What You, and Miley Cyrus, Can Do If You Hate Your Engagement Ring

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Miley Cyrus finally revealed why she’s so inconsistent about wearing her engagement ring, even though it appears that her relationship with fiancé Liam Hemsworth is back on: She doesn’t really love the ring itself.

“This is really weird because this is like real jewelry, and most of my jewelry is made out of gummy bears and cotton candy, and they don’t look that good together because they kind of mix up. So sometimes I replace it with an actual unicorn or a Looney tune,” Cyrus told Ellen DeGeneres on her show Thursday. “And he’s kind of like, What’s going on? It’s like, well, this isn’t really my aesthetic, but I’ll wear it because you love me.”

How many people are nodding in understanding right now at this predicament? Cyrus’ complaint isn’t because Hemsworth picked out the ring without her as a surprise. When they first got engaged in 2012, according to E! News, they picked it out together, and Cyrus specifically requested a gold setting. Of course, 2012 was a long time ago in terms of Cyrus’ changing style — just look at her hair since then!

(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AIF)
(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AIF)

You don’t have to be a rapidly evolving pop star to experience engagement ring regret. Fashions and tastes change, as do your hands, but your ring is supposed to be forever. And there are still romantics out there who insist on buying rings without their beloved’s input, valuing the element of surprise over all else. In either case, here’s what Miley and anyone else can do:

Be upfront with your fiancé or spouse and shop for a new one together.
First, make sure they know your distaste is for the ring, not the giver. “Tactfully explaining that you can’t see yourself wearing this style of ring might eliminate his feeling bad if he chose the ring himself,” say the experts at EmilyPost.com. In another Post post, they suggest: “Rather than saying you don’t like it, you could say there is a setting you have always loved and wonder if he would go with you to help pick that setting and change it — and you would pay the difference, of course.”

Tact doesn’t mean there won’t be hurt feelings, but your life together requires honesty, not silent resentment.

Wear it for special occasions only.
Like Cyrus, and even Amal Clooney before her, you can opt to keep that rock in a safe place most of the time, bringing it out just for date nights and holidays. Match your current aesthetic with any jewelry you like, and consider the special times when you wear it as a gift to your loved one. It’s like having a piece of your old selves with you for the night.

Remodel it.
There are jewelers who specialize in resetting family heirlooms, upgrading rings given in a couple’s salad days, and, yes, remaking pieces that just haven’t turned out to be as classic as their owners once hoped.

Here you can see how designer Wendy Brandes created a set of stacking rings to go around an original engagement ring to completely change its look. (Maybe Cyrus could find a way to insert her ring into some colorful Lucite?) You can also opt to use your old stones in a brand-new setting, as was done here.

Upgrading to larger or more diamonds is a common practice among women who’ve been married for a while, but the symbolism of that move is tricky, too: Maybe your bank account is bigger and better, but your ring can be a nice reminder of the days when love was all you needed. How about wearing an additional ring instead of replacing the old one?

If you decide to remake your ring, consider including your partner in the process. Frame the new design as part of your personal evolution and a way you’re keeping your marriage close to your heart no matter your changing taste. Just like that year when you refused to wear pants, Miley.

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