In Jennifer Lopez’s 2001 single “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, she sings, “even if you were broke my love don’t cost a thing”.
I agree with that. That song was the bop in 3rd grade, but as time went on, everyone, including myself, realized how much that song lyric (and many others like it) applies to the social structure and relationship standards we have today. As times change, the values of others change as well. Dating standards and gender exchanges shape themselves within each generation, but have the new dating standards become a bit shallow, outrageous, and ill-conceived?
Over the past two months, women and men have taken to social media to express their disdain for inexpensive engagement rings. It all started with a Facebook post attacking the prices and sizes of rings. The post went on to say,"if you can’t afford a $3,500 3 carat ring, you can’t afford a wife". Additionally, marriage was claimed to be a business and not the “happily ever after” phrase Disney has presented to us. I laughed and didn’t take this status seriously, especially since the average 3-carat ring cost over $10,000. Where can you get a $3,500 3 carat ring? Point in my direction someone.
Unfortunately, similar posts followed, including one showcasing an engagement ring priced at $25. Many people commented that the ring is "too cheap" and that women are “playing themselves” if they accept a ring at that price. Not too long afterward, a woman created a post, mocking men’s reactions to women demanding expensive engagement rings, by comparing it to women giving men a pair of orthopedic shoes. The comparison was so horrible she took down the post. While all these posts are circulating, the discussion of marriage and the quality of marriage was brought up. After reading all these post and comments, I’m convinced the concept of marriage is lost and misunderstood.
I’m here to say that the price of an engagement ring isn’t important and if you believe that the price is important than the marriage itself, there’s a 99.9% you're a golddigger.
Yup, you read that correctly.
This conversation about the price of an engagement ring is toxic, classist, sexist, and causes divisions amongst each other.
In an impromptu survey I conducted, most of the women I’ve talked to (who have been married for more than 10 years), had engagement rings that cost less than $1,000. Hell one man I talked to, his wife’s engagement ring was less than $100. Not only are all these people happily married, but they are financially stable, they own houses, they have high paying jobs, and they’re able to live the life most people claim to be their “goals” on social media. They were able to provide something nice, afford a wedding, and still maintain a happy marriage without any debt. Some of you probably can’t relate.
People today are reading too deep into someone’s appearance or what they can provide. A ring cannot determine what a person can do for a marriage or how long a marriage will last. A ring is just that…a ring. There are couples who don’t even have engagement or wedding rings, does that make their marriage doomed? No, it doesn’t. The effort and work you put into a marriage will determine how long and healthy a relationship last. A ring can’t bring forth everything you want in a relationship. Men give women six-figure rings every day and end in divorce years or even just months later all the time. If the price of a ring determined a man’s love, protection, and their ability to take care of their wife, Jay-Z wouldn’t have cheated on Beyonce, Mariah Carey wouldn’t have left Tommy Mottola, Janet Jackson would still be with El DeBarge, Halle Berry would still be married, so on and so forth (no shade to any of these people by the way).
In situations like this, I feel as though the messenger needs to hold as much accountability as the message itself. A lot of people who are spreading this toxic ideology are just saying this to cover up their own flaws and showing their true personality. Most women (and men) who put an emphasis on the price of the ring, are looking for sponsors, not relationships. Most of you are looking for people to take care of you, not to love and build with someone. You all are contradicting yourselves; you want someone to prove they're financially stable, yet you expect them to spend outside their means to prove they can have a wife or a marriage. How ass-backward is that? Let’s be honest, a lot of women who are spreading this ideology are single, miserable, have no experiences in relationships, or have a screwed up perception of how a relationship should be. the sad part about it is, a lot of these women are blocking their own blessings because of this.
Many people believe that Disney movies and fairytales are letting people dictate their lives. That’s a lie; most of you are letting social media and celebrities dictate your relationships. You’re letting a celebrity (who probably isn’t happy behind closed doors) and women who post on social media out of their own emotions tell you what you should and should not accept in a relationship. People (who aren’t even in relationships nor have experience in relationships, if we wanna go there) are using faux intellectualism and made up logic to cover up the fact that, deep down, they’re shallow, materialistic, and don’t want to be held accountable for what they lack in relationships or dating.
As we enter 2018, let’s get to know one another, let’s get to love the person who can mentality stimulate us and can bring out the best in us, let’s be humble. You can spend, five, ten, fifteen, hell even twenty thousand dollars on an engagement ring, trust me, it’s not going to prevent people from being able to see that the love isn’t there.