I don’t wear a wedding ring. I used to wear one. My ring is titanium and weighs something like minus 2 ounces. I don’t wear any jewelry at all, so having something lightweight and low-profile was important to me.
One day, long long ago, I had taken my ring off while I was mechanicing on a car. My daughter snatched it from my dresser and was playing with it, and, naturally, she lost it. “It’s on the top shelf,” she told me. That was her code for, “I don’t remember where I put it.” That was three and a half years ago.
Last year, we did actually find my ring. There was some Barbie furniture my daughter had been playing around with but was still a little young for. It turns out that she did actually put it on the top shelf of a Barbie armoire that we had stuffed away in the closet until she got older. By this point, I had lost a ton of weight and titanium is not easy or practical to resize. So even after we found it, I didn’t start wearing it again. So I made the mono-poly transition after I had already stopped wearing my ring.
I have, or have had, partners who have had all sorts of wedding ring styles. I dated a girl who wore her ring on a chain around her neck. I dated a girl who wore a puzzle ring as her wedding ring. I dated a girl who didn’t wear one at all. I very rarely notice strange looks when I am not wearing a ring and my date is, whether that date is actually my wife or not.
I’ve also had partners who have had exchanges of rings with other non-spousal partners. One of those partners, for instance, was given a ring by another of her partners. She would wear that ring on her right hand and her wedding ring on her left. I know a non-married poly woman who was given a ring by her partner, and most of the time she wears that ring on her left ring finger. Lots of right answers here.
The symbolism of the ring is not really significant to me. I am not sentimental or nostalgic. I’m just as married whether I wear the ring or not. I’m also just as nonmonogamous whether I wear the ring or not. Even at poly events, I still notice women I talk to glance down to check out my left hand. I am sure it’s societal conditioning and habit, but at an event that is all poly people, is that a barrier, an invitation, pure curiosity?
It’s much different when approaching women in the wild. The populace at large isn’t even poly-aware, much less poly-friendly. If you’re chatting up a random girl while wearing a wedding ring, be prepared to answer questions because they are on the way. The key is to be confident and up-front about every one of your answers. A hint of shyness or sheepishness or hesitation can give her the feeling that you are full of shit and this is all just a big setup for cheating. Don’t treat this as something you are ashamed of or shy about and don’t treat it like a disqualifier. At the very least, if you are talking to a woman who is even halfway interesting and intelligent, this is a deeply interesting conversation. Even when not being single has actually disqualified me from a date for a girl I was talking to, the talks we have had after revealing my polyamorous ways have been fascinating and engaging. And, sometimes, after those post-disqualifying conversations, she’ll change her mind about going on a date.
And for my female readers, this is much, much less of a problem for you. In my experience and from what I have learned talking to my female poly friends, men seem to be bothered a lot less by a nonmonogamous prospect than women do.
There’s really no one right answer to the ring or no ring question. If it is important to you, wear your ring. If it isn’t, don’t. Taking your wedding ring off to go talk to a cute girl will earn my disapproval. Be who you are, be honest, and don’t be a dick. Trust me, lots of girls will appreciate it.