I am about to get married to the love of my life and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, I bought and paid for my own engagement ring, but what does that matter? It doesn’t change the love we share.
I can’t be bought. My fiancé knows how strongly I feel about the old-fashioned notion of a guy ponying up cash to “buy” his wife from her father, so when he proposed to me, he did it empty-handed. What he gave me instead was much more valuable—he gave me himself. He wants to stand next to me, share our lives together, and uphold and encourage each other. After he proposed, we went shopping together and when we found a ring I loved, I paid for it.
No one knows what I like better than I do. I have a fairly particular taste and trying to guess if I’ll like something is impossible. Not even I know until I see it in real life. Online shopping is impossible for me; I have to see something, touch it, feel it, see it on, open the book, and yes, even touch the tomato before I know if it’s right for me or not. There was no way my fiance could have picked the right engagement ring for me without my input anyway.
I make more money than my partner, so why shouldn’t I pay? He’s a teacher and I’m a marketing manager. While we’re both in careers we love doing work we believe to be meaningful, unfortunately there’s a bit of a gap in the wages we’re paid in our respective jobs. Because of this, I can easily afford to buy my own ring whereas it’d be more of a financial burden for him.
We’re already sharing finances anyway. We’re planning to buy a house together we already live together in a rented apartment and share expenses. When one of us has less money for whatever reason, the other pitches in with the bills. If he would have paid for the ring, it would just have meant that I had to pay the bills for the next month or so. Why bother when I could just get the ring myself?
Romance isn’t about who pays, it’s about who cares. My future husband cares about me. He loves me and he truly knows me—that’s the only thing that matters. Knowing me, he knew that the most romantic place for me has always been along the river, next to the pillar of the bridge in our city. I love coming here and I told him once, several years ago, that I’d love to be proposed to there. He remembered and that’s exactly what he did. As far as I’m concerned, that’s more romantic than any generic proposal complete with gaudy diamond ring.
Marriage isn’t supposed to be a surprise anyway. Contrary to what movies and TV make us believe, marriage isn’t supposed to be a one-sided surprise. Whether or not you want to get married should be a discussion that two rational adults have together. It includes talking about how you see the future, the possibility of having children, what you expect from each other, etc. Pople who say he took away the surprise (looking at you, Mom!) by not already having a ring picked out when he proposed should really reconsider what they think’s healthy in a relationship.
Money doesn’t play a significant role in our relationship. Sure, money is important insofar as how we handle it as a couple and what we spend our collective budget on, but it really has no real value beyond the necessities. Me buying my own engagement ring doesn’t mean our relationship is doomed or that he’s only with me for the money. If he was, he wouldn’t have stuck with me while I was working on my degree and he had to pay for everything.
I really don’t care about money in general. Although I enjoy some of the things you can do with money, I was just as happy as a poor student as I am now making six figures. If I had to go back to being poor, it’d be no big deal. Money isn’t important to me and therefore neither is what I spend it on, or who spends what.
I love my ring and I love my fiance. That’s what matters and what’s important, not where the money for it came from. I look at my ring and I think about why I’m wearing it. My future husband and I are going to spend the rest of our lives together. We support each other. We help each other. We want to be better people for each other. What matters more than that?
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