How Do You Really Feel About Your Engagement Ring?

Do you love it? Did he nail it?

Lucky you! We’re happy for you that your engagement ring hasn’t created any strife or stress.

Not all brides are so enthused. Some are lukewarm about their rings; it’s a few degrees off from what they would have chosen for themselves. Some are embarrassed by the size of the diamond, be it too big or too small. Or maybe their guy completely missed the mark? Don’t get us wrong; we’re not saying that there’s anything actually objectively wrong with the ring — we can all agree that it’s a beautiful piece of jewelry — but there’s just something’s amiss. So how do we go forward from here?

First, and most importantly, make a conscious choice to see the ring for what it is: a gift of love. It’s not just a rare stone set within in a mineral. It’s a promise of a lifetime together. A future together, of love, of trust, of family, of children, of sharing a life. Viewed this way, the symbolism of even a not-quite-perfect ring can become a better fit. Sit with this for a few days and see how your feelings about your ring change. If after some reflection your ring still nags, your next step is to assess your fiancé’s emotional investment in the ring.

Can you tell if he got talked into this year’s “hottest trend” or was pushed around by the salesperson at the jewelry store? Was it a quick purchase because he felt overwhelmed by the choices? Was he clueless? If so, he may not be very attached to the ring and therefore more open (and less offended) if you want to exchange it for another. If you need to have this conversation, start with something like: “Baby, thank you so much for this ring. I’m really grateful. But I had a vision for my engagement ring — stuff that you couldn’t know when you chose one. Can we go together to the jewelry store and pick something that’s totally ‘me’? Is that OK with you?”

Or, did your fiance work his butt off, educate himself to become an expert in cut, carat and clarity? Did he go to the diamond district, hand-select the gem, and secretly design the ring with a jewelry designer? In short, is he really proud of your engagement ring?

If so, then tread very, very gently. You can’t tell your love that his pride and joy — his personal Mona Lisa — is crappy. Consider his feelings and remember that in getting married, your life is not just your own anymore. His needs, feelings, wants — and yes, his taste — are now as important as yours. It’s the two of you now, not just “me.”

We’re not saying wear a ring that you hate for a lifetime. But think twice (or three times, or four times) before asking for a new ring. Is your vision of your ring really worth crushing him over, or can you see your ring the gift of love and future that it is?

Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor specializing in engagement anxiety and cold feet and the creator of The Emotionally Intelligent Engagement video series.