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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > The Ring Finger

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Staring at the Ring Finger

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed this particular thing that women do when they first meet a man.  They don’t notice his eyes, his hair, or his smile, not even his height.  The first thing they do is look at his ring finger.  Is his married or not?  I’ve also noticed that I am included in this group of women.  It is, after all, an important thing to notice, because you want to know if this man you are talking to is a potential date or not, but sometimes, it’s not even someone you are looking to date, it could just be a random man you meet, or a friend of a friend.

I found myself on a plane once, and an older gentleman was sitting next to me.  He spoke to me about his trip and about his kids—in detail.  I soon found my eyes wandering to his left ring finger to see if he was married or not.  Now, I had absolutely no interest in this man, he could have been my father, but for some reason, I had that need to know.  There was no ring on his finger, yet, he later spoke of his wife.  Of course, then came the question of, “did he take his ring off for his ‘business’ trip?”  But that’s a whole ‘nother topic.


I think the equivalent of women staring at men’s ring fingers is like men staring at women’s breasts.  Not to judge men, but for the majority, it’s one of the first things they do when they meet women.  That is their insight into whether or not they could be interested in dating this woman.  For women, they need to know right away if the guy is married or not.  It takes him out of the running if he has a ring.  However, it also hinders your chance at meeting a new person who could introduce you to his single friends.  Now that is something to keep in mind.  Just because he may be married, doesn’t mean his friends are, and it’s always best to keep your options open.

After the ring finger, there are things that women look at, and that is where we revert back to the smile, the eyes, and yes, the height.  Being 5 foot 9 myself, it seems to limit my dating options, but it shouldn’t.  One of the first things I notice when I meet a guy is how tall he is.  I guess that it’s one of those awkward things where I still the think the guy should be taller than the girl, even though I’ve seen many, many couples where the woman is taller.  Why should it matter?  It shouldn’t.  For many people, however, it is a deal breaker.  But even for men, some don’t like to date taller women, as it is a confidence buster for them as well.  I’ve had dates in the past where online, they would list their heights as 5 foot 10, and when I met them, they were shorter than me, about 5 foot 8.  Kind of a shocker when I met them.  In fact, I had so many dates of that height, that when I came home, my Mom used to joke, “How tall was he? 5’10?”  Height is something that I have gotten over, as I realize that how many feet and inches you are doesn’t measure up to the type of person you are.  Yet still, for some people it is something difficult to overcome.

I had a friend once who wouldn’t go on a second date with a guy because she didn’t like his voice.  I was in shock.  She said, “I knew it was bad when I talked to him on the phone, but in person, I thought it would sound better.  It didn’t.”  Should we really judge our dates by their voices?  She did.  Apparently, people are not only attracted by looks and personality, but also the sound of their date.  Maybe that’s why some animals have mating calls?  Something to think about.

The thing is, right off the bat, you will notice something in particular about the person you meet or date—whether it be checking our his ring finger, his hair, or listening for that perfect tone in his voice.  People have their preferences, but when it comes down to it, sometimes it’s best to look past those things (except the ring finger).  Things you think you don’t like about a person will grow on you, and things that you think were so important won’t seem that important over time.  The best thing to do is give that guy a chance, because you never know what can happen.  It’s best to just imagine the possibilities.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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