When in a relationship, it can be easy to look so closely at all the ways your values align with the other person’s that you assume you’ll always agree.
One Redditor encountered that situation while navigating a big step in the relationship.
He posted about it all on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Dry-Body-7578 on the site, made it clear what it was all about with his title:
“AITA for not wanting to get my girlfriend an ‘expensive’ engagement ring?”
These are significant days for OP.
“I’ve (26-year-old male) been with my girlfriend (26-year-old female) for 4 years and we’ve recently been talking more and more about marriage.”
Then OP got down to brass tacks.
“Although my GF grew up relatively well off, for the time I’ve known her she’s been pretty low maintenance.”
“She’s never cared about designer brands, rarely buys new clothes, and the jewellery she owns was gifted to her.”
For OP, it was the inverse.
“I have a decent job now (80k a year) and I’ve been saving for awhile, but growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money.”
“My GF and I have always seemed to be on the same page when it comes to saving money. I assumed she would be fine with a more affordable ring.”
“When I started looking into rings, I discovered moissanite rings, which look similar to diamond rings but are much more affordable. I was looking at rings in the 1500 -1800 range.”
OP thought that was no big deal.
“When I mentioned this to her she insisted she wanted a real diamond ring and sent me links to a bunch of diamond rings that she liked.”
“The prices ranged from 6,500-10,000.”
“I told her that I wasn’t willing to spend that much.”
“She seemed genuinely mad and said it wasn’t ‘that expensive’ “
That led to a heated exchange.
“We got in a pretty big argument over it. I told her that it was ridiculous to ask me to spend that much and that I thought she was more reasonable than that.”
“She said I was being cheap and that I could afford it and that I was basically saying she wasn’t worth it. I told her no one is worth a 10,000 ring…”
“Eventually my GF said she didn’t care and that I should get whatever ring I want but she’s clearly still mad and I know this is going to be a an ongoing argument.”
The whole thing left OP reflecting.
“I’m a bit frustrated because this seems out of left field. I’ve always known marriage is super important to her but I didn’t realize she’d insist on a diamond ring.”
“So I talked to my older sister about it, who despite agreeing diamond rings were stupidly priced, sided with my GF and said if I could afford it, she didn’t see the big deal.”
“She added that my GF has done ‘so much’ for me and I was being an a**hole about this.”
That called for some backstory.
“What my sister means by my GF ‘doing so much for me’ is that she was really supportive when I was in a serious car accident 4 years ago.”
“I broke multiple bones and required a few surgeries. Although where I live most healthcare is covered, I was unable to work for awhile and had expenses I wasn’t able to pay. I had been dating my GF for only 6 months at the time and she was really there for me.”
“I couldn’t pay my rent so she let me move in with her for free and helped pay for a few expenses and for physical therapy I needed.”
“She also helped me get a job with her uncle who was the VP of an insurance company (It was an entry level position and I had a business degree so it’s not like I was unqualified).”
But for OP, the two were separate issues.
“Obviously I’ve thanked her for all she did for me but it’s not something we talk about much.”
“I don’t think I’m obligated to buy an expensive ring because she helped me out a few years ago. But if my own sister said this I’m guessing my GF must feel the way as well. AITA here?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
While responses in the thread were somewhat mixed, a clear majority of people said that OP was indeed the a**hole.
“Gently, YTA. I completely get not wanting to spend your money like that or put any coin into the pockets of the DeBeers monopoly, but by saying ‘no one is worth 10,000’ you have inadvertently assigned monetary value to the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with.”
“You both should sit down and look at alternatives together. Don’t frame it as her not being worth it, try to educate her on the unethical nature of the diamond trade and see if she wants an alternative stone.” — canijustbelancelot
“YTA this is a ring she’s going to be wearing 24/7 for the rest of her life. that is a HUGE deal. by your own admission she’s not a materialistic person, this is just the one thing she wants. $6000 spread out over the next 60+ years is absolutely a worthy investment for your future wife.”
“it’s not about you owing her for her helping you. she did that because she loves you. this girl never asks for anything, you should be doing this because you love her. it would be different if you straight up couldn’t afford it, but clearly you can.” — windyafternoon
“YTA Diamon rings start at 3500.”
“1.500… a lot of people spend more on a gamimg set up that will be outdate in 4 years or other hobby equitment. You are being cheap here.”
“So for me there would’ve been room for compromise by looking for cheaper options in similar styles then your gf send you” — CakeEatingRabbit
Some, though, came out in support of OP.
“I’m gonna go against the grain and say NTA bordering on N A H.”
“I agree that spending that much on a ring is stupid. However, if the only luxury item your gf wants is the ring and it’s important to her, I can see her side of spending a lot of money.”
“Overall, I think you two have some different ideas about money. Before you actually walk down the aisle you should probably sit down and hash out your different viewpoints.” — bureaucratic_drift
“NTA, my husband and I saved up for both our rings, split both of them 50-50. Why don’t you offer that and see what she says? I don’t know why it’s the guys responsibility to pay for something she is going to be wearing for the rest of her life.” — ihateusernames2552
Although the differing responses don’t necessarily offer OP a clear next step, they apparently pushed him to begin a process that might.
He explained in an edit to the original post.
“Edit: This post got way more attention then I expected. I’ve definitely reconsidered my stance. I’m going to talk about this more with her. Thanks for all your help.”