I love meeting new people. There is an un-predictability and an unknowing-ness in new people that you don’t get with comfortable, familiar friendships. There is a whole new terrain to explore that is both exciting and scary at the same time. You get that awkward first five minutes that need overcoming but sometimes you luck out and there are some conversations that flow from the get go. Regardless of the start, new conversations are great because you never know where it may lead.

For single people with affairs of the heart on their mind, conversations with new people are wrought with an especially poignant intention. Rightly or wrongly, there is a subtle sussing out that occurs; with a green light blinking when you enter into a conversation that leave you wanting to know more. Especially wonderful when you casually glance at the fourth finger on the left hand and notice no discernible ring. Almost as wonderful as finding two whole hazelnuts that somehow escaped the factory quality check all wrapped up lovingly within the goodness that is one round ball of Ferrero Rocher happiness.

There is conversation. There is sparkle. There is laughter. There is hope that perhaps this one person who has their act together might be someone worth getting to know on a deeper level. There is interest … you’re sure of it! And then there is nothing. Because they casually mention children, followed by an anecdote about the wedded partner and a pet or two … hours into the conversation. But there is no ring on the finger, you think! And you can’t help but feel slightly deflated. Fairly similar to the feeling you get when you drink a two week old carbonated drink. The drink looks the same, but it certainly doesn’t taste the same.

Drink analogy aside, there are two schools of thought for the ring/ no ring conundrum. Wedding rings are by no means a guarantee of fidelity, forever or happily ever after. So why would anyone in the 21st century bother? And so the question remains – do wedding rings have any part to play in modern society?

I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself, a thirty something heterosexual single female living in Melbourne. I do take a quick glance at the ring finger when meeting someone new for no other reason than to quickly understand the terrain. You will not see me act in any discernibly different way but I am mindful of the status quo. It sends a clear signal that makes it obvious for both parties and it works wonders in a world that operates in too many shades of grey.

While gathering my thoughts for this post, I did wonder if there were perhaps irrevocable reasons for the ‘can’t wear it for a really valid reason’ school of thought. I am aware that there are some occupations that make wearing that ring not very practical. I did give this reasoning some thought but I wonder how truly valid it is. Surgeons, nurses and chefs come to mind as roles that rule out rings for hygiene or practical reasons. But surgeons, nurses and chefs eventually put down the tools of their trades when they resume life outside of work; where partners and families await. After careful deliberation, the only compelling reason I could come up with was a deathly allergic reaction to the metal or any of the other components used in modern day rings. You will have to forgive me because apart from that, I couldn’t come up with much else.

Call me a romantic but when all is said and done, I love seeing that ring on the fourth finger on the left hand. It is a sign that love exists and that it’s been found by two people who searched for, and found each other amidst the 7 billion humans on this planet. Surely this is worth celebrating and preserving in an obvious manner after the wedding cake has long been eaten and digested. After all, to cheekily paraphrase Beyonce, ‘You’ve already found it, so why wouldn’t you put an effing ring on it?!’