It’s Time For Engagement Rings To Become Obsolete

Diamonds are gorgeous and jewelry is one of my favorite splurge items, but despite my love for shiny things, I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve realized that all the hype over engagement rings has got to stop. It’s not healthy and it’s severely detracting from what engagements should be about — love and commitment between two people. Here’s why engagement rings need to go:

  1. They’re far too expensive. It may not be sexy to talk about finances, but they’re a huge part of marriage. When you say “I do,” you’re promising to support someone else no matter what and essentially making the biggest investment of your life. It makes no sense for your partner to throw away thousands of dollars on a ring. Apparently, love makes you crazy and bad with money. First of all, if you’re getting engaged, then a wedding is just around the corner. Even if you have a small wedding, there are still going to be some serious costs. Not to mention the two of you will want to buy a house someday and potentially have kids. That money could definitely be spent in a better way.
  2. It’s possible that the ring is what’s holding your relationship back. A large percent of the population gets engaged a few years after college. With the amount of crippling student debt out there, a lot of guys simply can’t afford to shell out additional money for a ring. Let me rephrase that — they at least can’t spend the amount of money society and advertisements tell them they need to spend. I’ve known several guys who put off asking the question FOR YEARS because they couldn’t afford it. This was much to the dismay of their girlfriends, who became increasing self-conscious as their friends started getting engaged.
  3. Diamonds aren’t even that valuable. Do a quick Google search on the value of diamonds and you’ll find that they really aren’t valuable at all. In fact, they’re actually considered a bad investment. De Beers controls the majority of the diamond market and therefore has been releasing only small amounts of them to keep the price high. Once this market opens up, the price of diamonds will likely plummet.
  4. Rings detract from the proposal. A good friend of mine recently got engaged and the first demand she got was, “Let me see the ring!” People didn’t stop to ask her for the story or how she felt. Society has made us so materialistic that we don’t even care about the details. All we want to see is this silly physical item.
  5. The competition is fierce. If you’ve ever seen a married girl assess a newly engaged girl’s ring, you know what I’m talking about. Does this happen all the time? No, but it does happen frequently. After carefully looking at the ring, she’ll quickly go and express either a) how her ring is superior or b) how she wishes her ring was more like that one. I honestly don’t know which one is worse. Engagement rings shouldn’t go onto fingers to make others feel bad. It’s just not the point.
  6. Only women have to wear them. This is nonsense. Getting engaged should be a promise between two people. That promise should then either be outwardly shown between both people or not shown at all. The woman wearing the engagement ring harkens back to a time when we were thought of as property that could literally be owned. Gross.
  7. They have nothing to do with love. There’s no relationship between love and rings. It just doesn’t exist. Sure outward symbols are nice, but the ring industry has lost sight of this. People mistakenly associate the size of a diamond with the amount of love between two people. Love is much more important.
  8. The whole process is beyond stressful for guys. I can’t even imagine having to go ring shopping and seeing the price tags on half of them. I’d probably have a heart attack and die. Not only do they have to pick out the ring, but then they also have to plan the actual engagement. That’s a lot of pressure!
  9. You never know if they should be a surprise or not. Engagement rings are worn for a lifetime. They’re something that you see every single day. Since these rings are so expensive, guys only have one shot to select the correct one. Some couples are now deciding to pick out the ring together in order to avoid that whole debacle. People have a lot of mixed feelings on this subject. Do you want the engagement to be a surprise? Does picking out the ring together make the moment less meaningful?
  10. What if you don’t like it? If you do opt to go the more traditional route of the guy picking out the ring, it can be a huge gamble. Can you imagine getting engaged and hating the ring? Of course, there are some supremely confident women who would say that, but I’m honestly not one of those people. I know I would just keep wearing the one he picked out and hide my opinion. I’d feel way too bad crushing his dreams and judging his taste! If we got rid of this crazy engagement ring phenomenon, it wouldn’t be nearly as big of a deal.
  11. Rings lose stones ALL. THE. TIME. The trend today seems to be the more diamonds, the better. Even the actual marriage bands are covered in diamonds. These tiny stones have a tendency of falling out rather frequently. I’ve had several friends who got their rings from different companies and have needed to get stones replaced. WTF? It just doesn’t seem right considering how expensive they are!
  12. There has to be a better solution. Our society’s obsession with engagement rings needs to be dealt with. What should we do? I’m not quite sure yet, but someone has to think of something. Maybe go back to simple bands? Matching tattoos? Nothing? Let’s all vow to be a little less shallow and a little more focused on love.
Victoria Hill is a freelance writer in Boston. Originally from Florida, she is slowly becoming accustomed to Boston winters. She loves writing, coffee, and actually experiencing seasons!