Should the guy have to pay for the engagement ring?
Did you know, the first use of a diamond ring to signify being engaged or betrothed was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in imperial court of Vienna in 1477, when he became engaged to Mary of Burgundy. This started an all out trend in the courts, as everyone followed suit and did the same thing to their favourite babe. But its actually a tradition that goes back to the dawn of humanity, as the pre-caveman tied a “ring” of rope around the wrist, ankle or finger of his chosen mate, to bring her spirit under his control.
As complicated and old as time as this argument is, the engagement ring has become a very expensive ordeal for most blokes, who don’t really know where to start in choosing what is now seen as a symbol of love and commitment to a stand-out lady. Because its become such an expensive ordeal, and really its centered around what the girl wants, the question is often asked by blokes around the bar, should we have to pay for it.
It really comes down to what you and your lady value. If she wants the ring to be a total surprise, come completely out of the blue and wants you to handle the whole thing end to end for her, then asking her to pay for half of it is going to ruin the surprise a bit. And in some cultures, it might actually be a bit insulting to ask her to pay for the ring. If she wants you to demonstrate that you can save for the ring, that you are committed to making the leap into marriage and pull off a big romantic gesture, this is probably your chance to do that.
However, for some couples, particularly in Australia, getting married is far more of a discussion than a decision made in isolation. Lots of couples have already moved in together, started saving for a house or a baby or a car and talked about an engagement ring as part of that “moving forward” process. So for those couples, it’s logical for the engagement ring to be a shared cost, because it might be coming out of your joint savings account, and you are both building a future together, and a ring and wedding is part of that. That doesn’t mean that the romance has to go out of the moment, maybe its about a quirky proposal with a ring you have chosen or designed together.
For these couples, its also a really good opportunity for you both to discuss how much to spend on the ring. There is no bride-to-be out there who wants the man in her life destitute before they get married, but pounds to peanuts she is going to have a bit of an idea in mind about what kind of ring she wants, and so you have to find a bit of a middle ground. Creating a custom designed ring can be a great way to achieve that, but you can also look at it really fiscally – do we want a designer engagement ring, or do we want to be able to buy a house.
So essentially, the idea is do whatever works for you and your girlfriend. If she is of the more traditional mind set, then work out a budget you think you could both live with and keep it all nice and secret. If you are a bit more progressive about the idea, and you share some money anyway, it might be worth agreeing on a budget and choosing the right ring or the right design together. Either way, its totally about what works for you.