Man vs The Ring


Wedding season is coming to an end and naturally, once the confetti has been thrown, the cake has been cut and awkward speeches have been made, attention turns to the couples perceptibly next in line. ‘It’ll be your turn soon’, ‘When are you getting married?’, ‘Hurry up,  you are only getting older’ are phrases that many have heard in the last few months. Before you can get to say your ‘I do’s’, theres the small matter of The Ring, and as a man, where do you start?

Many women these days have a good idea what ring they want. They know the shape, metal, jewel and the price range they would be prepared to accept and as the bestower of the ring, you need to know all of these things without giving away details of your final choice. The big reveal needs to be a surprise, but a good one; you need to know when she’s ready and if she’ll be happy wearing that ring for the rest of her life.

I was involved in a conversation about engagement rings recently. Actually ‘involved’ is a strong word. Being one of two men with 7 ladies in the room will have you feeling like Nick Clegg: your opinion is largely irrelevant. Some of the comments were surprising, some even shocking.

‘If I don’t like the ring, I’d make him take it back’

Imagine picking a tattoo for someone else. You would ask many questions, show some designs, sketch some ideas, try and find the right person to stab permanent ink into that persons skin. Whether you decide to go take the occasional window shopping trip together, ask her friends or get whatever Kanye bought Kim, the ring is potentially for life. It does need a lot of thought and insight. But to make him take it back? A man with a wounded ego is a dangerous thing.

‘He should know my taste’

Sure he should know. But guys need a heads up too. We are simple creatures after all. You will just have to drop hint after hint as to what you want and if that doesn’t work, just be clear. All of this ‘read my mind’ stuff is too much. The average weave is far too dense for that.

‘It had better not be cheap’

No woman wants an obviously cheap ring. Some women might be tempted to find out how much the ring cost, and you may think that you can buy a really nice one for say £500. But the more I personally look at rings, the differences in quality become very apparent. How much should you spend?

Its generally accepted that you should spend up to 3 months’ salary, although some frugal purchases can be made with online jewellers, pawn shops and online shops like eBay (don’t tell her that). Some women would be angry if she knew that her man had spent £2k+ for a ring, when it could be used to help fund her shoe collection. Ok seriously, some women would rather the extra £500-£1000+ go towards the actual wedding rather than ring alone, which would obviously include fabulous shoes.

‘It had better fit’

Asking your girlfriend her ring size will get her suspicions raised that a proposal may be imminent. So maybe checking with her girlfriends is a good solution to this problem. During this conversation, a couple of the girls said that they would tell their friends and expect their potential to check in. Its probably a good thing to do as they may have some additional tips on a ring she might love.

As these ladies proceeded to debate about what they like and don’t like about certain rings, I realised that even though the way that some of the points raised were so dogmatic and intense, the sentiment behind these demands was very simple. ‘Just listen to me’.

Picking the right ring is not easy and I salute all the men out there who have made the right choice. In this increasingly materialistic world, far too much attention is being placed on the value of a ring, and not the values that will keep a relationship going past the honeymoon phase, 7 year itch, kids and toilet seat warfare. Maybe the value we as men should focus on is listening, so that when your time comes to choose a ring, it won’t be as hard as you think.

*This post is copied from a post I wrote for and was edited by NuPeople Magazine*