There’s something missing from her latest Facebook post. Is there a tactful way to ask about it?
Our elder helps a letter writer with a very modern etiquette question.

 

Hi, and thank you for all you do! So I’m geographically separated from a friend of mine (I moved away a year ago), and before I moved she had just gotten engaged, showed me her ring, all that good stuff. Today, I saw a video of her via Facebook and she wasn’t wearing her ring! She hasn’t told me anything recently that would indicate a change. Is there a way I can tactfully ask her what the deal is without upsetting her, or should I just leave it be?

Willow replies

It’s kind of you to be concerned about your friend.  Perhaps there is an innocent explanation why she wasn’t wearing her ring in the video you saw.  Was she involved in an athletic event, or something particularly messy or dangerous that day which could have caused damage to the ring?  If so, she might have just taken it off to protect it from harm.  Consider the context of the video.  There are other reasons she might not have been wearing it.  Maybe it was being resized, reset or cleaned.

In my opinion, asking her specifically about the ring based on a video would be a mistake.  It could be upsetting or seem intrusive.  Unless you are very close, those details are not anything you need to know.  If you maintain this long-distance friendship, you will eventually find out about the status of the engagement when your friend is ready, and that should be enough.

However, she did let you know before you moved that she was engaged.  If you are in fairly regular contact, it would not be out of line to follow up on that and ask if she has set a wedding date, or how the wedding preparations are going.  That is an appropriate inquiry for a friend to make, and her answer will tell you whether or not the engagement is still on.

Best Regards,

Elder Willow

Reference: #401524

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