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Advice About The Meaning Behind a Diamond Ring

woman with diamond ring

If your boyfriend gives you a diamond ring, does it automatically mean it's an engagement ring? Let our dating coach answer that question. Explore the other meanings that a diamond ring might have and how to handle your disappointment if it doesn't mean an engagement ring.

Diamond Ring Dilemma

Reader Question

Lori, I've been dating a man with a son for two years now. When we first met, we both said we didn't want to get married again and left it at that. We never brought up the subject again. This Christmas he gave me a diamond ring, I asked him what it meant, and he said it didn't mean anything. Then later I said, is there a question with this ring and he said he had no questions. We went to my family gathering for Christmas, I showed my daughter the ring he bought me then went outside to grab presents. As I was outside, my boyfriend met me and said everyone was congratulating him. I said well yeah! a diamond ring normally means an engagement ring. He said that was not an engagement ring and that the ring meant nothing. I was in shock and said you mean to tell me you bought me a diamond ring that means nothing for Christmas? He shook his head yes. I went inside and everyone started to congratulate me. I told them it didn't mean anything. They were confused but not more than me, so I found myself trying to hide the ring so no one could see it. I felt so humiliated and hurt. We had to bring his son to his mother's so the drive there was silent. We dropped him off and then went home. I was so depressed; all I wanted to do was sleep. Therefore, I went to bed to lie down; my boyfriend came in with me and lay down next to me. He wanted to snuggle as we always do but I didn't; he said, what you don't want to snuggle? I replied, you humiliated me in front of my whole family what do you think? He said I didn't mean to do that, then he got up and went into the other room. I fell asleep. When I got up, he was on the couch staring at the ceiling. We began to talk about the ring I told him a diamond means engagement and he said that is not what it meant to him. I told him I didn't want it because I didn't want to wear a ring with no meaning. He looked hurt and said do you want to be engaged? I said yes that's what I thought it meant. He said, we both said we did not want to get married again; we both agreed on that. I said yes that was the way I felt when we first met but after two years, I have had a change of heart. He said ok we will call it an engagement ring, but I don't want to set any date. My question is should I wear this ring? I don't feel good about it. I kind of feel like I forced him into calling it an engagement ring which I did not want to do. I wanted it to come from his heart if he was ready, not like this at all. I don't know what to think or feel. I need advice badly... Is this for real? Or fake... Suzanne

Expert Reply

Dear Suzanne,

I have a friend who has been in a relationship with a man for over 10 years. Early in the relationship, they talked of marriage and both agreed that they were not interested in getting married. During this same period, my friend gave her boyfriend a ring. She said that it was a symbol of her commitment to him. By wearing it, he was also displaying his committed to her. Recently, her boyfriend gave her a ring. The stones were diamonds and sapphires, a little like Princess Diana's ring. I asked her if there was a meaning to the ring. She stated that although they have talked about marriage and her thoughts about getting married have changed, this ring was just a symbol of her boyfriend's love and devotion to her, which is why she chose to wear the ring on her right hand.

The difference between my friend and her boyfriend and you and your boyfriend is that my friend has discussed marriage with her boyfriend. Over time, (many years) her thought about marriage has changed, while her commitment to her boyfriend has not. In comparison, you and your boyfriend talked about marriage when the two of you first started dating and agreed that marriage was not a consideration. Sometime over the last two years, your feelings on the topic changed and you failed to discuss the change prior to your boyfriend giving you the Christmas gift.

Your boyfriend gave you a diamond ring as a gift because he loves you. That is the meaning or symbol behind the gift. Just because "when you asked him if there was a question with the ring and he said no" doesn't mean that the ring has no meaning. What you're really saying is that it doesn't have the meaning you want it to have. While it is understandable to be hurt and disappointed that the ring was not a marriage proposal, how you chose to handle your disappointment is another matter. Rather than show off the gift to your daughter and family by wearing it with pride on your right hand and clarifying that it was a wonderful gift and nothing more. You put the ring on and went to visit your family in angered silence. Then, you showed the ring off to your daughter and family without clarifying anything. Worse, you let your family assume there was meaning behind the ring. Unfortunately, you let your anger rule your judgment and made your boyfriend look like a fool.

It is clear to me from your question that your boyfriend loves you and wants to make you happy. So much so that he is willing to call the gift an engagement ring. The way I see it, you can wear the ring with pride and accept it as a gift and a sign of his love and commitment to you or you can wear the ring and call it an engagement ring. The fact that you want a diamond attached to a proposal does not change the fact that he gave you a gift from his heart. My question to you is, can you love your boyfriend and wear his gift without the prospect of marriage?


Advice About The Meaning Behind a Diamond Ring