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Man doesn't want to get GF engagement ring for proposal; 'She already has one.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Man doesn't want to get GF engagement ring for proposal; 'She already has one.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this man refuses to get a new ring for his bride to be, he asks the internet:

"AITA if I don’t buy a new engagement ring?"

For 5 years now I (M26) am with the love of my life (F25). I cannot express how much I love her and how important she is to me, I knew I wanted to marry her shortly after getting together. We're finally financially stable enough, so I decided now is the time.

In 2020 my gf lost her grandmother. They were super close and it hit my gf hard, especially because she couldn't have a last goodbye in the hospital (covid restrictions didnt allow visitors).

In early 2021 my gf helped her sister move houses. She was wearing a ring her grandmother gave her before she passed, and lost it while carrying boxes. This had hit her even more, and even now she will still sometimes cry about this because she feels like she lost the last memory of her grandmother.

We had looked for the ring, but hadn't found it. On Christmas my gf had cried again because she missed her grandmother and lamented the loss of the ring. This gave me an idea.

She spent the weekend of New Years eve with a friend, so I contacted her sister and asked if I could search her house once again for the ring. When I mentioned that I want to use the ring to propose, she was super excited.

She, her husband and my gfs mother (who loved the idea as well) helped me and eventually we found the ring between some boxes in her garage (even with 4 people looking it took us hours).

I'm planning on proposing on the 14th, which is the anniversary of our first date and we always go out to do something nice then. I had mentioned it to my friends who were excited for me, but when they asked about what ring I got and I told them the story, they called me a cheapskate for not buying my gf a new ring.

They also said that it's not an engagement ring. I mean, it really doesn't look like an engagement ring, because it isn't. It's a normal silver ring with an amethyst stone (my gf struggled with anxiety and her grandmother got her one because apparently those stones help against anxiety, and yes my gf believes in healing powers of stones and often wears jewelry made out of them).

They also said its an asshole move to use the ring someone else paid for as an engagement ring. One friend also brought up that by connecting the ring to our engagement, I Might taint its original meaning.

Now I don't feel so confident about this anymore. I thought that since the ring has a lot of meaning to her, it might be a good engagement ring (my gf isn't big about clunky and expensive jewelry and even (jokingly)...

said she would even be okay with a candy ring because its the symbolism that counts and not the ring itself), but now I'm scared I really might come off as a cheapskate and she might not want this ring as an engagement ring, but just normal jewelry... WIBTA?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

gafaret writes:

I don't think it's wise to even propose with the ring. She's been so upset over losing it that she's been having regular mental breakdowns over it. When he proposes, she finds out that he's been hoarding it and extending her pain just to use it as a grand gesture of his love... it's not a good look.

He did an amazing thing going to all that effort to find it. He should just give it to her and then ask if she'd be willing to use it as an engagement ring.

phiwong writes:

NTA. But this is a bit dangerous. It might come off as a sweet move or it might backfire. Be prepared to answer questions like "when did you find it?", "why didn't you tell me?".

Worse case it comes down to her feeling that the ring symbolizes her memory of her grandmother and she might not appreciate you appropriating it to symbolize your proposal. So you're right not to feel confident.

The safe bet is that you return the ring to her ASAP and get "full credit". You've already got a sure thing finding a precious item she thought she had lost, why mess it up?

gnome writes:

YTA. This ring already belonged to her, right? It's amazing of you that you were able to find the ring... but re-gifting it to her in the form of an engagement ring is some other level shit. It already belongs to her. Wtf are you doing?

Also, what if she says no? What if you get married and divorce? Now you've attached yourself and your relationship to this incredibly important ring that already belongs to her. I think your heart is in the right place, but seriously reconsider.

sjohnsone76 writes:

YTA. I believe you it’s not about the money but the ring isn’t Yours to give for promise of marriage, it’s hers in memory of her grandmother. You need to give her a different ring to propose that is from you.

If she never lost the ring you couldn’t propose and say “hey you are already wearing your engagement ring” so you shouldn’t here. Also if you were married and she lost it, and you found, do you give it back and say happy birthday?

Be smart, get an engagement ring worthy of your love, not her grandmothers. The other ring is already hers and already has its own meaning don’t piggyback off it.

poodlekitten writes:

On one hand, you and her family know her best - and it seems that you all agree she would enjoy the sentiment of you proposing with this ring.

On the other hand, I agree with your friends that assigning the new symbolism of it being her engagement ring somewhat changes the incredible meaning the ring already holds for her.

The ring is a symbol of her relationship with her grandmother, which is sacred. I hate to be a downer, but there is always a chance that your relationship will end in the future (hopefully it won’t, I’m honestly rooting for you, but it does happen even if you think it never could)...

and then the ring could be a painful reminder of the end of the relationship. I think you should honor the original significance that the ring holds for her.

I’d consider whether there is a way to incorporate the ring into your proposal but get a new ring as well. I found an online article about the most powerful crystal combinations for amethyst. It would be incredibly meaningful if you got her another ring with properties to enhance her amethyst and proposed with them together.

I don’t think you would be an AH either way, but your friends certainly aren’t AHs for cautioning you to further think out your plan. Good luck! NAH.

boredread writes:

yta. personally, the biggest issue is the memories. this ring should represent happy times, her grandmother. in an ideal world, you two are together always. but if it doesn’t work out the ring that’s supposed to represent her grandmother will have a shadow over it.

not to mention it’s not a problem to get her a small ring for the proposal since she said she wants something symbolic for the engagement and your engagement.

and it’s very different from giving her a family heirloom. her family didn’t give you the ring to use to propose. she already owns this ring, even if it’s not in her possession. it kind of rubs me the wrong way, like you going into her jewelry box and taking a ring to use for her proposal.

you can do two nice things and she can get 2 rings.

randomsleepypanda writes:

YTA because it's not an engagement ring. It's not a symbol of your love to her. It's a symbol of your girlfriend's love for her grandmother. It's also a little sad that the ring was found after a few hours of searching when she's been crying over it for months. No one thought to get together and search for it before?

You could propose with the ring and tell her you want her to pick out a ring together. Or even use a ring pop to propose with. I disagree with using her grandmother's ring for the purpose of an engagement ring. It is already her property that she lost.

fourleavfclover writes:

Soft YTA. It’s a sweet thought on your part but this is already your girlfriend’s property. Using it as an engagement ring, which is conditional upon marriage seems really strange.

Personally, I would’ve felt weird if my lost ring was found and withheld for other purposes. But also tricky because maybe your girlfriend would like the thought behind it.

And let’s say worst case scenario, your girlfriend says no the proposal. It’s still her ring and now instead of thinking of her grandmother, she’s going to be forced to think of the proposal instead? Not ideal. Again, this is a small but unlikely scenario given that you should already know what the answer will be going into the proposal.

As an alternative idea, maybe you purchase two stones as an addition to the grandmothers ring?

Propose with stones, surprise her with her grandmother’s ring, and give her the option to either use her grandmother’s ring as her engagement ring, add those two new stones to the ring to have the sentimental touch but also the newness of the engagement, or use the two stones for a new engagement ring altogether.

missavronleigh writes:

NAH - I think the idea is sweet and has a certain amount of romance to it. But your girlfriend is already devastated that this ring is missing. She’s been crying over it for MONTHS.

The fact that you found it and didn’t return it right away might suck the romance right out of your proposal. Now you know your girlfriend best, along with her family who think this is favorable.

But I’d be hurt and angry that my partner found something I lost and withheld it for a romantic, grand gesture. That ring already means the world to her. It doesn’t have to be even more special by being her engagement ring. Just some food for thought.

eviant6 writes:

I expect this may backfire. Flip it around. Imagine you had lost a gift given you by a dear departed friend, and were devastated over it, so that it haunted you every day.

Meanwhile, your girlfriend actually has the item in her possession the whole time, but decides to wait a month to give it back to you as an 'extra special' birthday present.

You'd probably be thrilled to get it back. But then you'd start to wonder how she could leave you in agony for a month.

Was this 'birthday present' - which was something that already belonged to you - really supposed to be 'extra special' for you, or was the idea of it actually a special fixation for her?

It would be natural for you to conclude that her behavior wasn't very generous at all, that it was in fact rather selfish.

I think unfortunately YWBTA. Not because you are malicious, and not because you are a 'cheapskate,' and not because the ring doesn't look like an engagement ring (whatever that means).

But because the facts that the item happens to be a ring and that your gf is 'a big fan of surprises' and that she is a sentimental person are getting confused with your feelings for her and your excitement about getting engaged.

The romantic story you are telling yourself and the dramatic proposal scene you are imagining are masking the obvious: that the loving and respectful thing to do for your partner, who is in pain, is to give her what is hers. Immediately.

Make good on the good you've done by going to the trouble of finding it for her. Don't sully that.

(Also: the idea of giving her her ring back while proposing and then offering her the 'option' of going to buy another ring sounds like a nice compromise, but it's coercive as hell. Suppose she's not comfortable with using her gm's ring as her own.

You will be putting her in the position of either rejecting something that is very dear to her, or 'settling' for it out of guilt or a desire to be nice.

She may even decide now is not the time to get engaged! Any of these outcomes risks attaching substantial negative associations to an item that has enormous importance to her. This is reckless.

You don't need a ring to propose! But if you must have one, don't regift her one that is already hers as a substitute. Even - especially! - one that is so significant for other reasons.)

saltyfishfilet writes:

Soft YTA for all the reasons everyone already mentioned. I just wanted to add my 2 cents about something I haven’t seen mentioned already.

Please consider telling her that ring shopping is non negotiable and that the heirloom ring was just an extra surprise/cute way to propose. Because if god forbid you guys don’t work out, she won’t ever feel comfortable wearing that ring again, especially if she’s in a new relationship.

Because technically it became her engagement ring and not just a present from her grandmother.

My point is a lot of people have said about there already being memories and meaning attached to the ring and I just want you to really think about the fact that you could potentially taint those forever and take away something really special to her if you don’t work out in the end.

Which is the opposite of what you’re wanting to do for her. I’m not saying you’re not going to work out. I just think it’s important to consider all sides and outcomes before making such an important decision no matter how painful they may be to explore.

I think you should propose with the ring as a cute gesture but make it clear she will be getting a proper engagement ring to symbolize your love. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I did actually see someone briefly mention this above me! My bad.

catsupdate4 writes:

I think there’s a lot of good stuff here OP but I just have one thing to add…

Your gf has gone through the heartbreak of losing this ring by wearing it around during general activities. There’s a fair chance she will now take much great care of it, and perhaps only want to wear it on special occasions or round the house.

Which… kind of not great for an engagement ring. I mean I specifically didn’t want an expensive engagement ring because I know I’m a clutz and forgetful and wouldn’t trust myself with a ridiculously expensive item of jewellery.

So a cheaper one means I can comfortably wear it all the time. Obviously I still don’t want to lose it because it’s now so sentimental but hopefully you get my point. She might prefer to have a different engagement ring that she can always wear.

I’m still on board with the propose with it and offer to go ring shopping idea, but just highlighting another reason she may genuinely want to go ahead with getting a separate ring. NAH.

altdadr writes:

Soft YTA. You found her old ring which is SO SWEET! But that ring should not be used as an engagement ring. Definitely dont offer to take her ring shopping after. Tell her you are taking her. Otherwise she might feel bad and not say she wants you to take her, if she feels like the responsibility of deciding is on her.

Everyone who said it was a great idea might have just been being nice. Your friends say it how it is. Propose with the ring but inform her she can help choose her engagement ring.

tlsues6 writes:

NTA at all. Honestly I'd be OVER THE MOON about this. I'd ball my eyes out at the found ring. It's so precious that you thought out this unique and special proposal.

That being said, I'd want an engagement ring that is specifically for my engagement. So I think your plan of offering to go shopping with her after you propose with grandma's ring is the best plan of action. Go for it, dude!

For what it's worth, my grandma got me a ring with my birthstone in it. I don't believe in the power of healing stones, but she got this for me the day I was born. She passed when I was five.

Now the ring is very very special to me and if I lost it I'd be devastated. The fact that you searched so hard to find it for her says a lot (to me) about your character. At the very least, you really showed her how much you love her. Good luck, stranger!

wonderfulad7 writes:

YTA. Who does that? Sorry but she lost this ring that's a precious gift from a dead relative she is close to. You should return the ring to your gf. She will be very grateful you found it.

Get an actual engagement ring to propose with. Imagine you got a medal for a sports event at a high level, something you worked really hard for for months if not over the course of years. You lose that medal.

Someone finds it, doesn't tell you, but at s next bing sports event you again end up on the stage and instead of a medal for that event, you are given your lost medal. No one wants that. What you are suggesting is worse.

And now, OP's update:

Also most people agreed that I should offer to go ring shopping afterwards, so she can have another ring if she wants to. I think this is the course I will take. Thanks for the advice.

A lot of people also pointed out that she might be upset that I kept the ring from her (at the point of engagement for 2 weeks). Tbh, my gf is a huge fan of surprises, so I must admit I hadn't thought about it that way and I see my fault there.

Also some have asked to update this. I might post an update after the 14th.

Update 2:

This has gotten way bigger now and I just wanna add that even if you think I'm the asshole in this situation, please don't start insulting others? I saw a few comments calling others abusive or crazy because they said they like the idea and I also received PM...

saying that they hope my GF breaks up with me and sues me. I was surprised to see that the verdict was NTA actually because every other comment I see is an insult against me, my gf (please stop insulting her, seriously, and stop blaming her for not finding the ring herself, she really tried looking for it!) or random reditors.

And now, OP's major update:

As you can see at the date, it all went a bit different. Even tho the verdict was NAH, lots of people decided to slide into my DMs and tell me how abusive and horrible I am, how stupid my gf was etc.

It really wore down on my mental health all weekend, so on Sunday I couldn't take it anymore and decided to tell her right then and use our anniversary for ring-shopping.

We got food from her fav restaurant (take out, sadly, because of Covid restrictions) and then went on a walk. That's when I pulled the ring out. As many of you expected, she cried. Happy tears.

I explained how her family and I looked for it, and how I wanna make it my duty to forever make her happy. Asked her the big question. More happy tears. She said yes.

Surprisingly enough, she wasn't mad that I kept the ring for 2 weeks. She just laughed and said she couldn't believe her sister could keep it a secret (because her sister is known to often accidentally spoil surprises).

I told her that the ring is just a symbol of how I will always try to make her happy and that we can go "real engagement ring shopping" together, which was the general advice given to me in my original post.

But she said she likes this ring as an engagement ring and would be happy to make it an heirloom from now on (many said in the original post that it was an heirloom, but that's not true.

She got the ring from her grandma as a normal present, sorry if I made it sound like that), so the memory of her grandma can live through the next generations. She also joked about how we now have to get rose quarz wedding rings, because apparently they go well with amethysts.

Tbh I dont understand much about the whole crystalstone thing, but I'm just happy that she is happy. The last few days she wore the ring with full pride, I think she didnt even take it off for sleeping.

Though she takes the "I will always try to make you happy"-thing a bit too literal and every time she asks for something she holds the ring in my face and (jokingly) says I now have to do whatever she says.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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