Engaging Expectations

Dearly beloved,

If you’re not ready to make a reasonable financial sacrifice or didn’t properly plan out an adequate budget for an engagement ring that you know I will love, then wait. Please wait. Some women are okay with a Cracker Jack box ring. I am no longer her. I was once, but you killed her three years ago. You have known for years how much I wanted to marry you, but with each passing year I have waited, I wanted that a little less because of the ongoing heartache of knowing you didn’t want me in that way year after year. Now that we are here and you’re thinking about “popping the question,” I don’t want you to wing it or to get by with the minimum.

I need you to show me how grand it would be to marry me because I have lost sight of my value in your eyes. Your words have fallen short and you know why. An engagement ring is important to me and it shows me how committed you are to us. You’ve known from the VERY beginning how important marriage and tradition are to me. You’ve dishonored that traditional love for many years and you need to make it up to me somehow. If you disagree, please don’t propose. I will be okay if you don’t because I now know that my life will move forward. You have lowered my expectations over the years enough so that the joy of marriage has slowly been slipping away and the hope of marrying you has dissipated. A small loyal part of me still believes in happily ever after, but the rest of my heart needs a grand gesture to remember how the joy of love should transform a person. I will not continue to lower my expectations. If you still want to marry me, then you must begin raising your standards to meet mine. Marriage and our future in general has been a topic that you resented so much throughout our relationship, I now personally feel it too and it’s bittersweet, but now almost more bitter than sweet. So I will not lower my expectations for this part of my life.

I used to dream about the kind of man who would want to marry me and about my engagement and married life, and I have expectations. They aren’t unrealistic and now I want to know what I’m worth to you. I want to see that you know what it means to make sacrifices for someone else. I’ve sacrificed the best years of my life to be with you and to fight for us time and time again. You always apologize and I say you regret your actions, and I always take you back. Because I love you. A lot has happened to us between August 2012-2017. I don’t regret loving you and I never will, after all, you were the “great love” of my life. You loved me just enough to keep me around, but not enough to plan your future with me in it… until now maybe. I still don’t really know. That is what has utterly devastated my heart and my hope.

Men I know, from my brother, young lawyers, even servers to guests, gas station workers, and old friends, they spent months researching the perfect ring and were happy to make the financial commitment and investment to the person they were going to ask to marry them. They all said it was worth it after everything was said and done. These men have set a high bar and I don’t resent them for it. I want you to know what sacrifice means because that’s what holds marriages together. Sacrificing TIME and money to make the person you love happy.  The right person is willing to make the same sacrifice as you and that’s what makes the partnership work and that’s why marriage is beautiful. Whether you know it or not, I’ve sacrificed a lot for you and will now only do so for my future husband. Maybe you’ve noticed me pull back from my investment in the relationship? Sacrifice is something I’m going to strive to only give to my husband, who has shown me that he is willing to do the same. A man who will move mountains for the great love of his life.

If you can’t afford to spend 1-3 months salary on an engagement ring (which is the average spend), maybe you’re not financially ready to enter into marriage because your priorities in life aren’t aligned for that decision. If you spend thousands of dollars on things for yourself, whether it’s cars or bikes, but you don’t think you can afford a ring I will love, maybe, just maybe you should wait.

I don’t want to fake happiness for a ring I don’t love. Do you know how picky I am? I am super picky and if I’m going to wear something, I HAVE to love it. If I’m going to wear a ring on my finger every day for the rest of my life that represents your love for me and my happiness (please don’t give me the “upgrade argument”) then I want you to make the financial commitment to get me something I will love. Can you do that? Do you know what size diamond I want? Do you know what my expectations are? Have you been BRAVE enough to ask point blank what will make me over the moon happy? Do you really care? You’ve admitted many times how sorry you were for screwing things up between us in the past. This is your chance to right those wrongs in our romance story. I want something I think looks beautiful on me. I don’t want a diamond the same size or smaller than the ruby ring I used to wear as a child. I’m color sensitive and want it to be clear and sparkly. 1 carat is the average size for most walks of life and it’s affordable if you are willing to put in the work and if you think I’m worth the effort. Yes, I said it. If you think I’m worth it. If you don’t think my engagement ring is worth that amount of money, please don’t propose!! You are not the man of my dreams.

This is not about money, this is about YOU thinking about OUR future instead of just your own. Thinking about OUR happiness instead of just your own. This is about you planning and following through on a financial commitment for someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. This blog post might surprise you because I’ve never complained about the gifts you’ve given me. You will never know when I despise a thing you’ve given me because I appreciate your thoughtful gesture, despite the little thought you clearly put into some things. So mark these words: I am done settling for your “best” and I’m keeping my expectations right where they are. Get me a ring I love. We are at a crossroads and your response will determine our future.

An engagement ring sets the tone for whether you are the right match to meet my expectations in life. Will I constantly be disappointed with your level of effort and have to hide it or will you raise your standards and leave me pleasantly surprised? I don’t want to be disappointed and I also don’t want to spend the next year or 75 years pretending and lying to myself that I’m happy with the ring you thought was worthy enough to put on my finger. If you don’t value the importance of an engagement to someone who cares about what she wears every day, simply don’t propose to me. I’m the kind of woman who cares. Perhaps I’m too shallow for you because this is one thing I don’t want to compromise on. Maybe I will compromise in the end, but I don’t want to. If you force me to compromise on this, you may be hammering the final nail in the coffin of our dying romance and mark my words, I will resent you for it. I think I’ve compromised enough in this relationship, don’t you? If you know me at all, you know that I am a woman who has expectations in all areas of her life and when it’s up to me, I do whatever is reasonably necessary to meet or exceed them. It’s not crazy to ask someone who wants to be MY life partner to do the same in this one area?

This will be my one and only bold plea to take my engagement ring more seriously than you have taken anything else in your life.

Why I Write

I have a lot of thoughts and writing helps me process what’s going on in my life. People change over time and so does the advice I give to myself and others.  My thoughts over the years reflect my experiences, values, and beliefs. I’ve been told I give good advice, but this is not what this blog is about. This is my personal outlet to organize my thoughts, manage my expectations, and reflect on why I have the standards that I do.

If you can relate, that’s great! I’m not alone! Do you have pages and pages of eNotes saved on your phone filled with long-winded texts about life and why you feel the way you do? Do you explain yourself in writing? Are you more comfortable communicating when you write and edit? Great! Me too! Let’s grab coffee and talk about life! Or just read and write about it… either or, here I go with my very own blog!