, my boyfriend is not asking for one, therefore I am not giving one nor am I expecting to receive one.
Reason #7 — Having an engagement ring is expected.
Simply put, I like doing the unexpected. I enjoy going against the norm. I also want to prove to other’s that there are other paths we can take in showing how much we love someone, or sharing with the world that we plan to be wed.
All in all, please know that this is my personal opinion about having a ring for myself. I’m not trying to offend anyone who does want an engagement ring, and by all means, if people have the money to buy an expensive ring, then so be it — to each their own. I’m very happy for them!
The opinions in this post are my own, for my own situation.
Needless to say, I would still be all in for a fair trade, simple-yet-beautiful engagement or wedding ring if my boyfriend/future fiancé/future husband and I were financially secure. My thoughts are the way they are because of my current status as someone who is in deep, deep student debt, and as someone who is in love with her boyfriend of seven years.
As much as society and my family expects me to get engaged and have a ginormous rock on my finger with the grandeur white wedding, I am thoroughly convinced that the materialistic aspect of an engagement and marriage is unnecessary.
Like I said, I’m all for renewing my vows someday and maybe doing the “white wedding” then. I’m all for “upgrading” my ring in the future, when Mark and I have more cash on hand and are not spending it on traveling, or Disneyland, or other things that make us happy. But for now, I’m happy without an expensive engagement ring.
And if you’re wondering, I’m not engaged. I would post it on this blog first before anywhere else if I was engaged. However, I have made my thoughts known to my boyfriend about not having an engagement ring, and he supports me in my decision… so maybe that amazing photoshoot may or may not be coming sooner than I expect.
Engagement-Ringless and Happy,