This post came from another on here about getting engaged, which made me want to ask about the situation I am in.
I've been with my bf for a long time now. We live together, share our finances, pretty much live like we're married. We have discussed getting married many times (he usually brings up the conversation, talking about details and such), and we both know we are going to get married.
Sadly, the issue is of money. He went back to school late and just finnished at 32, with a fair bit of student loans. He is a teacher, and is just making enough to get by (after paying his share of the bills, and making his monthly student loan payment, he maybe has $50 left at the end of the month for spending money). I on the other hand don't have a student loan, and have a good salary so I can cover the extra expenses that he can't - including the wedding.
He doesn't want to get married until he can afford to get me a ring. I don't care about the ring. But he says he would feel like in the eyes of my family he would just be a bum if he couldn't at least do that.
I haven't pushed the issue, but I really don't care about the ring at all. Would you think of someone as being a "bum" or not worthy if they couldn't afford an engagement ring?
I would not be upset about not having a ring, but I *would* need some token of promise. The ring is the symbol of I PROMISE to marry you, instead of just discussing. Personally, I would need a token. But it wouldn't have to be a fancy expensive ring. Even one of those shell rings or hematite rings they sell - or hemp rope ha - under $20 - would suffice.
its not about the money, its about the symbolism.
He's not a bum for not being able to afford a ring. But shouldn't he really be paying his own way?
I was in a similar situation. My bf actually had saved up a bunch of cash, but also had a ton of credit card debt. I just told my bf to use the cash to pay off his debt instead, because I'd rather not have a ring than marry into debt! I figured that once we told our families and friends it was official enough for me anyway. Now we're married, and I really have no regrets.
I am sure that there are people out there who would think he was a bum for not putting a ring on your finger. Ultimately though, what really matters is how you two feel.
An engagement does not need a ring.
One thing to consider is that (correct me if I'm wrong) when you marry, his debts will become your debts. His credit score will get linked to yours. Sometimes, getting married has financial consequences (not even countin the cost of a wedding) that you should consider.
Any debt incurred prior to marriage is singly owned, ie his loans don't automatically pop up on your credit history, however, amethyst is right, credit scores do suffer. When you want to buy a house, for instance, because both incomes are considered.
I guess it depends on who you are... I had a "friend", whose fiance claimed that he thought that you get a small diamond for the engagement ring, and then the big diamond comes on the wedding ring. So once they had this understanding of how wrong he was, she traded in her ring for one with a bigger diamond! I KNOW!!! I was mortified for the guy.
I on the other hand, knowing I was with the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, went out and bought a Men's silver Claddaugh band, and had "Marry Me" engraved on the inside. I then proceeded to leave a scavenger hunt around our appartment with the ring at the end. The ring & engraving cost about $40, but it wasn't about the money... It was about the commitment.
Unfortunately, my husband was of the same opinion that I should also have a ring, and pulled extra hours for months in order to be able to put one on my finger. I didn't need it, but he did...
I'm not about to not marry the person I love because he has a student loan (which is the reality for alot of people). The payments are manageable... he just doesn't have any extra.
makenasmom, I like that idea. Maybe I will think about proposing to him... Its not going to happen today or anything, but I think I'll keep it in the back of my mind.
The direct symbol of a commitment is through a ring. It also shows others that you are linked to someone else who is making his intentions publicly known.
It doesnt have to be expensive and there are some really nice pieces out there
Original Post by spuckine1:
The direct symbol of a commitment is through a ring.
Privately between the couple, I suppose so, if you tie material possessions and implied monetary value with emotional commitment. However, I'll point out that if a man truly wants to publicly declare his intentions, he'd be wearing one too - the woman isn't the only one, presumably, who's "going off the market."
As for the answer to the OP: While my personal answer to the question is "no", I will say that hubby and I did go the traditional engagement ring route. Since we hadn't graduated college yet, he went very economical, and didn't even go over $200 for it, and I consider it priceless. Value isn't determined by price.
on edit: I think a lot of men and women place a little too much importance on the ring, based a lot on the expectations of society and "they way things have always been done." DeBeers commercials don't help either.
Original Post by santonacci:
the woman isn't the only one, presumably, who's "going off the market."
Unless you're mormon.
speaking of debeers commercials...
For me, yes, it does.
Recently, I took my ring to the jeweler that it came from so that I could get the wedding band made for it. The jeweler is in San Francisco, and I'm on the east coast, but I happened to be on travel for work there, and the timing just worked. I dropped it off, and returned to my coworkers who were waiting outside for me. One of my coworkers who I think just has an issue with his delivery of jokes, so ends up sounding kinda jerky said "So, did your fiance give you a twist tie to wear until you get your ring back, so that guys know you are off the market?"
I can't really say why, but it bugged me so much! As if the ring was the only thing keeping me from hooking up right and left with random guys.
Oh, and I didn't mean to imply that you wouldn't marry someone because of school debt - just that financial troubles can extend past affording a ring and a wedding.
This isn't really related, but after we got engaged, I got him a HDTV as an engagement gift - we both wanted one, had been putting it off for a while, and we figured it wasn't fair that I got a present and he didn't.
When my fiance proposed he didn't have a ring at the time. We later went and picked out a really simple, cheap one ( around $50). He is now saving up for a real one ( still only going to be about $500) But I do like having a ring. It definitely makes me feel like our engagement is legit, and I like wearing it knowing that it shows our commitment to one another.
Original Post by crazydiamondchrysalis:
speaking of debeers commercials...
I was thinking more along the lines of Ron White: "Diamonds - that'll shut her up...for a minute..."
Of course you don't need a ring. But if you do want one, there are inexpensive options. I think the engagement ring my husband gave me cost about $70 (It was called a "promise ring" at the store). It's white gold with the tiniest little diamond - and I love it. For me personally, I wouldn't want to marry someone who is so irresponsible with money that they would spend a ridiculous amount on a ring. Student loans are "good debt," but new debt (for something as impractical as jewelry) is not the way to start a marriage. If you want to get married and you're prepared for the life-long commitment, go for it - big ring, small ring, Cracker Jack ring, or no ring at all.
Your life sounds so close to mine, well, except different. Anyway, I think it's awesome to not have a ring....but maybe that's because my fingers are so chubby and i think a ring on my finger would just look silly.
anyhow, my opinion is if he wants to get you a ring, tell him he can get a nice cheapo ring that no one will know the difference by. who cares if it's real or not, or even if it's just a silver band? what's wrong with that?
my boyfriend gave me a ring out of a gum machine...he spent like 5 dollars until he got the stupid ring. haha. i have it, but i don't wear it because it's a fantastic green emerald like ring. anyway, he got that for me a really really long time ago, kind of a joke thing, but i still thought it was cute.
I too have a gumball machine emerald - it is one of my most treasured possessions, and certainly could not ever be replaced by a stinky old diamond. :D
nice! i agree....one of my most treasured possessions. my boyfriend just laughs at me when i say i think it's perfect. haha