What Selling Engagement Rings Taught Me About Love

What Selling Engagement Rings Taught Me About Love ©iStock/PeopleImages

I spent nearly a year working in a jewelry store and helping men with one of the biggest and most important decisions of their lives: proposing to their girlfriends. The experience truly changed the way I saw love in the broader sense. Here’s what I learned about love while selling engagement rings.

  1. Love is a process. Love isn’t always a one stop shop, and it sometimes it takes wandering in and out of different lives, testing and sizing up each unique individual to find the one that truly fits perfectly into your life. If all the loves we experience in our lives were a different type of gem, then the one we finally say ‘I do’ to is definitely the Hope Diamond.
  2. True love can come at any age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 65; true love can come at any time. I saw young men fresh out of college all the way up to men who’d already retired come in and gush about the lucky lady he couldn’t wait to spend his life with.
  3. There is no real timeline for forever. Sometimes people get to the point of wanting to settle down after just a few months, while for others it takes years to truly decide. There’s no set limit and no period of time in which you need to start worrying. The most important thing is that you’re spending your days with the person you love the most, with or without a ring.
  4. Love should never be forced. Engagement should never be an ultimatum or something you do just because it feels like the right and appropriate thing at the time, or worse, because you feel it’s owed to you. Sometimes we overlook the importance of the symbolism behind making that kind of promise. Engagement isn’t just a commitment, it’s a sign that you’ve fought all the necessary battles and gone over all the hurdles to prove that your love will survive anything — even marriage.
  5. Love is an investment. I watched men lay down their credit cards without hesitation on many occasions. When I would scan their faces as they completed the transaction, I could tell that the money meant absolutely nothing, because they had already invested the scariest and most important piece of them they ever could: their hearts.
  6. You should absolutely wait for the right person. You want the man who’s going to be that guy that chats the sales lady’s ears off gushing about how you met, what you like, and how he plans to propose. You want to wait for the guy who’s just truly excited to see your face light up as he surprises you with what many women daydream about. You want the guy who’s not afraid to love you forever.
  7. You might not see the way he truly loves you, but he does. Sometimes couples would come in “just looking” so that the guy could get an idea of what she likes. And then he would return without her if it was what she really wanted. I can’t explain the look on a man’s face when he finally makes the final ring choice. It’s nothing but pure love. He’s proud to be with you. And even if you don’t always see it, I did.
  8. Romance isn’t dead. It’s not always just about the final diamond ring. As much as we get lost in the idea that romance is dead, I’m constantly reminded by the memories of how it’s very much alive. Sometimes he pops in just because he’s thinking of you, or because it’s Valentine’s Day, or sometimes there’s no reason at all. He just wants to get you something beautiful to remind you that you’re his everything.
  9. Real love has no value. It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter how much he spends on the ring, because true love doesn’t have a value. I’ve seen couples who’ve come in and spent $8,000 just as happy as the couple who spent $700. I’ve also seen women who were miserable when their boyfriends couldn’t afford what they truly wanted. Here’s the thing — none of it really matters. Rings can be upgraded over time, more diamonds can be added at a later date, but true love that’s meant to be forever won’t change. The diamond at the end isn’t what will be remembered about your life together; it’s that you had a life with someone truly amazing that really counts. That’s love.