So here is a secret, not really, I am planning a small wedding ceremony for next year. November 2019, universe willing, my partner and I will be celebrating 10 years together. I still do not know how or why we continue to work, but it is still a thing. With that being said, I am keeping it on the low and have been discreetly, yet casually, telling our friends and family. Despite our longevity and obvious commitment to each other, I am still getting asked “where’s the ring?” This is sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes in an overtly rude way. The most recent person put both her hands up and turned them in my face to designate that something was missing.
I was in the midst of rolling my eyes when it hit me, over the past couple of years I have been getting ring shamed. Having an engagement ring has never been important to me. It truly does not make sense to me that some people save 6 months’ worth of paychecks or take out loans to afford pieces of jewelry. I do not judge, I simply say “congratulations” or “that’s beautiful” and move on. If this was your decision, live your life, I am happy for you. Unfortunately, I have not been afforded that same luxury. I have been told or asked;
“You know you really want one!”
“You can’t just say you are engaged and not have a ring.”
“He better get you a ring! Make sure he knows it needs to be 14K gold and don’t be cheap.”
“I do not know what I would do without my engagement ring, you are really going to be missing out.”
*Looks at their own ring* “So he’s not actually your fiancé he’s just your boyfriend”
“How can you plan a wedding and not have a ring? That’s weird.”
You know, everything supportive someone wants to hear.
Like most marriage traditions, the engagement ring was birthed out of representing soon-to-be ownership… real cute. Just because that is what YOU want, does not mean that is what We want. To partially quote Topanga Lawrence “you are you and I am I.”
Little does everyone know that Austin asked me to marry him SIX years ago. He also gifted me with two sterling silver bracelets, which I love. Four years ago, everyone was asking why we were not married already. I truly do not understand what the infatuation is. We are doing our own thing and we do not abide by anyone else’s timelines, traditions, or expectations.
Perhaps it is society’s fault for placing so much emphasis on material signs of adoration, but as individuals, we still have a choice in if we want to succumb to that pressure or not. Believe it or not, it is not a necessity to validate your relationships or to feel like you have reached a new level of significance. I get it, I think, but it is not for us. I choose to find comfort in our presence, partnership, and aura. I, however, do not appreciate belittling comments because I choose to reject the notion of wearing a ring. Luckily, it is making our guest list even shorter, so that’s a perk!