When it comes to dating and relationships, I’m an old-fashioned guy. If my doctor tested my blood pressure whenever a girl insisted on paying for herself, which I should have considered a godsend, I probably would have been hot-shotted to the ICU. Obviously, relationships are give and take, but the man is traditionally the provider (or, at least, the primary provider). But social evolution has changed things. Now, more women than men are attending college, and a man is more likely than ever to marry a woman who is college educated, independent, and has a good job. It creates an interesting dynamic.
All that said, I’m definitely comfortable with ladies dishing out some serious dough is when it comes to the engagement watch. Let’s break down the numbers. The old-fashioned rule of thumb for buying a woman’s engagement ring is spending about three months’ gross salary. Depending on your current job that can be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 or even more if you’re really raking it in. What does a man’s plain wedding band cost? The average selling price of a man’s wedding band is around $600. Platinum, the most expensive, yet still boring, probably runs about $2000 max. If I’m dishing out well over $10,000 already, I’ll buy my own wedding band. What I want is an engagement watch.
If you look at the commitments being made during a proposal, a man is dropping five figures on a diamond ring while the woman is likely laying out $600 to $1000 for his band. That risk balance is way off. If she calls off the engagement and keeps the ring, he’s out enough money to buy a decent used car. If he can drop that kind of money to show his commitment, the least she can do is buy him the most popular item of jewelry among men—a nice watch.
It doesn’t have to be a ridiculously expensive watch. It doesn’t even need to cost as much as the ring. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be THAT close to the cost of the ring, since her parents are likely paying the lion’s share, if not all, of the wedding expenses…traditionally, that is. A low-end Rolex Datejust costs $3,000 to $5,000. And guys will love it. It shows your commitment and he’s literally going to look at it every day. His friends and coworkers likely won’t comment on his wedding band like they do when they see a woman’s diamond, but you better believe they’ll comment on him wearing a Rolex or another luxury brand watch. And if the trade off for the watch is buying my own wedding band, so be it. Or, ladies, you can pull a power move and buy both.
The battle between traditional gender roles and women wanting to be independent will continue through eternity. This dives deep into the power couple rabbit hole, and that’s another topic for another column, probably written by another person if we’re being completely honest. However, I do believe that among all the squabbles over who pays for drinks, who pays for dinner, and who is spending too much damn money on shoes, the engagement watch is the best way for a woman to stake her claim and show her commitment to what will be, God willing, a lifelong relationship..
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