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March06

RELIEF: The Benefit of Silicone Rings

For hundreds of years, the traditional go-to when it comes to wedding bands has been metal. This custom dates all the way back to the Roman times, where the pricier the material used for the ring (in this case, gold) symbolized a greater affinity for an individual (read more about the History of Wedding Rings). Nowadays, society is moving more toward rings made of silicone. Why? There are a couple of reasons, but one main one: relief.

What does that mean? Your wedding ring doesn’t stress you out, does it?

Yes, but not in the way you’d expect. Most of the time, you pay little to no attention to your wedding ring. You might take it off while you’re getting ready to play a sport, go to work, or go on a camping trip. Ostensibly, this makes it so your wedding ring is kept safe and secure.

The problem is that many traditional wedding rings are one of two things: they’re either expensive, or they have a lot of sentimental value. Tradition wedding or engagement rings can run into the thousands of dollars, meaning that they’re not exactly easy to replace if they get lost. As for rings with sentimental value? They’re likely to be expensive in a money sense, plus there’s the added knowledge that your Great Aunt May wore this for most of her life – a characteristic of the ring that can never be replaced, regardless of how much money you spend.

Not to mention, the sentimental value that you yourself impose on the ring – it’s a symbol of the love you have with your spouse (or fiancée). Rings, by their very nature, tend to be priceless.

On some level, you know this. You know that sitting on your finger is something hugely valuable and previous, for any number of reasons. Deep in your subconscious mind, you know that you have a strong bond with the ring. You know that every time you wear it, you risk losing or damaging it. All of this happens unconsciously – no, maybe you never think about it, but deep in the back of the mind you know it’s true.

Here’s the problem that traditional wedding rings create: wearing them makes you feel happy and whole and complete, but they carry the constant price of stress. It’s an insidious stress, one that creeps into your mind and has the ability to influence everything you do. Every activity in which you engage, every friendship you initiate, every dream you have, is viewed through the lens of stress. By this point, it really has nothing to do with the ring itself – it’s the constant nagging feeling of dread that lingers in the back of your mind. It colors and distorts your world perspective ever-so-slightly.

It's almost like that feeling you get when you leave the house for the weekend, get halfway to your destination, and wonder if you left the stove on. Sure, in most cases it’s going to be fine. But, there’s still that loose thread – that one creeping sense of doubt. Your weekend is still going to be tainted ever-so-slightly by that one tiny ounce of doubt in your mind.

And what happens if you DO lose the ring? Let’s say you’re at the gym and you put your ring in your locker. You get a text message and when you pull your phone out of your locker, your sleeve brushes on the ring. The ring falls out of the locker, bounces off your shoe, and rolls just out of sight.

When you get back to your locker and realize that your ring is gone, your amygdala is stimulated. Your fight-or-flight response kicks into high gear. You panic. You tear apart your locker trying to figure out where your wedding ring went. You dig through your bag and mentally retrace your steps through the day in a desperate attempt to figure out where you might have misplaced it. Just as things seem to be at their worst, you reach under the locker, groping around in the dust and dirt and grime, and finally your fingers close around a familiar metal object. You yank it out and voila! There’s your ring, safe and sound. You stick it back on your finger, resolving to never let that happen again.

The damage is done, however. Once triggered, the fight-or-flight response can last up to 24 hours, meaning that while you’ve found your ring, your brain is still in a sort of panic mode. This impairs your judgment and puts you into a state of defense rather than growth. You might feel fatigued or “wired”.

In the long term, you now have experience knowing what it feels like to lose your ring. You remember how you felt when you lost it, and therefore know how you’re going to feel if you lose it again. In a way, you’re anticipating feeling that panic again.

All because of one ring.

Much like a minor bug bite can lead to infection, something as minor as wearing a traditional wedding ring can have a longstanding and insidious impact on your mental health, and this is where silicone rings truly shine.

As far as price goes, silicone rings are easy to replace. When you wear a silicone ring, you have no worries that losing it will put a strain on your bank account. Run a silicone ring through a garbage disposal? That’s okay, you can replace it for what amounts to a few cups’ worth of coffee.

As far as sentimental value goes? Your silicone ring can very easily develop sentimental value, but you’ll probably have a traditional wedding ring to go along with it. Silicone rings aren’t meant to replace traditional rings outright, at least not yet. The traditional wedding ring you bought for five grand can still accumulate sentimental value; silicone rings simply ensure that you’re not endangering your traditional ring.

So for example, you might do what the Romans did: Roman wedding ceremonies involved two rings, one gold and one iron. The iron one was meant to be worn around the house doing daily duties. The gold one was intended for social affairs and special occasions.

Using a traditional wedding ring and a silicone ring can work similarly. Most days, you wear your silicone ring. Then maybe you and your spouse go out for a fancy candlelit dinner at some classy beachfront restaurant on a Saturday night, and THAT’S where you wear your traditional wedding ring.

The same goes with sports and outdoor activities. If you’re wearing a traditional wedding ring while engaging in physical activity, you’re asking for trouble. Traditional rings can get damaged, tarnished, or lost. Worse, ring avulsion is a constant threat. By wearing a silicone ring, you negate all of these stresses. Silicone rings are designed to break when too much force is applied, meaning your risk of ring avulsion is negligible. They’re durable and designed for your active lifestyle, meaning you’re going to be hard-pressed to damage them. And because they’re affordable, losing them becomes a far less stressful affair.

Think of it this way: maybe you haven’t ever lost or damaged your traditional wedding ring. But, just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t happen ever. That logic simply doesn’t hold up. That would be like saying that nobody could possibly harness the power of electricity because it hasn’t happened yet – the statement was only true until Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb.

Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it will happen never.

If (when) it does happen, would you rather be losing or damaging a silicone ring, or the diamond ring that your Great Aunt May was wearing while waiting for your Great Uncle Paul to come back from World War 2?

You wear a seatbelt not because you anticipate an accident, but in case there’s an accident.

You pay your insurance premiums not because you anticipate something happening to you, but in case something happens to you.

You lock your doors no because you expect someone to break in, but in case someone tries to break in.

You wear a silicone wedding ring not because you expect something to happen to your traditional wedding ring, but in case something happens to it.

Silicone wedding rings offer peace of mind on every level.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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