I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to engagement rings, I have a habit of going slightly gaga. Like many women, the first thing I do when I find out that somebody is engaged is ask to see the rock and of course I have a Pinterest board dedicated to pretty engagements rings (don’t judge, I know you do too).
In a world that is so focused on the material, it’s easy to forget the getting engaged is not actually about the ring – it’s about the love. In a recent social media post that has now gone viral, Ariel McRae penned a powerful social media essay to remind us all that the engagement ring really doesn’t matter… no matter how much we hate to admit it.
It all started when McRae and her now-husband chose a $130 set of sterling silver and cubic zirconia rings from Pandora as McRae’s engagement ring and wedding band. In her post, McRae explains that both her and her partner have always struggled financially and an expensive ring was simply not on the cards for the couple.
“My husband doesn’t have a lot, neither of us do,” she wrote. “We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies, but after almost 2 years of dating we decided that we couldn’t wait anymore, so we didn’t.”
McRae explained that when she got engaged, the ring was the last thing on her mind and knowing that her future husband was low on cash, she was grateful to be able to choose a Pandora set that she loved, despite the lower cost. However, while at the store the pair overheard a sales assistant gossiping about the couple’s choice, calling the set “pathetic.”
Instantly, her fiance felt terrible, deflated and like a failure. “When she said that I watched my now husband’s face fall. He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page. He already felt like a failure,” she wrote. Holding back her emotions, McRae replied: “It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.”
The post then went on to question the state of the wedding industry and challenge people on their approach to ring shopping. “When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring?” she wrote. “Sure they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that? Why do material possessions equate love??”
It’s clear that a whole lot of people agreed, with the viral post now having been shared over 55,000 times, receiving 75,000 likes and hundreds of comments. A gentle reminder to us all that at the end of the day, it’s all about love.