Diamond Disdain: How do I tell my fiance I hate my ring?

Q: I absolutely hate my engagement ring. What should I do about this? It isn’t my style or taste. I can’t imagine wearing it for the rest of my life.

A: You need to speak to your fiance about your distaste for the ring style. Tactfully explaining that you can’t see yourself wearing this style of ring might eliminate his feeling bad if he chose the ring himself. If it is a family heirloom from his family, perhaps offering to reset the stone(s) in a style that is better suited to your taste would be an acceptable solution. If he purchased the ring new, maybe you could suggest that you substitute the setting for an alternative one that you choose yourself.

Above all, be sensitive to your fiance’s feelings, as he may have chosen the ring with the utmost care and thoughtfulness, and may react to your wanting to change the ring with mixed emotions.


  1. Winifred Rosenburg

    I imagine it will depend on the particular fiance, but I think many fiances would be extremely hurt by such bluntness. I think it depends what the problem with the ring is. I’ve heard of situations where the ring is a family heirloom and is too elaborate for the lady’s taste. In this case I think saying you dislike risks hurting your fiance’s feelings and those of his family. It’s safer to request a simple engagement ring for every day and to say you want to reserve the other ring for special occasions (like his family events).

    I’ve also heard people complain that they hate the ring because the stone is too small. These people should absolutely not say anything as anything they say will be heard as “you need to spend more on me.”

    • Elizabeth

      I agree. However, I would seriously rethink being in a relationship where my sense of style was not respected or consulted in the purchase of a ring, or one in which I was not allowed an opinion because “it was purchased with love” or “it’s a family heirloom.” This is why I don’t really believe in the surprise engagement in which the man purchases the ring on his own. My husband and I shopped for my engagement ring together, and I even chose a second one after he had reservations about the first design that I chose. I had primary choice over the setting, and he shopped for and chose the stone – a very happy arrangement in my experience.

      But if feelings are running too high around the engagement ring, keep in mind that there are plenty of women who don’t regularly wear their engagement ring after the wedding, preferring the simplicity of their wedding band, either for stylistic or practical reasons. One can also have rings “restyled” for an anniversary. So even these things are not “forever”.

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        I agree. Picking out a ring, especially if the lady is particular about those kinds of things, is a lot of pressure. My husband did surprise me with a ring, but I have simple tastes and he knew what I would like. I think it makes perfect sense if you’re not confident to propose and then pick out a ring together. Actually the surprise proposal with ring is a relatively recent expectation. It used to be that that was only done when the gentleman had a family ring to give. If a new ring was being bought, he would propose and then take the lady to a jewelry store where he had prearranged for them to show her a selection of rings within his budget for her to choose from.

    • Karen

      I like Winifred’s idea about suggesting an everyday ring. Perhaps place it in the context of durability and comfort? As much as fiancé loves that heirloom ring or ring he picked himself, he’s not going to love paying for when the micro stones fall out and need to be reset, or how the knife edge is uncomfortable for your fingers.

      I avoided ring problems by being upfront about what I wanted. I knew he probably didn’t have any heirloom rings and he’s not the sort of person who would place priority on that, anyway, so telling him precisely what I wanted made him more relieved than upset. But every couple is different. Definitely not a good idea to be so straightforward when approaching some fiancés. I’ve known some women who hinted at an “upgrade” after a major anniversary or birth.

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