Following the unprecedented response to one of my latest think-pieces: Should Men Wait To Get Married, I decided to delve deeper into the subject of marriage and proposals.
This particular post was inspired by a tweet I saw while casually scrolling the timeline one Monday evening. The tweet was a picture of a cheap looking engagement ring and the caption: ‘Ladies, would you say yes?’. Now I’m not going to lie, this both amused and disturbed me. It amused me because, on face value it’s actually quite funny. But when you delve deeper into what’s behind the post, it opens up a range of issues about materialism and social media validation. It raises the question; Has Social Media Put A Price On Engagement Rings?
Before we go on it’s important to make it clear that I think in a relationship you should spoil each other. Even when you are happily married with children it’s good to still buy each other gifts and surprise each other with nice gestures. But as your relationship matures, the way you spoil each other changes, it becomes more about compromise and sacrifice and putting each other first on a day to day basis while you put your resources together to grow a home and a family.
In the early courting days you are more likely to buy each other expensive gifts and go to the expensive restaurants on a much more regular basis. By all means save up for that necklace or that visit to that Michelin starred restaurant. But, and here is the big BUT: THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. And in addition, it needs to be done for the right reasons.
So let’s first talk about what I mean by ‘within your means’ and how much you should be spending on an engagement ring. When it comes to
engagement rings, the traditional rule is to spend between 1-3 months salary. With the cost of living at an all time high, 3, or even 2 months salary is now probably unrealistic, although not impossible. Everyone’s situation is different and you’ll need to consider all the other costs associated with marriage and life when deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring.
As a guide I recommend spending as much as you can on a nice ring while ensuring you can still comfortably do all the basics, like paying all your bills, and can still comfortably save for the future wedding, property and other things you would like to do together as a couple and family. Whether this is one weeks, one month or 3 months salary, is completely dependent on your financial situation. It’s important to understand that the engagement ring is part of the overall process, not the be all and end all and if you are serious about the person you are about to marry, and they are serious about you, the both of you should be making these plans together.
Apart from spending within your means, I also feel that you should be buying, or
accepting, an engagement ring for the right reasons; ultimately to show the person you love how much they mean to you. However nowadays some people want to spend, or receive, lavishly so they can post it up on the gram. This is all well and good but those likes aren’t going to help you pay for all the those outstanding wedding costs. Nor are those likes going to help you build a successful marriage built on strong foundations of love, trust and communication.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t post up your happy times up online but when you do, don’t base your happiness and success on the validation of others. At the end of the day you are marrying that one person and the happiness between you two is all that really matters. They may not be able to afford that dream ring but they may have all the attributes to be able to give you a dream marriage.
So yes, social media has put a price on engagement rings, we live in an over sharing culture. But its important to keep each other at the centre of the relationship and seek validation from each other, not the Internet.
What do you think on this topic, let me know!