A few months ago, after being in a relationship for years and talking about getting married, my boyfriend suggested we stop by my favorite jewelry store to take a look at engagement rings. It goes without saying that I was excited; not only was this was a big step in our relationship, I already knew what kind of ring I wanted (it’s only natural when you work in fashion). But when I finally saw what that marquise-shaped diamond looked like on my finger, I realized it wasn’t what I’d pictured at all. Instead, we ended up falling in love an emerald cut surrounded by smaller stones and set in classic gold. It was regal, different, and eye-catching – and it was also $17,000.
I always knew engagement rings weren’t cheap, but that particular price seemed outrageous to me. Even if my boyfriend had that kind of money (and I’m pretty confident he does not), I wouldn’t let him spend it on a tiny piece of jewelry – something that’s so trivial in the grand scheme of things, aka spending our lives together. And that’s when it hit me: why was he the only one spending money here? Wouldn’t it be better if we just split the cost? Maybe then we could afford something really nice (although maybe not $17,000-nice).
In 2018 – a year where women continue to fight for equality – I’m not sure why buying an engagement ring should be any different.
For the entirely of our relationship, this is how it’s always been. If he buys lunch, I’ll pay for dinner. If he’s spending $250 on me for Christmas, I’ll spend $250 on him. If he’s taking care of half of the rent, I’ve got the other half. Sure, sometimes it depends on pay schedules or unforeseen expenses, such as flat tires or bachelorette getaways, but for the most part, we aim to keep things even. And in 2018 – a year where women continue to fight for equality – I’m not sure why buying an engagement ring should be any different.
Unfortunately, my boyfriend isn’t totally sold on this idea. He wants to buy the ring on his own, and right now, a good argument is that he’s making more money than I am. But as we continue to talk about getting engaged, I’ll continue to offer. Maybe it’s not half – maybe, instead, I’ll put a specific amount aside for him to use, this way he can still “surprise” me (yes, I’ve thought about this at length). I just feel like paying for a portion – even a small one – is the right and more practical thing to do. After all, we’ll be beginning the rest of our lives together as equals, why not start here?