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Sunday Confessional: He Gave Me Diamond Earrings Instead of a Diamond Ring

Dear Sugar,

I feel terrible. It was my thirtieth birthday last weekend and my boyfriend, who I've been with for four and a half years, took me to a beautiful bed and breakfast in Vermont. The foliage was amazing, the Inn was adorable and everything was perfect. I was so sure that we'd be getting engaged this weekend, but I didn't get my hopes up until he gave me my present. It was a tiny box wrapped in paper that had the name of a popular jewelry store near us. I was so excited as I opened the box, he was even videotaping me so I was sure that we were about to have the most memorable experience of our lives.

When I opened the tiny velvet box, my heart sank. No ring. Just diamond stud earrings. I started to cry. I couldn't help it. Don't get me wrong; the earrings were beautiful, and it was a very sweet thought, but it wasn't an engagement ring that I had expected and desperately wanted. Why did he spend so much money on these when he could have put the money towards a ring? Then I thought that maybe he wasn't sure if he wanted to marry me, and I started bawling even more.

My poor boyfriend was shocked and didn't understand why I was crying. "I wanted to do something special for your thirtieth birthday," he said. I handed the box to him and said, "How could you do this? I thought this was a diamond ring. I thought we were getting engaged."

We didn't talk for the rest of the night, we woke up in the morning and drove home in utter silence. He's upset that I didn't appreciate his gift and I'm upset that he didn't propose, and now I don't know what's going on between us. Was I right to get upset? Should I be forgiven for my outburst or was I acting like an ungrateful bitch?

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msame msame 9 years
I think this is your fault just as much as it is his. I think if I were in your place I would have gotten upset as well, but I don't know that I would have given him so much grief for not proposing. Have you guys even talked about marriage at all? But, to be fair, he should know that you DO appreciate the weekend and that he is being a jerk for being misleading.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
Forgive. I bet when he does propose, he'll make it an extremely special event. I hope you apologized for your behavior towards him and really make it up to him (if you haven't do it asap!). He was only trying to give you the best 30th b'day possible, in his mind. So, I would totally forget about getting engaged (and don't bring it up anymore..some people are really freaked out by these things. I for one am that kind of person. I'm married now, but that's not the point. So, people like us don't need to feel pressured) and let things happen naturally. I also feel like he is not the kind of guy to do it on a special occassion...Christmas, etc. But, you never know..he just might now. Still don't expect anything, therefore; you're grateful and really happy no matter what. (Also, when you're apologizing if you had major pms at the time..you might want to mention that, too.) And don't forget to do something really special for him to show your apology is for real.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
are you sh*tting me? what an ungrateful B*tch. Dont people talk anymore? after how many years? 4 1/2? you guys dont talk about marriage? If you dont talk about it, and he isnt ready, you arent going to get the ring , duh.
Lourdan_Hazei Lourdan_Hazei 9 years
I voted forgive - and I hope everything works out. If nothing else, this story makes me want to go give my sweetie a kiss and thank him for being so considerate. I expect I would have had a very similar reaction last year when he presented me with diamond earrings on our anniversary - had he not been thoughtful enough (and knew me well enough :P) to have them wrapped up in a different sized jeweller's box!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Well said Looseseal. I also have never understood time limits.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Can't a guy ever do something special for his girlfriend and get her jewelry without it being assumed to be a proposal? Looks like you told him what was up right away, so at least he's not in the dark about why you were upset. That's good. I can understand your disappointment. But "How could you do this?" was too strongly worded, I think. That implies that he did all this to play a mean trick, and it really doesn't seem to be the case here. From his point of view, he tried to do something nice for his girlfriend, he put a lot of effort into it, and it really backfired on him. How would you feel if you got someone something really nice and their reaction is: "how could you? This isn't what I wanted!" For that, you need to apologize to him. Of course, from here I don't know a whole lot of essential information: like whether you two lovebirds talked about marriage at all? Some people grow old together without ever getting married. If you never talked about this, you can't very well just assume he's the type to follow the "must marry by 30" mindset. Do you know if he's interested in marriage? I can't tell from just this story. If he just wants you to stay with him without marriage even though he knows very well you want marriage and this stuff is all about a "you take what I deign to give you and you like it!" kind of deal, then it's completely different. Then my advice would be no apologies and dump his ass. You'd know better than me whether this was him doing something nice with his whole heart or whether this was some passive-aggressive bs. Ladies, this is a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Never assume a proposal. Not when he's doing something special and he's showing you a little ring-sized box. Maybe not even when you've talked about marriage before. That way you'd be more pleasantly surprised if it's really a proposal (assuming you'd want to marry the guy), and less disappointed if it turns out to be something else. I really think all the "this is the deadline by which you must be married" stuff is no good. By x years of dating, if you be n years of age, the deal must be sealed? Says who? This is how some people end up marrying someone they're not that crazy about or who are not that crazy about them. It's kind of sad. If I ever marry someone, it would have to be someone who truly, deeply wants to be with me and only me, forever. Not someone who is more enchanted by the idea of marriage, or feel obligated to marry me because "it has been x years" or some arbitrary reason like that.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 9 years
I too have received a box that looked like a ring but turned out to be diamond earrings but I didn't give them back, I hid what I thought they were and told him they were beautiful and we're married now.
lovelylei lovelylei 9 years
that was so sweet of him to do all that for your birthday! but I don't blame you for getting upset. not at all. it makes me sad that your wonderful trip was ruined because of it. I agree with having a good talk and see where to go from there..
dragonbaby dragonbaby 9 years
One thing that worries me is your use of this statement, "Don't get me wrong; the earrings were beautiful, and it was a very sweet thought, but it wasn't an engagement ring that I had expected and desperately wanted." Is it the idea of being engaged that means something to you or is it being with this man and spending time with him? Marriage isn't about jewelry. It is about compatibility, communication and working out problems and issues. If you can't overcome your disappointment enough to talk with him about what happened...how in the world will you be able to do it when you are married to him and you have far more pressing and serious situations that arise??? I totally understand your disappointment and it certainly sounds as if you were being led down the primrose path a bit. I say forgiven for your outburst though it was a childish reaction when you didn't get what you thought was coming your way. I think a very honest conversation with your boyfriend needs to happen about where the two of you are in your relationship and where you are going. You don't mention whether marriage has been talked about between the two of you or if you were just hoping he would get the hint and be ultra romantic by proposing to you on your 30th birthday. I'm sure he is in a bit of shock at your reaction and believes you to be ungrateful for accepting such a beautiful and thoughtful gift not to mention the wonderful weekend he had planned. I hope that he is able to understand the depth of your disappointment since in a way it is a total compliment to him that you were hoping he would propose to you.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I'm with you vanyvrgs.
millarci millarci 9 years
I say forgive. I know this sounds like I'm being mean (towards the guy), but guys should really know NEVER to give a jewelry in a small box unless it's an engagment ring. I realize that they put the time and effort to pick out the jewelry, but it's just a disappointment for the woman (especially if they have dated for a long time) if it's not 'the ring'.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
Doesn't matter whether I forgive you lets hope he does -- IMHO, crying Ok.... giving him the box back and bitching at him for it not being a ring? Unforgivable, you are indeed an ungrateful person. He was trying to make this weekend special for you and you ruined it. I don't care if it was your b-day. Why would you think he would propose on your b-day anyway? He may have thought of proposing later but after your utter disregard for his feelings -- who knows? I have a hard time understanding how so many people here are sugarcoating her reaction -- she did not get what she wanted for her b-day so she flipped -- spoiled behavior to me that needs no sugarcoating.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
I vote forgive! I know you guys have been together for a long time, but your reaction did hurt his feelings. My thought on it is this: No one should be forced into marriage no matter how long they've been together. When your boyfriend's ready, he will pop the question. If it's something you're really distraught over, then talk with him about where he thinks the relationship is going.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
I think you said what you were thinking and that just plain ol’ ruined the whole thing. I can understand you had your hopes up, but your boyfriend went out of his way to make it a great birthday and I think it was a little selfish of you to hand the gift back to him and pretty much say "That is not good enough for me. I expected something MORE." When you put such high expectations to get something you want “desperately"......you are bound to be disappointed. You may think that four plus years is high time to get engaged, but what if he thinks you guys are not ready? What if he has something planned to propose later down the road like Christmas or New Years? What if he had NO clue you wanted to get married if you never had the 'talk.' What you just did was raise the stakes in the relationship. Now you have set the bar for him to think that any special occasion that is coming up you EXPECT and DEMAND a diamond engagement ring. I think that is pretty bad to put that sort of pressure on your guy. I think you owe your man a HUGE apology for your behavior. Huge.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I am undecided also. Age doesn't matter to me, sounds like he wanted one of your milestone birthday's to be special. I have the impression that you have never even discussed marriage. I really don't think he was being insensitive just a little clueless but you are also to blame your actions did make you look ungrateful sounds like he was really proud of his special gift. before you think of becoming engaged I think you both need to learn to communicate with one another. Not speaking for the rest of the weekend is immature.
kendalheart kendalheart 9 years
I am undecided here. Although you want to get engaged, doesn't mean that you should have had quite that reaction. I'm sure he felt awful that you didn't appreciate what he had given you BUT he should have thought about how he presented this to you.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I think it's a little of both. He was trying to be romantic and pamper you ... and your reaction was kind of like a slap in the face. (How can you do this to me was NOT a good phrase to use - it's not like he cheated on you, for heaven's sake.) Yet, I can definitely see where you would have thought it was a ring and were understandably disappointed. I think you over-reacted though. Not knowing more about your relationship, there's not much any of us can say that will be very accurate about why or how or anything. I think you two have a lot to talk about. Just be aware that you've hurt his feelings badly and he will probably be shy of giving you or doing anything for you in the future now.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
I ran this by my fiance and a few of his guys friends (all ages 25-28), and surprisingly they all said your boyfriend was being an insensitive ass. They all said the whole videotaping and set up would be how they might have proposed (they are mostly married) and that you were right in thinking it was coming, especially at 30. And I agree.
mrspiven mrspiven 9 years
you probably did over react a bit... he didn't realize all of his effort kind of screamed proposal, and it probably caught him off guard that you were upset. he obviously cares about you very much, that should be enough for right now. now he's going to be pressured into giving you a ring whether he's ready or not (hopefully he is) and he'll be crazy trying to find a way to give it to you, and he will be afraid to give you any presents ever again!!
averypinklady averypinklady 9 years
Oh come on it was your birthday and it seemed to be a birthday present. Man, there are girls out there who could only hope for such a gesture. Why did you ruin your own b'day? Damn...Oh well it's your party and you cried like you wanted to right?
Hautie Hautie 9 years
[i]Are you all kidding me. He is an insensitive ass. The earrings were a cop out.[/i] I completely agree! He knew what it was going to look like. And most of all, why in the world, was he taping it? So he could share her humiliation with his friends?
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
I voted FORGIVABLE BUT Put yourself in your bf's shoes. If you prepared this awesome gift, you prepared where you'd be giving it (at your anniversary spot or wherever), presented it during dinner and you just felt like this will be one of the most awesome gift he's ever received because you just know he'll enjoy it very much plus it cost you a fortune. Then he looks at it and get mad at you and basically throws your gifts back at your face. What do you think you'll feel? Will you get upset over that, you know your bf is upset for some reasons but you've already planned all this, you went all out only to have your GIFT thrown at your face. You need to APOLOGIZE to him for your overreaction. Just because it's not what you want/expect (and engagement ring), it doesn't mean that you should be ungrateful or act ungrateful. Okay, what makes you so sure that this is not like a prequel to an engagement ring? What if he's already purchased the engagement ring and it came with a pair of earrings and even necklace/bracelet and and he's giving it in like an order, earring on your b'day, bracelet/necklace for X-mas then the ring on your anniversary? Let him know WHY you reacted so strongly, let him know that all of the things he's done basically implied that he might be proposing and that you've put your hopes so up high so when it's not so, it pained you so badly to the point of rudeness. If you guys have been together that long, I'm pretty sure you can talk to him openly, and get things sorted out and start talking about the future if you're not too sure. Good luck.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
Wow...I really feel for you. What a letdown that must have been. From my experience though, some men really are dumb as bricks...so I could understand if he was clueless enough to not know why you were upset. So I will agree with the other comments on having a serious heart-to-heart with him about this, if you haven't already. And what is this idea of a woman and a man "talking" about when and how and where the proposal is going to take place? Where is that element of surprise? I personally think that if there's a certain date, time and place chosen out for a proposal that both partners have decided on, it almost feels like an obligation rather than a celebration of love. But a woman does have to have her deadlines.
shavon419 shavon419 9 years
HONESTLY, you did over react, but I understand!!!! I would have happily accepted the gift, but deep inside I would have been heart broken. My b-friend and I have been sharing a life together since 02' and everyday I anticipating the day he decides to propose to me and I've basically made it up in my mind that I'm not going to wait much longer. In fact, he has until January 01, 2008. And this is only because he is one of those persons who loves to do special things on holidays!
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