“How Lovely” Passive-Aggressive Engagement Ring Talk We All Endure

April 24, 2019  |  
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engagement rings

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When a woman announces she is engaged, there is a lot that is said that isn’t really said (in addition to the sometimes rude things people do say out loud.) Rarely will you find that someone reacts exactly the way you want him or her to. Perhaps not even your best friend will gush and cry tears of joy for you—in her honest and instantaneous reaction, you may find that she’s not that happy for you. If you’re lucky, a few people who really love you will respond the way you want them to. Even if it’s not how they feel, they love you enough to be good actors for the hour. There will be comments and exclamations about the pairing—you and your fiancé—itself, but there’s a smaller thing that will also receive a lot of comments. Well, it’s literally a small thing but it’s figuratively a big thing: the ring. Women have a lot of feelings about engagement rings—what they should be and what they shouldn’t be. Here are some of the passive aggressive and confusing diamond ring talks you may have.



Oh, it was his mom’s

So perhaps your fiancé decided to give you a family heirloom ring rather than opt for a brand new one from the diamond district. It was passed down from his great grandmother, to his grandmother, to his mother, and to you, it feels very special. You truly feel as if you’re being brought into the family, but perhaps that’s not how others see it.


Translation: So, he spent no money on it

When people say, “Ooooh. It was his family ring” what they really mean is, “Oh. He got this ring for free. Cheap son of a b*tch. He’s passing his frugality off as sentimentality and you’re falling for it.”


A sapphire—how original

Some couples decide to go with a non-traditional rock like a sapphire. When you show off your engagement ring, people may look a little surprised at first, expecting to see a white, shiny diamond. Instead, there’s a blue stone on your finger. You like that it brings out your eyes or just stands out from the traditional diamond rings.


Translation: couldn’t splurge for the diamond, huh?

When people compliment you on your “original” sapphire, emerald, amethyst, or other non-traditional rock, what they really mean is, “So, he couldn’t afford the diamond, huh?”


Do you know where it came from?

You’ve told your friends that it came from a store downtown and that that store got it from a broker in the jewelry district and that that broker ordered it from another country. But your friends keep pressing, “But where did it really come from?”


Translation: is that a blood diamond?

What they’re trying to ask you is if this is an ethical diamond or a blood diamond. Hopefully, it isn’t the latter, but what do they get out of hunting down this information? Crapping all over your exciting news?


It’s very delicate—how lovely

“Oh, so delicate. So understated. It’s certainly not showy. Just like you—classic and subtle.”


Translation: that’s a tiny rock

Alright, your friends are trying to find a way to tell you that your rock is tiny. They would have taken out a magnifying glass if they had one on hand.


How could I miss it?

If your friends say something like, “How could I miss it?” or “Wow, he really loves you!” it seems like they’re saying you have the most beautiful ring in the world. Or, that they have been anticipating this announcement so they’ve been staring at your ring finger since you walked in the room.


Translation: it’s too much

What they might mean is that your partner went overboard. What they could be saying is you’re now one of those women whose partner clearly wanted to use your finger to show off how much money he makes.


No ring? So how will people know?

So perhaps you and your partner got engaged without a ring. You feel that a ring is not the best way you two would like to spend your hard-earned and saved money. Or, you’re just not into wearing jewelry. So you announce the engagement, but you don’t flash that ring finger and people implore you, “But how will people know you’re engaged?”



Translation: “If you like it then you should have…”

There are plenty of ways to show commitment without getting a diamond ring, but your friends aren’t really concerned about what other people think. What they’re trying to say is that if this man really wanted to show the world his love for you, then he would have put a ring on it.


Certainly shows your personality!

So your friends make comments about how your partner certainly understands your personality because your ring reflects it very well. They say things about how you two march to the beat of your own drym and how that’s great.


Translation: It’s a gaudy mess

They’re trying to tell you that that ring has too much going on. There are too many different stones. It’s shaped like a star with hearts on the side. It is not going to go with everything, that’s for sure.


Can’t we just leave each other alone?

Truly, once a woman has a ring on her finger, just tell her it’s gorgeous and that you’re happy for her. If you have true concerns about her union, you can discreetly bring these up later. But in the moment of the engagement announcement, just say you’re happy for her. And don’t comment on the ring itself: it’s a sensitive subject.

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