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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