The Ring Doesn't Mean a Thing

Dear Dategirl,

My husband-to-be doesn't want to wear a wedding ring. He has never been a "jewelry" person, but I feel like he should make an exception for his wedding ring, don't you? My mother and most of my friends are up in arms over this, so I feel very stupid. We've been together for four years and have a 6-month-old son. He's not flirtatious with other women—in fact, he's kind of clueless even when he's being flirted with. (I notice!) Besides disliking jewelry, he works with his hands and says a ring would be dangerous at his job anyway. We're a month out from our wedding, and I really want to resolve this. How can I convince him?.

—Ring of Truth?

Eh. Honestly? No, I don't think he needs to make an exception. What I think is that you need to tell your yenta mother and your busybody friends to back off, because it sounds like they're planting seeds of doubt where none existed. You have a baby with this dude! You're getting married in a couple of weeks! Aren't these two things commitment enough? He's never given you reason to think he's a cheater; besides, if someone's hell-bent on straying, it's not as if a piece of jewelry is going to stop him. It's a ring, not a Super-powered Penile Chastity Defender™.

I suspect this is bugging you not because you mistrust your man, but because you've been swept up in bridal dementia. What is it about weddings that makes otherwise sane people (OK, mostly women) mental? Ugh. I've seen so many formerly sensible friends start obsessing about stupid crap like place settings and boutonnieres. It's forks and flowers, people, not a cure for cancer.

A simple test to find out if you're a Nuptials Nut: Go visit If you think spending more than $10K on a gown seems like a wise purchase and totally understand asking your besties to lose weight so they won't fug up the wedding pictures, it's probably time for an intervention. If you're just an otherwise normal person who's being driven to paranoia by meddlesome loved ones, take a step back and breathe. The dude loves you, right? Would you listen to what your mother said about the shoes he wears? Or what your BFF says about his haircut? Probably not. So why this?

The first wedding bands were a lot less glam than the ones you see at the mall, anyway. They were probably made of hemp, which means they only lasted a year or two. They weren't so much symbols of romantic love as property markers, because until fairly recently (20th-century-ish), men didn't even wear them.

The possibility that he could hurt himself wearing a ring at work should make you a lot more understanding about it. I mean, how would you feel if he lost a finger because you insisted he wear some hackneyed symbol of his love? And you'd probably get angry if it fell down the drain while he had to keep taking it off and putting it back on every time he went to work, right? So what's the point?

My suggestion is that you and he compromise. Buy a cheapish wedding band for the ceremony and other occasions, like your anniversary dinner or Thanksgiving with your buttinsky family. The rest of the time forget about it—except to count your lucky stars that this is his worst "fault."

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