So it’s happened! He’s proposed! Your heart is full of “Yes!” but your eyes are saying “No way!” to the engagement ring. We get it - your engagement ring will adorn your finger for your whole life, so it’s important that you love it! Thankfully, most jewelry retailers allow refunds or exchanges, so you aren’t stuck with wearing something that isn’t your taste forever and ever. But how do you let him know that you want a different ring without crushing his feelings? You don’t want to detract from the happy moment, and he probably spent a lot of time and effort choosing it. Don’t worry – there are ways to communicate your desires without bruising your ego. Read on for helpful advice on how to let him know gently that you need a new ring, not a new fiancée!
1) Focus on the “Yes” First
If the first thing out of your mouth after he gets down on one knee and produces the ring is “I don’t like it” then that’s what he will always remember about the proposal, no matter how much you shower him with affection later. You might think that you need to get the awkward stuff out of the way first, but the moment just after he pops the question is the most emotionally-charged time for both of you, and they should be joyful emotions! Let him know all the ways your heart is singing that he’s asked you to spend the rest of your life with him, and soak in the love and euphoria of that special moment. Later, when you’ve both calmed down a bit, you can broach the topic of the ring.
2) Let Him Know What You Do Like
Men are sensitive creatures, and just want to know that they’ve done a good job. Chances are, he won’t mind too much if you don’t end up wearing that particular ring for the rest of your life. But he will mind if you act as you hate it and he’s made a terrible choice. Even if it’s not your style, try and find something you like about the ring – the bezel setting, the intricate design, or the dazzling pink gemstone he’s picked because he knows it’s your favorite color. It’s okay if you have to tell a little white lie – just because you say you like something, doesn’t mean the ring you ultimately choose has to be the same. Basically, you want to tell your man that he’s done a good job choosing, even if the ring is not exactly what you want.
3) Compliment Sandwich
If you haven’t heard of this game-changing approach to giving criticism, you need to listen up. The idea is to ‘sandwich’ a piece of criticism between two compliments, or two pieces of positive feedback. This softens the blow and pulls some focus from what the person has done wrong by reminding them what they do right. In this instance, for example, you could say something like “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you, you make me happy every day. I have to be honest and say that this engagement ring isn’t totally my style though. How about we pick one together? But I loved the way you did the proposal – it was more romantic than I could have ever imagined.” Tailor what you say to your partner, but just remember to let him know what he does well and what you love about him.
4) Teamwork is the Dreamwork
If you focus on the idea of the two of you as a team and choosing the ring as something you do together to represent your partnership, you can shift the perspective. Instead of “You have done something wrong,” it's “Let’s do this important thing together, to represent our connectedness.” Make it clear that while you do want to have some say in it, his input is very important to you. There are a few ways you could go about this. You could simply go to the shop or browse online together, or you could show him five rings that you like and get him to pick one. You could also ask him to customize the ring to suit your tastes, changing the setting or an element that you don’t like into one you love. Either way, keep the focus on this as a romantic shared activity, rather than the fact that he’s chosen wrong.
5) Keep it Light
As mentioned before, the last thing you want to do is let your dislike of the engagement ring overshadow the joy of the proposal. After all, he’s sure to have gone to a lot of effort planning it! There are many ways to communicate that you want a different ring for your new fiancé, and it will depend on the type of person he is and the way you generally talk to each other. If you are a couple that can withstand a little gentle teasing, you might tell him lightheartedly that he’s terrible at choosing jewelry. But even then, don’t forget to implement the compliment sandwich or remind him how much you love him! If your partner is a little more sensitive, you need to be tactful about it. But either way, don’t make it seem too heavy or serious. He will take his cue from you, so if you can make it seem like not a big deal, he won’t think of it that way either. In the end, the most important thing is that you are two people who love each other and are planning on spending the rest of your lives together. In the grand scheme of things, who chooses the ring or how you do it is not as significant as your love for each other. However, you choose to tell your man that you want a new ring, make sure to keep your excitement about getting married front and center.