Huge Engagement Rings Show the World You're More Likely to Divorce

Don’t be fooled by a diamond as big as the Ritz: Scientists say that enormous engagement rings are not a predictor of a flawless, Pinterest-perfect life together. If anything, a rock that cost as much as a European vacation is a predictor for divorce. Try not to cluck ominously the next time someone thrusts a couple of carats under your nose.

Not that this will change anybody’s mind about anything.

Today points to a recent study out of Emory University. Researchers surveyed 3,000 heterosexuals, looking to test hoary old myths of the wedding industry. (For instance, that dudes should drop a couple months’ salary on a ring.) Short version: nope, total bullshit.

They found that men who dropped between two and four grand on a ring were 1.3 times likelier to divorce than gents who paid $500 to $2,000. Also, it makes bystanders itch to rob you.

They also investigated wedding price tags, and found that women with weddings that cost more than $20,000 divorced 3.5 times as often as women who paid $5,000 to $10,000. Take a bow, backyard BBQ brides: “Relatively low spending on the wedding is positively associated with duration among male and female respondents.”

Additional odds and ends you can use to make yourself feel better or worse, depending on the specifics of your marriage and also whether you think numbers gathered from a bunch of Mechanical Turk volunteers say anything about your individual destiny:

In the sample of all persons, greater differences in age and education between husband and wife and reporting that one’s partner’s looks were important in the decision to marry are both significantly associated with a higher hazard of divorce. On the other hand, relatively high household income, regularly attending religious services, having a child with one’s partner, relatively high wedding attendance, and going on a honeymoon are all significantly associated with a lower hazard of divorce.

Of course, there’s not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship, here. If you happen to marry an oil baron but your relationship is based on love, communication and commitment, it’s not like the Taylor-Burton diamond and a 500-person blowout at the New York Public Library can sour things all by itself. But it’s a great reminder that you can’t build a marriage on bling, lobster dinner and a Pnina Tornai alone. And perhaps a testament to the number of unions that splinter under the pressure of massive overspending habits.

Photo via Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock.

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