What to Do When You Hate Your Engagement Ring

A woman holding a ring box with an engagement ring inside.

At last! The moment you’ve been waiting for has come—the love of your life proposed! You’re dying to say “Yes!” The only problem is, you don’t love the ring. So…now what?

Receiving an engagement ring that isn’t what you expected is more common of a problem than you think. Often, it isn’t about the rock not being big enough. Sometimes, it’s quite the opposite. There are plenty of people who prefer a simpler ring. It can also be an issue of style. Perhaps your partner offered you a vintage family heirloom, but you’d appreciate something more modern. In any case, if you happen to fall victim to this situation, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to resolve it and you don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings in the process.

Plan Ahead

Preventing a problem, of course, is easier than dealing with it. If you expect a marriage proposal but fear your partner has different taste in jewelry than you, drop hints about what you like. Point out a friend’s engagement ring and note what you like about it or don’t. For example, you can say, “Julie’s ring is really pretty, but I’m not a fan of gold” or “Taylor’s ring is too old-fashioned for my taste.” It can also help to wear what you own and like so your partner gets a sense of your style.

Don’t Panic

If you love your partner but don’t love the ring, there’s no question whether you should say yes or no. The rest can be dealt with later—as in, a day or a few. Because many of us have an image in our heads of what our perfect engagement ring will look like, our initial reaction should we get what we don’t expect is disappointed. If you sleep on it for a couple of nights, you might realize you don’t hate the ring after all.

Tell the Truth

Should you decide you really hate the ring after all, be honest and upfront with your partner. Explain what the problem is, but do so respectfully. The only exception is if you have an issue with the size of the stone. As in, it’s not big enough. Then, it’s best to stay mum. You never know how much time or effort they put into acquiring it.

Take it Back

An engagement ring with a round diamond and gold band.

After your confession, talk to your spouse-to-be about your options. In most cases, if the ring was bought recently you can return or exchange it. If it’s a family heirloom, perhaps you can leave it for another sibling. And, worst-case scenario, if your partner is open to it you can sell it and use the cash to buy something you love.

Change it Up

A professional jeweler can alter a ring in many ways. If you don’t like the band, you can keep the stones and place them in a different setting. You can also redesign the ring completely and turn something simple into a piece of art, or tack on a few extra stones.

Add Something Extra

If you think your ring is too boring or are secretly unhappy with the carat of the stone, you can always pair it with a second or third ring to enhance the look. However, should you do so, ask the jeweler if the bands are compatible. Certain mismatched designs can cause wear and tear on one another and ruin both of your rings over time.

Buy a New Ring

An engagement ring with a square stone and silver band.

You can always buy a second ring. If your main problem is the ring is too chunky for day-to-day use, you can ask for a simple wedding band to wear regularly and save the original for special occasions. If applicable, wait until you start shopping for your wedding band. (That is, should you decide to get one.) Then, you can buy exactly what you want.

Learn to Love It

It is possible to not say or do anything at all in regards to an engagement ring you’re not in love with. Such a small thing is not worth ruining a relationship or hurting feelings. Do remember that you’re marrying your partner, and not the ring. Love is eternal; a ring doesn’t have to be. Who knows—maybe your partner will get you a new ring later on?

Regardless, things are what you make of them. After a while, most likely you’ll get used to the ring, and maybe learn to love it, too!

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