Being a man can be many things…some good, some bad, some quite exciting and others quite costly. Recently, my fiance and I went out to shop for our wedding bands. I was aware that her band would be exponentially more than my ring and so I prepared myself.
I thought of the cost of the engagement ring, my checking account balance, my credit limit…said a few prayers and had a couple of sips of my coffee before we met at the jewelry store. As we proceeded through the “security” doors our sales associate peered up with that, “I know them ;)” look and I knew I was in trouble.
You see the one thing I didn’t take into consideration was that when you buy an engagement ring of a certain quality you HAVE to buy a band that equals that quality…and yes I do know the famous 4 C’s of a diamond and if you don’t, guys, you need to quickly. The world revolves around 4 C’s and the irony is that we were all taught that coming home with 4 quality C’s on our report card was average—at best. I shudder to think what 4 A’s would cost you and me if they were a part of the equation.
Now before some of you wonder if my fiance is one of the famous or infamous Bridezillas…you couldn’t be further from the truth. What we both are is practical…at least we strive for that. And, with that in mind it becomes very easy to look at your ring(s) as investments…as both an investment in love and commitment and in the value it holds on the open market. So…what happens is this—you find that you cannot just place an average band with an above-average engagement ring. It would be like buying a nice car and treating it like a contractors truck…both equally valued when kept separate.
And…who is kidding who? Both of us want the rings to look complimentary to each other and I want the ole ego stroked when she fawns over my choice…and it doesn’t hurt when her friends do the same ;). Which brings us to the overarching challenge of jewelry for men and women—men get hosed and women get the riches. We know it. You know it and we can only hope that when we want something that is a tad flashy like a riding lawnmower or season tickets to our favorite team—you understand the value we see in the purchase. Otherwise, the couple runs the risk of playing tit-for-tat with everything from material possessions to sex. Nobody wins and assuredly each party loses. The relationship loses overall focus, commitment to what brought you together loses focus…with the end result being two depressed individuals who look at their relationship like a failing stock that was given to them years ago by a less than normal relative.
So the next time you think of purchasing something for yourself or your family think twice about the message it can send your bank and your family. Yes we all want to have hand like George Costanza so famously stated on Seinfeld, but having hand without the one you love…well you get the point.
Please understand that we, the male species, struggle to understand the cues you give us and struggle even more to communicate beyond the material goods we purchase. We want you to know we care and that you are that special someone.
We also ask that you return the favor and express support for those other purchases that you might not necessarily deem important for your family. Yes jewelery and the purchasing of special jewelry is fun and expensive, but the look on your face fuels us to want to be the best and provide the best opportunities for the entire family. So many of us learned that men, and primarily from our fathers, communicate love through giving and doing and while we adjust to the new and Normal approaches to relationships we still might dip into the well a time-or-two.
We both know that if we are to call a spade a spade we would say that spending any amount of money on a ring is ridiculous when we take into account what truly matters in life. To some degree the purchase is a frivolous one…and that is ok. Sometimes being like or exceeding the Jones’s feels good and other times it doesn’t even come into the picture. Openly communicate what you can and cannot spend for your display of commitment and you will set yourself up for emotionally prosperous communication.
All the best!