Social Question

RedKnight's avatar

What if she wants a really big ring you can't afford?

Asked by RedKnight (493points) July 26th, 2014

My girlfriend and I have been dating for over four years now. She just graduated from college and I’m still in college until next year. We have talked about marriage and we know that we want to take that step when it is financially feasible. She has on numerous occasions given hints that she wants to get married soon after I graduate. However, she’s also directly said that she won’t accept a ring below 2 carats. She also told me that specifically it must be a 2 carat center diamond, not a combined carat weight of 2.0. We’ve had this conversation a couple of times over the years. Her number actually started out at 2.5 because that’s the size of her mother’s diamond. The only thing is her father was a professional NBA player who made a lot of money. Over the years the size she wanted went down to 2.0. Recently, she said she really loved me and wanted to marry me and would accept a 1.5 ring, but she didn’t seem very genuine. I’m not cheap and really want to make her happy, buy even when I graduate from college with a degree in engineering it will take me a while to afford such a ring. Even 2.0 carat diamonds online cost around 10,000 dollars by themselves. I’ve also hinted at some happily married couples I know that upgraded their rings on major anniversaries and such, but it seems like she wants something big and just keep that with no upgrades later on. Do you think I should wait and save up for this ring? Do you think she would say yes or be happy with a smaller ring? I really want her to be happy more than anything, but I’m on track to graduate with no college debt and I really don’t want to go into debt over an engagement ring. Thanks for the help in advance.

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93 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Don’t give in. If you go into additional debt at this point in your life, you will regret it. If you buy the big ring now, you’re setting yourself up for more of the same, because she’ll know you can be pushed to buy the biggest, most expensive whatever-is-next. You can always buy a smaller stone now, and when money comes in, replace it with the big one she wants.

If she can’t respect you in this area, she doesn’t love you the way she says she does. Really.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

If she’s more concerned about the ring than she is about what marrying you represents, maybe you should wait a bit to get married until she’s more mature. I’m really not being mean, but I agree with @snowberry. If she really loves you, it shouldn’t make a difference to her.

None of us will be able to tell you if she’d say “yes” with a smaller ring – but if that’s the road you choose to go down (which is the responsible one, because you’re right to try to avoid debt), and she says “No” because of it… that’ll be a good thing for you, in the long run.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Run for your life! @snowberry and @DrasticDreamer are being tactful, but any relationship predicated on the size of a diamond is doomed from the outset.

ragingloli's avatar

I buy a plastic one and tell her it is real.

cookieman's avatar

I think the old rule of thumb for engagement rings is two-months salary (net). Go with that if it’s comfortable for you.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

So so sorry, I don’t want to judge somebody I don’t know, but this lady sounds very materialistic and contolling. She has you twisted round her little finger! You won’t be in for a smooth ride with this girl. Sorry a nice guy like you ended up with someone like her.

johnpowell's avatar

Does a woman that cares this much about the ring want to get married in a courthouse? You could be looking at a very expensive wedding. The catering will probably cost more than the ring.

I really doubt she cares about the ring. She probably cares about what her friends think when they see the ring.

To be honest she sounds like a pretty fucking horrible bitch princess brat.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Sounds like she is more interested in your wealth and her own desire than love. You were right to hint to the happy marriages without expensive rings. I feel bad that she didn’t listen to that.

I agree with the advice to postpone the marriage. Maybe you need time to get to know her more, to see which she truly values, you or your ability to please her. If she only cares for herself, then walk away.

ucme's avatar

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling, dooapp, dooapp, doo… ahem…scuse me.
Yeah, she sounds very shallow, reavaluate.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’d save up your money and spend it on a ring for someone else. One that isn’t a spoiled, selfish brat.

Ugh, some women make me sick.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think she will be happy with a smaller one, although I want to say that I think 2 carats is huge in most circles of society. In my opinion no one should buy a ring they have to “save up for” or go into debt for. Either you can afford it or you can’t.

I didn’t want a very small diamond ring for my engagement so I had a zirconia initially at my suggestion (my husband insisted on me having an engagement ring). Looking back in some ways I wish I would have let him buy a smaller diamond, because I think it would have made him feel happier and proud, but I am really glad from a financial standpoint that we didn’t do that and bought a house instead. I still wear my original wedding band, I love it, no diamonds on purpose, no bumps (stones) in the band. Smooth ban symbolic of a smooth marriage, although the band does have a twist in it, and we definitely have had some twists in 21 years. Maybe I should have bought a simple solid band? We have matching bands from our wedding.

Years later he bought me (I picked it) a ring with lots of little diamonds that I love! It was spur of the moment one day in a Jewlery store. I don’t think of it as an engagement ring, but it is a special ring. I also inherited my great grandmother’s engagement ring, which I wear at times. I can only wear one ring at a time on my ring finger so the whole engement ring obsession I never really have understood. I change my jewelry depending on whether I am travelling, what I am wearing, the mode I am in, the work I am doing, etc.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Give her the boot, someone sweet can have a ring.
Has she some difficulty with reality? Marry someone who will not burden you with unrealistic demands.

jca's avatar

I have seen women over the years (the decades I have been on this Earth, haha) who are very into having a big ring, showing the ring to their friends, having their friends ooh and ahh over the beautiful ring, and having big discussions about the color, cut, etc. These were people who were not rich by any means, but yet the ring meant so much to them.

I think it’s a shallow status symbol but it is what it is.

Your girlfriend’s is probably not comprehending what this means for you financially. I will go out on a limb and assume she is probably the type that wants a big wedding, too.

Only you know whether this is someone you really want to spend the rest of your life with, but to me, it sounds like she is shallow and materialistic and not based in reality.

I would try to bring the subject up and see if she can comprehend what her demand means to the relationship and to your bank account.

chyna's avatar

You have been dating over 4 years now, so you should know if she is all about money at this point in your relationship. If money and gifts have been the focal point of your relationship up to now, it will never change. She is used to having lots of money from her dad making good money and it will reflect on the rest of her life and yours if you do marry her. It’s admirable that you are close to graduating without debt, don’t let her put you in debt.

There is no way to know if she will accept a smaller ring and there is no way to know that, in five years, she will demand a bigger one. You have your hands full. My advice is to wait on all of it. Make sure this is the woman you want to spend your entire life with. Good luck.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is not love worth any price?

(This message brought to you by the DeBeers Cartel.)

dappled_leaves's avatar

The most generous interpretation of this situation is that she does not have a clue about what it takes to earn money or keep it, nor does she comprehend the consequences of spending beyond your means for a single piece of jewelry.

The single most important thing you can do if you mean to marry this woman is to sit down with her and talk about how much each of you makes, what your long-term goals are financially (house? car/s? children?), and what proportion of your earnings can realistically be spent on her ring and your wedding.

Possibly, she is clinging to some childish Disney-sponsored dream of what a wedding means, that she must wake up from to become an adult. But it’s the adult you want to marry, and you need to make her understand that.

bea2345's avatar

Start as you intend to go on. If you give in on this matter, it is only too possible that both of you will regret it later. Maybe your fiancé is just a little confused about the value of things. My mother did not get her engagement ring until she and Dad had been married over 30 years. By then he was able to afford a really nice diamond, which she wore with pride. It wasn’t meanness, it was being poor at first and raising five children.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Dump her. This is unrealistic and she clearly cares more about a piece of rock than she does about your relationship.

If you marry her, you will never hear the end of her nagging. In fact you should thank her for showing what an bitch she is BEFORE you get married.

Look at it this way – if she already is not acting as a partner, think of how bad she will be in the future.

elbanditoroso's avatar

So this girl wants a very big rock,
That will put this guy deep into hock.
His money to fritter,
On something that glitters,
And this will make marriage a lock?

He needs to draw a bright line,
Maybe man up with a spine,
And tell her NO WAY
That he will not pay
For some baubly 2-carat design.

She needs to understand and to learn
That this guy doesn’t have money to burn.
If they want to be wedded
(this may be what’s dreaded)
They can spend only what money they earn.

chyna's avatar

I worked with a girl that told me she wanted the biggest wedding she could have. It was all about the wedding and the dress. It was a huge deal. Huge catholic wedding, although she wasn’t catholic, her husband was, huge reception, huge honeymoon.
She told me that as she was walking down the aisle, she knew at that moment that she really didn’t want to be married to the guy, she just wanted the wedding. They were divorced within a year.

jca's avatar

It’s called a Bride-zilla.

hearkat's avatar

I have to agree with those who suggest that you reassess your relationship with this young woman. It appears that her values and priorities are not in alignment with yours, and that is a huge red-flag for having problems in the long term.

In my observations and experiences, the couples that succeed have shared values and are focused on the shared goal of building a strong foundation for their long future life together. The most important component to that foundation is communication. If you can not discuss and resolve this conflict without one of you feeling like you’re “giving in” there will be many more conflicts and resentments to come.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I so seldom agree with @stanleybmanly that you should think of this as a red-letter day. If she’s more about the bling than she is about the boy, then the relationship hasn’t got a chance.

Man up and walk away.

jonsblond's avatar

Your life will be very difficult being married to someone with such high expectations. Never buy something you can’t afford. If she loves you it shouldn’t matter what you give her to put on that finger.

jca's avatar

@RedKnight: Please offer your opinion of the responses above.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Wow. She is willing to drop half a carat just for you? If that isn’t proof of true love, then I don’t know what is.

This woman expects you to keep her in the style in which she was raised her under daddy right out of the gate. She wants you to waste—yes, waste—money on a trinket that would be wiser spent on a down payment toward your first home. But, trust me, you can’t compete with daddy right out of university. And don’t fall into the trap of her going to daddy to subsidize her until you can catch up. And if daddy is so disrespectful of you to do that, then man, these people will always own you. You will only get scraps off their table and no respect.

If a 1.5 carat diamond is make-or-break deal with her and you do this, say goodbye to life as you know it. It is doubtful that you will ever reach the income levels of her daddy if you start out in that kind of debt—and she will never let you forget it. She will own your ass. You will be her bitch. She will eventually find someone more suitable to her tastes and value system and leave you in the dirt with a pile of debt.

So, just simplify things. Cut to the chase. If you end it now, you won’t have to go through all that grief and you won’t be left alone to pay off a mountain of debt you were suckered into. You’ll only be left alone—to find someone less mercenary and more interested in building a life together with only you. And you won’t be crippled with debt when you do find her.

gailcalled's avatar

Chiming in with a vote to dump this woman, whose most notable skill seems to be the ability to guess the carat of a colorless crystalline piece of carbon at 50 paces. That should come in handy during your lifetime together, reflecting her attention to details. Your details made my hair stand on end. (You’re not yet 21? Jeez. Run for the hills.)

Darth_Algar's avatar

Here’s a slight thought: maybe call her bluff. Buy a ring that is below what she demands. If she will not accept it then you know what kind of girl you have on your hands and can cut ties now before it’s too late (or stay with her if materialistic servitude is your thing). Do not, however, go into debt or spent more than you easily can afford for even this ring. If things don’t work out you will not be able to off-load the right for even what you paid for it. You will take a loss on the right, so don’t put yourself in a financial reach over it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Wait…’re not even drinking age yet? Jesus dude. Don’t even think about marriage for now. Experience life (even if it’s with this person) for a few years at least before you bind yourself in marriage, family, mortgages, etc.

zenvelo's avatar

@cookieman Two months salary for an engagement ring was a “guideline” that was created by DeBeers diamonds!

An engagement ring is money down a rat hole because it is not an investment, it is a bauble that is a gift. If your marriage lasts, it will never be sold or hocked.

And to insist on a ring of a certain size – well, just tell her you can’t afford it, and with all it implies about her, you can’t and never will!

If this was a solid relationship, she would say something along the lines of “let’s get something small, and then when we are successful after ten years of marriage we can get something bigger.”

RedKnight's avatar

Hey everyone. Thanks for all the input. I’m sorry for just now responding. I am of drinking age(22). I definitely don’t want to break up with her. :/ We have been together the whole time I’ve been in college. I definitely love her and I know she loves me. I think because of her lifestyle as daughter to a Pro NBA player she was raised with high expectation. We’ve talked about that before and she knows she can be materialistic sometimes. She’s even said she would work on that because she knows she was kind of spoiled as a child(traveling Europe and designer clothes and such). I think a lot of you have a point in regards to debt. I actually had the same conversation with her. I think that money should be put towards a house, but she thinks that the ring is a symbol of the marriage and therefore should be high quality. As I said before, I think her mother’s ring is a big influence here. Also, I don’t think she will be a bridezilla because she has expressed she feels the ring should cost more than the wedding. I really want to get something affordable and hope she says yes, but at the same time I want her to be happy. The average salary for graduates of my major and school is around 60k, so based on the two months salary rule, I would be expected to pony up 10k for a ring. I just wanted to add those details. Is this rule what people really abide by? I don’t want to seem cheap by not putting towards the two month salary if I am making that much. I just feel like before getting married, there should be a threshold and that money should be used towards a house down payment. Like I said before, I’ve had the conversation with her about upgrading over anniversaries, but she still thinks it should start around two carats for engagement. How should I convince her otherwise? Thanks for all the help and input. I really appreciate it.

chyna's avatar

@RedKnight What if you can’t find a job in your field? What if the pay is much lower?

RedKnight's avatar

@chyna That is very true and that’s a big source of stress and worry in my life as well. I’m really not sure what I would do at that point. I really want to propose after graduating and being financially independent, but with a lower salary and even a salary around the above figure, it would take time to save that amount. I think the overall answer I agree with is just getting something beautiful that I can afford. The problem is also keeping her happy with something financially responsible. Is there anyone else that has been in a similar situation? How did the person react when giving something that’s possibly below their expectation?

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, the two months salary thing isn’t a rule. As someone else said, it’s a “guideline” established by the DeBeers diamond cartel, who have a huge interest in getting people to spend stupid money for their overvalued goods.

gailcalled's avatar

she thinks that the ring is a symbol of the marriage and therefore should be high quality


zenvelo's avatar

The symbolism of the engagement ring is that it is a promise, not a symbol of the marriage.

When one gets married, the wedding ring, the real symbol of the marriage, is worn closer to the heart than the engagement ring.

RedKnight's avatar

@zenvelo Thank you for that. I will bring that up with her in a polite and respectful way. Thank you for your help.
She also feels that a larger ring will keep other men from hitting on her when they see the size. I will definitely bring this up with her in a respectful way. I think that I’m going to get a ring that is beautiful, but won’t put me into debt and hope that she’s still happy and loves it! I just hope she really is happy. Till then, I’ll try and keep convincing her that the engagement ring is not an indicator of the quality of a marriage or relationship. Thanks for all the help everyone.

jca's avatar

Of course her opinion of what a wedding ring is will back up her opinion (symbol of the marriage so that justifies paying a huge sum you can’t afford).

As I am typing I see what you just posted above. Keep men from hitting on her because of its size? PLEASE.

You sound like a nice person but it seems you are letting her dictate and you appear to be timid in what you want and what you are willing to tolerate. It seems like she wears the pants in the relationship.

chyna's avatar

She also feels that a larger ring will keep other men from hitting on her when they see the size.
Wow, you are really getting a girl that is very manipulative. Good luck. You will certainly need it.

cazzie's avatar

I go for sentimentality over carats any day. If he had a ring that was say, passed down from his grandmother or something, that would mean much more. But I didn’t grow up with a father who was an NBA player.

It sounds like she’s used to very fine things and puts a higher priority on ‘things’. It’s nice to have nice things, but ones feet should be on the ground, or you’re having your car repossessed and your credit cards cut up at the grocery store. Neither of which are nice.

Tell her straight, if she wants a ring that big, she’ll be waiting a while, or she can accept the ring now that you can afford. If she can’t appreciate that you are being fiscally responsible and put a higher value on that (trust me, what I’ve been through I really appreciate a fiscally responsible man over having vacations and stuff.)— right now, perhaps she will in a year or two when the real world hits after you are both graduated and working. —(hopefully working a really high paying job… I have my diamond-less fingers crossed for you. I hocked my diamonds two Christmas’ ago to pay bills because my dead-beat then husband spent everything he had on camera equipment and motorcycles) ps, he wasn’t the one who gave me the diamonds.

jca's avatar

My test for her would be to tell her you are going to try what @JLeslie did – get a cubic zirconia in the beginning until you can save up. If she says no, pouts, throws a tantrum and cries like a baby, then the writing is on the wall, clearly, in black and white. She is looking at marriage the wrong way and you should take the advice of every person on this thread and head for the hills. If, on the other hand, she says “yes, honey, I agree and the ring means nothing” then you should looking into saving the relationship.

Of course we all know what her response will be, but you seem to not agree. I understand you are in love, probably having great sex, etc. and this girl is a part of your life, but try to avoid making mistakes if you can.

CWOTUS's avatar

I can understand your wanting to maintain the relationship. After all, at your age this is probably your first “serious” relationship, and yeah, you’ve had those conversations and yada yada.

Fast forward twenty or thirty years or so… you can do this now! Take a very good look at the mother of your intended. Is she everything you will want in a lifelong companion in twenty years or so? Because the woman you’re with now will grow to be that woman. (And she’s already trying to be her, or compete with her, or live up to her expectations with respect to what you should be providing in the jewelry department.)

No, you will never have an NBA pro’s salary. Over your lifetime, perhaps, and with judicious investment, you may end up with a total income approaching one or two years’ worth of his former salary, and if you manage those investments well, you may have a comparable net worth in a quarter-century or so. That’s doable.

But it won’t be possible if you make “the wrong investments”. And a diamond is exactly the wrong investment. Read for yourself on “diamonds as investment” and you will better understand the truth of what @zenvelo has been trying to tell you. There are precious stones that are investment-grade, but not diamonds. And as others have repeatedly hammered: starting your life together in debt is terribly unwise. (Even “down payment on a house” is not necessarily the investment that it was twenty years ago.)

But really, spend some time with your prospective mother-in-law to get an idea of the woman your wife will be no matter how much she claims otherwise.

cazzie's avatar

Also, that comment about ‘guys not hitting on her if she has a bigger ring’.... that sounds major alarm bells to me. My come back to that would be, ‘What ever ring you have on your finger, guys may hit on you, because you are a beautiful woman, but I have complete trust that you will decline any and all of their offers.’ (while inside, I would be making a mental note that perhaps she means she’ll wander if she doesn’t get exactly what she wants. I’m a women and I know this type of women. One of them left their 13 year old daughter for a man who could give them diamonds.) You really want to share the same values with your life-long mate.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Are the two of you living together now? I think it might be prudent to postpone the proposal until you’ve been out of college for at least a year. Give yourselves some time to create expectations based on your lives together, and your realistic incomes, instead of what Mommy and Daddy had or have.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m just thinking, you both have college degrees, and I assume you both want to marry each other. Before getting marriage finances should be discussed. How about you both talk about how you like to spend and save and the things you want over the next few years and long term and see if you are financially on the same page, and then she can add the ring into the equation. When I was going to marry my husband we decided we were going to combine our money (not all people do) so essentially I was buying my own ring in a way.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You are drunk on oxytocin, my friend. You’re not the first.

I’m thinking of a film: Jimmy Stewart as the RedKnight in shining armor, Suzanne Pleshette as Lorelei Lee. Script by Anita Loos, Tennessee Williams, and Edward Albee.

hearkat's avatar

Are there other signs that she is materialistic or superficial? Does she spend a lot of money getting her hair done or her nails? Does she obsess about her figure and diet and criticize your exercise routine or diet? Is she all about buying designer clothing or driving an expensive car? Does she comment or complain about how your clothes look or what your car looks like?

I’m also curious about her family’s position on this. Most NBA players come from fairly average upbringings themselves so it’s not like you’re marrying into old money. Do they seem realistic about what lifestyle you can offer her, or do they look down on you as not good enough for their baby? Have they suggested that they’ll be helping you guys out with major expenses, like a house, or do they expect the two of you to live within your own means?

cazzie's avatar

gosh… some of us sound like such cynical, old codgers.

@hearkat makes some good points.

filmfann's avatar

Most arguments in a marriage are about money. You need to address this with her. If her expectations are too high, you will fail in matrimony.

hearkat's avatar

@cazzie – We sound more like the voices of experience, to me. Live and learn. At least this young man has the opportunity to get advice from a fairly varied section of people – I wish I’d had a forum like Fluther to turn to for advice when I was in my 20s.

In fact, it warms my Jelly heart to see so many of us agreeing on something, when in most other posts there are pretty deep divisions of opinion between many of the folks who have commented here.

filmfann's avatar

PS, my original thought was “dump that bitch”, but I understand how you cannot turn your back on love.

Aster's avatar

Take her a 1.5 carat ring on approval that is G color. GH isn’t bad; J is awful. See what she says. If she doesn’t like it and says to take it back I think she’s very superficial, bratty and actually insensitive. She doesn’t care if she hurts your feelings. Red flag.

kritiper's avatar

Break it off or put it on hold. She is too material/social/status minded to be marrying right now. Or ever.

jca's avatar

There are very few occasions on Fluther where everyone is in agreement on an issue. This is one of those rare times. I would heed the advice of everyone on here if I were you, @RedKnight. Everyone is saying basically the same thing.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Okay, moment of truth. If after reading all this, which is quite experienced advice all, if you still feel you want to give this girl a chance, do this.
If she really loves you, then after reading what we all have said, she will throw her arms around you and declare that she would be happy with a rubber band if she can just never lose you.
If she reads the page and storms out, best you know now rather than later.

jca's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers: I thought of that advice, too, and then I thought that this seems like the kind of girl that would tell her friends “He took the advice of all these strangers on some website!” and then the friends would talk about how @RedKnight must be losing his mind, you poor poor thing, etc.

gailcalled's avatar

@RedKnight; You should not be thinking about marriage, much less giant diamond honker engagement rings while you still have a year of college left.

Plus, down the road, are these the values you want to transmit to your own children (assuming she is the mother”)?

trailsillustrated's avatar

Don’t get married. You are too young. Enjoy life. Travel and screw a lot of women.

Coloma's avatar

Pfffft! I can’t ad to any of the already sage and sound advice, except maybe, find a woman like me who hates wearing rings, never wanted a diamond and would be much happier of you brought home a kitten or a goose for me. lol
Now ask yourself, what’s preferable a woman that wants a ring or a farm animal?
If you married me I’d insist on a duck pond with weeping willow trees as an engagement gift. to excavating. haha

RedKnight's avatar

@JLeslie I definitely think that would be a good idea. I will bring it up how we would handle finances soon and that will give me a good indication.
@dappled_leaves We are not living together. I think that’s very good advice. Waiting a year would allow a good amount of time for stability and for us to both see how we handle money.
@cazzie I definitely think we share the same values. This is just a major disagreement we have. Even when talking about other expenses concerning money, we tend to agree. Also, thank you for the links. I will bookmark them!
@hearkat She does her own nails most of the time and I don’t think she spends too much on hair. Her main thing is clothes and purses, but she tends to be very frugal when it comes to clothes. She is always looking for deals and usually goes for nice clothes that are cheaper. She doesn’t exhibit the other things for the most part. As far as the family goes, I think they see me as worthy. And they definitely expect us to live within our own means. I doubt they will be helping.
Thanks everyone for the input. With so many people saying similar things, I will be taking a lot of the advice. I won’t be breaking up with her. I love her and we are very in tune on most things. This is just one of few things where we have dissenting opinions. To be honest, the only thing I’m concerned about with her is money. Also, since her graduation is before mine, I will be able to see how she handles her own money when she is working. She knows she had a privileged childhood and is trying not to let her expectation be influenced by it. Thanks everyone for the input and opinion.

JLeslie's avatar

@RedKnight Just to clarify, I didn’t want a little ring either, but I am very frugal with money typically. My husband is actually the bigger spender. The ring does not have to be a sign of how she spends money in general, but it can be. @hearkat‘s points about looking at the whole picture when it comes to how your girlfriend spends and even looking at her family and what they are accustomed to makes sense.

Before I got married I made sure my husband also hated debt (we always pay our credit cards in full every month) and we both cared about saving money for the long term. He wanted to be able to buy fancy cars, which I never really cared about, so I knew going in I would be married to someone who always spent more than what really makes me comfortable on cars. However, he only buys what we can afford. It doesn’t put us into a precarious debt situation, it just means we have less in savings, that I can handle.

gailcalled's avatar

@RedKnight: To be honest, the only thing I’m concerned about with her is money. That is one huge concern in planning a long life together. Good financial planning is the foundation for the relationship. “All you need is love” is not quite all you need.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RedKnight Good luck to both of you – come back and let us know how it all turned out!

RedKnight's avatar

@dappled_leaves Thank you and I definitely will!
@JLeslie That makes a lot of sense. I think that is the main thing. I like nice things and I don’t mind her liking and wanting nice things. My main concerns is the things outside of our means and unrealistic expectations.
@gailcalled I agree. Money is definitely a big conversation needed.

Also just to clarify, I am not cheap and I’m not against nice things. I like nice things and I I get her nice things for special occasions and sometimes just to surprise her. I mean I am a college student, but I take an effort to take her on romantic dates and do nice things for her(etc.). The main thing I’m concerning about is living far above our means and going into debt over something. I’ve made an effort in college to get out with no debt and don’t want to go into it because of a ring. I also feel like some items have a threshold price. For instance, if something like a piece of clothing costs as much as a car, I don’t think its a smart purchase whether someone has a lot of money or not. I think that regardless of income, some things are just not worth buying at high prices. That’s just my two cents and insight into how I feel about finances and money. So to sum it up, I do like nice things and believe in doing nice things when its reasonable. I do think even with millions of dollars at one’s disposal there are still some things that should not be bought above a certain price.

jca's avatar

@RedKnight: Also, I know you came to Fluther recently, probably for the sole purpose of asking this question, but you should consider sticking around. We’re a nice bunch of people, a social community, we’re an eclectic bunch of supportive people for various questions and dilemmas that may arise throughout your life. Check in daily and ask or answer anything that strikes your fancy.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Big ring?

I wouldn’t be with anyone that couldn’t crank a 53T

Adagio's avatar

An excerpt from The Beatles “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”

”… Say you don’t need no diamond ring
And I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want those kind of things
That money just can’t buy
I don’t care too much for money
Cause money can’t buy me love… ”

cazzie's avatar

It’s funny, I was contemplating buying myself a little ring, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on myself and it’s now sold. Best I grab those house insurance papers and pay that bill. Damn you, reality. But, the house is half mine, so in reality, I have many rings, like the one around the tub and the one that is failing on my washing machine that needs replacing and then there is the nice round circuits of electricity in my house that isn’t grounded properly and give me pretty sparks when I plug in electrical and electronic appliances. Pretty sparky rings.

jca's avatar

@RedKnight: Can you please update us as to whether or not you had this discussion with your girlfriend yet and how did it go?

RedKnight's avatar

@jca We did have the conversation recently. We were at the mall and she wanted to stop by a jewelry store which ended up being the perfect time to bring up the subject. She expressed that she was alright with a 1.5 carat diamond. I asked her about if she would say yes if I could only afford smaller and she said yes. She said that she would rather I wait and save up for a larger one though. Overall, I do think she would say yes, but I could tell during our conversation that she wouldn’t be happy. She definitely wants to get married, but I expressed to her that a larger ring would mean a larger waiting time(because there is no way I’m going into debt or getting something I can’t afford) so that I could have time to save up and make sure I am financially ready.

JLeslie's avatar

Did she say you have to wait to get engaged? Or, just that she wants to wait for a larger ring? Two different things.

RedKnight's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry for not being clear. She is saying that she would rather wait to get engaged until the larger ring can be purchased.

livelaughlove21's avatar

How selfless of her. She must be an angel with this amount of kindness and generosity.

jca's avatar

All I can say in response to your most recent post, @RedKnight, is “wow.” Isn’t the writing on the wall?

gailcalled's avatar

She certainly is clear about her priorities. You can’t fault her for that.

JLeslie's avatar

@RedKnight That sucks. I think that is a bad sign. All along I wanted to think it all might be ok and she is just young and not quite putting her priorities in the right place, but now I really do think this is a red flag. I hate to say, but I will go ahead and stereotype that a lot of NBA players get money and being part of the nouveau riche spend all sorts of money on flash. I am not assuming that was the case with her parents, but if the shoe fits it is something to think about. If she grew up in that she might be quote bad about the value of money and being responsible with money. as I said I don’t have a problem with her wanting the ring she wants within reason, I just have a problem with her expecting you to spend money you don’t have on it. Did you get to talk to her about financial goals? About how much money each of you have and if you are going to combine your money when you are married or keep it separate? If she has credit card debt?

jca's avatar

What baffles me is that if it takes you three years to save up for said ring, then is she going to be ok and wait for three years to get engaged?

RedKnight's avatar

@JLeslie We have talked about financial goals. She wants to combine our money instead of keeping it separate. She doesn’t have any credit card debt(only student loan debt). I don’t want this to be a red flag(I know that sounds silly and maybe immature to say). I really love her and I want to be with her. Almost every other aspect of our relationship is great. It’s only this one topic that makes me feel like something isn’t right/is a thorn in my side. I’m going to continue to talk to her about it. I can’t lie though…I do think her mom was into the flash when her dad was in the NBA. The thing is that the father(former NBA player) is very hardworking and still works(corporate) to this day. It seems like he understand the value of money well. Also, now that she is out of college and looking for full-time employment, I think she will better understand money value when she has to make it on her own hopefully. Thank you for helping me and all of your input. I really do want to make this work. (Hopefully I don’t sound foolish)
@jca That was the exact same way I felt. I asked her that after reading your post(wanted to wait for a response before posting back). I ended up talking to her about a theoretical scenario. I asked her if she would rather get engaged as soon as possible with a carat or less ring(after graduation and both having jobs of course), a big carat ring for waiting 2–3 years to get engaged or around 1 year for something in between. She chose something in between. However, she stated she really think one carat and below is too small.

Again, thank you guys so much for continuing to help and give me advice even now.

gailcalled's avatar

However, she stated she really think one carat and below is too small.

Her ongoing obsession with the carat size of a diamond is still a huge red flag for me.

Something isn’t right and it is a thorn in your side. Pay attention to that feeling.

What if you fell on hard times, relatively speaking, and had to forego a diamond ring? What if you had to choose between a used car, or several large home appliances, or health insurance or a diamong ring,

jca's avatar

@RedKnight: To me, it’s telling that given the choice between getting engaged to you or getting a big ring, you’re not the #1 choice.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Exactly, @jca.

My husband was 20 when he proposed and had just moved into his first place, a shitty old trailer, with roommates, and I was still in college. We’d been together for 3 years. It was a .5 carat diamond that I still wear (along with my little $200 wedding band). I can’t imagine saying no to him because the diamond wasn’t big enough and I suspect he’d be quite offended if I had, as he should be.

If it’s love and true commitment, the size of the rock doesn’t matter. It clearly matters to this girl, and I think the OP should seriously reconsider marrying this gold digger. Has he even thought about the cost of the wedding day?

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t have a problem with her wanting over a carat. I have a problem with her delaying her engagement because of a ring. My options in my head when I was young was not get a small ring and get engaged now, or a bigger ring get engaged later. My options in my mind were no ring now, get engaged when we decided it was the right time, and get the ring I want when we can afford it. My husband really wanted me to have a ring when we got engaged, so to please him I got a zirconia, but my preference would have been no ring at all. I wanted a ring I picked, that I liked or nothing. In retrospect I can see how that might seem bratty to some people, but it is a big expense, so it might as well be a ring you love.

cazzie's avatar

Some cultures get engaged without diamond rings. Engagement rings are a rather new concept here in Norway. My Norwegian ex husband never got me a ring. In fact, I bought both our rings because I wanted them to be from New Zealand.

Adagio's avatar

I didn’t even consider an engagement ring, it seemed too bourgeois to me at that time. I would have used a lemonade can tab if it meant the difference between being able to marry or not marry.

@cazzie I’m curious, why New Zealand especially?

jca's avatar

There’s always the paper ring that comes on cigars.

cazzie's avatar

@Adagio I lived there for 15 years and it was my home and I was leaving to go be with him.

RedKnight's avatar

Thank you for all your help. I understand the overall opinion, but even though it may sound foolish to some, I still want to stay with her. I think we can still work even with this issue. Like I said before, she originally wanted something even larger and the “size requirement” has gone down considerably over time since we’ve been together. I know that may not sound the best, but I say that to point to the fact that I think as she experiences more and more of the real world, she realizes that some of her expectations can be out of bounds. Even though she said she wouldn’t want something under one carat, I think she would still say yes after talking with her again and seeing her body language. I think that she just really wants something 1.5 or above. Please don’t dislike me for my decision to stay. I love her and want it to work.

@gailcalled I think that if we had to make that choice she would make the right one. She is usually very sensible when it comes down to financial issues. She doesn’t tend to spend a lot of money for clothes and is always searching for deals. I can’t lie that it is a thorn in my side concerning the ring, but I really want to find an alternative to breaking it off. I think I’ve made progress on the topic over time and I think as she see’s more of what the real world is like after college, her expectations will come into focus.
@jca I do think she really wants to get engaged to me. I think that she sees it as she rather enjoy our relationship until I can afford the ring she wants. Like the ring may be a gauge for if I’m financially stable enough and ready to take that step? I guess that still sounds kind of bad though.

@livelaughlove21 I know from the point of view of seeing this issue she may seem like a gold digger, but I promise she isn’t. This is the only thing where we have dissenting financial opinions. She understands what I can manage financially when it comes to dates or gifts and always seems excited and overjoyed no matter what I get her. That isn’t to say I’m cheap because I like to do nice things that I think she deserves within the bounds of what I can manage. The ring is the only thing where this type of thinking takes place. I have thought about the cost of the wedding day and honestly that does worry me a little as well. However, she seems like she doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on the wedding. She does imagine it very classy and elegant, but that’s definitely reasonable. It’s not that she wants the huge ring because if I really have the money, I want to make her happy. I guess it’s just the principles behind it that bother me. “Would she really say no if I could only afford something small?” That’s what keeps bugging me on the inside, but I do think it’s something we can progress through over time.

@JLeslie You are definitely not bratty at all! I agree that it should be a ring she loves. Thank you for your help. I have the same opinion concerning not having a problem with her wanting a bigger ring, but the fact that there’s a possibility of her saying no if I presented her with something otherwise. I feel like the only true way to know would be if I actually asked her under those circumstances. In person, her body language seems to say that she would say yes regardless because she loves me, but vocally she stands firm on what she wants. It’s hard to know the complete truth until it actually happens though. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford what she really wants and it won’t be a problem at all, but I still just want to know if she would say yes regardless because I feel like that would be the case for what real love is.

Thanks again everyone!

gailcalled's avatar

@RedKnight: No new news here. Good luck to you both.

Unhopefully yours,gailcalled.

CWOTUS's avatar

Just as a thought experiment, @RedKnight, what do you suppose would be her response if you told her that you would like to eschew typical and traditional gender roles and have her woo you with… well… whatever floats your boat. A flashy car? A boat? A ring of your own?

Why is it your responsibility to provide her with a ring of a particular value, when she’s the one who already comes from money?

Adagio's avatar

@RedKnight You mention she understands what you can manage when it comes to dates … I do hope you guys Go Dutch or at least take turns at paying when you go out together? I certainly wouldn’t want to get saddled with someone who expected me to pay for everything. Hopefully she is more practical and considerate than that.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS I like how you turned the whole thing on its head. It plays back to why I think it should be a financial discussion for the two of them. When my fiancé spent money it meant less money for our future together. We didn’t have our money combined yet, but eventually it would be. I have a feeling the wealthy don’t worry about that, but the rest if us probably should.

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