Q: I’ve had an engagement stressor that I cannot seem to kick, and I just don’t feel comfortable talking with anyone in my life about it. Here goes. My engagement ring. I’m afraid I maybe don’t like it anymore. To be completely honest, I’m at the point where I cannot quite decipher between my personal opinion and what the rest of the world thinks.
I had a custom designed rose gold ring in a modern setting, with a champagne-colored 0.5 carat diamond. At first I loved it. But as I showed more people, here’s what I heard: “Oh. It’s so… unique!” “That’s perfect for your small hands!” “I knew you would get something different.” And then I started noticing other people’s rings, something I never did before. I never before realized 1 carat was the standard (minimum) for engagement rings. Suddenly, my diamond feels small. I worry my wedding band won’t look right with the ring. I worry people will judge me for it. Financially, we could afford a bigger diamond for my ring. And I’ve actually considered having it redone. In fact, I kept myself up most of last night contemplating just this. But at the same time, I’m disappointed with myself for having these thoughts. My gut says I probably do like my ring, I’m just getting caught up in this ridiculous industry for the first time.
Go with your gut. You know yourself, so you’re probably right that you really do love this ring. You loved it before comments from the peanut gallery, so don’t give up on it now. Changing your ring is totally a thing, and I’m all for swapping it out if you really hate it, but it doesn’t sound like you do. You’re just worrying about other people too much.
Don’t beat yourself up for that. It’s easy to feel sensitive about something so personal. You had this baby custom designed! You poured your heart and soul into it. It’s a reflection of exactly what you wanted, your likes and dislikes. When something is so personally crafted, people’s opinions on it can feel like a reflection on you, not just the little ring of metal.
Because this ring is so personal to you, and because that tends to make us pretty sensitive about things, it’s possible that your friends aren’t even being rude about it. Maybe you’re just inferring things that aren’t really there. People can be jerks, that’s for sure, and snide comments come in all shapes. But sometimes folks are really just (maybe awkwardly) trying to be polite. People (myself included) generally aren’t great at making small talk. Oh this is your ring? It’s… shiny. Different. Symmetrical. Sometimes people just flat out don’t know what to say, and it doesn’t mean that they’re trying to diss you at all.
If they are trying to imply something with their little comments, well, “unique” is subjective. So is “small.” Heck, our comments fill up all the time with women who feel judged for having rings that are too big. And you know, this is just the beginning. I’m not even talking about the wedding pressure craziness you mentioned. Relationship comparison is totally a thing. This couple never fights! That couple fights all the time and finds it to be soul cleansing and healthy! This couple is mushier than we are. That couple doesn’t need to be mushy. You’re going to constantly be surrounded by couples who are doing things “the right way,” and much like this engagement ring, unspoken standards are just baloney. There’s no such thing as a ring that’s “too small” or “too big” because you know what, we each have different hands and budgets and tastes. Excluding a few basics about relational health, folks have relationships that work all sorts of different ways because we’re all different.
So, yes! Keep on wearing this ring and reminding yourself of exactly why you love it. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be perfect for you—and it sounds like it is.
Team Practical, how do you know when your own opinions are being colored by what everyone else thinks? How do you avoid comparing what you have to what other folks have?
If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off!