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Tue, Feb 10, 2009
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It takes more than diamonds to woo me
by Jill Alphonso

FOR some women, the words “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling” can really hold true.

I’m referring directly to diamonds, of course. More specifically, gifts of diamonds from a male partner.

I was at a lunch recently, and two acquaintances ended up talking about engagement rings.

“Honey,” said one woman to another, “just make sure it’s a big rock. The more expensive the better – it shows how much he values the relationship.”

She paused before giving a hyena-like cackle and then added:

“Actually, that goes for any jewellery he gives you.”

I was horrified. And fascinated.

I come from a family that doesn’t put too much stock on these things, so I’ve never heard such antiquated thoughts actually spoken aloud. Much less put into practice.

Jewellery is nice. But it’s not everything.

Others, evidently, disagree. When my best friend, S, got engaged, a mutual friend’s mother’s behaviour made the two of us squirm a little.

Over at the friend’s house, Mum rubbed a finger over S’s modest but well-cut ring, casting a keen, calculating eye over it, as if to make sure its shine was real.

It was as though she was saying, “Yes, he loves you. Yes, he’s worthy because he knows what you’re worth.”

Now, I love a big, chunky rock as much as the next gal, but I’m not about to use jewellery to evaluate my relationship.

But no matter how much I oppose that sort of thinking, the truth is we all use some kind of benchmark to assess our relationships.

For some, it might be diamonds.

For others, it’s how many times the guy says he loves you. Or how he doesn’t forget certain things – like anniversaries – or how much you like back rubs at the end of a long day.

One relationship counsellor, whom I spoke to in the course of my daily work, once told me that these things are referred to as “love languages”.

That means that when a partner does something or says something, it translates to “I love you” in your head.

Often, it’s how a person was raised and what she was exposed to that affect the development of this so-called “love language”.

Gifts are an easy way to say “I love you”. So, if that’s what your partner truly adores, then I say, splurge. Nothing wrong with that.

But this Valentine’s Day, also think about what you’d like to be doing with your partner 20 years from now, and do that too.

If it’s sitting on the couch feeding each other a takeout dinner, I’d say, heck, go for it.

Nothing says “I love you”

more than taking action – one that indicates that you’d love to be with your partner for a long, long time to come.

In my book, that’s worth way more than a 1-carat gem.

It’s true that diamonds are forever, but love, when it lasts, is infinitely more enjoyable.

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