Whether you’ve seen it in person or in pictures, many of you have noticed that I’ve been wearing a silver band on my left ring finger for a few months now.
Some of you have even inquired about it — be it through genuine curiosity or to give me a hard time — and I figured that putting this out there will (hopefully) get people to stop asking about it.
No, it’s not a wedding ring.
I’m aware it looks like one, but I assure you it’s not. We did not elope, and we do not plan to. We have a wedding date set, and we fully intend on tying the knot when that special day comes.
And no, it’s not an engagement ring.
I’m not pulling a Cory Matthews. I’ve actually been wearing it before we got engaged, and my fiancee has a matching one. They are both silver bands with our anniversary date engraved on them.
So it begs the question: Why on earth would you wear a ring that looks like a wedding band on the finger that is typically reserved for… wedding bands?
Towards the end of a day trip to Six Flags over the summer, my fiancee (who was my girlfriend at the time) and I walked by a booth that sold various rings and offered engraving. I told her about the time I saw a similar booth while on vacation years ago with family and thought about buying one for a social experiment.
(I was single at the time, and the experiment was that I would wear the ring on my left ring finger and go about daily life to see if I was treated any differently by strangers — mainly girls. If I was flirting with someone, would they ask about it? Does the “married man” mystique exist and, in fact, make you more desirable to women? I did not end up buying the ring back then, but I always thought it would still be an interesting experiment.)
After telling her that story, she asked, “Do you want to get one?” Initially, my answer was no, but then I spent some more thought on it.
I knew I planned on proposing within the next month, but I also knew she had a feeling it was coming soon. One thought was that getting these rings would hopefully throw off her suspicions, and the other was more realistic.
I’ve always believed that I would never wear a wedding ring if I ever got married. I’ve never worn rings; I’ve never really liked the feeling of rings; my fingers are boney and rings typically do not fit well on me; and I know that I would be prone to taking it off regularly when washing my hands, eating, showering, etc., so I never wanted to risk losing it.
I figured that there could be no harm in trying to get used to the feel of a ring on that finger over the next two years or so, since we knew when we wanted to get married. If I hated it, I would stick with my original plan and get a tattoo after the wedding and then wear the ring on special occasions.
If anyone really asked about it, I would just say it’s a promise ring because, in essence, that’s what it is.
I wear it as a promise to be faithful. I wear it as a reminder that I have the love and support of wonderful woman. I wear it so that if there is any woman out there who fancies me, they know I am a taken man.
Commitment does not begin at the altar
To me, a wedding ring is nothing more than a symbol of your commitment to one another; and I do not believe that your commitment to one another starts at the altar.
Commitment starts when you agree to date each other exclusively. It only continues if and when you agree to marry each other. It only continues if and when you actually do marry each other. And it only continues as you grow old with one another.
So, in essence, a wedding ring is really just a promise ring when you think about it.
People have had an array of reactions to seeing the ring and hearing the reasons why I wear it. Some think it’s sweet, some scoff and judge, and some are indifferent about it. I cannot control how people feel, and it’s honestly not worth fighting about.
If you have negative opinions about it, I kindly ask that you keep them to yourself. It’s your prerogative to disagree with my wearing of a ring before marriage, but I do not need to allow any uninvited negativity into my life.
I just wanted to set the record straight that it is not a wedding band and it is not an engagement ring. It’s just a ring… I promise.