Ms. Taken: Fake Engagement Rings

About six months ago, I purchased a ring from Ms. Taken.  I love going out to sing karaoke, and my boyfriend isn’t a fan of how loud the bars can get when karaoke is in full swing.  So, I go without him from time to time.

It almost never fails that if I am sitting by myself at a bar, I will get unwanted attention.  Some would-be Romeo comes up, asks if he can buy me a drink, and starts attempting to talk to me.  Being the smart person I am, I know precisely what this guy is after.  He is attempting to purchase a night of affection or sex with alcohol and compliments.  I refuse to play this game, and I will immediately tell the guy that I have a boyfriend.

The smart guys will back off right away.  The dumb ones, however, will persist.  I have heard so many awful things from men who are indignant at the fact that I have seen through their charade.  These include,

  • “Well, he must not love you very much if he’s not here.”   Actually, he actively encourages me to go out and do the things that make me happy, even if they are things he doesn’t enjoy.  THAT is how much he loves me, you nitwit.  Being in a relationship doesn’t mean we are attached at the hip.
  • “If I was your boyfriend, I would never have let a pretty girl like you go out alone!”,  WOW!  I didn’t realize that being an attractive female means that I should never leave the house unaccompanied!  Did San Francisco institute Sharia law without me noticing?

And my personal favorite:

  • “It must not be serious, I don’t see a ring.”

I hate attempting to justify my relationship to strangers, so I bought a fake engagement ring from Ms. Taken.  In thinking about it further, I hate the fact that I feel I have to wear this ring even more than the outrageous comments.  It speaks so much to the backwards “women are property” attitude that somehow persists in our society today.  But the ring works.  Once I slip on the “proof” that I am not looking for someone, I can sit at a bar, and I don’t have to deal with men who don’t understand that no means no.

Have any of my readers purchased a fake engagement ring?  Would you ever consider purchasing one, or consider suggesting it to a female friend?

Posted on June 6, 2012, in Dating, Feminism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I’d try it. There are many times I say I have a boyfriend but that doesn’t deter persistent men, they only try so much harder. If slipping on a ring will keep them away, why not.

    • I just have a problem with the realization that my words aren’t enough for someone to leave me alone, they need to see some sort of proof that I am “taken” and therefore the property of another man.

      • I have a problem with that, too. It’s funny they need to see proof that I belong to someone else. But what helps stop them from approaching me helps stop them from approaching me. I’d wear the ring.

  2. I had one of those in college after a guy starting following me and my friends from bar to bar harrassing my best friend (a guy) for information about me when my best friend said I was single. So from that point on I wore a fake ring and we pretended to be together to avoid creepy stalkers!

  3. I had one when I was in my early 20’s, but I found that as I got older, it was absolutely no deterrent to the men who wanted to hit on me. I was actually married and had a real one for about 6 years, and that still had no effect. And now that I’m in a serious relationship AND still in the process of finalizing my divorce, I STILL can’t get certain men to leave me alone. I’ve had to cultivate a kind of mean response that really doesn’t jive with my personality, but some people can’t figure out that “I’m not interested” is an acceptable response to a come-on without a little bit of harshness. Rings, whether fake or real, aren’t an effective tool anymore, I don’t think.

  4. mysweetestwords

    OMG, I just wrote a post on rings and what they really mean in the grand scheme of things. You know, I’m not sure about it anyways. One time I saw a girl trying to hit on my husband – she didn’t see me standing on the other side of the room, but she DEFINITELY was eyeing his ring. It’s like it puts a target sign on the men, but it’s a “taken” sign for women. Annoying and definitely signs of residual misogyny.

    • I have to admit, I am guilty of flirting with (much older) married men. I assume that they are “safe” and at the end of the night, they aren’t going to push to go home with me. In all honesty, I hope that the excitement of flirting with a younger girl means their wife is getting extra loving and amorous attention when the guy goes home that night.

      Perhaps this is something that I should stop doing, due to double standards. :/

  5. Like mysweetestwords, I recently wrote about engagement rings. Must be something in the air!

    Anyway, I have definitely worn fake rings before I was really engaged. When I didn’t want to be hit on by creepy guys (and, sad to say, it’s usually creepy guys…I’ve found that non-creepy guys don’t resort to stupid pickup lines or thinking they could get sex just by coming up behind them without the girl knowing them yet), I would slip on the ring and flaunt it like you wouldn’t believe if I saw a guy approaching me. I just didn’t want to deal with it.

    I don’t have the problem you do, though, where even with the ring, the guy continues to hit on me. I’m actually lucky in the respect that they usually say something along the lines of, “Well, he’s a lucky guy.”

    I agree with you that it’s a pain to have to wear the ring to even have to prove that you’re “taken.” And what of the women/men who are nontraditional and don’t believe in wearing rings but are still married? What can they do to ward would-be suitors off?

    Now that I’m married, when I go out with friends and I sense a guy checking me out, I hold up my ringed hand very deliberately and I instantly notice the guy look away in disappointment.

    On a related note, I get after my husband when I notice he’s not wearing his wedding ring. Granted, his fingers swell after working out, so he doesn’t like to wear it because it almost cuts off circulation, but I get a little bummed out that he appears single when he doesn’t wear his ring, and I don’t want any gals to get the wrong idea about him. I’m not too proud to admit I don’t want to share him, and I guess in some ways that DOES make us each other’s property. Not in the way that we’ll tell each other what to do, but in the sense that we belong only to each other.

  6. I have one that I generally wear when I bartend, serve, or go out on the town. Honestly though it generally has about the same effect as telling men I’m a lesbian…they just see it as a challenge because all they want is a piece of ass. Sobit doesn’t really make a difference. Le sigh.

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