romantic Scrabble tiles used during engagement session
Photo: Gabby Orcutt

It's not like an ugly sweater you can easily exchange after the holidays. An engagement ring is meant to be worn for as long as the two of you are together, so if it's not what you dreamed of, you can't just dig up the gift receipt and return it the next day. You aren't a bad person if you hate the ring, but be careful about how you approach the situation with your significant other. Here are some tips for telling him how you really feel.

Give it some time before you bring it up.

Even if your face says it all when he first opens the ring box, don't say anything right then. Popping the question is an exciting and overwhelming moment for both parties, so let it sink in. After a few days, figure out a time to talk about it.

Address the situation in private.

While it's not easy to discuss, you shouldn't start your engagement by hiding your dislike for that one thing that symbolizes forever. When you're both away from other people, bring it up while keeping his feelings in mind. Selecting an engagement ring is a process that requires significant time and money so approach the conversation lightly.

Make a point to tell him what you like about it.

Maybe you love the stone but not the setting. Maybe you adore the ring, but you'd prefer a metal that matches the rest of your jewelry. If there is something you like, you can start along the lines of "I love the diamond you chose, but the setting doesn't do it justice."

But if you just don't like it no matter how hard you've tried, tell him how much you appreciate the time and effort he put into the proposal before telling him the ring doesn't quite fit your style. Do your best to keep it short and to the point - there's no need to pick apart every little thing you dislike.

Suggest getting the ring adjusted.

If there's only one aspect of the ring you can't stand, you could alter it instead of returning the entire thing. Offer to visit the jeweler together to discuss options for redesigning it to match your style and his budget. If it's not an option now, you can upgrade your engagement ring for an anniversary.

Learn to love it.

While it wasn't the ring you've been obsessing over on Pinterest, give it a few weeks to see if it grows on you. After all, an engagement isn't just about the ring but rather the commitment to spending the rest of your lives together. If your feelings towards the ring don't change even after some time, suggest shopping together for another option within his price range (if you can't return it, find a reliable place to sell it instead). Once it's all settled, consider this situation one of your first marital challenges that you both can learn from.

Would you keep an engagement ring you didn't like? Share your thoughts in the comments below.