Gender Conflict

Should couples split the cost of an engagement ring?

Written by Nicole J.

Here I am again, writing a blog after seeing some nonsense on Facebook. I came across this poll on my feed a while back (names left out to maintain anonymity)

Thankfully, according to the 96%-4% split (at time of writing), most people agree with what I’m about to say.

This poll was apparently set up as a response to an article featuring a white woman who fell in love with an engagement ring to the tune of $17000. In the article, she wanted to pay half the cost of the admittedly expensive ring, whereas her boyfriend, also white, disagreed, and wants to pay for the ring in full on his own.

The thing is, white women can afford to entertain these kinds of “equality” conversations because collectively, white men have set up a system where they more often than not behave as true patriarchs, bringing the four Ps (protect, provide, produce, and problem-solve) to women they are courting. (Not all) black men, on the other hand, tend to bring a different set of Ps (poverty, problems, put-downs, and pimping) when it comes to relationships.

The fact that a black man asked this question is very telling. Throughout the comments, the poster of the poll deferred to the author of the original article, saying some variation of “it was the woman’s idea” to the detractors.

Basically it went like this:

Commenter: “I disagree with this for these reasons.”
Pollster: “Well a woman wrote it so *shrug emoji*”

Yet, black men complain about their emasculation all the time. Go figure, right?

Black men, who are the least marriage-minded out of all the races of men, seem to want to do as little as possible to prove themselves to the woman they are interested in. They proclaim marriage is just a piece of paper, and declare that wanting marriage before doing wifely things like bearing children is “negropean”. How are black men not embarrassed to post these kinds of questions for the world to see? Black women in the swirling camp get dogged for comparing black men to nonblack men, and yet, the same black men continue to tell on themselves in posts like these. It’s as if these dudes are looking for ways to be subpar.

Questions like this help keep the expectations black women have of black men low. Cue comments like “well at least she’s getting married” or “She should split the cost of the ring, it’s only her wearing it”. Ladies, please have some standards for yourselves. These are the same kinds of men that want to go dutch all the time or consider you “too bougie” for not wanting to have a community meal at a soup kitchen as a first date. Avoid these kinds of men (no matter the race)!

If you start the engagement going halvsies, don’t be surprised when the bills roll around and you get asked to split those too. If a man can’t afford a ring (according to his salary at the time of proposal), then how is he going to afford a wife? Or children if/when they come along? Men are supposed to be providers. And yes, I’m all for gender equality and closing the pay gap, but I still believe there are things that men should do, separate and apart from things women should do.

As always, there are layers to this. The poll-creator is the father of a young daughter. One commenter pointed out the obvious problems with his mindset, to which he responded “ I’m the father a daughter that will never depend on a man for nothing.”

Terrible grammar aside, this is yet another reason why the black community looks the way it does. Young black girls are being raised to expect and accept less than the bare minimum once they are of dating age, thus perpetuating men to put their worst, mediocre foot forward. Depending on a man is entirely different from having expectations of a man, and the fact that the poll-poster doesn’t seem to know the difference is not good, and it does not bode well for his daughter if these are the standards he is upholding.

So, long story short, no, a woman shouldn’t split the cost of a ring with the soon-to-be fiancé.

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