Why don’t more men wear engagement rings?

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Photo by Jackie Vang

Engagement rings haven’t exactly changed much over the past 100 years or so besides their prices, styles and the creativity that can be involved with personalizing them.

The tradition attached to these rings has stayed relatively the same — and the concept is rooted primarily in a man presenting a woman with a decorated band or Tiffany-style rock to ask for her hand in marriage.

Although this tradition has become slightly less heteronormative in recent years, with many gay couples choosing to present each other with rings, the concept of a woman giving her male fiance an engagement ring to wear hasn’t exactly become popularized.

It’s odd to think that many men will wear wedding bands, but it hasn’t become socially acceptable or common for them to be given engagement rings from their female partners.

Ed Sheeran, everyone’s favourite romantic pop ballad superstar, spoke out last year about the engagement ring he wore before he got married.

After he announced his engagement to his childhood sweetheart Cherry Seaborn, he was spotted wearing a ring on the red carpet.

When questioned about it he said, “I never saw why men didn’t wear engagement rings, because it’s the same commitment either way. Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay and I really like it.”

With jewelry stores and websites like Etsy offering a larger variety of ring options for men specifically, the availability of male engagement rings is becoming more widespread

We have moved past the original intent behind engagement rings, from ancient times and the early twentieth century, where they stood as symbols for a financial transaction that took place — and the women who wore them were viewed as earned property.

It would be reasonable to assume that men could transition into wearing them as well if the intent behind them wasn’t a business transaction, but instead a proclamation of your love and devotion to your partner.

Michael Buble also sported an engagement ring before marrying his wife in 2010. With each singer having significant influence over their respectively large fanbases, it’s refreshing to see that this trend could be pushed towards being the norm for future couples.

I would personally never be against the idea of giving my future husband a ring that I put thought into choosing and knew he would like, but it would come down to whether or not it was something he wanted. As there are women who may not necessarily want to receive an engagement ring to wear, that would likely be the same for some men.

The option should be available and accepted if that’s what a man would like, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

With jewelry stores and websites like Etsy offering a larger variety of ring options for men specifically, the availability of male engagement rings is becoming more widespread.

Regardless of your own personal feelings on the subject, people, regardless of gender, should feel comfortable wearing — or not wearing — the ring of their choice.

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