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Nothing beats seeing your significant other get that adoring look on their face, drop to one knee, and tremblely ask, "Will you marry me?" before presenting a box containing your picture-perfect engagement ring It's the proposal you've been looking forward to for months or years! But what if everything goes exactly as planned, until that box is opened and it contains what can only be described as the worst ring you've ever seen?
If you're unhappy with your engagement ring, you're not alone. Many people before you and many people after you will be in the same situation—you don't want to hurt your brand-new fiancé's feelings, but you also don't want to wear a ring you don't like every day for the rest of your life. So, what are you going to do? As it turns out, there are several ways to gracefully handle this delicate situation.
Give it a few days if it isn't love at first sight. Wear the ring around and see if you like it. It might not be exactly what you would have chosen, but that doesn't mean it can't become something you fall madly in love with. Even with rings, first impressions can be tricky and deceptive. Give it some time before making a big deal out of it.
It's also beneficial to learn why he or she chose this particular ring. Perhaps it has a story behind it, or it is similar to one worn by their mother or grandmother. Perhaps seeing it made him or her feel a certain way. Occasionally, that story will be powerful enough to change your feelings about the ring.
If you're still unhappy with your engagement ring, it's time to talk about it. Every time you look at it, the voice in your head reminds you how much you despise it, causing resentment and annoyance. Your relationship will be tainted if you are constantly reminded of your disappointment in their choice.
Slowly and privately bring up the subject. As with any sensitive subject, choose a time when you're feeling open and loving, not when you're disagreeing or upset. It's one of those intimate, vulnerable conversations that will shape your marriage for decades. Recognize the love and thought that went into your fiancé's decision, and explain that your intention is not to hurt their feelings.
If your partner bought the ring recently, go back to the jeweler together. You could keep the center stone but change the setting, or you could spend the afternoon trying on rings together until you find a completely new style that you both adore.
Remember to be mindful of their budget and ask him or her to collaborate with the jeweler to ensure the options you're considering are within your price range.
Is the ring some kind of family heirloom? Find out if the heirloom ring can be reset. That could mean designing a new ring to hold a family stone, repurposing the metal from the original ring to make a wedding band, or purchasing a ring enhancer (which fits snugly around an engagement ring to add heft, and often additional sparkle, to the original setting) to transform a more simple ring into a more stylish design.
I'm not sure if you can even bring it up? Keep in mind what the engagement ring represents. It's a meaningful gift that you should treasure in any case, and when the time comes to shop for wedding bands, you might just find something to help transform it into the ring of your dreams.
Sincerity is the best policy...unless you're disappointed in the size or quality of the stone, which is essentially equivalent to saying, "You didn't spend enough money." You never want your fiancé to feel that their choice was inadequate in that regard—they undoubtedly bought you the most beautiful ring they could afford, so if everything else about the ring works (metal, stone shape, style), keep your mouth shut.
Remember, you're marrying the person, not the ring. I'd like to know if you're committed to living a happy, harmonious life together. If there's nothing you can do or you've upset your fiancé, take a deep breath, apologize for being materialistic, and move on. Or reconsider your motivations and be honest with yourself about your readiness for marriage.
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