DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been discussing marriage a lot recently. A couple of months ago, he asked me to go engagement ring shopping together to get a sense of my ring style. Although some people would not do this because they want it to be a surprise, I liked the idea of picking out my own ring. I showed my boyfriend a ring that I absolutely loved, which was a picture of my friend’s engagement ring. When I told my friend that I wanted a similar engagement ring, she got upset with me. I asked her why, and she explained that she didn’t want me copying her ring style. What is your opinion about claiming ring styles? Am I in the wrong? -- Copied Engagement Ring, Miami
DEAR COPIED ENGAGEMENT RING: I can understand why your friend is uncomfortable about this, but it sounds like she blew it out of proportion. You have some untangling to do. First, you can talk to your boyfriend and tell him that the ring you showed him belongs to a friend. Point out that while you like it, you hope that a variation of that style will ultimately be the choice so that you have something unique.
For your friend, tell her that your love of her ring should be a compliment to her. The last thing that you intended was to insult her. You were trying to respond to your boyfriend’s desire to get you a ring that you would love. Assure her that you will do your best to select a ring that is unique to you.