I am interested in the idea of man-gagement rings, which are apparently becoming more popular in the United States than ever before. About five percent of blokes worldwide are wearing these accessories, which are exactly what you are probably assuming they are from their title: a ring a man wears when engaged to let all of the world know he’s one step away from that leap into the great adventure that is marriage.
Until I read this story from The Atlantic the other day, I was unaware that man-gagement rings were even a thing. It makes sense to me that they didn’t catch on when engagement rings meant for females were popularized in the early 1900s, because at the time the man was more often than not the breadwinner, and if he was already shelling out for a rock for his special gal, he probably wasn’t going to drop more of his funds on a ring for himself.
Initially, I had mixed feelings about whether I would wear a man-gagement ring if asked to do so by my future fiancée, whoever that may be. This is mostly because I despise the idea of diamond engagement rings in general. I’m well-versed on how they came to be commonplace in the United States and the absurdity of dropping months of your salary on a princess-cut rock to give to a woman in hopes she’ll spend the rest of her life with you. It makes much more sense to me to spend that money on, like, a down payment for a house or a college fund for your first-born or pretty much anything that is more pragmatic than a comically-overpriced mineral. I’m of the ilk who would like to communicate to his girl that she is the love of his life without stooping to a ridiculously materialistic level.*
So if I were in the position to swim against the stream and NOT purchase an engagement ring for a girl, then I wouldn’t see any reason to wear one myself.
But who am I kidding? If I want to get married, I’ll have to shell out for a ring, just like all the rest of you cads, lest my one true love’s friends and family believe I am hiding behind principle to not appear cheap.
And in that scenario, you better believe I’m going to rock a man-gagement ring. I see no deterrent to it, really. (I say this with the caveat that for a straight dude, I’m kind of metrosexual, and am like three accessories shy of being a less-attractive version of Johnny Depp.)
- I’m all about equality with women in marriage and in all aspects of the world at large, and wearing a man-gagement ring is a great way to show that, especially if your wife dropped some of her hard-earned cash on a nice ring for you to wear around.
- It’s not like I have girls hitting on me randomly all of the time as it is, but wearing a man-gagement ring is a nice way to publicize that you are totally off-the-market, and ladies best stay away. And no matter how much your fiancée trusts you, it won’t make her feel any less insecure when you’re out on business trips and stuff if you’re wearing that pre-marriage ring.
- Man-gagement rings are cheap, and if I wear one I will be contributing in a small way to the hope that someday the idea of diamond-studded engagement rings (and the perception that diamonds themselves are priceless and important) will be nullified, and we can all wear engagement and wedding rings made out of wood or stainless steel. You know, like equals!
- Upon receiving the ring on my wedding day, I will be able to insist everyone refer to me as 2 Ringz during the reception.
- I think women should be able to pop the question if and when they want to (even if it isn’t a leap year), and the popularization of man-gagement rings will eventually make this more of an acceptable thing. If my girlfriend wants to get married, I’d love it if she took initiative instead of sitting around waiting for me to propose, which I would be wont to put off out of, essentially, fear.
*Here is an excellent and informative video about the engagement ring scam.