Is It A Proposal If There Isn’t A Ring?

Times are tough around the world, and we’re all cutting back in some area of our life. In Japan, one common cost-cutting measure seems to be diamond engagement rings. The percent of men who bought engagement rings will slip from 1993’s 80 percent to just 50 percent this year, according to estimates from the Yano Research Institute. Some couples are deciding to spend more on wedding bands, or to buy watches or other jewelry rather than investing in a rock. Certainly, people shouldn’t purchase engagement rings they can’t afford, but do you think it’s even necessary for a man to propose with a ring? We asked three women for their thoughts. A RING IS MANDATORY

“I think it’s important to propose with a ring because I love tradition. My dad proposed to my mom without a ring because he wanted to totally surprise her and then they went shopping together, so I think that’s a good exception (of course that’s a biased opinion), but other than that, I think a guy should give something. It might sound materialistic, but I’m not suggesting the guy should go into debt buying a huge rock. Any ring—even if it’s a “placeholder”—would be better than proposing empty-handed to me.” — Cheryl


“I’ve always envisioned an engagement ring on my finger, so I think I’d be rather disappointed to receive a proposal without a ring. However, I do realize that in these economic times I have to be realistic. If a guy were to propose to me, he’d better have a deed to a house, condo, or some other property. That way, we’d be on track to build a life together. I don’t see a point in spending thousands of dollars on a ring or wedding if you’re still renting.” — Annika


“To many this will sound like sacrilege, but I just don’t get the whole engagement ring phenomenon. So you’ve found someone you want to spend your life with, and that feeling is mutual — why does the guy have to spend three month’s salary on a piece of jewelry to seal the deal? I’m single, so this is all on a very hypothetical plane, but if someone asked me to marry them without a ring, I wouldn’t be at all offended. In fact, I’d think that was pretty awesome. Let’s use the money to go on a trip somewhere, or to buy another round of champagne at the wedding. It’s about the commitment, not about the ring. And if this imaginary dude insists on a ring, no diamonds (emeralds, please) and absolutely no getting down on one knee.” — Kate