Would You Say ‘Yes’ Without a Ring?

If you don’t have a ring, are you even engaged?

We’ve seen a lot of debate around this question across the web recently, so we thought we’d weigh on both sides of the ring (pun intended). Would you accept a proposal if it didn’t come with a ring? Would you be disappointed? Apprehensive? Overjoyed regardless? Here’s our views for an proposal with and without an engagement ring.

Yes to the Bling

It shows commitment. Engagement rings were never initially intended to be sparkly pieces of jewellery for people to admire. Before diamonds came along, engagement rings were simple metal rings much like wedding bands. They were a symbol of commitment, and an identifier that you have pledged to live the rest of your life with someone. It’s a big deal to wear a physical symbol like that on your person, and it’s an important part of an engagement.

It’s romantic. Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, almost every little girl has dreamt of the moment when their one true love gets down on one knee and pulls out a little velvet box. It’s the closest we’ll ever get to a real life fairy tale, and it’s one of those big, unforgettable, full of love moments that can be cherished forever. Without a ring, it just feels like something’s missing.

It’s personal. On a practical note, if your man produces an engagement ring that he went out and bought himself without you knowing, it reveals a lot of things. One – that he put thought and effort into finding the perfect ring for you. Two – that he has paid attention to your style, your likes and dislikes. Three – that he is willing to make a commitment, financially as well as for life. And a lot more besides. We could go on.

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So, yes, in many ways an engagement just needs a ring. Period.

No Need for a Ring

However…

It’s archaic. We can’t help but feel that in this day and age, engagement rings are a little outdated. The functional need for an engagement ring has been gone for a long time already – what remains is pure tradition, nostalgia and a little bit of expectation. Think of it from an alien’s perspective; if a little green man was to land on earth, he’d definitely be confused about the ritual of digging up a tiny piece of rock from the earth and giving it to someone in order to become their partner!

It’s unequal. On a similar train of thought, engagement rings don’t exactly promote equality. And that’s a pretty important thing to have in a marriage. First, the man is put under financial pressure to buy a big diamond, because the bigger the diamond, the more he loves his wife-to-be, apparently. Plus, why should a woman have to wear a physical identification of her marital status when a man has no such requirement? And where is the man’s engagement ring? Does the engagement ring mean that the man ‘owns’ the woman’s heart or that she’s not ‘free’?

It’s unethical. The diamond industry is far from perfect. In order for women to wear pretty rings on their fingers, irreversible damage has been done to the earth and to many of its people. Wars have been waged and disadvantaged people have been exploited and tortured over diamonds and diamond mining. And then people pay thousands of dollars for a little bit of sparkle.

Clearly there is no definitive answer. Whether or not you would or should or could accept a marriage proposal with or without an engagement ring…. is entirely up to you! Be informed, follow your heart, listen to your gut, and you’ll be fine.