The Issue of the Ring

Last week while I was taking my amazing break (thank you to my guest bloggers) there was a video with a picture going around about a sale that Kay Jeweler’s was having for a ring that cost $24.99. The video that was accompanying the photo said that apparently everybody on this gentleman’s timeline had gotten engaged with this particular ring that cost $24.99. I’ve attached a picture of the ring for you to see.

The Issue

Whether or not a woman should accept a $25.00 engagement ring. If the woman did accept it, she should just be happy that someone wanted to marry her. If she wouldn’t accept it, she was called everything under the sun including: a gold digger, hoe, shallow, miserable, bitter, will never have a man and can’t get a man…all because she refused to accept a $25 engagement ring.

My Take

Mr. C and I had a lengthy discussion about this the other night and it got kinda heated. Primarily because I simply told him that I wouldn’t accept a $25.00 engagement ring. I explained to him that an engagement ring symbolized a man’s commitment and promise to marry you. A man marries for particular reasons: not wanting to die alone, procreation, increased wealth, financial benefits (think tax breaks), love and happiness.

That being said, does a man believe that is worth $25.00. If that is the best that he can do, then why is he marrying you? I’m in my 40’s and I’m a firm believer that we don’t get in relationships to struggle and try to build up people in our 40’s. A man should be built up by the time he’s 40. Can he have setbacks? Absolutely, anyone can, but I’m not dating someone in a broke stage. Get yourself to a better stage where you can afford to date me.

That being said, in the past engagement rings were given as a symbol of a future promise to the world that the woman was betrothed to another man. He put a ring on it. He removed her from the proverbial market. She was his. He was hers.

Fast forward to today’s standard and the ring debate is out of control. Engagement rings are optional for some and required for others. However, if you should choose to marry a woman and propose with an engagement ring, wouldn’t it ring true that you would know the woman that you are marrying? That you know her taste. You know what she would love.

When I first started dating Mr. C a couple of years ago, I sent him a picture of the ring that I had designed for my next engagement. Was it forward? Probably. But, I did it with a purpose. The purpose was to show him my expected standard of the promise of marriage.

Here’s what the ring looked like:

Ring 1

Ring 2

The price tag was $14,358.51. Mr. C was floored. I laughed and said that we could go to the Diamond District in NYC and get it made for about $8,500. He didn’t say anything. Fast forward to earlier this year and he asked me “Do you think it’s fair that I spend $8,500 on an engagement ring and I have college tuition to pay for my son?” I responded “You could finance it.” LOL.

But, I was serious. Later this year we had a genuine conversation and he stated that he wasn’t going to spend $8,500 on the ring. He gave me a number and we haggled over the price and I think we settled into a good number. I honestly can’t remember. It really doesn’t matter because we have time.

It’s not the cost of the ring in our case. It’s the expectation that you will marry me and I told him that I was fine with a diamond band and no engagement ring. Been there done that. But, a ring whether an engagement ring or band is the promise of his commitment to provide for me and our family. If he can’t afford to provide, then why should we marry?

Now, before you think that I’m a gold digger understand that love doesn’t pay the bills. Tell me what bill you can pay with love. Being broke isn’t cute. I’m not about struggle love or poverty penis. Love is an emotion and not a tangible piece of currency.  I like this quote by Bougie Black Girl on her FaceBook page:

Love doesn’t pay for diapers
Love doesn’t pay for gas
Love doesn’t pay the rent or mortgage
Love doesn’t buy food
Love doesn’t put clothes on a child’s back.
Love doesn’t keep your lights on.
Love doesn’t pay for childcare.
Love doesn’t pay for doctor visits
Love doesn’t fix a flat tire or repair an engine.
Money does.
Love brings people together. Money makes sure a marital union is financially secure. Money creates a legacy and passes down multi-generational wealth. Stop demanding Black women to settle when Black men and everyone else won’t.

We need to stop believing that we can’t have expectations for better. My ex-husband and I were young and in our 20’s when we got married. He still got me an engagement ring that cost $2,500 and he was only making $35,000 at the time. That was .07% of his annual salary before take home. We were poor. We were young. However, he was determined to get me the ring that he knew that I loved.

So, if he could do that in our 20’s why would it be acceptable for someone to think a woman should be happy with a $25 engagement ring. I spend more than $25.00 to fill up my gas tank. Many of us are walking around with shoes that cost more than $25.00. If you can spend more than $25.00 to get into a club, pay for drinks, on tennis shoes, on tint for your car or for your clothes, why shouldn’t I require more for a commitment on my finger?

Talk to me. What’s your take? Would you marry someone who proposed with you with a $25.00 ring? Why or why not?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

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Men are the Breadwinners

That’s the emerging theme I heard when I posed this question on Facebook last week:

Hey FB family:

I asked this question in a group and wanted your opinion.

I have a friend who is 48 and makes above $80k annually. When we were talking about joint accounts he said that he doesn’t believe in them because then someone would see how much you make. I explained to him that if you’re getting married your potential spouse should already know. He said, “Well, I’ve been burned before and I usually meet women who make substantially less than me. Between $20,000 and $40,000 less.”

I explained to him that at his age he’s closer to retirement than just entering the workforce and he shouldn’t be dating women who make less than $80,000 a year. What are your thoughts?

So, I get that my question was a fire starter in some instances. It brought all kinds of comments. Many of which I don’t think people answered and just wanted to comment. LOL!

I get it. But, the interesting thing is that women felt that the above man shouldn’t date if he’s worried about a woman’s salary because men are supposed to be the breadwinner. As a strong advocate for equality among the genders I disagree with this premise.

Why?

Because if the roles were reversed and I was making $80,000 or above I would not date anyone making substantially less than me. The response is…you shouldn’t. So, why is it that a man can date a woman who makes a lot less than him and it be okay or if he doesn’t he’s considered being pompous or too selective?

Women were responding that money shouldn’t matter because they make less than their spouse and it’s fine. Point of clarification…it’s your spouse. What married people decide is between them. I’m talking strictly dating.

My reason for giving the gentleman that advice was because he was closer to retirement than just entering the workforce and if he’s dating for a purpose he may want to consider someone who is his financial equal. You don’t want another dependent. However, even that was considered too harsh.

My own mother responded and said:

Let’s distinguish the levels here. If you are dating, no disclosure required. But, don’t be fooled, most people can figure out what you make, if they try hard enough. However, once you put a ring on it AND set a date, I think it is time for full disclosure on BOTH sides! After all, you can make $85K and be $65K in debt! Likewise, you could make $40K and have no debt! Full disclosure after engagement! That is my two cents!

Yes, my mom is on Facebook. She’s only 19 years older than me. But, I called her and told her that I disagreed because as I spoke about earlier this week with financial intimacy, would she want me to date someone who makes substantially less than me knowing I have a child. Her response, “No, I wouldn’t.” See. I told you.

I think we need to change our mindset and not be afraid to discuss money if we are dating with a purpose. You don’t have to give an exact figure of your income, but most people can guess based on what you do and where you work. It’s hard to date someone if you’re in your 40’s, living in this area (DC, Maryland and Virginia), have dependents and make less than $80,000. I’m not making excuses, I’m being real about the situation.

Which is why many women are running into men that want to pay for the first date and then chill or hang out at your house for the next. That’s crazy. We don’t know each other. You shouldn’t want me to know where you live and trust and believe that I won’t tell you where I live. So, how do we get to know each other?

Phone conversations? Yes. Text Messages? Sure. Email? Perhaps. Those are all great methods for communicating but you need to engage in the old-fashioned face to face communication. We need to hang out doing things. I’m not necessarily speaking on things that are costly, but you have to be willing to invest both time and money when dating someone.

Realistically speaking isn’t that what matchmakers do? Match you with someone who they believe would be a good fit. Who wants to get matched with a gorgeous man who makes an annual salary of $40,000? Not at 40.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch and say, “T, money isn’t everything.” I know it’s not everything. I agree with that. If you’re a man who meets a woman who makes less than you I’m not suggesting you dump her and move along especially if there is chemistry. What I’m suggesting is that you observe her lifestyle and with communication find out if she can make sound financial decisions and practice sound judgement calls when it comes to wants and needs.

Again, it is my belief that the older you get you should look for financial compatibility as well as compatibility in other areas.  Dating with a purpose if you are closer to retirement with your financial equal is of utmost importance, not just for women but for men too. You don’t want to be a victim of someone’s financial irresponsibility.

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