Lim: Love, money and engagement rings

Melanie Lim.
Melanie Lim.File photo

Is an engagement ring really that important? I’ve always wondered what it was for. To me, it just seemed like this shiny thing that women liked to show off to their friends once they had it on their finger.

But what do you do with it once you get married? Do you wear it along with your wedding ring? Many married people don’t wear wedding rings and not because they want to appear single and available.

They just don’t wear wedding rings for practical reasons and I understand why some people may find them impractical and cumbersome. I don’t wear jewelry for the same reason.

So, if many married people don’t wear a wedding ring, who would wear an engagement ring after they’re married?

An engagement ring, for me, is only a symbol. It is not a necessity. And yet, while it is not a necessity, its presentation is replete with meaning so men should not take it lightly.

An engagement ring symbolizes love, commitment and the promise of marriage. It’s a gift for the person you love and have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. So, this gift must be chosen wisely.

The best gift for me is the one that doesn’t come with a price tag. But they are the hardest to give. So, instead, you give the best gift you can afford. And if it’s a little pricey, you exert all efforts to save up for it.

To spend beyond your means, to go into debt, to put your future in jeopardy, would be foolhardy. But to do things on the cheap—to choose not to spend even when you can afford it—would send a tragic message to your bride-to-be—she is NOT a priority.

My mother used to say that if you can’t give anything of value or significance, it’s better not to give anything at all.

Yes, she had exacting standards too. And perhaps, that is why my father never gave her a gift. At least, not one that came with a price tag. The truth is that my father never had that much money. But he still won my mother’s heart.

And when he finally had money, he still never got her a gift. He just turned over all his money to her. He said it was the same thing.

But my father ultimately gave my mother the best gift, the hardest to give, the one that doesn’t come with a price tag. He gave her the gift of his love, strength and courage throughout her life and especially during her last moments.

It’s not the price but the value and significance a gift brings—a poem penned for me is more valuable than a diamond ring. It’s the thought, effort and care that goes into choosing an engagement ring that matters more than its price.

An engagement ring can cost P299 or P2.9 million. It can be a piece of twine or a red diamond. If it makes a woman feel loved, valued and cherished, then it’s the right engagement ring, whatever its price.

Ultimately, it’s how an engagement ring makes a woman feel, not its price tag that determines its true value.


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