Tuesday, July 28, 2009

With this ring, I thee wed

A symbol of etermal love, trust, acceptance, and matrimony. The wedding band is afixed upon our left "ring" finger (although, in Greek culture it is placed on the right ring finger) as an outward symbol of the commitment we have made to someone. Note, an OUTWARD symbol. It's like an alarm bell to onlookers.

I was walking through Wal Mart the other day and nearly crashed into a moderate looking guy as he was coming through the bike section. My immediate reaction was to look down at his left hand. I did it, noticed that there was no ring, gave a small smile and excused myself. What is this trashy action that I am now doing?
It was so obvious to me as soon as I'd done it. I've reached an age where being married is expected and single persons must mind their boundaries when searching for partners. I hadn't realized that this had happened! I had, however, realized that I started accepting bald(ing) men as attractive. After this realization, I wondered what did that ring really mean anymore.

I found myself thinking, "what if this guy IS married and he and his wife have chosen not to wear rings" or "what if he isn't married but is in a committed relationship?". Normal things to ponder, considering the state of marriage in America. Statistics are bad; religious views affect perceptions about it; legal institutions affect our need for it. I want to know how people REALLY feel about marriage.
I have several friends who are married and they all fall under different religious views. Until recently, I had not really examined what marriage meant in the strict Christian world (despite the fact that I was raised Catholic). But, what is the ultimate drive for wanting to get married? Is that outward expression really a symbol of an inward feeling?

Either way, I will continue to refrain from hitting on men with wedding bands on.


  1. I do the same thing. The ring is a symbol to me that your heart (and your life) is shared with someone else, and it can no longer be shared that way with anyone else. I dont flirt with married men; it's a disrespectful slap in the face to his partner, even if they are not there. The way I see it, if you've been with someone for 5 years and you can't get him/her to show the world that you share your lives together, s/he is not that commited to you and they continue to be fair game for the rest of society.

    I understand that in some societies the wearing of a ring is not followed, but this is America we're living in. It is the standard for that outward expression. If you want other men/women to know that s/he is "yours", get him to commit to wear a ring of some sort. You don't have to go through a wedding; that is a religious institution that has governmental tendrils wrapped around and through it. You don't have file it with the government either (thought I can see with the tax benefits why gays want that right even though most religious are tooth and clawing to not allow it). However, if you want the rest of the American populace that understands that symbol to know you or your partner is off limits, do it!

  2. Indeed, most people see and respect the meaning of a wedding band. But it is thought provoking to think of how these ideas change over time. More and more couples wear no jewelry at all, or marriage itself has taken on new definitions. People get married for some many different reasons but we still seek that one simbol, the wedding ring, as a gate around the sacred.
    I also find it sexy when I see a young guy with a wedding band. Commitment is a turn on :)

  3. Haha...of course I'm just reading this because after my statement that I was recommitting to blogging, I have failed miserably. Oh well.

    On to the topic of two weeks ago ... . I find this interesting, because a co-worker and I have recently found ourselves around men in the professional context who are (for the first time in three years) attractive, personable men within the appropriate age range for consideration. The first thing I always do is look for the ring.

    While I realize that the lack of one does not necessarily indicate that they are unmarried, for me, if there is one, I stop myself before even entertaining the possibility of thinking of them in any way other than a professional way. I think it stems from my desire to avoid anything as complicated or as morally questionable as getting involved with a married man. Of course the other thing we have run into, is a number of men who are married, who flirt. And this is a wholly separate phenom that I don't get.

  4. BB, men need attention and validation. Some want to follow through, some don't. It's not fair that when they do, the "other woman" is to blame and not the man. But I still think that taking notice of the ring is a sign of our 'maturity'. :)