You Hate Your Engagement Ring: Now What?

engagement ring coupleHearts a-flutter, it's finally happened -- he proposed! The love of your life asked you to marry him, and you accepted. You're ecstatic. Except. Oh God ... it's such a silly little thing, but yikes. You hate the engagement ring your fiance picked out. Right guy, wrong ring. So very, very wrong. What do you do? Is this something you just get over, or is there actually a way to talk about it?


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The short answer? You absolutely should bring it up with the man you intend to marry. Emily Post's Etiquette Daily advises, "You need to speak to your fiance about your distaste for the ring style." But there's something crucial you need to tell him first.

1. Say thank you. "Express gratitude for the intention that the ring was given with love, care, and thought," says family counselor and author of Success Love NOW Dr. Laurie Moore. "Explain how much that means to you."

2. Talk about what you want that ring to represent to you. Moore suggests bringing up your dislike for the ring this way:

Something came up that is a bit vulnerable for me to share, but it is important. The ring is not really my taste, and because I will wear it forever, I wish for it to be something that represents my JOY for us. May we pick one out together instead, or can I give you an idea of what characteristics a ring will have that will make me feel good -- which is what I want to do: feel good about us every time I look at it?

Put it in your own words, of course. But do you see what's being said there? You want that ring to represent the feelings you have for each other. That's a very positive way to put it.

3. Be prepared for hurt feelings. Emily Post warns that your fiance may feel touchy about the subject. "Above all, be sensitive to your fiance’s feelings, as he may have chosen the ring with the utmost care and thoughtfulness, and may react to your wanting to change the ring with mixed emotions."

4. Suggest alternatives. Once you've brought up the topic, there are a couple solutions Emily Post recommends. If the ring is a family heirloom, you could offer to reset it. If it's new, you could offer to find a different setting. Emily Post doesn't mention this, and it may seem fairly obvious, but I think it's worth saying: Your pick for setting should be in the same price range as his original selection. 

Keep this in mind as well: This talk isn't just about the ring. It's an opportunity to set the tone for honest conversations in your marriage. "Starting the process of valuing honesty over sparing feelings in a positive way sets wonderful ground for long-term collaboration and cooperation," Moore says.

It's an awkward subject. But you'll have plenty more challenging discussions in your lives together. This is great practice for you as a couple.

How did you feel about your engagement ring?


Image ©, © Tammy Hanratty/Corbis

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