If He Can’t Afford An Engagement Ring, I Don’t Want Him To Propose

A few of my close friends have gotten engaged lately and have big, gorgeous rings to show for it. Several of them have admitted that their future husbands ended up financing their rings since they didn’t have the cash to pay in full. Uh, what? While I’d love a nice engagement ring one day, I’d rather my boyfriend wait to propose until he can actually afford it.

It means more for him to buy something he can afford. I prefer that my boyfriend save money up over time to buy me something nice that he can truly afford. I don’t want him dipping into his emergency fund. I don’t want him to take money out of his 401k or to take out a loan to pay for a huge diamond ring. I want him to save up steadily and comfortably for something that will make both of us feel really good—him because he can pay for it in full and doesn’t have to go into debt or risk his finances to do it, me because I know that he didn’t take on unnecessary financial burdens to demonstrate his commitment to me.

The ring isn’t the only symbol of commitment. The process that a man goes through to save money, search for the perfect ring, and prepare for a marriage with a woman is the real showing of commitment. The ring is part of it too, but how he handles the process of preparing for that next step is what matters in assessing whether he’s committed to the relationship.

If he finances the ring, I’ll end up paying for it somehow when we’re married. When you get married in most states, your finances automatically merge. Some of your spouse’s liabilities and debts are assumed by you, meaning you end up being responsible for whatever outstanding balance is left on that ring. But even if you’re not in one of those states, you end up paying for it in other ways because your husband will still have a hefty monthly payment which ultimately takes away from your overall household income. I’d rather my future husband save the $500 payment and put it toward a vacation, a retirement fund, or a down payment on our house.

Interest rates and loans are not romantic. Along the same lines, it’s super important for me to start my marriage off on the proper financial footing. Loans and high-interest rates don’t help, especially because my boyfriend and I have our own individual amounts of student loans to pay off. I just want to keep our debt to a minimum.

I don’t want to feel like I owe him or I inconvenienced him. For me, what’s at the heart of all of this is not wanting to feel like I owe my boyfriend. I know that sounds silly because the ring is technically a gift, but if I found out that he had to get a credit check in order to get a loan from a bank in order to buy me a ring, I would feel really bad about it.

If it is not paid in full, it can still be repossessed. Yep—financed rings work just like cars! If for some reason my boyfriend financed my ring and he stopped paying for it, technically it could be repossessed because I don’t actually own it yet.

He can always upgrade my ring later. I would rather my boyfriend get me something that he can afford now and maybe some years down the road when we have more money, he can buy me a bigger diamond if that’ss something that we both want. I know plenty of women who upgrade their ring after their first child is born or other important relationship milestones. To me, it’s like as we grow as a couple, so can my ring!

Bigger is not always better. Women who walk around with huge diamond rings signal to the world information about their financial status and socioeconomic class. It gives people the opportunity to make assumptions about you and your life. I don’t want people perceiving anything about those parts of my life so I’d rather have something nice but also relatively modest at the same time.

I don’t “deserve” it. So many women rationalize their fiances going into debt to buy them a ring that they can’t afford because they “deserve” to have one. What does that even mean? Why do some women feel as though they are entitled to a huge diamond ring? Since when do we just “deserve” a ring that costs tens of thousands of dollars just for existing and loving someone else? Love is supposed to be unconditional, right? If the tables were flipped, I would never go into financial ruin just to give a man a gift that shows my commitment. The bottom line is that a modestly priced engagement ring that is paid in full is probably more meaningful than one that neither you nor your fiancee will own for several years until he’s paid off his loan.

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