Wedding Rings: Symbols of Bliss or Jail?


I've been wondering about this for years.

What does this image really mean to you? Think about it for a minute:

Wedding Rings: Symbols of Bliss or Jail?

This image sparks a whole lot of reactions, doesn't it? I just wonder if, among our millennial population, it's seen as a sign of bliss or jail?

I think there was a time when women would respond favorably while men, well, not so much. But times have changed, haven't they? I'm seeing a lot of my female friends in their early 20s swearing off the idea of marriage for a lot of different reasons. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if women are frowning on marriage more than men are these days. But then I saw this and went, okay, maybe things haven't changed that much:

But then my ex watched this and just shrugged her shoulders and said, "yeah, I get that." I wanted to know why and she launched into this huge explanation I just wasn't prepared for. By the time it was over, I could only picture one thing: Me offering her a wedding ring and her picturing that ring as if it was this:

Wedding Rings: Symbols of Bliss or Jail?

And maybe it is. I wasn't going to propose anyway; the relationship was pretty much done. But I keep thinking I MIGHT propose if the right person came along, and then I wonder: "What if that 'right person' just despises the idea of marriage?" I'd never even considered it before. I bet a lot of men haven't. I know one guy - an old coworker - who was shocked to see his long-time girlfriend of four years turn down his marriage proposal as gently as possible, with a similar explanation the one my ex gave.

The word "jail" or "prison" does seem to pop up a lot in such conversations. And of course, men use it plenty as well.

Funny, but I guess we have to wonder: Maybe we're all too interested in staying kids and not growing up. Maybe marriage is more a symbol of maturity than anything else, and we run in the direction because we're a bunch of kids.

Then again, maybe there are perfectly legit reasons for avoiding the rings, as many intelligent people will tell you. And hell yeah, I think I qualify as intelligent. I don't think agreeing or disagreeing with marriage makes you any MORE or LESS intelligent. Still, there is that maturity factor...

What do you say, fellow GaGers?

Wedding Rings: Symbols of Bliss or Jail?
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Most Helpful Girl

  • Mekkalyn
    lol... people really compare it to jail?
    I want everyone who says that it's like jail to actually go to jail and see what it's really like. I bet almost everyone would prefer marriage after experiencing that.

    I understand people not wanting to get married, but comparing it to jail is kind of ignorant. It is not the same thing. When someone is in jail, they can't just walk out on their own, and their free will is stripped. In a marriage, people do it all the time if they aren't happy... they just walk out the door, maybe into someone else's arms, and gets a divorce. Sure, there's a penalty to getting a divorce, which is the biggest reason why I think people don't like marriage, but it's nothing in comparison to having your freedom stripped away. No one forces you to stay in a marriage, and you still have your free will/can do whatever you want to do (Unless you are from the middle east).

    I just find it ridiculous that someone can say that it's like prison, but I digress.

    Personally, I love the idea of marriage. I want someone to be my life long partner, and the symbolic meaning behind marriage is wonderful. Obviously, there are easy way outs, but I would never enter into a marriage with that in mind. I only want one marriage, and I want it to be with the right person. I want everything that a marriage represents - family, undying bond/connection, forever partner, unconditional love.

    I love my fiance very much and I can't imagine a day when I won't wake up with him beside me. I can't imagine ever having a day where I don't see his face or hear his voice. I want to make memories with him and grow old with him. I want to face our difficulties together and become stronger because of it. And I want that ring that symbolizes our connection. Because that's all it is, really. Yeah, unless you have a prenup you will split your assets down the middle... but depending on the relationship and how long it lasts, that's the only way to do it. You put your time and money and faith into this person when you mold your lives as one. Splitting it will not be an easy thing, and it shouldn't be. You should be serious when you make those vows, willing to work out every difficulty you may face.

    Obviously there are exceptions, such as being cheated on, or if you're partner kills or rapes someone (god that's a horrible thought). I don't even want to get into that topic, though, since it'll really rile me up.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I'm pretty sure the "jail" part isn't to be taken literally. You know what people mean when they say it, I'm sure.

    • Mekkalyn

      Well, to me, it just sounds ignorant to say something like that.

    • It's only ignorant if the person actually means marriage is anything like being in prison. And I seriously doubt anybody thinks that.

Most Helpful Guy

  • godfatherfan
    My ring meant everything to me. I only had it off my finger for 10 days in 25 years. it symbolizes the commitment you made to each other. I view is as a very positive thing. Kinda hard to believe anyone that wants to be married would view it any other way.
    Like 7 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I'm really talking about in general, as in those who do and don't want to be married. I'm sure those who do probably view it the way you do, but those who don't want marriage... they can have some very unkind things to say about those rings.

    • Why'd you take it off?

      My husband and I have never ever taken ours off, and it's been 14yrs 9mos. (I take off the one with the stones sometimes, but never the plain band.) Like, literally, never. Not even for five seconds.

      He wouldn't even let them take it off his hand when he went into surgery-- on his left shoulder, LOL. He made them sterilize it and seal it off with autoclave tape.

    • It was loose and it fell off my finger at night in my backyard. I had to wait until the next day to get it. The other days were because when I was cleaning it I put it in bleach. I left it overnight not knowing it would almost destroy it. It took a week and a half for them to fix it.
      My ex rarely wore hers. She was a nurse so she couldn't wear the diamonds at work so I bought her a plain band. but even that she stopped wearing. but she was the one that wanted the divorce not me, guess it was a 25 yr sign..

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • benthurber
    I want to get married and have kids. Tired of the endless BS of dating in our culture: the women I've asked are a never-ending stream of careerism, materialism, and debt-slavery.

    I've found a few prospects, but if I'm still single and not on a marriage path by 30, I'm likely to give up entirely on Western society and start searching overseas.
    Like 1 Person
    • "a never-ending stream of careerism, materialism"

      Highly subjective there. There are certainly too many people too enamored with both, but I've heard such terms used even for people who simply take a lot of pride in their work.

    • benthurber

      When you're in deep in debt and your spending continues to focus on aesthetics like furnishing an over-sized living space to be "cute" vs functional, fashion that emphasizes prestige based on the "label," and having to have the newest car possible vs reliable and cheap; I'd say that's materialistic tendencies.

      I have seen and experienced women repeatedly turning down relationships because they want to "focus on their career." Growing up, I've heard numerous women in their 20's say they really don't know they ever want to have children. Hitting 30's, most of those suddenly want to have kids... but keep working. When your absolute best and most energetic years are spent being a cog for Corporate America or Uncle Sugar, and you don't put near the effort into planning for a family like college and a career? I'd say that's careerism. Kids are a finite time-period for women and there are newer models every year. For men? You're usually only limited by your income.

    • The first paragraph is absolutely true. We are a society that is living - and has been living - FAR too much in debt and we're paying for it.

      As for the second part, it's all relative. Just because someone wants to better themselves and make a strong future for themselves, doesn't necessarily mean they're nothing more than a "cog in Corporate America." The OTHER thing we've forgotten is that the so-called evil that is "corporate America" is starting to become the only place left in this country where people actually have to WORK, and without it, we'd have nothing. It is not every woman's obligation to have kids and if they want to focus on themselves and their careers, you really don't have anything to say about it, even if you don't like it.

      And it may not be harder to start a family in your 30s than in your 20s. The woman that focused so heavily on her career is likely in a much better position financially; most people in their 20s today barely have two nickels to rub together.

    • Show All
  • MargaritaPeach
    Bliss! I love being married. Being his wife, having his last name, wearing his ring. Waking up next to him every morning. Seeing him be such a great father to our kids. Spending holidays with him and making his coffee every morning. It's everything that I've ever wanted.
    Like 2 People
  • GoldenSunshine
    If I get married or not isn't important to me, it doesn't really change a relationship. Though I think that rings (or anything else that you bring with you during the day) are sweet and a way for me to feel close to my love even when I'm not with him.
  • clampfan101
    They should symbolize bliss, but it seems however more people are more careless about deciding who they choose. Perhaps lacking patience, feeling rush from things like loneliness and/or being sexually deprived. Sexual attraction can also feel like love, even though it is not. But if both in the couple know with all their heart it is love before marriage, it shall symbolize love, joy, and bliss. ❤️
    Like 2 People
  • oddwaffle
    It's a jail. A sweet loving and grilled cage. You will always yearn for the freedom but you will quickly run back to your lovely jail once you broke out.

    It's a big decision. A commitment! An investment of your life! This is not the kind of thing to do half baked.

    People in the previous generation get married because of social and economic reasons. Nowadays people earned enough to support themselves and are a lot more liberal.
  • joeb73
    there is on thing i see you didn't bring up. some times there is a reason why you dont wear a wedding ring. do to my job i can't wear one. that doesn't mean i want to cheat or i love my wife any differently. it just means i dont ware it. it first she was upset that i didn't then o shown her the mangled ring and my soar finger then she understood why i won't ware it.
  • ilovemse
    Marriage is a jail in the sense that it is a legal contract that is very hard to break if things go to hell. Its not just the emotional shit associated with break ups, but, on top of that, you have a legal war precisely with someone with whom things went to shit emotionally speaking.

    In other sort of arrangements, if things go to hell you can get away relatively easily.
  • vishna
    Symbols of commitment, responsibility, loyalty, and hopefully, perseverance during even the toughest of times.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
  • TheHooptyMiata
    Marriage itself is like being locked up. You're letting a woman cage the beast.

    Man is a promiscuous animal, stay true to that.
    LikeDisagree 7 People
  • 9mfeo
    Honestly, I wouldn't mind getting married, but I want a solid pre-nup to protect my assets.
    Like 1 Person
  • FallOutBoy2001
    I see it as a symbol of loyalty and commitment, as should others who are getting married or plan on becoming married in the future,
    Disagree 1 Person
  • lePoivre
    For me, the main reason I would want to get married is because I want kids and I want those kids to grow up with two loving parents. If I didn't want kids, though, I don't know if I would want marriage either. I might when I'm older because I can see myself panicking, fearing that my value decreases with every age past thirty I accumulate (how sad is that?), but right now, as a 19-going-on-20-year-old, I'm content not getting married for a while. I think you're right, that marriage is also a sign of maturity, at least for me, because I wouldn't feel as carefree if I was married right now. And, let's face it, being mature and responsible means you can't be carefree all the time. I can see why some people would despise that idea. Marriage takes self discipline and while some take pride in that, others feel confined. I like to imagine it like samurais and ronins: They're both cool, but one has a master while the other one doesn't.
    • Certainly no reason for you to think about marriage now. You still have to figure out what you want to do in life and where you want to go... and at 19, you may think it's all planned out, but life has a funny way of changing plans FAST in your 20s. ;)

      You seem to have a very grounded and realistic viewpoint, though.

    • lePoivre

      Heh, yeah, I'm realizing things change fast much more now. I thought I would be going to college for four years straight and now I'm looking at taking a year off to try assistant teaching and living in Germany for three months. Just like the game, life is strange.

    • Do what you can when you're young (like living abroad) because it all gets a lot harder when you're older! :)

  • hellionthesage
    I can see that. I would say that we hav become a decadent society one that knows only how to indulge its own urges, historicly it was abou resposibility, about survival and the betterment of our fellow man, now its just about us and what we want. So in that regards I can see how maturity would factor in to it. I do not know all the consipracy stuff, though it does make a sort of sense (though I personally think our government is too inept and politicians to sef absorbed to intentionally do something like this, though its still a possibility). Over all interesting take.
    • It's certainly true that we've become a responsibility-less society, which is part of the reason why I still support the idea of marriage. I don't feel OBLIGATED to get married, as was once the custom, but I support the institution.

      And I'm allowed to do that, right? ;)

    • Of course.

  • KawaiiPie67
    I like how being married means that I'd have someone to always help with everything. If people still want to experiment sexually, why not try an open marriage eventually? That's not for me, but casual sex isn't the awesome thing people try and make it out to be. There's nothing wrong with @ least some stability.

    And I think divorces mostly happen when there's an irresponsible or immature partner, so if I were to get married I'd just do my best to make sure it was with someone who was really stable... I think people can take marriage too lightly too, and try and overlook real issues.
    • I definitely agree that many marriages end simply because the two people were too immature when they got married. That's a big problem these days, in my opinion.

    • Yep. There's all these spender & saver marriages, and people just get married so quickly! How can you about all of someone's issues if you barely know them?

  • Sabretooth
    marriage is what you make it to be.
    Like 2 People
  • Anonymous
    I want to get married one day. But I want to marry a person not there belongings. I find people often marry for financial gain and I don't like that at all so when I get married I want a prenuptial agreement. I don't care if the guy works at McDonald's or is a millionaire I want that agreement.
    • Yeah you say that now but if you get lucky and marry a millionaire you think twice.

    • Anonymous

      If I marry him I don't plan on divorcing him. Prenuptial agreements are just insurance policies in case you break up

  • Anonymous
    Mine serves more the way a cross does to vampires. Before I had it I used to get approached by women all the time, now I'll get a first look but as soon as they see the ring no interest at all. I wish I'd known before how effective they are, I'd have got one when I was single for when I didn't want to be bothered.
    • I'd always heard the reverse was true. Like in that old Seinfeld episode where George wears a wedding ring to see if he becomes more attractive to females. As it turns out, he did. :)

    • Anonymous

      Maybe that's a thing in New York. Not here in the Midwest.