The Wedding Ring: To Wear or Not?

Is a wedding band a suitable jewelry for the modern man?

man with ring

While most married men in Singapore today wear their wedding ring all the time, this practice is actually relatively recent and there are still a lot of married men who never picked up on the idea of wearing any jewelry, marriage-related or not. If you are uncertain whether to wear your wedding band or not, this article will help you make up your mind.

A short history of the wedding ring

Even on ancient times, the ring has been used to indicate that a person is already betrothed or married – except that, formerly, this only applied to women. The only men to wear rings then were royalties and noblemen who wore rings to denote their noble birth, not their marital status. In the 1920s, American jewelers tried to popularize the wearing of wedding ring by both husband and wife, but the idea didn’t really take off until the Second World War when wives of drafted soldiers would ask their husbands to wear a ring so that they’ll have something to always remember them by.

How the wedding ring changed

Over time, the purpose of the wedding band for men changed from that of being a keepsake to that of similar to their wives’, that is, to indicate their marriage. With this also came a shift in the meaning of the wedding ring: more than symbolizing one’s commitment, its shape and purpose has made it a symbol of a couple’s eternal love for each other. Some people also believe that the wedding ring is worn on the left ring finger to symbolize love as this finger has a vein that is directly connected to the heart.

Why some men refuse to wear a ring

There are primarily three reasons why some men don’t like wearing their wedding bands. The first is that they have never grown accustomed to it and therefore find wearing one uncomfortable. Another reason is practicality: due to some men’s jobs being labor-intensive, a ring may be cumbersome to wear and will be prone to scratches and other damages. (In some cases, such as for electricians, it could also be very dangerous.) Thirdly, some men don’t like wearing a ring because of the general connotation of jewelry as being for women.

Modern men and wedding rings

Today, about four in five couples exchange rings at their wedding ceremony, and most men do keep wearing their wedding rings in daily life. In Singapore and other metropolitan areas, wearing a ring is becoming more common for men, whether they’re married or not. However, this does not mean that wearing one’s wedding ring is compulsory for married men and that those who don’t wear it – which counts U.K.’s Prince William among them – are social deviants. Being modern means having modern opinions and taste, and not simply subscribing to the popular fashion.

To wear or not to wear – the bottom line

Ultimately, whether you’ll wear your wedding ring or not is a matter of personal preference and how your wife feels about it. While most women would prefer their husbands to clearly show that they are spoken for, a lot of married men in Singapore still don’t wear their wedding ring or only wear it occasionally. If you’re uncomfortable wearing your wedding ring, there are other ways to symbolize your marriage and show your love and commitment to your wife.

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