This month marks our 5 year anniversary and I couldn’t be more surprised to find us where we are now. I neeeeeever imagined we’d be going ringless because I didn’t even know that was a thing! We still treasure the beautiful tradition of lovers exchanging rings and I still gush over the sparklers my newly engaged friends post online but with that being said…rings just didn’t work for us.
When we were dating and talking about getting married back in 2011 Andrew asked me what kind of ring I wanted. This was a hard decision. Five years ago there simply was not many options when it came to ethical gem sourcing (so glad things have changed now!) which bothered me a lot. I loved the romance of sparkly diamonds but I didn’t want people dying just so I could buy one, you know? So I left it up to him.
That was absolutely the right decision because in the end he dazzled me by proposing with a wood + crushed raw emerald ring he made himself. It was beyond gorgeous and without doubt one of the most romantic gifts I have ever received.
Fast forward to November of that year when life got very messy and we eloped. For wedding rings we picked out minimal sterling silver bands. However, somewhere in between eloping/moving in with Andrew/taking off the rings several times a week for my nursing clinicals I lost my beautiful engagement ring. Yes, lost it. We looked in the apartment, in my car, in every coat pocket, EVERYWHERE with no luck. It still makes me sad just thinking about it. It wasn’t an expensive ring but it was one of a kind and completely irreplaceable.
Andrew kindly offered to make me another one but I was super nervous I might lose it again since I was still in nursing school. I told him I’d just stick with the sterling silver band and this worked great for a time. However, I lost a ton of weight during my last semester of nursing school (stress + me = -20lbs). My wedding band fit perfectly when we got married but by the time I graduated in 2012 it would constantly slip off, especially while washing my hands. Which nurses do like 500 times a day so that got annoying.
I thought I might put the weight back on after graduating but in 2014 I let go and found a simple but elegant pearl ring on Etsy in my size. That ring lasted a year before the pearl popped off and we had to send it back to the seller for repairs. That repair lasted a few more months before the pearl fell off again and got lost. At which point I was just exasperated with rings and in 2015 quit wearing them entirely.
Andrew wore his sterling silver wedding band with no problems until this year when we moved out into the country. He works outside almost every day now but he is super allergic to poison ivy and gets it all the time, usually around his fingers. Ouch!
If I cared to look around I’m sure I could still find a lovely ring that would fit well and last a lifetime but here are factors that stop me.
1). I dream of traveling extensively in my lifetime and exploring the world. If that is the case then I don’t need to be wearing sparkly jewelry that attracts unwanted attention. Being an awkward tourist brings me enough attention as it is. :)
2). The traditional feminine rings I adore are great at harboring bacteria, tearing gloves, and scratching patients. All things nurses don’t like! I could take the ring off before work but I’d be terrified of losing it (again).
3). My personal values. One reason people wear wedding rings is so others know they are married but I so do not care if random strangers know my romantic status or not. As for affairs and the whole “mark your man” mindset I just laugh. If a tiny piece of metal wrapped around Andrew’s finger is the only thing keeping him from cheating then he and I have much bigger issues to discuss. ;)
In the future something may change and we might go back to wearing rings but for now this is where we are! What are your thoughts on wedding rings? What do they mean to you?