Waiting for engagement

Avatar for jana307
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2012
Waiting for engagement
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 4:56am

I have a lovely and caring partner of 1 year. Last summer we started talking about engagement and in autumn we searched, agreed on and booked our wedding date and location. There's just one step we skipped - engagement. We thought reserving the location that we both fell in love with, can't wait so we booked It. We agreed that The wedding arrangmenets are for me to lead, and the engagement  is on him. It has been months since then, we went to a couple of jewleries but haven't found the ring yet (or it was way too expensive!). I feel like he's not so fired up about it and I'm losing my patience in trying to understand him and his lack of organization. For example, I showed him one ring online that I would really like to see, the shop is in our city but he hasn't made an appointment (and it's been 2 months since).

Whenever I gently remind him (even though I feel like I pressure him when I do that!), it feels like we're not experiencing this whole engagement thing positively. The last that happened was we agreed to go see that ring but that day we had other things to do. While he could have said that is a priority and we should definitely do that (and easily cut other things out), he instead remembered a few times that we need to go see that new laptop I'm plannign to buy. When I told him that remembering to find or schedule time to go buy the laptop seems to cross his mind much faster than the ring, he says it's not true that this is an indication of anything. I know he loves me but I'm running out of ideas to understand why he doesn't act on it. It takes a lot of asking and probing before he mentions that he's worried about the cost and that he can't get me the thing I might like the most.  I know this isn't about him getting cold feet but I also can't help feel hurt when he's first thinking about how much it will cost.

What should I do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2014
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 9:27am

Why not just relax and have a bit of fun and really get to know each other.  Its only been a year!  It could be cold feet or him thinking he jumped into everything too soon. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 10:45am

"...I also can't help feel hurt when he's first thinking about how much it will cost..."  HURT that he's thinking about cost???  How about HAPPY he's thinking about cost.  GRATEFUL he's thinking about cost.  ALSO thinking about cost.

You've been together ONLY one year, and before that year was half over, you decided to get married and booked a hall.  And now, all you do is talk about a ring, when your partner has clearly told you he's apprehensive.  You pushed the relationship along too fast, and now you appear to be inconsiderate,  impractical, and a gold digger.

I've been married 36 years, and together for 5 before we got married.  NEVER, in my life, would my husband have said, or felt, that he was worried I wouldn't like what he gave me, because it wasn't EXPENSIVE ENOUGH.   He knew that I would love whatever gift he gave me, because 1) it was a GIFT, and 2) I knew his priority was our life and well being, and not decorations.

I have a small ring, that I have not even worn for at least 25 years, because of the field I worked in, and now, it just doesn't fit.  We were out with friends, and DH noticed women in our group who had traded their modest rings for door knockers.  He asked me if I wanted that also.  I told him I loved the ring he married me with, and even if it had been a cigar wrapper, I STILL would love it, and not trade it in for the world.

My 33yo dd is getting married soon, after 4 years together, and engaged since August.  Her ring is a TINY sterling silver circlet, with a little engraving.  Both she and her fiancee make GOOD money, have a nice house, 2 cars, lots of "toys", and they could certainly have afforded a doorknocker.  But that is NOT their priority.  And I am suremy dd's common sense approach to finances, and her intelligence about life in general, are some of the reasons her fiancee is marrying her.

My 30yo dd has also been with her partner for 4 years.  They are both divorced, having learned FIRST HAND the wisdom behind the saying "Marry in haste, repent in leisure".  At this time, they have no intention of ever marrying.  They are cleaning up their credit, which both were ruined by impractical, inconsiderate spouses.  They have a condo, cars, and a child to support.  My dd says neither a ring, nor a marriage license, will make her any more devoted to her partner, and right now, they have more important things to spend their money on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 10:57am

Guess what?  If you have decided on a wedding date and booked a hall, you are engaged.  To me, engaged means that you have agreed to get married.  What you are talking about is buying a ring, which is not a requirement for engagement.  My cousin never got an engagement ring.  She's kind of a casual person as far as dress goes--she doesn't really wear jewelry or makeup.  When they got married, she & her DH were just starting out working.  Then they both got MBAs and got very good jobs so over the years, they certainly had enough money to buy a ring--she just didn't care.  I think you should listen to your fiance's concerns about money--maybe the ring you showed him is too expensive for him.  Jewelry advertisers will try to convince men to pay a lot of money for a ring, but maybe buying a laptop is a more practical need right now.  Also, have the 2 of you discussed marriage and money--what your priorities are, goals for the future, etc., to see if you have the same viewpoints on money?  Right now it seems like you haven't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 11:50am

What you should do is back off and understand that for YOU that ring on your finger is important, and for him it's not important.  He's concerned with cost........you're not paying for it, he is.  Engagement is a place in time, it is NOT an expensive diamond ring.  I have a feeling you're driving this "engine", not him.  He's going along for the ride.  You've only been with him for one year, sooner than most people are engaged, let alone planning a wedding, or reserving venues.  You need to back off or he may just back out!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 01-19-2014 - 2:25pm

I think you need to step back and reassess what you are doing and why. An engagement is just the period between deciding that you want to marry and the day that the vows are exchanged. It doesn't have to include a ring, or a special party, or a shower, or anything else that a bridal magazine or website might suggest. The ring implies a promise, but plenty of engagement rings have been thrown into the ocean or returned via courier so the ring isn't going to hold a relationship together.

The fact that your fiance admits that he is worried about the cost is a GOOD thing. I would be worried about a guy that disregards cost and ability to pay just to make you happy. That sounds romantic but being in debt is far from romantic and many couples fight (and divorce) over money issues. If you feel like him spending big bucks on a ring proves your value to him somehow, or you want to impress your friends and family, then that is your own self esteem issue that should be addressed with a therapist before you get married.

I'm wondering if you have an idea of a fantasy engagement and wedding? That's fine of you do but there has to be some reality in there. Most families or couples have a budget for a wedding, if you don't have the resources now for what you want then postpone the wedding and start saving. If you reaaaally want that particular ring then you save up half the cost of it---who says that the groom has to pay 100% of the ring? You are planning to be partners in life so why not start partnering with the ring? We get to make our own rules for our weddings and make them fit our lifestyles and budgets, the idea that things have to be a certain storybook way is often unrealistic.

I think that pre-marital counseling would be a good idea for you and your fiance. A trained professional can help you two address communication, money issues, etc---two areas where you guys could use help already.

For the record my dh and I had very little money when we decided to marry and we were paying for it ourselves, so our plans were in line with that. I didn't get an engagement ring (I got the man, that was what I wanted). He doesn't wear rings and would not wear a wedding band so why waste the money on that, but he did get me a wedding ring. He had it made custom, with a gemstone not a diamond. Its not really a design that I would have chosen then or now, but the fact that he made that effort was the important part so I cherish that ring and have rarely removed it from my finger. (when we started having more disposible income he asked if I wanted a diamond ring instead but I declined, I still had the wonderful thoughtful man that came with the gemstone ring). The wedding was also simple and casual and I wore a nice dress that could be used for other occasions instead of buying a gown that could only be worn once. We have been married a long time so it didn't take a diamond or a white princess dress, it takes things that money cannot buy.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 8:47pm

Do you want the ring or the man?  it is just that simple.  Decide.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2013
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 1:57am
I also agree, if you do not find him excited about the idea of getting married soon then postpone it, get to know each other and spend some quality time with him. Companionship is important but career should be top priority. Work hard and unwind with him. Whenever you both are on the same page on getting engaged and married then go ahead and do so.
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 2:56pm

What should you do?  You should talk with him seriously about canceling your reservation because you have gone about this all backwards.

Here's how it's supposed to work:  you meet someone, get to know them, share their values, have some serious disagreements and work your way through them, learn to communicate on topics large and small, and then, after you've had a reasonable approximation of what life with them will be like, find yourself thinking that this is the person you really want with you when you're on vacation, when you're unemployed, when life is fantastic and when life craps all over you because you have had enough experiences of them to know how they are in the good and the bad, and how the two of you are together during the good and the bad.  THEN one of you throws out the idea of marriage and THEN you decide that you're going to get engaged.  Because being engaged means you have agreed to marry.

THEN you decide together whether there will be a ring to symbolize this promise to marry.  I detest it when a couple gets engaged because the guy produced a ring - I have been witness to some miserable marriages because the guy decided it was time, produced a rock, and the girl thought that meant everything would be just fine.  A ring is not essential for an engagement.  A mature decision to spend the rest of your life together is.

Only after you've done that do you go and book a hall.  You book a hall because the two of you want to celebrate the vows you have made to each other.  The hall is NOT the wedding, the ceremony is. 

And a wedding is not a marriage.  I am concerned that the thing that matters to you is the hall and the ring, not how you are going to build a life together.  If he is sensible enough to worry about the cost, good for him!  That's your starting point for talking about what each of you values.  If he values long-term planning and you value symbolism, that's OK, but you need to TALK about it.  Seriously, if you can't have an honest discussion about whether a ring equals engagement, how are you ever going to make decisions about your financial future, jobs, children, housing?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a ring for your engagement.  There's nothing wrong with not wanting one too.  That's a decision between a couple, and you shouldn't be swayed by what other people think is important.  The thing that matters is that you and your fiance agree on what is important.  That's Step One.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2014
Thu, 01-23-2014 - 7:35pm

This makes sense: 

geostamp wrote:
<p>Why not just relax and have a bit of fun and really get to know each other.  Its only been a year!  It could be cold feet or him thinking he jumped into everything too soon. </p>

I think you should work on having some fun together , and building up a relationship of trust and respect.  May be time to talk about budgets.  Your perception of a reasonable ring and wedding may be over the top to him... or he may have the money, but is hoping to do something like buy a house, start his own business, etc which will require some of his savings.