Take a deep breath, partner. You did a brave thing on a bended knee. And I’ll bet you did so feel pretty confident about the engagement ring you were holding. And, well—it didn’t light her up the way you imagined. At least she didn’t say “no” outright. She likely didn’t laugh or walk away, but you know her well enough to see that she wasn’t exhilarated by it. Perhaps she smiled like she meant it but the disappointment glimmered through. Now is the time for damage control. Here are a few steps you can take to recover and re-frame the situation as a relationship strengthener. You and your fiancé get to tackle this together!
Find Out the Problem of Her Engagement Ring
Address the situation head on. Tell her you’re sorry and you’re ready to fix it. Make sure she knows you really did try, and that you are willing to keep trying until it’s perfect. Take a good look at where the disconnect came from. Identify exactly where you went awry to avoid similar pitfalls. Ask her specifically what it was about this ring that did make the cut, nothing vague. At the same time, don’t be trigger shy from this first try and buy a ring that is completely opposite. Maybe everything about this ring wasn’t wrong—just the metal or set.
Was your disconnect a matter of style…or size? If her disappointment is stemming from budget considerations, the conversation might need to be revisited in a different way. Is her ideal stone within the practical limitations of your pocketbook? If yes, than go for it. (Why were you being so stingy to start with?) If you’ve extended your finances one the current carat size, then it’s a bigger discussion. Money is an object, and it is going to continue to be an object as you and your bride-to-be build your life together. Early financial clarity will serve you both in the long run. If she absolutely can’t live without this more expensive option, consider financing options. No shame in the long game.
Understand What Is Her Desired Engagement Ring
It might seem too obvious but—take her with you. Eliminate the chance of picking another ring that isn’t perfect. If this would lack the necessary element of surprise, have her pick out a few different ones, and then you decide from there. At this point it might be wise to err on the side of safe rather than another trial run that needs repairing. If going shopping together isn’t a feasible option, browse an online diamond engagement ring retailer like DiamondNet together. Make sure you two absolutely understand each other.
Re-propose Her with New Engagement Ring
You need to make sure the first (less than perfect) experience is completely overshadowed by this second attempt. It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal but make sure you are intentional and loving in your presentation of ring number two.
Note to Deadlines for Returning Engagement Ring
Gift giving is a fickle thing, and most jewelers and diamond retailers understand this. They will often do what they can to remedy the situation, but even great return policies have limitations. There will often be a set number of days within which you can actually return the ring (i.e. 30, 60 or 90). Take action sooner than later to ensure no deadlines are missed.
Good luck with round two. You and your fiancé get to tackle this test together, the first of many!