Guys Who Don’t Wear Wedding Rings Are ‘Slime’? Yeah, Right

Like many non-Brits, I’ve (unfortunately) been a wee bit invested in the Prince William and Kate Middleton saga. And couldn’t help but notice that a few weeks ago, a palace official announced that only one wedding ring was going to be made—Kate’s.

Although I doubt that Prince William’s choice is so that he’s trying to bag himself a mistress, many people assume that men who don’t wear their wedding rings choose to do so for unsavory reasons. In a blog post in Chicago Now, writer Jenny Milk calls men who don’t wear their wedding ring “slime”:

Now, we all know who Prince William is because he’s in the public eye—so I think it would be hard for him to pull the wool over another chick’s eyes by saying he’s single, but for the rest of us common folk … WEAR YOUR RING, MAN.

In a New York magazine article called “The Naked Finger,” Amy Sohn writes of a friend who’s unknowingly had multiple affairs with married men. “All those women out there whose husbands aren’t wearing rings should be worried. It’s never an innocent choice,” said her friend.

Milk reiterates this sentiment: “Now, I’m not saying he’s being a shadester, but unless that ring is cutting off the circulation to his finger, there’s no reason not to be wearing it.”

My mom and dad have been happily married for 25+ years. And neither one wears a wedding ring.

My father believes himself to be a “man’s man” and doesn’t wear jewelry. Ever. He’s even given up wearing a watch. My mother doesn’t wear her ring because it gets in the way while she works. My friend can’t wear a ring because he’s allergic to various metals. And I’ve noticed many people don’t wear their rings at the gym. And none of these people, especially my dad, is looking around. One thing a ring—not to mention its diamond size or carat weight—doesn’t signify is love in a marriage.

Sohn says these non-ring-wearing men are confusing the hell out of single women:

They find [men who don’t wear their rings] infuriating—precisely because they sell a false bill. I have a girlfriend who often gets in conversations with men at parties, only to have them tell her half an hour later that they’re married. She hates being misled when she could have spent her time talking to someone single.

As a non-single lady who’s been bamboozled by a guy who kept his Facebook relationship status blank, all I have to say is, tough luck. So you spent half an hour talking to a nice guy. You could have done worse things in those 30 minutes—like buying a Will and Kate refrigerator.

—Photo Lel4nd

About Zaneta Jung

Zaneta Jung is a self-proclaimed nerd who is fresh out of college and learning to navigate post-grad life (i.e. how to buy meat). Also she wants to ride an elephant one day.


  1. MeisterBall says:

    The women that want to define me by a piece of jewelry that I might or might not wear are the very ones I enjoy p****** off.

  2. What a person wears is 100% their choice, choice being the operative word. If he doesn’t want to wear a ring or doesn’t like rings that’s completely his choice and his wife and anyone else should respect that choice.

  3. This is so silly. Lots of people are in longterm, committed relationships but not married. Lots of people are married but not wearing rings for whatever reason. If you want to know if someone is unattached, there’s a really simple trick – ask.

    And remember – many of us (attached or not) go out for all kinds of reasons other than finding a partner. Even if the person you’ve been chatting up is not attached, he or she may have no interest in starting a relationship at this time. If you’re going to demand that people wear coded signals to make your mating search easier, why not demand that people who are looking for a partner wear a symbol, with appropriate colour coding so you know what they’re looking for?

    Or, you know, maybe just enjoy talking to people no matter their relationship status?

  4. I don’t think that the ring has anything to do with it. Whether or not a man, or even a woman, is wearing a wedding ring, it will not stop the idea to cheat on their partners. If the man or woman was not interested in cheating, they would, as Hannah says, mention their partners as often as possible, or at least tell the person they’re talking to that, “Hey, just to clear things up, I am married, so don’t get any ideas”.
    This can be applied to the other half of the cheating relationship too: certainly before you take a relationship further than coffee and drinks, you would ask the person if they’re attached? The fact that you haven’t asked them first might imply to them that you’re only really interested in one thing. IMO

  5. Anonymous says:

    Of course, some other wrinkles to make it more complicated:

    1. Don’t assume a man without a ring is unattached. Maybe it’s a valid conclusion that he is probably unmarried, I’ll give you that, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a girlfriend or is not in a committed relationship or is not gay. (Yes, of course gay men wear wedding bands as well.) I don’t know all the details of the bad experiences with ringless men, but I hope most single women realize that there are more than two possibilities – either he’s married or he’s fair game. He could be neither!

    2. Bear in mind that besides the fact there could be a perfectly legitimate reason for a married man not to wear a ring, there are cultures where the wedding ring is often worn on the right hand instead of the left hand. (Many people in Europe wear them on the right hand, from what I’ve heard.) Check both hands!

  6. oldfeminist says:

    A woman being upset because the man she chatted up at a party isn’t single? It depends on how he was acting.

    If he’s just being sociable and enjoying her company, sounds like her expectations are out of whack. But if he’s making moves on her and failing to mention he’s married and in what his wife thinks is a monogamous relationship, he sounds like slime with premeditation.

    By the way, someone who makes a decision about ever wearing a ring based on the rare possibility of dropping a ring into a patient, rather than making a decision about taking off the ring when operating, has a subtext he’s not acknowledging.

    • “By the way, someone who makes a decision about ever wearing a ring based on the rare possibility of dropping a ring into a patient, rather than making a decision about taking off the ring when operating, has a subtext he’s not acknowledging.”

      Bullshit assertation without a shred of proof behind it.

      • A person who refuses to wear a ring ever under any circumstances and then claims it’s work related is highly suspect. No one is on the job 24/7 and as the previous poster stated, anyone citing a freak accident as a reason for avoiding wearing a ring symbolizing your lifelong commitment to someone is, again, highly suspect.

  7. wellokaythen says:

    Is this complaint really much different from an egotistical male demand that women shouldn’t wear attractive clothing if they’re not looking for sex? I mean, if you’re not after my attention or aren’t available to me, dress in a way that is unttractive to me. Isn’t that the same basic argument?

  8. Anonymous Male says:

    Sorry, we don’t accessorize just to make life easier for you. My finger belongs to me. It’s my body. Your expectations and assumptions are your responsibility. Feeling misled doesn’t mean that I was out to deceive you. Effect does not prove motive. It’s possible we don’t wear rings for reasons that have nothing to do with you or your pursuit of single men.

    Imagine if I wrote to a women’s issues blog and said, “I can’t believe I wasted my time talking to a woman who wasn’t going to have sex with me after all. Man, what a tease!”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes, maybe some married men who don’t wear rings, maybe even most married men who don’t wear wedding rings are out to give the wrong impression to women. Who knows what the percentage is, but it’s not ALL of them. Besides, why is this defined only as men misleading women? You could just as easily say this is a problem with women jumping to the wrong conclusions, making snap judgments about a man because of his jewelry. I think a valid piece of wisdom would be: don’t overgeneralize about an entire gender, even about something that seems like a common custom.

    The complaint about the 30-minute conversation partner seems to suggest that having a good conversation with a married man is just a waste of time that could be better spent finding a single man. Man, that’s ruthless. Pragmatic, but ruthless.

  10. What I don’t understand is, Why do women get two rings, and men only one? Seems really unfair to me.

  11. Single or no, I wear a ring with a rainbow band across it. I think it portrays exactly the right message for me. 😉

  12. I have been married for 6 years and I don’t wear a ring—-because I’m a working woman, who uses my hands to do things and use power tools. I’ve never liked rings except for short periods of time on special occasions; I just don’t like the feel of it and need my hands unencumbered. If men mistakenly hit on me, I’m polite and explain that I’m married, or mention “my husband” as frequently as possible. I understand how it may be easier for people to immediately rule out someone who’s taken, but come on. Sneaky people who lie about being married aren’t going to be stopped by people pressuring them to wear a ring. I find it ridiculous that in this modern, multi-cultural society, people think they can impose clothing requirements on married couples.

  13. I have absolutely no reason to tattoo, or brand my body or wear jewelry to reveal to complete strangers what my personal relationships are. It’s my business and no one else’s.

  14. Upon hearing the story of his mentor dropping his wedding ring inside a patient during surgery without knowing and then having to deal with the ensuing infection, my dad wisely decided to never purchase a wedding ring. And given how many damn earrings I’ve dropped down the drain, it’s probably best that I as a woman don’t wear one either…

  15. The thing is that wedding rings are relatively new. When DH and I got married I was looking into all kinds of traditions and what not for the wedding and what kind of rings and found that for Americans the rings started becoming a tradition in one of the world wars and only women wore them. It was a way for a woman to feel close to her husband even though he was fighting a war across the sea. Only “recently” have men been wearing rings. Dh wears his ring, but I only wear my engagement ring. I gained some weight with my kids and our rings are engraved…it would destroy the pattern to enlarge it so I just don’t wear it.

    It’s kinda like the white dress thing…that is relatively new too as women used to just wear their best dress…then someone (a princess I think, I can’t really remember so feel free to correct me) wore a white dress mainly to show off her money. After that women started wearing white dresses, not for purity…but because the one woman wore a white dress and of course everyone wanted to be like her.

    Get over it people. It is a symbol, nothing more. If Kate is cool with it then everyone else should be too. You don’t know, he may have another symbol that means more to her and him than a silly little piece of gold.

    • I thought the dress thing was Queen Victoria? I could be proven wrong on that. But royalty were typically the fashion trend-setters up until about seventy years ago.


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