On twitter a few days back there was a post about “the biggest Red Flags you’ve ever ignored.” The original poster said that she ignored a man saying ‘he killed his cousin.’ Another poster said that he proposed to his girlfriend of two years and she was upset that he didn’t have a ring. He thought this was shallow of her, characterizing her response as ‘where’s the shiny.’
I responded with that’s not a red flag. “You were lucky she didn’t dump you right then and there.” This twitter thread was mostly among the political far left and I got a metric tonne of backlash for ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘fascist-capitalist’ amongst other less colourful and descriptive insults.
So I brought the discussion to my facebook page, where the opinions were more equally split. A surprising number of my friends have confessed they were proposed to without a ring. I told them, in my understanding way, that their proposals and subsequent marriages were now null and void. One of my friends asked if I could send a letter to both of her two ex-husbands that they owed her a ring or the equivalent financial value of one and to remit post haste.
Some of my women friends talked about how they proposed to their male partner only to be dismissed as ‘men are the ones who propose.’ I asked these friends if they had proffered a ring, and they hadn’t. So while I condemned these men as sexist, I informed my friends, again in my non-confrontational way, that these proposals were also completely invalid.
And some of you may already be in the comments saying how awful the diamond industry is, I agree. Nothing in my argument says it has to be a diamond, regardless of tradition. I just believe marriage is a serious thing, something you ask because you (whatever gender you happen to be) want the person you treasure to spend the rest of their life (up until such time as either of you file for divorce) with you. This is something I expect that a person puts time, effort and serious thought into. Given that level of preparation it is not too much effort to prepare both a symbol (the ring) and a setting to the question worthy of it’s import.
If you can’t do that, than you probably don’t deserve the partner you’re asking. Unless they accept without a ring. Then you probably deserve each other.