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Help! I hate my ring (but I love my man)

We all know there’s one emotion you’re supposed to feel when your dream man pops the dream question – and it’s expressed, according to stock imagery, by placing your manicured hand in front of your slightly-ajar mouth. Shock! Delight! Over-the-moonness!

But buying rings is a tricky business – how is he supposed to know his pavé from his halo setting, when us “experts” are still struggling! And what happens if he gets it oh-so wrong?

Y’all remember the scene in Sex and the City when Carrie discovers the ring Aidan has bought for her off his own bat, don’t you?

Let’s not kid ourselves; as Carrie cooled off Aidan during series four of the hit New York TV show, we began to cool off Carrie a little. I mean: who wouldn’t want Aidan? You’d be happy with any ring if it was from the perfect man, right?

Well, no, not all that right.

An engagement ring is a symbol – of love, of commitment, of two individual lives coming together into one, hopefully lifelong, relationship – and it’s important that you love it just as much as you love him, because you’ll have to look at it for the rest of your life together.

But this isn’t a restaurant review – you can’t just come out with it. This is a decision that will have taken him time and a lot of hard thinkin’, and you need to respect the effort that he’s gone to in order to find a ring he thinks you’ll love.

What’s most important is not to wear the ring if you think you’ll be exchanging it; diamonds are big business, and most good jewelers won’t sell a secondhand ring, so wearing it for a week and then deciding to exchange it just won’t wash.

If you do that – maybe because you’re saving his feelings – you can always have the diamond and setting reworked into a style that’s a little more “you”, and doing it a little bit down the line may be a little more thoughtful on your part (instead of an immediate, crushing, “oh honey, yes, but I hate the ring”).

If you can’t face putting it on your finger, make it clear that it’s not him you’re rejecting (a handy trick is to pretend it doesn’t fit – that way you get the elation without being interrupted by that awkward conversation). Tell him how much you love him and how much you’re looking forward to starting your life together; the ring conversation can wait. 

And top tip? Learn from Carrie – if your reaction to the ring is to immediately throw up, maybe it’s not just the ring you’re rejecting.


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