Ariel McRae’s husband makes her sparkle more than a gigantic diamond ever could. Sadly, not everyone seems to agree. In a powerful Facebook post that has gone viral, the 22-year-old from Martin, Tennessee, explained what happened when she went ring shopping with her then-fiancé, Quinn McRae.
“I wasn’t even thinking about rings, I just wanted to marry my best friend, but he wouldn’t have it. He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. That’s what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them,” Ariel began in her lengthy November 26 post. But as the giddy couple were purchasing the $130 sterling silver and cubic zirconia jewelry set, an unknowing sales associate made a remark that left Quinn visibly shaken. “She said, ‘Ya’ll can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic,’” Ariel recalled. “When she said that I watched my now husband’s face fall. He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page. He already felt like a failure, asking me again and again, ‘Are you sure you’ll be happy with these?’”
The University of Tennessee student went on to explain that she would have married Quinn, 22, if he had popped the question with a 25-cent ring from a gum-ball machine. “When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her a $3,000-+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring?” she asked. “Why do material possessions equate love??”
Ariel’s inspiring message received 250,000 likes and more than 71,000 shares after it was posted to the Love What Matters Facebook page.
“I don’t think people obsess over big rings because they are insecure. I mean, diamonds are beautiful,” Ariel tells Us Weekly. “I think the problem comes into play when people expect their significant other to buy them a huge ring before they will say yes to marrying them. Marriage is not supposed to be contingent on how big of a ring they can buy you. It should always be about love. The ring is just a bonus. It is an outward symbol of the love two people share, and that’s it! Somehow we have turned it into a competition or shame game, and that isn’t OK.”
Though Ariel knew she would marry Quinn since the day she met him two years ago — the pair made it official in a courthouse ceremony on November 18. “Don’t let your love of diamonds or fear of other people’s opinions be bigger than the love between you and your partner,” she tells Us. “You could be letting a ring, price tag or misguided judgements cast a shadow on your happiness.”
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