When a celebrity makes their first public appearance without their wedding ring, it's breaking news -- cameras flash, speculations are made and gossip magazines flood the newsstands. And, no different than the land of glitz and glamour, the same rings true for very woman who makes her first debut with... the naked finger.
Ah, the naked finger. Perhaps the first sign of being single again. After love is gone and only the ring is left, what is an ex-spouse to do? If wedding and engagement rings are a symbol of love and a commitment to marriage, then what is to be said about the rings once the marriage ends? Do the rings now represent a failed marriage? If so, it may be time to get rid of it.
But for many, having a bare finger seems unbearable -- as if something is missing, in more ways than one. The act of taking that ring off your finger can bring forth a mixed bag of emotions. The reality of the finality sets in. It can be emotionally painful and utterly frightening. Fears of dying alone in a room full of cats flash before your very eyes, because letting go of the ring is one of the first steps in accepting that the marriage is over.
For others, the weight being lifted off their finger doesn't even compare to the weight lifted off their shoulders and the new liberation they feel. To them, getting rid of the ring can feel like the first step toward moving forward and rebuilding their lives.
Everyone is different and you will know when the time is right for you to take off your ring. It is a personal and emotional decision. But remember, while it may be very difficult to take off your ring, it can also be equally as difficult to look down at it and be reminded of a love no longer there. The ring removal is a healing process and one that begins with acceptance.
Allow yourself the time and space to process this loss. Then, let go when it feels right for you. For those who do not know how to part with your wedding rings, solutions do exist. Here are some options for you:
1. You can keep the ring to pass on to someone else one day.
2. You can remake your rings into another piece of jewelry. Redesign it into a diamond necklace, earrings, perhaps something to symbolize your new-found freedom.
3. You can buy yourself something else entirely to put on that newly freed-up finger. It may help make your finger feel not as naked.
4. You can think outside the jewelry box. Sell the ring and use the money and to start your new life and your new future. I Do Now I Don't is an online marketplace for buying and selling "pre-loved" jewelry. If you're ready to let go, you can say goodbye here and earn some cash while you're at it. Plus, you'll feel good knowing that the ring that may not have worked out in your marriage might work out for someone else's.
Whatever you decide, do remember that the ring is just an object. The meaning behind it comes from within you. And the same goes for your naked finger. It can be what you want it to be. It can represent your divorce or your new independence and a bright new future. You decide.
Follow Mara Opperman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/IDoNowIDont