One Ring To Rule Them All: guest post by G Fresh

you know Matt Gates.  no, seriously.  you do.  he comments here all the time as G Freshsee?  told you you knew him.  he’s taking up residency here today as the next installation in my posts from single guys series.  you should follow Matt on Twitter.

enjoy.  or die.

One Ring to Rule Them All

I have a superpower.

Well, maybe not so much a superpower as it is an autonomic reflex that is common in a lot of single guys.  What is this power you may ask, but probably didn’t?

If you’re a woman that I find attractive, I have the ability to surreptitiously check your ring finger within the first 3 seconds of meeting you.

Booyah.

Yeah, I know it’s not x-ray vision, super strength or the ability to belch the Gettysburg Address on command, but it’s what I’ve got.  Go me.

You usually have no idea that I’ve done this because the last time I checked, I’m sneaky like a ninja crashing a pirate wedding.  Of course I suppose it’s theoretically possible that you *have* caught me at it, but were too polite to say anything.  If that’s the case then let me just say thanks for allowing me to hold on to my delusions of secret agent finger-ogling abilities bordering on the Bondian…James Bondian.

Why is this important?

It’s not really; more of a Fun Matt Fact that sets up the real point of this post—the Kryptonite to this power; the unadorned, but still spoken for female finger…and, you know, everything attached to said finger.

In what seems to be a newish trend, I’ve noticed a lot of engaged or married women who for various, usually innocuous reasons don’t wear their engagement and/or wedding rings out in public.  Usually this has to do with it being an uncomfortable fit, they’ve developed some sort of allergy to gold or they have the belief that a ring is the most oppressive symbol of a heavy-handed patriarchal society bent on the subjugation and abject humility of all women everywhere…or some such nonsense that completely ignores the question of:  Who gave them permission to put on shoes and get out of the kitchen in the first place?

This may sound a little chauvinistic or as I like to say, mantastic, but ladies?  For the sake of single guys everywhere; if you are permanently or soon-to-be permanently joined to someone in holy-ish matrimony, PLEASE wear your ring.

At all times.

Everywhere.

Even to family reunions if you live in certain rural areas in a certain southern state that may or may not rhyme with Hen Plucky.  It would be better for everyone that way.

There are several reasons for this.  Let’s review, shall we?

First of all, the presence or absence of a ring dictates at least in some ways how a single guy will interact with you.  This is not to say that the lack of a ring equals automatic flirtation because let’s face it, you could be an awful person that nobody likes; but on the first contact, temporarily superficial relational level we single guys, or at least this single guy tend(s) to have a different mindset when talking to those of the opposite gender depending at least somewhat on the relationship status of said person.

On more than one occasion at various social gatherings, I’ve found myself talking with a seemingly single, attractive and engaging young woman, finding out stuff about her, discovering our commonalities, cracking jokes, making her laugh like, a lot—only to have her say towards the end of the conversation something along the lines of, “Oh, you’re hilarious!  You should meet my husband/fiance!  I think you guys would get along great!”.

Really?

Okay, fair warning, here comes a BLANKET STATEMENT (of doom)!!!

Guys are generally not very good at picking up on subtle cues.

I’ll give you a moment to recover from your shock.

And we’re resuming…

Guys aren’t dumb, we just think and process things differently and perhaps on a more basic level.  That’s why we look at ring fingers; because, especially in social mingling situations, we can’t always tell just by interacting with a woman if she’s with someone; unless of course she says something like, “I have a boyfriend.” 10 seconds after you start talking to her.  Which is also kind of annoying, but that’s for another post that I think my buddy Michael Deppisch should write as he’s experienced this more than I have.  *hint* *hint*

Now, in the interaction above, had there been some visible sign that the girl was in a committed relationship, I’ll be honest with you, the conversation probably would have been about the same, but my mindset would have been different; e.g., I would have been thinking something along the lines of, “Hey, this is a cool chick.  Her husband/fiance is a lucky guy.  I wonder if she has a sister?” instead of, “Hey, this is a cool chick.  I wonder if she’d like to be the mother of my children someday?  If not, I wonder if she has a sister?”.

Do you see the difference there?

The only real disparity between a conversation I had with a single girl that I wouldn’t have had with a married girl would possibly be a slightly exaggerated interest in some things that the single girl likes that I might not ordinarily care much about.  For example, if you were single, then I might find your conflicted emotions about whom you prefer more, Edward or Jacob, fascinating and your desire to be BFFs with Bella completely understandable.

Now if you were married or affianced, then I would more than likely tell you that your poor taste in literature makes the baby Jesus cry…unless you actually do have an attractive single sister that you think I should meet…in which case I’m totally Team Edward.  He sparkles you know.

This next reason for constant ring-wearing is solely for your benefit.

Have you ever been out somewhere like a bar, concert or church picnic and noticed an overpowering miasma of sweat, Old Spice Body Wash (I’m a fan of Swagger myself) and desperation?  That’s what we like to refer to as single guy pheromone.

Sorry about that, but here’s a not-so-secret secret:  In social situations like these, we single men are drawn to ringless fingers like a moth to a—hot, single girl moth, so when you put yourself into those places without your little gold mothball, you’re just asking for a cacophony of awkward pick-up lines from guys constantly bumping into each other in their desperate attempts to be the first to hit on you.

And then of course there’s always the possibility of someone chewing a hole in your sweater, but that dude is inordinately fond of taking a bad analogy too far and you should probably tase him.

Unfortunately, even if you do wear your ring it won’t always save you from the unwanted advances of the politicians, sports stars and orange-skinned, Ed Hardy-wearing, reality TV personalities amongst our gender; whom you should also probably tase just to be on the safe side.  However, those of us who are actually somewhat decent will see that symbol of your fidelity and greatly respect your adherence to tradition, because honestly, it saves us from embarrassing ourselves and wasting our clumsy pass-making attempts on someone that’s completely unavailable.

Especially when we could be saving our best lines for the super cute Taco Bell drive-thru cashier with the exotic Persian features and amazing accent for whom we would actually eat Taco Bell just to talk to her for those 60 seconds or so it takes to order our food.

Boy, that was oddly specific …

But I digress.

Lastly, and more seriously, I know that the presence of a ring or the lack thereof is no guarantee of faithfulness either way, but why tempt fate?  I’ve heard of women who “forget” to wear their ring, not necessarily to physically cheat on their significant others, but rather to prove that they’ve “still got it” and can still get hit on at the club when they go out with their girlfriends.  If you’re not feeling appreciated by your husband or fiance, maybe you and he should talk to each other and/or get some counseling instead of taking a drive to Cougar Town just to “do a little ‘harmless’ window shopping”.  Mmmkay?

In my opinion, it really all comes down to this:

He liked it.  He put a ring on it.  You should wear it.  Oh oh oh.  Oh oh ohoh.

Questions:

Married/Engaged Women:  Do you ever not wear your ring out of the house?  If so, why or why not?

Single Women:  Have you ever worn a fake wedding or engagement ring out on the town just to avoid being hit on?  Did it work?

Guys:  According to Wikipedia, so take this with a grain of salt, while wedding rings for women have been around for quite a long time, wedding rings for men are actually a relatively recent development within the last century or so.  If male engagement rings ever came into vogue would you wear one?  Why or why not?

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49 comments on “One Ring To Rule Them All: guest post by G Fresh

  1. Kristen says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read this morning.

    As a single woman, I prefer the “taken” women to wear their rings as well…I don’t need that extra competition when I’m out on the prowl. It’s cheating…like wearing color contacts and fake eyelashes…but I digress. Additionally, women do the “ring check” on guys too…like, a lot.

    Met a guy who wore a promise ring on his left hand. It was confusing times.

    • G Fresh says:

      Thanks! Just wait awhile though. It’s still early.

      Yeah, I understand the point of the Promise Ring, but why wear it on your wedding finger? Wouldn’t that cause the one you were making the promise to to never actually approach you or to think you were some kind of creeper if you pursued them?

  2. I “ring check” every male I meet. Only I do it within the first 2.5 seconds that I meet him. 😉

    As a single woman, I will never wear a fake ring. To be honest, I am not sure other women do it to ward men off. Rather, I think women wear these to give the illusion to others that they’re desired by someone.

    Thanks for your male perspective. It’s always nice to get a little peek into a dudes mind.

    • Bethany says:

      Some might do it for attention, but in school, I knew girls who would wear fake rings when they took the bus or went shopping alone or… whatever. Lots of creepy middle-aged men who are so much easier to get rid of if you’re taken.

  3. This would avoid a lot of heartbreak for both genders: “If you’re not feeling appreciated by your husband or fiance, maybe you and he should talk to each other and/or get some counseling instead of taking a drive to Cougar Town just to “do a little ‘harmless’ window shopping”. Mmmkay?” The male equivalent, besides guys who just do exactly this, is probably the “guy who forgets his wedding ring on business trips.”

    The most important information I got out of this post is that politicians, sports stars, and orange-skinned reality stars should all be tased at first sight. Question for you, though, Matty. If, as a thoughtful guy, I decide to ensure the girl’s safety by tasing all the other guys in advance, does this improve my chances of getting a date? And if one of them turns out to have been her boyfriend, should I tase him again to get a better head start on fleeing?

  4. Bonus tip for ring-checkers. I thought I remembered this, but wanted to look it up to be sure. Not every country wears the ring on the same finger, and in some countries different groups wear it on different fingers:

    http://greekweddingsandtraditions.com/2008/01/27/your-wedding-ringleft-or-right-hand/

    So if you head to Europe, check both hands.

  5. I would certainly not wear an engagement ring, as my superpower is to break a girl’s heart within 10 seconds. Somehow it’s perceived as rude, but I tell a girl that randomly walks up to me that I am not interested in talking to her and also have a girlfriend. If she’s not offended by me telling her she was hitting on me, she oviously wasn’t and I’d be open for a conversation. If she is offended, thanks to you I know run the risk of getting tased.

  6. MrsBethyJ says:

    This has been the best part of my morning! Ok, so I’m off work today and it’s the first thing I’ve really concentrated on. I am married and always wear my ring. The only times I take it off is to apply product to the hair that I’m styling (hairstylist). At that moment that they come off, I have to admit I feel a tinge of self inflicted guilt. No idea why. I love wearing my rings and am proud to show them off. Now, if I am out with girls, sometimes I get hit on and find a way to gently work my husband into the convo. I am a people person and love to talk so I can come of as flirtatious, so I know I can be a little misleading by being interested in what they have to say. However, because I’m married and have a lot of sigle girl friends, I make a darn good wingwoman, and put my skills to use. I, too, can scan a ring finger in 2.5 seconds. Married, but still helpin my brothers and sisters make a love connection. Boom.

  7. Mandy Rausch says:

    “…. instead of taking a drive to Cougar Town just to “do a little ‘harmless’ window shopping”. ”

    ^^DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

    Just kidding. But seriously. Awesome post.

    I wear my rings proudly, but sometimes I find myself in social situations without them. Because I’m an actress, and I don’t like to leave my rings in a dressing room or in my purse while I”m onstage, I’ll just leave them at home. It’s not always convenient to go home and get them when the whole cast & crew wants to go out for dinner and/or drinks after a show, and I’m not allowed to wear them at some rehearsals (because I could scratch people) . So I have definitely found myself in public without them, but it’s never to intentionally make a statement or prove I’ve still “got it.” I know I got it!! AND THEN SOME.

    AHEM.

  8. Matt, you are so funny. Seriously. This post just cracked me up as I was reading it. I, too, do a ring check on occasion but maybe not as quickly as 3 seconds…

    As I am a single woman, I will answer that question. I wore my promise ring that my mom and dad gave me on my ring finger until somewhere in my early 20’s. I realized then that this might actually be putting a damper on my chances to meet someone.

    However, I have definitely worn a ring on that finger to give the illusion that I’m unavailable in the past several years as well. It sort of depends on where I’m going or what the setting is. I’m not gonna lie… there have been way too many weird guys that have hit on me than normal ones, so I find it a bit safer in certain settings.

    If you were to find me at work or church or hanging out in a group of friends, you would find the ring on my right hand. But if I’m at a bachelorette party or out on a ladies night, I will wear the ring on my left hand. Perhaps I feel safer in the former settings than the latter. But that’s just me 🙂

  9. Bekah Hope says:

    First of all, I think G Fresh should earn some sort of award for submitting what I *think* may be the longest post I’ve ever read on this site. (No complaints here! I’m a fan of long-windedness!)

    As a teenager I wore a purity ring on my left ring finger. It drew a lot of attention and a lot of “Are you engaged/married?” questions. Come on people. I know I’m from Louisiana, but I was in the 10th grade. Really? Great conversation starter though. I once got hit on because of my purity ring. A guy recognized it for what it was (that rarely happened) and asked me out. Which was kind of awesome. But I took it off several years ago for various reasons and my finger has remained naked ever since.

    My best friend had to wear a fake engagement ring for months while she learned Spanish in Guatemala. But the guys were still incredibly persistent! She hated going out, even with the ring on. They weren’t the slightest bit apologetic for hitting on someone who was supposedly “taken”. I guess they really wanted that green card…

  10. Annie says:

    matt… it has been forever since i’ve read anything bloggish by you. this is so fantastic! if you have a blog out there somewhere let me know so i can subscribe! to answer your question, i wear my douche shield at all times! 🙂

  11. My fiance will wear an engagement ring and he will love it! It’s been my plan for awhile. (Maybe that’s why I’m single.)

    • G Fresh says:

      I’m totally planning on getting a mangagement ring* if/when the time comes. How far away is Portland again? 😉

      *I just made that up just this second because I am that awesome.

  12. Chris says:

    As a fun fact, I think there are some Amish groups where the man’s beard is actually the sign of wedded bliss. Which is cool in a way… it’s a lot harder to grow your beard back than it is to slip your wedding ring back on. 🙂

    As for married women not wearing wedding rings, remember Abimelech (Gen 20). 🙂

  13. I wear my wedding ring 100% of the time.

    No exceptions for yard work, dishes, etc. Those excuses are lame.

    I did not wear an engagement ring, and I would have thought it excessive to do so. I would have considered wearing my wedding band early, but I wouldn’t have bought two rings. Seems weird.

    Great post, Frodo!

  14. Bethany says:

    My dad didn’t have money for an engagement ring, so my mom never had one. Honestly, I would prefer just to have a wedding band and call it a day. Wearing a diamond for the rest of my life just feels so frivolous. When are you allowed to stop wearing that thing?

    As for conversations, what about us girls? We have no way of knowing if a guy is engaged or not. True, we’re generally not making the moves, but we could be flirting with another guy if we knew you were taken.

  15. Matt, I really enjoyed your humor and the visual of a “dude moth” eating a hole in some “hot chick moth”‘s sweather. Haha. You should write screenplays, actually- I think I would definitely go see one of your movies.
    I totally agree in that if an engagement ring has been bought, and the two are madly in love…. which should be the case if you’re engaged (duh), the girl….and maybe even the guy (if mantastic engagement rings ever come into fashion/popular acceptance) should be happy and proud to show off their committment. Of course, irritations, the wrong size, losing the ring (yikes) all come into play and reasonably so, & in that case, should be excused from the picture.
    My question is what about all of us *single* girls that may not be engaged yet, however still are committed to a serious relationship in which case, we are NOT looking but have nothing to show upon a 3-minute-search-and/or-destroy-mission to find out if we indeed are single or not? That is the real question here, I think. Is there a good way to have friendly and fun conversations with the opposite sex without coming across that we are interested, and preferrably without awkwardly sputtering out that ever-uncomfortable phrase “I have a boyfriend”? I hate this probably as much as you do, Matt [and all other males out there] mostly because it sounds so juvenile and fearful of any male attention. Anytime I’ve ever needed to say this, and there have been a few, it always made me feel as though my boyfriend had me on lock-down and I wasn’t allowed to mingle with anyone that didn’t have a vagina and lovely lady lumps. 😉 I enjoy conversing with my fellow male friends and even meeting new ones, but I’m also in a serious relationship with a wonderful man and don’t want to come across as a flirt or lead someone on. Is there a good way to avoid a bad situation?
    I typically like to slide a few “we”‘s in there, or casually include my boyfriend’s name in a sentence about something. Although, that also makes me cringe sometimes as it makes me feel like all that exists in my life is my boyfriend, and although he may be great, constantly interjecting his name only makes me feel too dependant… (I, too digress)

    Is there a good way to put it out there to a guy right off the bat (given that the guy is NOT a slimeball, incapable of common decency) that we might not be available without the weird tension? This may remain unanswerable, but it’s worth a shot.

    Matt, to answer the question of if I wear a ring on my ring finger without a marriage certificate…. I will say that I actually have one on today, and not because I want to pretend that I hear wedding bells, but because I like wearing a ring on that finger sometimes. I have, in the past, worn a ring on that finger when I’ve gone out and it was just to avoid any unwanted attention. I can’t honestly remember if it worked or not. Regardless, if some guy wants to hit on some chick with a ring on her finger, he should a.)ask if it’s an engagement ring or wedding ring, b.)take a hike if it is and if he has ill intent, and finally, c.) (and deserves to) get what’s coming to him if he persists.
    I know that I’ve opened up a whole new can of worms by bringing up the senario of the single girl/ring-on-the-ring-finger point, but honesty wins and the question of “hey, so are you married” should probably come up within the first 10 minutes of conversation if your intention is pursuing an eventual family with this girl. 😉

    Aren’t you glad you asked? heh.

    • Frodo says:

      My solution? Facebook relationship status shirts for everyone. I wouldnt recommend wearing the “It’s complicated” one out though if you do happen to be with your semi-significant other.

      Seriously though, there’s no way to avoid these situations 100% of the time regardless of whether your not married, but serious with someone or actually are engaged/married.

      I know for me personally, I sometimes get the wrong ideas from girls who are maybe a little overly friendly, touching the arm, not breaking eye contact ever, that sort of thing which that’s just how they are with everyone, but every guy is different as is every girl.

      I think you’ve just gotta use your best discernment and roll with the punches.

      This post was more for those girls that are by law or almost by law no longer in the dating pool. 🙂 That helps us guys shorten the odds a little bit and makes it less likely that we’ll hit on someone unavailable.

      There will always be unmarried, but still taken mines like you out there though. 😉

      I’m just trying to lessen the risk of stepping on one.

    • G Fresh says:

      P.S. I can’t believe I totally forgot to change my username back before I left that last comment. 😀

    • In a time before my own time, my parents’ era perhaps, this was what letter jackets were for. The guy would give the girl his jacket and she’d wear it as a sign she was taken. But I can’t say I’ve heard of a modern equivalent. I’ve known a few girls who wore their boyfriend’s class ring on a neck chain, I suppose.

  16. Kristi says:

    Great post! I wear my wedding/engagement rings all.the.time.period. I am proud of the hubbs & looooove my rings…they’re so sparkly! And what girl doesn’t want to sparkle? I, too, don’t understand anyone not wanting to wear them.

    p.s. Sharideth, this is my first comment, but I read your blog all the time. I love it! Keep up the great work!

  17. susan says:

    mantastic….love it…

    but on the topic of rings…i used to wear one to replace my wedding ring (had just got used to having one on…). Never got asked out. A single male friend advised me to ditch it was, to use his expression ”manspray”…I took heed and seriously couldn’t beleive that 25 ounces of silver were all that stood between me and a great date. thanks!

  18. Regan says:

    I have a bad habit of NOT checking for rings, and thinking a guy is really interested in me for a while… until I think to check his hand. Then I will feel terrible because I was taking his attention all wrong or decide that he is a real creep. 🙂

  19. reneamac says:

    Truth be told, a lot of couples might get a better fiscal start to their nuptials if they were minus one gigantic, pre-wedding rock. Saving up for it is one thing; taking out a loan… I have concerns about that. Personally, that’s not how I want to start my marriage. But even more personally, I just don’t wear a lot of jewelry, especially jewelry with stones. Not my style. Wedding bands, however, I think are important for many of the reasons you mentioned. I know a few couples who do a lot of rock climbing. They have tattoo wedding bands. Might be harder to ring-check that, but I can still dig it.

  20. […] are some seriously good reads on the list this week, but if you only read one, read One Ring to Rule Them All. Seriously funny […]

  21. […] writing a wildly popular guest post for my friend Sharideth last week, I kind of got the bug (and several people asked, nay; begged me) to put my random and […]

  22. hey-o silver, away says:

    I admit. as a single girl, i do wear a ring on that finger. it’s silver, and has no stone. but i still get asked if it’s an engagement/ wedding ring. i guess it may have deflected a few awkward situations. But it doesn’t work on the desperate ones, the ones I’d really like to lose. so. it works, but not where i need it most.

  23. Alyssa says:

    I was at a concert once during which a drunk lady interrogated me and my best guy friend about our relationship status. He had a ring on his left, middle finger and I had one on my right, ring finger which to her meant we were married.

    Also, I am totally guilty of the ring check.

  24. Rachel Felts says:

    I have to say, Matt, I am so glad I stumbled onto your post a few minutes ago. I was feeling rather crushed with old heartbreaking memories and felt like I needed to clear my head, so I clicked through a Linky Love post and I must say that your blog brought the laughter back, so thank you!

    I’m a single girl, yes, single again…geesh! why are you pouring salt in an old wound?… and in answer to your query: I have at times in the past worn a fake ring to avoid being hit on (though this now feels dishonest to me, and so I steer clear and try to go with the straightforward, albeit gently given, truth). As awkward as it is for a guy to get the “I have a boyfriend” speech in the first 10 seconds–and believe me, I know you guys have the much harder, riskier deal in this–it also stinks having to feel like you are rejecting other people when you just don’t want to be hit on by every other guy in the room; and if you do actually have a boyfriend, sometimes we just don’t know of a more graceful way to let you know that we are committed elsewhere. It’s no fun for either person in those circumstances. We hate saying it as much as you dislike being on the receiving end of said verbiage. So do you have any more graceful suggestions for us women novices? And on that note: wouldn’t it be nice for everyone if there were a ring to denote that you are dating but not engaged?

    That being said, while you guys have the tough job of having to muster up the courage to ask us out, we have the arguably more frustrating job of having to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. So though we might complain about how terrible it is to be hit on, unless you are a complete sleaze, and if you do it in a respectful way, you finding us interesting makes us feel good. And we desperately want to be pursued! And not just till you start dating us or put a ring on our finger or walk us down the aisle. We don’t need fireworks and megadates, we just want to KNOW that you want to spend time with us, that you desire us and want to be with us even when you can’t. Pursue, pursue, pursue (unless she’s said no several times, because at some point it branches away from pursuit and becomes stalking). If there’s anything that I wish more guys knew, it’d be that.

    • G Fresh says:

      Wow! Thanks for the comment, Rachel. As this post is a couple weeks old at this point, I just saw this so I apologize for the lateness of my reply.

      Check out what I had to say to belovedandblog up above who had a somewhat similar question. Unfortunately, there’s not always much room to be graceful, but if you use a little discernment and diplomacy I think most of these situations can be avoided with minimal discomfort.

      Also, I just started a blog of my own last week over at http://lifeinhashtags.wordpress.com if you want to check it out and join the discussions. 🙂

  25. ThatGuyKC says:

    Awesome post! I couldn’t agree more.

    Reminds me of a post I wrote not too long ago on this very topic AND @loswhit.
    http://www.somewiseguy.com/2011/08/3-reasons-i-wear-a-wedding-ring-and-sort-of-disagree-with-loswhit/

  26. […] One Ring to Rule Them All | A Woman’s Guide to Women: A Blog for Men […]

  27. Sarah says:

    Ok, I know this is an older post but I just discovered it…
    I LOVE this post! So funny and, yet, so many truths in what you say. I am single myself but one of my close girlfriends always chooses to go out without her wedding ring and it drives me nuts! Seriously?! Must she feel the need to compete with her desperate single friend every time to go out? Of course, on a more serious note, I think it’s an indicator of some turmoil in her marriage. I’ve tried to talk to her about all of this but she chooses to go ring-less, have her fun, and mess with some guy’s heads (because she is very attractive and always gets hit on).
    As for me, I’ve never worn a ring to fend off the guys. But you better believe that when I get engaged or married, I’ll be wearing that thing ALL the time!!!
    Random side note, but you have a great “writing voice” and I’m looking forward to scoping out your own blog later!

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