In the good old days, a proposal involved a man buying a ring and surprising his lady friend by getting down on one knee to ask her to take his hand in marriage.
Of course, proposals are becoming more and more elaborate as time goes on. Think: underwater proposals, horses fashioned with unicorn horns, and hidden camera crews.
With or without the bells and whistles, it is an occasion that should be marked by happiness and excitement to begin the next chapter. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but in a perfect world, the diamond is more of a symbol of commitment from the girl’s best friend.
Alas, the world is not perfect, and sometimes the diamond isn’t exactly what the bride-to-be has in mind.
It doesn't matter whether you're a hopeless romantic or an Ice Queen, you've probably fantasized about the day the love of your life proposes. Maybe you've dreamed of being asked the question on top of the Eiffel Tower or as you and your beau float through Venice on a gondola.
Your fantasy probably involves a sunset too! It's a moment you'll remember for the rest of your life, and, if it's done in the traditional way, it'll end with a ring being put on your finger...
When my grandpa proposed to my grandma, he decided he wasn't going to risk buying her engagement ring in case it wasn't to her liking. Instead, he gave her a blank cheque to buy whatever ring she liked the most.
It was a grand romantic gesture, and my gran's mom encouraged her to buy the biggest, flashiest ring she could find. My mom said this was to test how pure my grandpa's intentions were when he got the sizable bill afterwards, and I have to agree...
Proposals shouldn't be about expensive rings, but sadly many believe that the amount their partner's willing to shell out for the occasion is a direct reflection of how much they love them. To be honest, I'd say yes to a Haribo ring if I knew the person asking couldn't afford anything else.
Recently, an anonymous MumsNet user took to the website to ask for advice after her partner popped the question. She was delighted to have been asked, but, from the sounds of her post, her face fell as soon as she saw her ''small'' engagement ring...
I'm not a hopeless romantic, but I hope that whenever someone decides to wife me up that the proposal goes smoothly. However, some people spend years fantasizing about their perfect proposal, and this inevitably creates high expectations which can lead to a lot of upset if they're not met.
''DP proposed and presented me with the ring he'd chosen – a diamond solitaire in white gold. I was so happy and excited to accept but was disappointed when I first saw the ring. The first word that entered my head was 'small'.''
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Now continuing with the story…
The anonymous user had clearly spent a long time dreaming of her perfect engagement ring, and her now fiancé had tried to make her dream come true. But his efforts simply weren't good enough, and she revealed to the Internet exactly why the ring wasn't right.
''There's nothing to dislike about the type of ring per se, as a diamond solitaire would have been my choice, but it's the whole thing – the colour of the gold, the setting, the small stone and relatively chunky shoulders.''
Things only went from bad to worse for the anonymous user's fiancé when she found the receipt for her engagement ring. As far as she was concerned, he hadn't forked out enough. She went on to justify her angst by revealing what her fiancé earned so that she didn't sound too materialistic.
''His salary is nearing a 6 figure sum, and he's usually very generous. Having seen the receipt I know he paid $1,674 for it – which is a lot less than I would have imagined he would have spent on such a significant piece of jewelry.''
I'm no expert on the male psyche, but I have a funny feeling that the man in question simply liked the ring he chose for his fiancée. He probably went into the jewelry store, picked the ring he thought she'd like, and went to pay for it without thinking about the price - especially if he's as ''generous'' as she claims he is.
At this point in the MumsNet post, it was looking like all the user needed to do to rectify the situation was tell her fiancé that she'd like a different, fancier ring to mark the occasion. It would be an awkward discussion, but it would solve the problem. Then things took a dramatic turn for the worst...
''He'll be more disappointed in me for making a fuss over it when, in his eyes, it fits, and there’s nothing actually wrong with it rather than being disappointed that I'm not truly happy with it.
Someone at work apparently told him that 'if she makes it all about the ring, then she's not the girl for you'.''
Now it was looking like the couples' relationship was on the line. If I were her, I would have simply learned to like the ring I'd been given and focused on being happy about the proposal itself, which is the important thing. After all, she could have made a point of getting the wedding ring of her dreams to make up for it!
''Ideally I would have loved for us to have chosen a ring together and made a special day finding one we both liked.
As it's something I’ll be wearing every day and is such a special piece of jewelry I wanted to really love it, and I just don’t.
Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do?''
''If you'd said you didn't like the style I’d have been fairly sympathetic. But if it's simply not big and flashy enough… It sounds like you're more interested in showing off the ring than you are in him.''
I couldn't have put it better myself. However, not everyone condemned the user...
''You will get flamed for this, and people will call you grabby, but I can see where you are coming from – not the cost per se but the fact [that you] will be wearing it every day, and [you] are not totally in love with it. I can see both viewpoints.''
What do you think about the woman's complaint? Was it justified or do you think that she was simply being materialistic? Whatever side of the fence you're on, this story should serve as a warning: if you want the perfect engagement ring, you should let your beau know long before they propose that you'd like to pick it yourself. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the same position as this MumsNet user, whose relationship now appears to be on the line.
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