Not this girl’s best friend

Happy Friday. I’m in NY visiting my sister. It feels like fall. This letter is a little weird – political, but maybe passive-aggressive. Help me see through it.
I met this great guy a few months ago and things are going really well -- too well, as a matter of fact. The last time we saw each other, my guy told me he was thinking about marriage. I have been married before (he has not) and I am much more cautious. I am not ready to consider it yet. Still, what I know so far is incredibly promising. It is too soon to tell for sure, but all signs indicate that this guy is a keeper. For those that care about these things, we are both in our 40's. I hate diamonds and everything they represent. I think they are a waste of money. In some parts of the world, people are exploited because of their perceived value. I have always felt this way. I have no problem admiring a friend's pretty ring and don't inflict my values on others -- however, I will never wear a diamond engagement ring. This is my problem: usually I bring up my feelings on diamonds well before marriage is a possibility, however, I don't think this topic is relevant until I am ready to commit to a monogamous long term relationship. I am at this point with my guy. The last time I was in a LTR, my 'I hate diamonds' speech was interpreted as 'I think you are the one and I want to marry you' and the relationship imploded because it was too much too fast. In this case, my guy is already thinking marriage - and I think any reference to this topic might make him think I am ready for the next step. But since he already put it out there on the table, I am afraid that one day he will pop the question complete with all the fanfare -- and I might get stuck with an expensive ring that I don't want to wear.

– Hate Diamonds

HD, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that people usually have a few discussions before they propose. In movies, people are always pulling out rings “with fanfare,” but in real life, people tend to talk before they pop the question with big, expensive pieces of jewelry. I’d like to think that by the time anyone proposed to you, they’d know your politics. The courting process usually involves little discussions about everything from jewelry to favorite foods. How well does he know you? I think it might have been a little weird for you to have such a serious talk about diamonds with your last LTR guy before marriage was on the horizon. It probably sounded a little … presumptuous. Don't muddy the waters with your politics. These diamond discussions are becoming confusing, partly because you're sitting people down and talking about what ring you'd like -- not about the politics of diamonds in general. My guess is that your current partner would ask you what kind of ring you’d like before he went out and bought it. But if you're that anxious about it, tell him that you're not interested in a surprise proposal. Explain that if and when you're ever ready to get hitched, you'd like to make all decisions together. I have to ask – politics, aside, is there any other reason you’re so fixated on the ring? I’m not shocked that your diamond discussions have been seen as a cries for commitment in the past. Just take a moment to be self-aware and consider that you might be using your feelings about diamonds to discuss a potentially more stressful issue – whether you want to get married. Readers? If a woman brings up her distaste for diamonds, should her partner assume she’s ready for a proposal? How can she politely discuss diamonds with her current boyfriend without implying she’s ready for marriage? Don’t people talk a lot about proposals before they happen? Share thoughts here. Letters to the right, please.

– Meredith