I’m not getting engaged for a while but when I do, I have one demand: I want two rings. Yup, you heard me, two. One for me and one for my fiancé. I know that this is not a typical request — in order to explain, let me share a brief yet informative history lesson. According to the American Gem Society, our engagement ring tradition dates back to ancient Rome, where wives wore rings attached to small keys. In Latin this loosely translates to, “hey, my husband owns me now, TTYL!” Yuck! Sounds less betrothal, more business transaction.
And while that symbolism doesn’t directly translate to “hey girl, you’re my property” nowadays, traces of the sentiment remain. In its simplest (and kinda silliest) of terms, a ring on a woman says to the world that she’s no longer single. My occupied left ring finger is communicating that I’m not available, but his empty one is communicating he is available. It feels like he’s free to do what he wants while I’m “spoken for.” Yeah, hard pass.
It’s also telling the world that you’ve made a commitment. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one making that commitment. Two people are getting married and two people are claiming their devotion to one another, and so there should be two rings. Lots of same-sex couples double down on engagement bling to represent just that to one another, and us hetero peeps should probably take notes.
Plus, what better time than now to push the message I was trying to get across all along? I want an equal partnership? Equal parts cooking. Equal parts cleaning. Equal parts child caring. Equal parts PDC (public display of commitment).
You may be wondering why I’d want an engagement ring at all after calling out its archaic undertones. I believe that if both I and my future fiancé both sport one, it represents a promise to each other, not just the one-way street it would represent if solely on my hand. Also, I have nice fingers, and that would be a terrible thing to waste.
Plus, I wouldn’t want my partner to miss out on all the fun stuff. I get to go out wearing my ring loud and proud, boasting that I’m marrying someone I deeply care for. He should have the same opportunity to show his excitement (read: how obsessed he is with me). Picture the corniest engagement photoshoot you’ve ever seen. We’re wearing matching white T-shirts and Levis. There are some leaves in the background. We’re in a field or on an old bridge. Maybe our dog is there. Instead of a blurred out version of us kissing with my hand and phalange in focus, it’s both of our hands and rings, front and center. Caption: “WE said yes!” I mean, talk about cute! (Note: speaking of cute, I’d just like to mention that Ed Sheeran, love song extraordinaire and actual king of romance, wears a man-gagement ring. And Ed is pretty much the barometer for best practices.)
And yes, I will happily propose right back with his ring.