As I have mentioned quite a few times lately, I am recently engaged 🙂 I know it may be annoying to hear it over and over again, but I say if I wasn’t this excited there would be an issue. But that is not the point of this post. I want to discuss the topic of engagement rings.
In hetero relationships, typically, but not always, the man is the one to propose and present an engagement ring to the woman. In queer relationships, it is up to the couple to decide how they want to become engaged. Each couple is different and there is no right or wrong way to do this. That is one of the things I love about being within the queer community is we get to make up our own rules, we can pick and choose what things we like from traditional relationships and do them the way we want.
For my engagement, I knew I wanted to be the one to propose. I told Samantha that she was not allowed to propose to me until after I do it first. I also knew I wanted to do some things traditionally: I wanted permission from her grandparents, I wanted the ring to be stunning and I wanted to get down on one knee. I didn’t have to do it that way, but that’s how I pictured getting engaged and asking Samantha to be my wife. If I were a man, that would be the end of it. We would be engaged and there would be no other rings. But I want an engagement ring. Not because I am a woman, but because I am proud to be engaged, I am proud to call Samantha my fiancée and I want a ring as a symbol of that. I don’t need Samantha to do a full blown proposal, or get down on one knee, but I will be happy to get my own ring. In many lesbian relationships that I know of, this is the case. Both people within the couple get an engagement ring. Usually, one proposes first, then the other either just gets a ring to give it to their person, or they do a second proposal.
All of this might be due to the fact that little girls grow up thinking about getting engaged, the ring, getting married and all that goes with it. For me, it is not because of that, like I said, I love the ring as a symbol and I don’t want to wait to get married to show that off. I do know of gay men who also both wear an engagement ring.
In all honesty, I think that it is special to have both people, gay or straight or queer, to wear a symbol of the engagement. The whole idea that only the woman should wear one, as if she is being claimed, is very archaic to me. However, not many people think about why the woman in a hetero relationship is the only one wearing the ring until married. Being engaged is something so special and beautiful and it is not about anyone being claimed. It is about the promise to cherish one another, take care of one another and spend the rest of your lives loving one another.
Now that I have decided I want an engagement ring, the matter is what it looks like. I will be honest, when I was buying Samantha’s ring, the lady I bought it from asked me to put it on so I could see what it looked like on a physical hand. I already thought the ring was gorgeous, but I did it to appease her anyway. Looking down on my hand, I knew that type of ring is not what I wanted at all. It’s too much for me. I don’t want a huge rock on my hand like that, it is not my style. What I want is a titanium band, with black diamonds inset in it. Now it is a matter of finding one that I like the style of. Samantha and I will be doing that in the near future and I look forward to having that special ring on my finger.
For now, I am wearing a Qalo ring. If you have not heard of them, they are silicone rings that have been designed for active people who are always on the go. I heard of them because of friends of mine at CrossFit have them and they are much easier to wear when you are working out. I have always been one to wear rings and I always take them off for my workouts because I can’t stand the way it feels when I am holding the barbell. But now that I am engaged, I wanted one before I get married so I can wear it when I am working out. I have to say, it is pretty awesome.
The point of the matter is, every couple should decide what they feel is right for them. Decide which traditions are important to you both as couple. It doesn’t need to be what society has dictated. This goes beyond the engagement and the wedding and you will know what is right for you in your own relationship. That’s what matters.