My last blog featured the perspective of brides who didn’t like their engagement rings. What should they do? Tell him? Not tell him? Wait a few years down the road, and then sensitively talk about an upgrade? Read it here to get caught up if you missed it.
…This time, it’s the guys’ turn to share their feelings about the problem.
I asked several young men, entirely under the age of 30, this question: Would you be angry if your fiancé told you that the ring you had chosen for her wasn’t her style, or that she didn’t like it?
“Hell yeah,” most of them replied, initially.
Pretty blunt, huh? Don’t worry, they elaborated a little more for me. In general, they all agreed that because he picked it out for her, the appearance of the ring shouldn’t matter that much. She should like it solely because he chose it.
Many young men said they would feel hurt, disappointed and maybe even question the relationship. They would be hurt because they would have spent a lot of time and effort searching and choosing what they thought was the perfect ring and gift, only to have her not appreciate his effort and taste. How could she turn away a gift that had so much thought put into it and that had so much meaning behind it? It was specifically meant for her.
Also, they would be disappointed in themselves for choosing the wrong ring. No man likes to lose, and choosing the wrong ring is, in a way, like losing. Did he really not know her well enough to choose a ring that suited her? Did he have that bad of taste? Surely not, maybe it’s her.
Some would question the relationship. Does he really want to marry someone who has turned down a very expensive gift that is suppose to resemble their love for one another? Maybe she is too materialistic if she can’t see the meaningfulness behind the ring and is only concerned about the ring as an object. Is it worth it?
Older grooms may be just as sensitive about a fiancé not liking the ring, but they will likely handle the bad news differently. Because an older groom is more mature, he will likely recognize that her dislike for the ring is no reflection on him. How she handles it may turn it all into a big disaster still, but a mature groom is less likely to take it sooo personally and more likely to “get it” that this is something she will be wearing every day for the rest of her life. Part of her being able to tell him she doesn’t like it comes from her own maturity and security in the relationship. She knows he will still love her even if she doesn’t love the ring.
Despite the anger, hurt and doubt, most of the gentlemen said they would want to give her what makes her happy. A few said they would not want to get a completely new ring (because of the meaningfulness), but would rather have the stones reset to a way in which they both agreed suitable. Depending on the jeweler he purchased from, he may or may not be able to return or exchange the ring.
I also asked each guys whether he would try to figure out what his fiancé might want ahead of time, or just go in blind.
A couple grooms admitted to not having a clue what they’d be doing, so yes, they would definitely ask around. They would try to feel out her style by observing, asking her best friends or dropping subtle hints to the bride-to-be herself.
The majority said they would probably have a pretty good idea of what she would like. They would want to make sure they were on similar pages, so they would ask subtle questions to be certain. Still, there’s no guarantee they’re getting good advice from the people they ask and no guarantee of hitting a home run with their pick.
So, what if she doesn’t like a family ring she’s given?
Most men said they would naturally expect her to pretend she loves it, even if she didn’t actually love it. Obviously, if he’s giving her a family ring, it means a lot to him… and his family. They would be upset and feel somewhat disrespected if she said otherwise.
With all of that said, it happens and sometimes grooms have to go back to the drawing board with the bride, and sometimes it can be an easy fix. I researched some major jewelry chains to find out their policies on engagement ring exchanges and returns.
If the ring was custom designed, jewelers like Kay and Jared will not accept returns or exchanges. Blue Nile however, will exchange engraved rings for store credit. Kay and Tiffany will accept returns or exchanges within 30 days if the ring wasn’t specially designed. Jared accepts the same kind of returns within 60 days and exchanges within 90 days of purchase. Therefore, depending on where the ring was purchased, there may be options.
So ladies, there you have it. Most of the guys I asked said that they would be very upset if his fiancé didn’t like the ring they chose for her because he thinks she failed to see the meaningfulness and symbolism behind it.
My advice? Listen to what these guys have said. If you love a man and you want to marry him, whether or not the ring is your style shouldn’t matter. Love the ring for its meaning, what it represents and for who carefully picked it out for you. After all, you are marrying the man, not the ring!
But also keep in mind, especially if you’re super-picky, that making sure you drop some hints to him about what kind of ring you DO want will be very helpful to him when he goes looking.
If, for example, you can’t have a raised stone on your band because you have to wear medical gloves at work, mention that. If you never wear yellow gold, point that out to him sometime so he looks for white gold or platinum. Usually a bride-to-be knows the ring is coming so she has an opportunity to share her opinion.
Be subtle, but try to get your point across if you can. Sometimes sharing certain info with his mom can be helpful if she’s close to your boyfriend and is dropping wedding hints. Be resourceful. And if all else fails, love the ring until you can get an upgrade on an anniversary.
Chelsey Commins, Intern at Weddings in Vieques