Aug 27, 2015 BY Diamond Foundry IN Style Guide
If you were a woman 200 years ago, getting married was basically the best thing that could happen to you. It meant that you could move out of your family home, run your own household, and enter into society as a married woman. It also meant that you were financially protected for as long as your husband stayed alive. So, unless your family tried to pressure you into marrying a truly gross guy –à la Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice – a marriage proposal was always a welcome, desirable surprise.
However, engagement rings didn’t really become a thing until the 1940s. 200 years ago, Joseph the Pastor didn’t have to choose a ring before he proposed to his thrilled fiancé – probably his cousin Mary – with a speech that almost certainly included the phrase, “because you will contribute greatly to my happiness.” Your boyfriend, on the other hand, does.
These days, your proposal doesn’t need to be a total surprise, and your boyfriend shouldn’t have to pick out your engagement ring on his own. If marriage is something that you would consider with your current partner, then you should talk about it. Not only this, but you should offer him guidance about your ring size, preferred style, metal choice, etc. It’s not presumptuous. It’s not an agreement to get married right away. It’s a very kind gesture towards someone who would otherwise toil away trying to guess details about a piece of jewelry that you’ll wear for the rest of your life.
I know that it’s incredibly romantic to get a surprise proposal with a ring that your future husband chose with the help of his friends and the Internet. But it’s 2015. You and your partner probably already live together. You probably earn your own money. You, hopefully, have a place in society that is unrelated to your position as married or unmarried.
Marriage is no longer the only, or even the best, thing that can happen to you. Your engagement isn’t the defining moment of your life. With any luck, your marriage will build upon contemporary values like equality and partnership, rather than societal obligations toward financial stability. You don’t need to follow tradition on this one. You can talk about it beforehand. You can tell your boyfriend – maybe someday husband – what kind of ring you want. You’re doing him a favour.
If he’s still confused, or if you both need a rundown of ring parameters, check out our guide.
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