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On my way to work this morning, my ears were assaulted by a conversation between two men having a conversation about married men, women and wedding rings. The betrothed one was sort of bragging about a “smokin’ hot” co-worker who had asked him out on a date. He said he was flattered and would totally go out with her except for one thing – his response, “Sorry, I’m married.” His friend looked at him like he had just given away a winning Mega Millions ticket. The married guy continued, “She was like ‘oh, I’m sorry, you aren’t wearing a wedding ring.’ Why is that always the first thing these women notice!?” His friend had no answer, still baffled by the idea that his friend had turned down a gorgeous woman’s advances because he was married.

I, for one, thought it was refreshing. It’s not every day that you hear about a man who purposely doesn’t wear his wedding ring turning down an invitation for a date from a hot woman. You pretty much ASSUME that if a man isn’t wearing his wedding band, then that’s exactly the type of attention he’s looking for. When I was single, I found myself in situations where I was casually dating a married man for a couple of weeks or even months and didn’t know it because he wasn’t wearing a ring. Then he’d drop the bomb that he was married or “separate”…or I’d get a call from his wife – whichever happened first. After that I wised up and started asking upfront, because a ringless man didn’t always mean he wasn’t already taken. And even then, some would lie about their marital status, but at LEAST I can say I asked first…before I kicked his ass to the curb.

While making my way to work this morning it got me to thinking about my own husband. He doesn’t wear his ring every day because his fingers swell and on any given day it doesn’t fit him anymore. I don’t give it much thought, mainly because I don’t have time to wonder if he has ulterior motives or not. But also because he said he actually got MORE attention from women when he wore it than when he was single. Go figure. In the day of the “THOT,” being married and wearing a ring means nothing to certain women.

But in my mind, I’d like to think that to the MAJORITY of women, it DOES matter – so when the married dude on the street asked why it’s the first thing women notice, it’s because they don’t want their time wasted by some lame dude looking to cheat on his wife. That could be the idealistic me talking, but what woman wants to unknowingly date a married guy, catch feelings, and possible even sleep with him, only to get a call from his wife asking you why you’re screwing her husband? It can be devastating, and leave you and his wife plotting his untimely death.

I get that not all men who go ringless are out to cheat. Some men say they’re not “jewelry people.” Some say they don’t want to lose it at work or the gym. A little suspect, but okay. And other married men say they don’t want to be defined by it, as if being a “husband” is some sort of Scarlet Letter they have to wear on their chest, or a ball and chain that they have to drag around. They can rationalize it a million different ways that have nothing to do with cheating, and so long as their wives are okay with it, then who am I to judge. I just hope that the ringless men of the world are as honest as the married guy on the street today.

That being said, I wonder how many married men would have a problem with their wives not sporting the engagement ring and wedding bands that cost them three month’s salary. Would they assume it’s because she’s “not a jewelry person” or that she doesn’t want it to fly off in Zumba class? I wonder just how understanding they’d be knowing that she gets hit on daily by men who assume she’s single because her left ring finger is bare. My guess is not too many men have to worry about that since they were probably strong armed into buying the most expensive engagement ring they could afford for their women to show off to the world as a symbol of his love and commitment. Maybe if men put as much materialistic importance on the ring as some women do, they’d be more apt to wear it. Otherwise, it has nothing to do with the ring at all – because if someone, man or woman, is going to step out of their marriage (or into someone else’s), it doesn’t matter if someone is wearing a ring or not.

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