Widower Wednesday: Dating and Wedding Rings

For those who missed the announcement, Life with a Widower is now available in paperback. You can order it from Amazon here. If you’d like a signed copy, you can get one here. For those who have ordered books by Sunday night or shared their story in my book, all copies were mailed Monday morning.


Sometimes I’ll get emails from widowers who are looking to move on and date again but unsure about the best way to proceed. Over the next couple weeks I’ll address these questions. Today’s questions is from widower who is trying to better understand how women he might date feel about his wearing a wedding ring. Readers, this is your chance to leave a comment and help him out!

Hi Abel,

I’m interested in starting to date causally again. I've read through your posts and understand that most women feel uncomfortable dating a widower if he’s still wearing a wedding ring. My question to you is this: Instead of taking my wedding ring off, what if I wore it on my right hand instead of my left? Would that still make them uncomfortable?



Wearing the wedding ring on your right hand instead of your left is definitely a step in the right direction but odds are its still going to make most women uncomfortable—especially if the ring looks like a wedding band. When most women see a widower wearing a wedding ring (no matter what hand it’s on), they wonder why the widower is dating again and if he’s really ready to move on. Do you really want those thoughts going through your date’s mind?

However, the bigger question is this: If you want to date again (albeit casually), why do you feel the need to wear the ring at all? In a past column I wrote that widowers shouldn’t be wearing one on their hand when they’re out on a date. I understand that taking the ring off can be a difficult step but if it’s something you need to do if you’re serious about taking this step in your life. If you can’t bear to be without it for a couple of hours, why not wear it on a necklace around your neck or put it in your pocket while you’re out—somewhere where you know where it is but your date can’t and won’t see it. I wore mine on a necklace for several months and I don’t think any of the women I dated casually were aware of it. (I took it off once Marathon Girl and I got serious. Read Room for Two if you want the full story.) That might be a good comprise that can make you and your date feel comfortable as you take this step.

Good luck and let me what you do and how it turns out.