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Singled out

Date: 2006-10-07

By wearing these rings, singles can let others know at a glance that they are unmarried and available for dating, writes Danielle White.

Traditionally, in Western cultures at least, there are four significant rings: one ring to befriend them, one ring to engage them, one ring to betroth them and one ring to eternalise them. Well, not any more.

In a society where people are marrying later and high-rating TV shows such as Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives make being single sexy, two young Swedish designers have wrung their creative bell and created a fifth ring.

Founders of Swedish company Singelringen have designed a "ringen for singeln" - a "single ring" for single people who want others to know at a quick glance they are unmarried and available for dating.

Singelringen's Johan Wahlback, the founder of Singelringen, who was enjoying his single life, recognised that married people and engaged people have rings but there is nothing that allows single people to clearly announce their status.

Wahlback and his business partner Asa Revland (also single) claim the single ring will help today's time-poor singles who all too often have to resort to less desirable measures such as speed-dating, meeting partners online and frequenting bars and clubs that are too noisy to hold decent get-to-know-you conversations anyway. "If anyone needs to signal one's civil status, it's a single," they claim.

"We all know that we find relationships, jobs and friendships most easily when we are not feeling in need of them," Wahlback says. "Great things happen when we already feel complete with who we are and where we are."

Singelringen manufactures a ring for singles that displays their embrace of the single life and their joy in meeting people. The ring is sold in more than 20 countries.

Where a wedding ring symbolises the wearer's intention to commit to a relationship for life, a single ring doesn't necessarily symbolise the wearer's intention to commit to being single for life.

Rather, according to Wahlback and Revland, the single ring celebrates a phase of life, regardless of how long the phase lasts. So, while you invest in a wedding ring with the best of intentions to wear it for the rest of your life, you invest in a single ring hoping you will find true love and be able to discard the ring as quickly as you acquired it.

Wahlback and Revland also argue that the ring suits people who are happily single and not necessarily looking for a relationship.

Made in Sweden, the rings are unisex and have an azure acrylic layer over a silver band with a unique registration number. The designers claim this will help achieve their aim of making single people around the world feel part of a group the same as the engaged and the betrothed.

"By definition you are on your own as a single, but you are not alone - there are many of us around the world," Wahlback says. "We should stand up for what we are and what we represent. Dare to be a proud single! Being single doesn't have to mean being unhappy, solitary or alone."

Each ring has a half-moon shape clipped out of it. Should the wearer find a partner who also wears one, the two rings will complete the other's circle. Natalie Portman is among the celebrities who have been seen wearing one of the rings. The makers claim buyers tend to be aged from 25 to 45.

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