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Wedding rings - when did they go out of fashion?

Once upon time when you spotted a stranger that you were attracted to, one of the first things that most people would do is check for a wedding band. What’s the point in even approaching, or trying to get this person’s attention if they are unavailable – The End.

Unfortunately, today it’s not always a reliable indication to denote someone’s marital status. Ok, so I don't have any official government statistics and I'm not even sure that they exist, but I’ll be sure to put in a request to add them to the next census that’s carried out. Perhaps there may well be a correlation with the number of extramarital affairs, which according to Peggy Vaughn (author of the “The Monogamy Myth”) is conservatively estimated at around 60% of both married men and women!

So what brings me to this conclusion? Of late, I can’t believe the number of people (yes males, as well as females!) that I have come across in bars and at parties who are married and ring-less. Call me an ‘ole romantic’ but to me, a wedding ring symbolises unity between two people in love forever after. So why are these married people being selective about when to wear their rings? Surely if it is to delude people into thinking that they are single and available, then perhaps the ring should be pawned and the money invested in a good marriage counsellor, or a shrewd divorce lawyer. The only way to find out why was simple; I just asked.

The reasons in no particular order from men ranged from “I have been married for years” (ok, so what difference does that make?) to “I forgot to put the ring back on this morning after my shower” (semi-plausible although he didn’t forget to put his watch on, which incidentally was on his left hand) and “I’m not the jewellery wearing type” (hmm, you’re not being asked to give Mr T from the A-Team a run for his money).

But the most common response was “Sometimes when I go on a lad’s night out I just take my wedding ring off. It’s not because I have any intention of cheating on my wife but it’s for an ego boost. It’s great to know that you still have it when it comes to attracting the ladies, after all it’s just harmless fun”. Not sure if his wife would see it like that and what about the poor girl who spends the night excitingly gazing into his eyes, thinking could he be the one, before he makes a sharp exit without saying goodbye or asking for her number? Though, in this case, it may not be such a bad thing.

Were the women’s justifications any more colourful? “This is my first girl’s night out in ages since I got married and I just wanted this night to be about being with the girls”. Confused? I was too! If that’s the case, surely having her wedding ring on would deter unwanted male attention, keeping the focus on the girls.

“I’m out with my single friend and if a guy spots my wedding ring, it may stop him coming up to us and I would not want to spoil her chances”. Guys, correct me if I am wrong, if you spotted a girl in a bar who you were interested in, she had no wedding band on but her friend did, would that really stop you from approaching her? “I forgot to put them back on once I finished washing-up” said the lady with great costume jewellery on. Probably the most feasible female response “I’ve just had a baby and my fingers are swollen so my wedding band doesn't fit”.

Ironically enough, the most common response from the women that I spoke to, was exactly the same response cited by men. To see if they still could attract male attention, although with no intent on following through...

It’s left me all a bit dazed. On the one-hand there are millions of single people out there trying to get a ring on their finger and those who already have one, want ‘nights off’ just to test the waters on the other side. Arguably, it may all be in the name of ‘harmless fun’ but I’m not sure if their partner and all the single gals & guys who they bump into on their night out of ‘ego boosting’ would agree?

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