I should probably volunteer the information that the man I see myself marrying is spending a year in Afghanistan as a government contractor. He'll come back with enough money to buy a house, and he's a shoe-in for a well-paying job where we live. So when I post on this subject, I'm thinking from an unusual frame of reference. I know with some of my comments I'm coming across as though I like to throw money away and I expect him to do the same with his money. That's really not the case, though. I was raised to be very thrifty, and I allocate my money based on my goals and priorities. We just happen to be discussing rings, and when it comes to my engagement ring I want to feel like I can get what I want. On the very same token, I wouldn't be comfortable wearing a piece of jewelry everyday that was over-the-top expensive. I don't expect (or want) anything outrageous. I just want it to stand out. I've noticed a larger diamond on a girl's hand and thought "wow, that's nice." That's the reaction I want. Whether that's materialistic or greedy...I don't really care. I'm positive it's the only piece of jewelry I'll ever own to cost more than $10, lol.
Of course, on the subject of my SO, we have to make it through a year of separation first! I am only vaguely suggesting that I have felt since I met him three years ago that I could be with him for the rest of my life. I still feel too young to make a decision I consider final and concrete like that.