My boyfriend keeps talking about marriage and has been bringing up the topic of proposing in the future. He mentions that he's looking at rings and asks if there is a design I like. He's quite excited about the prospect of proposing, but a bit dismayed that I don't light up with giddy excitement.
He was homeschooled with his younger sister and female cousins by his mother, and grew up around (very feminine, traditional, and religious) females. His joy at the idea of the proposal and wedding is very akin to what I've heard little girls describe and daydream about.
I'm a giant tomboy (who is very frugal) and have generally been completely disinterested in that sort of thing. I never imagined getting married at all. I'm pretty impartial to the whole notion of the ring and the wedding. I do love my boyfriend and would marry him, I have always thought that spending money on an engagement ring and wedding is a massive waste. I know and realize that it means so much to him, so I'm trying to be a little more enthusiastic.
I seem to be failing at my endeavors though, because he still seems down that I'm not swooning over the prospective ring. In actuality, I feel a lot of anxiety about him spending too much money. He definitely understands that I wouldn't want him to do so, but at the same time I think he'd feel ashamed if people saw that he got me a cheap ring.
This has also prompted thoughts about whether we even should go down that path. Our financial values are very different. I come from a rather well off family, but both my mother and I were raised by my grandmother, who grew up in the Italian Depression. We are very money conscious, waste very little, and are mindful of our budgets.
My boyfriend on the other hand, comes from a modest-income family but is rampantly wasteful. It kills me a little inside when he leaves the water on when he brushes his teeth, that he leaves lights on, and that he wastes food constantly. He doesn't price compare, contemplate buying generic anything, or shop deals. He has definitely been making an effort since he sees that it unsettles me, but we're nowhere near aligned on our monetary (and environmental) values.
How can I learn to be more relaxed when it comes to money matters? Would you feel bad about your partner spending a lot on an engagement ring?