Once upon a time, American jewelers proposed engagement rings to men, and they did not live happily ever after.
Source: "A 'real man's ring': gender and the invention of tradition." Howard, Vicky. Journal of Social History. Summer 2003.
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A guy friend of mine proposed to his girlfriend and... we were afraid she'd turned him down when we visited and he still had the box and the ring. But he was over the moon.
Beaming, he told us that she would only wear a ring saying "spoken for, bitches!" if he did too, so they were going to go ring shopping for him later.
I found it adorable, probably because of how happy he was. It felt like "promise ring, leveled up" in a way.
I got my fiancé an engagement ring after we got engaged. I ran it by him, asking "if I got you an engagement ring, would you wear it?" He said yes if it was something simple looking, he prefers nothing flashy. So I got him a ring that's a simple silver band on the outside, but the inside surface has iridescent colors. He loves it.
I've got my hands on a 1900's book, sort of How to get a girl guide, and there's this paragraph(rough translation ):" In this important act of engagement it is fiance's duty to buy a ring. Fiancee also gifts a ring to her beloved." funny thing it also states that one must not under any circumstances buy a diamond ring, because it'll bring bad luck and tears to the relationship.
Climbing with rings is dangerous too; In Swiss Football league, a player once jumped up a fence to be near the supporters, jumped down to the field, but got stuck with his ring and lost half his finger, torn apart in a joint...
My mom worked in a Laundromat for years, and she wouldn't wear her wedding ring because working with electricity has a nasty habit of taking fingers off.
She says if a man can't tell from a few minutes' conversation that she's married, she doesn't have much use for them.
When I work in a machine shop, one guy told me he got around the ring by tattooing a "ring" onto his finger. Shows his devotion to his wife, serves as reminder, and keeps him safe he said. I've now seen lots of guys do the same thing. Haven't seen a woman do it yet though.
In Germany it is traditionall that bride and grom pick out engagement rings together. Both of them wear these on the left ringfinger as a symbol of love and commitment. Those rings are as simpel as the wedding bands but with the posibility of a small simpel dimant in the womens ring. Also the engagement is something both decide together and it is not just the man having to ask.
Rings can be downright dangerous for men to wear. My parents have been married for almost 50 years and in that time my dad was an Air Force officer, machinist, mechanic, Fire Chief, and safety service officer. He never wore a wedding ring and even after retiring still doesn't. An engagement ring would be just as strange and would do nothing to further validate my parent's relationship. Buying overpriced trinkets as external symbols of internal commitments is stupid.
for me, both my mum and dad wore an engagement ring. the believed that an engagement ring is just that, a ring to show one is engaged. my mum also proposed to my dad, as well as asked him out and asked him out for their first dinner. my mums a more of a, get what I want person
My husband very specifically requested an engagement ring when we were getting close to being engaged. HE thought it was ridicules that women got something and men got nothing. So while I was down in Mexico for my 18th birthday I had one specific quest: find an engagement ring. I ended up having it made from a silver ring, placing 3 square (on end like a diamond symbol) fire opals flush into the metal and engraved between them was "Friends * Partners * Lovers." He's very fond of it even now but it's interesting to note that I personally didn't want to have 2 rings so he gave me a custom pendant which I wear every day 8 years later.
exactly. this is what i was taught was tradition....
traditionally i was taught conversations were had and ring shopping was done together for both engagement and wedding rings as time and finances dictated...
surprise proposals became more common over time, with a ring to accompany the proposal so the woman would know the man was serious and possibly be more likely to say yes.
to mitigate the risk if she said no, only one ring was purchased..
if she said yes and both agreed they both should have rings.. the guy then got a ring as well... usually already having an arrangement with the jeweler to have a matching one in his size or at least matching style/color/material.
over time tradition became more elaborate rings for the woman and for the proposal even if it meant forgoing the man's ring, also, poorer couples usually could barely afford the woman's engagement ring if any engagement ring... those two trends combined for what we see today where men rarely have an engagement ring.. for a time men didn't have wedding rings either due to frugality or if they did the men's wedding ring was not purchased til 2-3 years after the wedding took place, with a placeholder or borrowed ring used for the man in the ceremony if the rings were given during the ceremony and appearances needed to be kept up with.
wedding bands changing from more elaborate to simple bands identical male and female rings facilitated rings being bought both for the male and female separately or as a ring set.
for a time engagement rings were simple silver colored bands and wedding rings were simple golden bands... during this time men often had engagement rings too... when engagement rings became more elaborate and ornate and costlier men stopped using them...
also at issue is most traditionally male occupations bar ring wearing due to not being part of a work uniform or due to safety risks of the ring getting caught on something and a finger hand or arm going missing as a result.
Those who follow the irish/celtic "Claddagh" ring tradition, usually both the man and the woman get a "Claddagh" ring as an engagement ring, and sometimes those rings also serve as the wedding rings as well and are turned a different way or a gemstone added to them after or just before the wedding ceremony, or the "Claddagh" rings are used in the engagement as a nod to tradition and modern style wedding rings or golden bands are used for the wedding itself.
if i remember correctly sometimes there are 3 sets of rings... engagement/betrothal... ceremonial rings used only during the ceremony and possibly the honeymoon or first few years of a marriage... and then actual wedding rings or golden bands to symbolize enduring marriage after the ceremony or honeymoon or a certain anniversary i forget which one...
sometimes there are promise rings as well before engagement rings ever come into play... so 4 sets of rings potentially...
and sometimes couples exchange rings after a major milestone like the 25th wedding anniversary so potentially 5 sets of rings.
again, traditions often get scrapped though based on personal preferences or especially based on wealth/financial circumstances.
I had no idea men weren't supposed to get engagement rings. Guess that's why women don't propose? But then what happens when a man proposes to another man? Who wears the ring? Is there no ring? Maybe this is the confusing stuff the homophobes were talking about...
AJ's Journeys it IS actually. Gays and lesbians have a cultural habit of wearing a ring on their middle finger to signify that. For some it's a commitment ring, for some it's a community symbol. And now has spread out of the community through fashion. But some not so subtle celebrities in their glass closets sometimes sport rings that also match their very best friend ever! Gasp. Also, thumb rings are used that way.
If two men get engaged, they can decide wether the one who is proposed to is the one who gets the ring or they both get one. Mostly likely, they'll both get one.
Just like if two women were engaged.
It's verily likely they'll both get an engagement ring, but it can depend on the couple.
To those worried about men wearing rings in the workplace, I got a special ring specially made for me for my 18th birthday. I have fluid retention in my fingers and they can get really puffy when it's hot and I am also really good at losing things, so I just wear it on a chain around my neck. This works well, as I can just tuck it into my shirt whilst at school.
Hi there, I really enjoyed this video, and i was wondering if you could do another one on the practice of 'stag' and 'hens' nights, and the culturally acceptable (encouraged?) trend of strip clubs and private sexually-themed performances or activities for the respective parties on these occasions. It seems confusing to me, why would that be acceptable behavior just before 'tying the knot' when its generally considered a bad (or terrible) thing to do when your in a committed relationship, as it kind of implies a lack of respect for your partner?
After my fiancé and I got engaged. His friends at work were asking " where's yours?"
His work friends are quite a bit younger than he and I; so to us this seemed like a foreign concept. The idea of him having a ring to signify that we are engaged and he's off the market, intrigued him. So one Saturday we went out and he picked out an engagement ring for himself. After I bought it we stood in the store and I said
"Will you marry me my love?" .. Of course he said yes and I put a ring on it 😉
He loves his ring, wears it all the time and gladly flaunts it . I'm really glad we went the unconventional route on engagement rings. It seems much more special.
My husband wanted an engagement ring. He was just as excited as I was that we were going to get married and he wanted to advertise it. In fact, on the way back from the canyon where we got engaged, we stopped and bought him a cheap little magnet ring off a street vendor. It didn't take long for it to break, but I bought him a nicer one (it even matched mine) and did my own goofy little proposal to give it to him. His brothers made fun of him for wearing an engagement ring but could never quite articulate why they found it worthy of mockery.
Are engagement rings really still a thing in the US? I may be wrong, but in France I don't think many people get formally "engaged" beside maybe some religious people. Maybe I'm too young to have friends considering marriage though, at best they're getting civil partnerships. I'll see when I get into my late twenties...
My wife got me a ring when we were engaged, and I wore it as a "mangagment" ring (spell check says that's not a real word but forget about it). It became my wedding ring after I gave it to the Maid of Honor who then gave it to my wife to give it back to me during the service, but I already had a tan line by that time. Anyway, I don't really think there's anything strange about engagement rings for men, and I sorta liked mine when I was engaged because I liked it. It made me feel special.
Darren Skjoelsvold I'm glad to hear you liked it. I had no idea men didn't wear engagements rings. That's so fucked up in my opinion, so the WOMAN has to wear a ring, she gets a band claiming her as someone else's future spouse, she has to let everyone know, but the MAN doesn't? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. I dunno it feels sexist almost. I'm gonna get my fiancé a ring. No way this trend is continuing.
My husband wore what was supposed to be his wedding ring for almost a year before we got married. He said it's a good reminder. I was reminded by my girl friend that it's not a custom in the US and that I should consider it a positive. We're still married 16 years later. When you're committed, you're committed.
I'll happily wear a wedding band, sure. But engagement ring? No thanks. Just doesn't sit right with me, and I wouldn't appreciate being given one. With women, the engagement ring connects with the wedding ring. I'd just end up shelving mine after getting married and receiving my wedding ring.
in my culture we both wear engagement rings, men just wear a plain band, also we buy our rings together because when we date the end goal is to get married anyway, so a proposal is never a surprise. we also wear our engagement rings on our right hand untill the wedding day when we move them to the left, like the Greeks.
I'm wondering if you're misinterpreting "engagement" ring and "wedding" ring. An engagement ring is given at the time of proposal, while wedding rings are at the wedding ceremony. Typically women end up with two rings and men with one.
Though personally, I don't understand why us westerners don't just use the engagement ring as a wedding ring. Fewer objects to keep track of around the house, as well as the expense.
I got my fiance an engagement ring and gave it to him after he had given me mine. He loves it and wears it all the time. I didn't think it was fair that I would be the only one getting something nice to show for our commitment. If relationships are supposed to be 50/50, then why do engagement traditions still have to be one-sided?
Weddings do seem to be quite centered around women for some dumb reason, but as a woman I do not want a flashy wedding. We can just go to the courthouse and say "yo give up those tax benefits." but surprisingly most men want weddings too, sometimes more so than their companions. Perhaps design a wedding that celebrates both people instead of just focusing one in particular. (also women have to take longer to get ready, do hair, makeup, etc so of course it seems catered to them, but most do that everyday anyway)
I have never heard of a man having an engagement ring (only wedding bands) before but I have wondered why in the past. My thought was that guys didn't ave an engagement ring because guys are the ones that ask the girl anyways so... how would he get one? Like, after he asks her? Or if the woman proposes? Idk. lol Never had too much thought about it. It just kind of is what it is haha I also think that the ring being a hazard in the work place makes 100% sense. It would be dangerous to have jewelry while working with machines or outside, which is probably the reason they didn't wear them.
I would like an engagement ring just because of tradition. However, opposite of tradition, my dream engagement ring would have a pearl as the main stone. No diamond! Diamonds on the side as an accent maybe. I REALLY hate the gigantic, gaudy, over-done diamond rings. They are SO ugly! Just thinking about them make me want to puke. Something small, simple, subtle, and not expensive would be wonderful.
However, if the ring is not possible, who cares? I'd just be happy he wants to marry me and me him lol
I'll be honoured to have the woman I love to give me an engagement band. That way she knows I will not meet another woman at all to fuck (unless it's her). A woman asking a man on a date or marriage is a reverse of gender roles in this case. I have yet to see a man walk down the aisle with a torch in his hand to symbolize a new beginning in his life as a husband.
All the men in my family are all laborers i.e. they work outside on machinery or in construction and coincidentally wedding bands are safety hazards. The wedding band can get caught and their entire ring finger will be spliced off. My father quit wearing his wedding band years ago and him and my mom have been together over 20 years. Obviously a wedding band is a nice thing to have but most men really suck at wearing jewelry. If you care about your woman and are faithful that should be all that matters. I dont really see the point in men wearing a wedding band.
My ex and all of his family and friends wear/wore engagement rings when they got engaged. In some cultures, especially his Middle Eastern with Russian minority roots, men do wear engagement rings. They put them on the "other" hand before the wedding, and then switch it to the "correct" hand after the wedding. Obviously, wealth has something to do with this-- you need to have enough money to afford not only one (for the woman), but two rings (one for yourself as well). That's actually probably a big part of it; they all seem to buy more impressive male engagement rings with each new engagement, as if to broadcast to society that they are doing well. It also shows that they can provide for their soon to form new family. I think it's mostly in Western cultures that men don't wear engagement rings, but again, it's just pockets of some cultures (and you/your family has to be able to afford it).
+sir lewisnumber5 ???? I don't really get what argument you think you're making. She HAS talked about how diamonds are only as valuable as they are because of an artificial monopoly and smart marketing (which is what I assume you mean by "intrinsically worthless", because in a ring, just looking pretty, okay I can see how you'd think they're worthless, but they are actually usefull for making drills and the like), just in another video.
Then again, this standard no mangagement ring thing is such a heteronormative idea. Gay men wear mangagement rings a lot, one or both of them (usually the one that had been proposed to).
Then there's lesbian couples as well.
Im from Argentina and the tradition here is different. Both men and whomen wear engagement rings and it isn't even that common to engage. I never heard of someone propossing like they do in american movies. It's ussualy a dessicion that the couple makes together, and sometimes there is an engagement party and rings but i think most of the times people just make plans and get married.
Also engagement rings look basically like marriage bands though i think they are made from cheaper materials
So, here's a question, if it becomes the norm for both men and women to receive engagement rings, what about the other partner? I never thought that the reason men don't wear engagement rings is, so it seems, because they are usually the one proposing, so they are then giving a ring to their partner, and not my original thought that it was just a societal norm that women wear rings, men usually don't. I'm not opposed to proposing to my boyfriend, if it ever comes to that, but I have also always liked the idea of having a ring myself, preferably he being the one to give it to me. So how would that arrangement work, assuming the other partner wants a ring as well? Would society just find a way?
My fiancé HATES jewelry. In fact, when I met him he didn't even want to wear a wedding ring, though he was looking to get married. When we got engaged I let him know that it was important to me that he symbolically let everyone know he was 1) married and 2) loyal so now he is ok with a wedding ring because it's important to me. but he would never let me talk him into an engagement ring, so I find this video quite fascinating.
Men generally haven't worn rings for fairly practical reasons. For working class men rings can get caught in machinery, causing injury or becoming damaged. For those in jobs where hygiene is essential like doctors, vets, and those in the food industry rings can harbour bacteria and for those in military service they reflect light and can give away a position. In the case of engagement rings, making two people each spend 3 months salary on a pair of rings before they can even consider getting married would do more damage to the traditional family unit than an entire rainbow army of homosexuals in their most flamboyant assless chaps.
If men wanted them, they would have them. I don't even wear my wedding ring. My wife picked out her own ring and wears it when she wants, which is mostly when some bitchy females would judge her for not wearing it. If she didn't want one, I wouldn't have gotten her one. Stupid superstition this Patriarchy business.
Wearing rings is kinda annoying at work. Also I would not want an engagement ring from my partner, if she should actually ask me to marry her. It is a dumb chlichee and one should actually go with the times, but meh. Ain't nobody got time fo that.
In all honesty - I think a gift as an engagement token is a nice thing and could go in each way. Rings are very... medieval from a today's point of view. There are more creative ways to express your feelings towards your significant other.
I'm finnish and here both men and women wear engagement rings. They're usually identical and simple looking. When we get married we get different rings but sometimes men choose to wear the same (engagement) ring when they get married. Women on the other hand always get a new and a much more expensive ring with more details. I didn't even know men don't wear engagement rings in other countries.
I'm Brazillian and here both use an engagement ring (which we call "engagement alliance"). Unless she is the one proposing, the woman doesn't usually give the ring to him at the proposal, though. The most romantic or traditionalist couples exchange the rings with a few closest of family and friends gathered, in a semi-formal little party or dinner.
The guy's engagement ring is almost always a plain silver, gold or platinum band, on the ring finger of the right hand, ALWAYS the right hand for engagement. It's exchanged by a gold band (rarely a white gold band) on the ring finger of the left hand at the wedding cerimony, always the left hand for marriage.
This way you can get the marital status of any given man or woman with a glance. Some people here get really angry if you ask someone with a ring on the left hand if he/she is married.
I got very confused when I first watched a foreign movie in which a married woman had the ring on her right hand, I tought it was a hint to something I wasn't geting or that she was, for some reason, trying to pretend she was engaged and not married, mwahahaha.
Sorry if my English went a little too basic or even wrong at places, it's not my native language.
Great series of videos, by the way.
well here in egypt and i think the middle east in general men and women wear engagment rings women's are golden and men's are silver ..they wear it in the right hands if they engaged and when married they switch it to the left hand even some weddings have a some sort of ceremony for the ring switching from the right to left hand :D
hm... i think i will make it known to my significant other that i do not want an engagement ring if it ever comes up. If I do get one though, I definitely do not want a diamond. Why not save that money for a house that both of us can enjoy? Why not use that money to invest in our future rather than on jewelry to impress family and friends? actually, just propose with some tickets to a vacation for 2. shared experience is a great way to start a marriage and is much more meaningful i feel
I was engaged years ago (the relationship didn't work out), but I didn't have any problem wearing a ring. I am allergic to metals, so my then-fiance made me one out of hemp. The only comments or remarks I received about it were positive. I'm sure some folks had other opinions, but those weren't shared with me.
I think that if a couple wants to get married, both parties should be able to wear an engagement ring without judgment. That said, I don't believe in marriage so I wouldn't want to give or receive one in the first place.
You bet your ass I want an engagement ring. I just dropped 3 months pay on that rock for her finger, you're telling me she's not gonna do the same. In the end, we spent half a year's pay for 2 finger accessories.
Here in Chile, there is this tradition of wearing rings called "ilusiones". Basically, when a couple is engaged, both man and women where rings similar to wedding bands. This is very typical in christian and conservative families as a way to show that the commitment between the parties is quite serious. The couple starts wearing these rings after a ceremony, kinf od a pre-wedding, in which the couple receives the blessing of their families and a priest which in turns makes their engagement "super" official.
The importance of this ceremony, I believe, is that most of the times the couples that wear these rings they do so because they cannot afford a wedding right away. Obviously, there are also a lot of cases in which this is done by super wealthy and Catholic couples just a traditional ceremony before the wedding.