When I saw this article on HuffPo, I almost didn’t read it, because the topic stresses me out: What is a girl to do when the boy she loves proposes, and she sees all of her dreams coming true—but then she sees the ring, and she doesn’t like it? (Really, truly, doesn’t like it, I mean. Not, like, you wish it were bigger, or you had specifically requested the non-tapered baguettes and these ones are obviously tapered. My mind goes right to when Carrie found the ring Aidan was going to propose with and every last thing about it was just about the complete opposite of her style.)
There are definitely people who would really poo-poo a girl for saying she didn’t like her engagement ring, or who would tell her to suck it up, that it was chosen and given out of love, that she’s lucky to have a guy or a diamond at all, etc., etc. But I don’t agree with that. A) Engagement rings are incredibly expensive. I don’t think it’s right to let him have spent so much money on something you don’t like. You should both be happy with it. B) You will look at it every day for the rest of your life. This isn’t like a pair of shoes you grow tired of and can just shove to the back of your closet or give to your sister. It’s also not like shoes in that this is a really meaningful, symbolic piece of jewelry. It’s important. Again: You should both like it. C) This might sound dramatic, but I don’t think it’s good to live with a lie, small as this lie may seem. It’s a put-on you’d have to keep on for your whole life, faking about it to your husband. I don’t like that. That said, I do not for a minute think it’d be an easy conversation to have! The HuffPo piece quotes some Reddit users and Twitter followers on the subject, so there’s some crowd-sourcing advice, there.
But we were also curious about what a jeweler might think, so we turned to the local experts at Bernie Robbins Jewelers, who’ve got several locations throughout the Philly area. Rebecca Hasson, their director of marketing, is with me when it comes to telling him about your feelings. “The bride-to-be should definitely ‘fess up if she doesn’t love the ring,” she says. “The ring is a symbol of their lifetime commitment—and men want their future wife to love her ring and want to show it off to her friends.” If this is the situation you’re in, she suggests you be honest but compassionate, and go easy on him, what with how nerve-wracking the proposal most likely already was on him. Start by talking about what you do love about the ring. And then, “Use works like ‘personalize’ and ‘customize’ to suggest you just want to improve the design, rather than change it.”
Luckily, Steve Jaffe, diamond buyer and manager of the Bernie Robbons Somers Point location (he’s been working with brides for over 30 years!) says that in his experience, this really doesn’t happen all that often, and when it does, it’s mostly the style of the ring that’s the problem. (He says research shows that the ladies care about the style; the men, not so much. They’re more obsessed with the quality of the stone.) “We’ve had a few cases where the couple will switch out the mounting for something more to her liking,” he says. “We just work with the couple and find a style that suits her taste, and they leave the store thrilled.”
What do you think? Do you know anyone who’s gone through this? Did you have any issues with your ring? And if so, how did you approach it? Are you happy with how you handled the situation?