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Wedding Proposal Without a Ring? Not the Only Sign He's Not The One

Updated on March 3, 2010

Dear Veronica,

Dear Veronica,

Here is my situation...  I have been engaged to my boyfriend/fiancé of 5 years now since last June. So it's been 9 months...  The problem that has me deeply hurt, disappointed, resentful, angry, etc, is the fact that HE NEVER GOT ME A RING!

I have brought it up several times over the past 9 months and we've talked about what I like and hope for...  he knows a ring will cost around 10k between the diamond and platinum setting. He is totally cool with that and it seems like he wants to spend that for me to have the ring of my dreams...

So.... 9 months later and I'm royally pissed because he's really made no effort. I know that's a lot of money but he has had probably 60-70k go through his hands the past 9 months. He likes to play blackjack at the casinos and he'll win say 5k and then loose it the next day, for example. He owns his own business so with the profit he makes and the money from the casino, why don't I have a ring? Not too long ago we went to the casino and he said he can make the money there to buy me the ring.... What pisses me off about that is the fact that he can't put his hard earned money forth to pay for the ring, he'd rather win it... I'm very hurt and I've lost many tears over this.

Especially because I paid our rent for a year ($1,500) a month (add that up...$18,000) and in the past 2 years I have given him in excess of 25k to cover every crisis that comes about or the money he lost in the casino the day before. If I hadn't helped him out so much the last 2 years then it probably wouldn't be so hurtful. But if I can just fork over 2k here and 4k there of my hard earned money without any questions asked then why doesn't he have some sense of urgency to get me a ring. With our joint income the ring would only be 5% (or less) of our annual income. I don't get why I'm not important enough but I'm really having second thoughts. I love him more than life but I don't know if I can put up with the inconsideration for much longer. Especially when I will go out of my way for anyone I love. Just ask my 2 best friends... when I helped them with some financial issues last year he blew a gasket.... need I say more?

The killer is I'm embarrassed to go see my mother and father in New York without a ring on my finger. And as if having to go alone to try on wedding gowns (I have no girlfriends or family in Vegas) wasn't depressing enough but to top it off, I didn't have a ring... I was the only girl in there that didn't have one, and the women were my age or younger! I told him about all that, and he says he'll get on it or call the jeweler... like it's a business matter or something. If he had put away $800 a month this whole time then he would have had the money for the ring in another 4 months. I even told him to get me a cheap ring from wherever just so I have something from him to symbolize our engagement. I mean my poor finger is naked and I don't even feel like I'm really engaged. I feel foolish because I don't have the best part of being engaged... the ring. Not to mention 50% of the people I see that we tell were engaged asks "where's your ring." How is he not embarrassed and ashamed?

When he proposed without a ring I started crying, it was the worst proposal I could have ever asked for. Plus the fact that his ex wife got a ring just burns my ass, she would have left him if he did this to her. Not to mention, holidays, birthdays and valentines days have passed. I have never gotten a piece of jewelry for Valentine's Day (and he did for his ex, even when they were fighting) I got 1 gift in 5 years for my b-day (a pink sapphire ring so I would stop wearing the one my ex gave me!) and 2 christmas gifts, 1 was the first year we got together, and he got me 3 pieces of jewelry in 2008 to "make up for the years he missed") Which was sweet but this year he missed Christmas, my b-day and v-day... and I took him on a cruise that cost me 4k for x-mas! And I always get him gifts for special occasions. And not to mention, he knows I like modern, artsy jewelry but he buys me this crap that his ex would wear!!! I feel bad and I could never tell him I don't like it but after like a month I stop wearing it. How has he not gotten the hint? Every time we pass a jewelry store and I see something I like I always say "wow that's beautiful, I love that." That's why I had to insist on picking out my engagement ring so he didn't screw that up.

And now he's all into buying a 2 acre property here in Vegas that's going into foreclosure (so there is a sense of urgency) that is going to drain us of any extra money because it needs extensive renovations. Yea I'm totally into buying the house (I'm the only one saving for a dp, I already have almost half down) but I really want a ring to enjoy wearing during my engagement for pete's sake. With what I put in savings the past month or so I could buy my own dream ring. I almost want to do that just to get my point across.

I'm deeply saddened and hurt and it's ruining my day. Am I just being a brat or is there some justification behind my feelings?



P.S. Sorry for the long tangent =-/

He's Not Your Knight In Shining Armor

Dear Gabriella,

If you've been reading any of my Hubs, you know that I believe when it comes to men, actions speak louder than words. His words may have asked you to marry him, but his actions don't.

Your note reveals a long history of disappointment. You've been in real romance and relationship, buying him gifts, paying the rent, paying for vacations, planning for the future. He has not been in the same romance or relationship. He hasn't celebrated your style and uniqueness, he hasn't paid his way, he hasn't planned for your future as a married couple, he hasn't shown you any symbol of marriage. None of his actions say marriage.

Now, to be fair, to most stories there are 3 versions: yours, his, and the truth. I'm only hearing yours. And, I have the feeling you were venting. That doesn't mean your points are any less valid. It's just that perhaps there's more good he does that you just didn't share at this time.

However, there are a few points here that are pretty clear. His lack of action toward marriage with you, your clear communications not being addressed, and that ex-wife shadow.

The very first thing I would normally suggest to you is that you need to make your preferences clear. Guys aren't mind readers, and sometimes they just don't get the hints. But you've been very clear. You've communicated your needs, your concerns, your frustrations and your opinions. You've seemed to take into account his feelings. And you've given him many opportunities to communicate with you.

The ring, as you know, is a symbol. It's not for anyone outside of your relationship to judge how much should be spent, or if you should pick our your own ring. It sounds like you two communicated really well about this. You went together, you tried things on, you talked. It's not like he said to you, that's too much money, or, I don't like how you want to pick it out. It's not as if there is a disagreement here. The problem isn't a lack of communication, or a lack of agreement. The problem seems to be his lack of follow-through.

The painful truth of this is, if he wanted to marry you, if he wanted to get the ring, if he wanted to address your feelings, and let you feel safe and secure, he would be buying the ring. He wouldn't be putting it off, and doing other things with his money.

The embarrassment point is a good one. Why isn't he embarrassed when people ask to see the ring and there isn't one. Again, I think this goes to his not really caring about marrying you.

If you drive an SUV, and you like your car, you like being able to haul your trailer and to be able to 4x4 it through the snow. You can afford the gas and your commutes are all very short and local. You love feeling safe on the roads with all that steal around you. You love the look of it, and the way it handles. You love being able to go shopping for lawn furniture and just drive it home yourself without needing help.

If someone says to you, aren't you embarrassed to drive such a big gas-guzzler vehicle? The answer is, no. You aren't embarrassed. You don't care about the gas mileage, you love and chose the car for other reasons. You would not be embarrassed over something that doesn't matter to you.

The fact that your "fiancé" and I use the term lightly isn't embarrassed, speaks volumes.

You've brought his ex wife up in a few different aspects. You think the jewelry he selects is her taste. If that's true, it's a sub-conscious message. You have compared what she would put up with, with what you are putting up with. You're seeing the difference between the way he was with her, and the way he is with you.

Again, this is a clear indicator that you are not on the same level as she was with him. He treated her like a wife, or a wife to be. And you're not seeing that in how he treats you. You're not seeing that in his actions in regards to you.

Gabriella the finances really concern me. If what you're saying is all true, you're paying for way more than your share. Of course had that been the agreement between two people, that would be fine. Many couples decide together that one will be a bread winner and the other will be the house or child caretaker. Or, they decide one will pay all the bills while the other pursues education, or their art, or their volunteer work. And that's fine. But in your case, there is no such agreement. You speak about earnings you both have, yet it surely sounds as if he is not anywhere near as contributory as you are.

And again, it's not the dollar amount. If you were saying he's just frugal, he gives me a card for every single occasion, he picks flowers for my birthday, he writes me songs and makes me gifts and never misses a Valentine's or a Christmas with a small token of his thoughts - that would all be a different story. But that's not the case. He's not doing anything. No symbols of romance, no tokens that he thinks of you romantically, no notions that say - forever be mine. Nothing that indicates marriage, commitment, or even love.

In horrible addition to that, you say you've given him $25K plus other bail-out money? And that he's had the nerve to think he has a say what you do with your money, like help out your friends? Without the whole engagement ring thing, this alone is reason enough to reconsider what you're doing with this guy.

My advice to you is to begin the count down to the end. I'd communicate calmly and clearly to him that this isn't the way you want to be treated. I always always always stress to my ladies that the ultimatum is a mistake. But in your case, I don't see where you have a choice. Let him know a proposal with no ring is meaningless. Let him know you're tired of your needs being ignored. You're tired of paying for everything. You're done being the only one supporting this relationship, and it ends now. You're the only one saving the downpayment for a house? You're the only one paying the rent? No more.

The problem as I see it, is so far he has no reason to change. You've allowed him to be this way for a long time. He isn't going to just accept that you're done footing all the bills and being embarrassed. You have to follow through. You have to set a date, maybe 30 to 60 days from right now, for you two to begin separating. You have to go look for apartments or houses. You have to start divying up DVD's and books. You have to demonstrate that you are serious. If you don't, he has no reason to take you seriously based on years of reinforcement that he can behave this way and you'll just take it.

I think once the gravy train has stopped, you're going to be surprised at how much here changes.

Please see with open eyes.

Good luck.


Submit a Comment

  • zenna53 profile image


    7 years ago from North Carolina

    I love your articles. It is so validating to read about others who have similar situations. My feelings are falling in line with the advice you gave. I see my boyfriend's money going to get what he wants, and I see him squirrel his money away..while all to easily telling me how to spend mine. And the expectation that I will believe him when he says "I am broke." In the nearly two years we've been together I have been given three gifts.... and, I like the person above have been buying him clothes, among other things... at least once a month. I am beginning to understand that I am being used no matter how affectionate my boyfriend may be. I feel like I am shown affection so that he can continue to get his needs met, while I keep waiting to get mine.


  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    That's very interesting. I'm always curious about traditions and customs, especially those that aren't familiar.

    I know what you mean - I get caught up with some of these, and I worry about these people and hope for the best. Sometimes they will follow up and keep commenting. Sometimes they will email me. And sometimes they don't.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I was wondering what happened too. I've read a few of your other hubs and it's kind of like getting the final chapter of a story when the person comments again. It's the best bit!

    Oh and some interesting information in relation to the title of the article, in my culture we generally don't get a ring with the proposal. They're exchanged (yes, the man gets one too) at an engagement ceremony with both families present. I guess it's not as romantic but at least you know you'll get to pick your ring :D

    That's what originally prompted me to click and read.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    I agree. I've wondered what ever happened to her. It would be nice if she posted and let us know.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I know this an old post now but I just came across it and wanted to say that I also think that there is a possibility of a gambling problem here and perhaps this man does not have as much money as she assumes he does, which is why he isn't buying the ring? I'd be concerned that by marrying him, she may become responsible for any gambling debts he may have.

    I think she needs to have a frank conversation with him about the finances as well as his reasons for not buying the ring. If things don't get any better then it's probably time to leave.

  • rebekahELLE profile image


    8 years ago from Tampa Bay

    to have as many issues as she has before the marriage, she still has time to come to her senses and end what sounds like a terrible mistake. the man sounds seriously messed up with what is important in his life and is NOT ready for another marriage. to spend that amount of money on a ring? I have to be honest, after I read this, I wondered if it's really true.

    but I'm sure it is... sad. hope she takes your advice.

  • De Greek profile image

    De Greek 

    8 years ago from UK

    "3 versions: yours, his, and the truth. I'm only hearing yours" The guy is gambler who has no second thoughts about borrowing money from his woman to gamble with! :-))

  • Whitney05 profile image


    8 years ago from Georgia

    This guy sounds like a winner... That's for sure..

    First off 10k for a ring is utterly ridiculous! You're supposed to spend more on the wedding band than the engagement ring anyway, so that'd be over 20k in rings, which is stupid.

    If he's a gambler, not ideal to marry him. He needs help on gambling and then maybe consider marrying him.

    It's not the amount of money you spend on each other, it' the love and the overall idea of being on the same page in the same book of your lives.

    He's in a whole other book than you are.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 

    8 years ago

    I would have said the same thing, but she won't leave him until she's really convinced he won't marry her - or until they do marry and she discovers that's what hers is his and what's his is his.


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