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The Ring – Part 3: Wedding proposal fantasies

What is it about the fascination that most women have with weddings… and more to the point – because let’s be honest about the real agenda ladies – why the urgency around the engagement ring? Emerald, princess, pear or round, gold, white gold, rose gold, Tiffany, Cartier, Bulgari… it’s an industry that has men by their balls and has women falling veil first into the illusion and glamour of weddings.

Jess continues her story….

So here I was… in a different relationship with a now new ring

I felt that I had conquered the ideals and pressures of the engagement fever of my twenties - that I was all over it. My partner and I had agreed we would put the ring on ice so to speak; not because we weren’t sure but because there was a sensing of the right time and this was still to be felt. It wasn’t until my birthday that I realised I was setting myself and the relationship up all over again. Pictures of proposals on picnic rugs were being fed to me so that I could then indulge in the disappointment of an expectation that was never actually communicated or agreed on in the first place. I decided to come clean and told my partner of my birthday marriage proposal fantasy and how I knew deep down it wasn’t on the cards but the fever seemed to have a hold of me again. He too had felt the fever creep in as a manipulative pressure which he could only reject and rebel against as it was fuelled with need and urgency which, if unaddressed would slowly retard and decay the love we were and what we already had.

Where had this marriage proposal urgency come from and why did it feel so awful in my body?

I came to realise there is a power play that takes place within a proposal. We had agreed this would be something we would do together. However, as custom dictates that the man proposes, there is by nature an element of unequal territory – the man decides when the right time is while the woman then, well, waits? But what am I waiting for? It’s as if once the engagement ring is on the finger life will be different, but – newsflash – life is the same; we just have a tangible symbol of the commitment we have made… but that commitment was very much there before the marriage proposal, or at least one would hope it was.

This got me thinking about the symbolism of a ring and do we even need a ring to get engaged as it’s not about receiving a piece of jewellery, it’s about a commitment to true, ever deepening and evolving love.

The sense of me ‘waiting’ alerted me to the fact that there was still a part of me that needed the ring – a sense of waiting to be complete. There was something about the power imbalance that left me with a sense of impatience and I couldn’t understand why the brakes were on; our discussions often left me feeling somewhat deflated, frustrated and even sad at times. To dilute the true joy and connection of our relationship over a picture I was still adhering to, encouraged me to admit there was something bigger at play here and ask – why am I making an issue out of this?

"All relationships are about an ever-evolving commitment – love has no end."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations Volume II, p 320

In westernised culture, wedding bands are an exchange where husband and wife are equally committed to their marriage and all that holds and reflects. Whereas an engagement ring worn solely by the woman could feel more like a gift or even a prize – something that she's won – and perhaps for a man resembles some sense of ownership. This left me feeling uncomfortable and on further reflection I noted that there appears to be an excitement that an engagement ring provokes – a stimulation within the body that feeds the individuality – a space where I forget about the all or what my true purpose is and instead reduce my focus to just me: a ‘me’ that is definitely not in relationship to the all, to the universe and often, if I am being really honest, not even in relationship with my partner. It’s like he turns into a mirage of a giant engagement ring and for a moment I am blinded, forgetting about the delicious intimacy and often unbelievable connection, commitment and depth we have to one another, and inevitably the all.

In other cultures – Brazil for example – there was no tradition about engagement rings, with the same wedding ring worn by both men and women on the right hand as an ‘engagement ring’ – although this is now becoming westernized or ‘consumerised’…[1]

These days engagements are often used by women as distractions from life – like a holiday or a new car – providing a moment of relief where we can feel the stimulation or excitement, a false elevation or perhaps even connection within our life, to eventually be dropped back down to reality looking for the next elevation.

This is not about my being a party pooper – there is definite cause for delight, celebration and joy and this was too often lost amongst my feverish moments as most of the time I was very much connected to this love and joy which would bubble throughout my entire being and at times swell up so big I felt my chest would burst if it didn’t melt first. It often felt so obvious that we had all the necessary ingredients (for want of a better term) for an engagement that an innocence in me would impatiently ponder, why were we waiting again?

My partner and I realised we both had old patterns of behaviour kicking in which contributed to the process. As a child my love for rituals and celebrations was often dismissed or at very least not shared. It was always a process of rallying my family to come together for birthdays or Christmas and the joy I felt in creating lovely (if not at times a little eccentric) celebrations often left me feeling wrong, needy, superficial or as if my priorities were all mixed up. My partner on the other hand was incredibly sensitive to feeling any manipulation or neediness (especially from women). It’s as if he would scan me in all my enthusiasm and if there was even just a pin drop of need he would call it out, and in that throw the baby out with the bath water, leaving me with familiar feelings from when I was younger on an already sensitive topic.

Either way there was more to feel as I was still seeking the security that I thought the ring gave me. I was not as owned by it as much as previously, but if I hadn’t confessed my birthday fantasy and outed the fever I suspect the carnage I had contributed to in my previous relationship may have presented itself again. I needed to go even deeper within myself: more appreciation, more confirmation and most of all, a surrender.

Jess’s story continues in The Ring – Part 4: Surrender, responsibility and love (coming soon)

Reference:

  • [1]

    https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-special-traditions-surrounding-engagement-rings-in-Argentina-and-Brazil.

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  • Thumb small jess gamble

    By Jessica Gamble

    Jessica Gamble works as a body orientated psychotherapist working with a variety of presenting issues and with all ages. Jess also enjoys working as artist painting mixed media abstractions. Jess has a small but healthy obsession with her therapy dog Tea.

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    Illustration: Hemma Kearney