DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Paul," and I have been dating for four years. He has recently started talking about purchasing an engagement ring for me. Paul is well-off, although very frugal, which is how he accumulated most of his wealth.
Paul has been searching online sites for a used ring. He says he "doesn't want to waste his money on a new engagement ring when he can buy a used one." This from a man who didn't think twice about spending thousands of dollars to buy his son a brand-new car or a brand-new boat for himself.
Am I wrong to feel I'm only worth a used engagement ring? This is the most precious gift he could give me -- a sign of our love and commitment -- and I would cherish it forever. I am deeply hurt and would appreciate your thoughts on how to pursue this issue. -- FEELING "USED" IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR FEELING "USED": There's a difference between frugal and just plain cheap. That Paul would tell you he considers buying you a new engagement ring is a WASTE shows insensitivity to your feelings. Would he also prefer that your wedding gown come from a thrift store? I know it has been four years, but please take a moment, step back and ask yourself how stingy Paul is about other things.
Obviously, you are a romantic, and Paul is pragmatic to the core. He wants his dollar to stretch as far as it will go. But shopping online for a used ring is risky. Unless he buys from a reputable dealer, he could wind up paying the price of a diamond for a lovely zircon.
Paul may seem like a "gem," but is this the way you want to live the rest of your life? Bear in mind that while not every woman would be averse to wearing a pre-owned diamond that was recycled and reset, you do not appear to be one of them.