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When I see a woman for the first time, there are three things that I immediately look at: her face, her shoes, and her left ring finger — in that order. Overall physique and body type is important, but, I’ll get to that as I move from her face to her shoes and over to her ring finger. Why the ring finger? There’s no use thinking about anything further if her finger is occupied with a wedding (or even engagement) ring, is there?

Lately I’ve noticed that many women wear other types of rings on their left ring finger — the finger where people usually wear a wedding band. However, these rings don’t signify any commitment to another person, something a wedding/engagement ring does, and, in fact, can serve to confuse interested single men.

I have seen this technique used to one’s advantage, though. I have a good female friend who is single and travels about three weeks out of any given month. She’s open to dating, but it’s certainly not her top priority. In order to keep away random guys who try to approach her, — because, believe me, they do (and I can’t blame them) — she wears an engagement ring. It’s a nice one too. Of course, it’s not real, but a man who would approach her in the airport wouldn’t notice — especially since most men don’t have good sense in jewelry and it’s authenticity.

This is where it gets a bit tricky. A guy such as myself, even if I thought she was attractive, would see the ring, count her out, and keep moving. In essence, her “Mr. Right” could just keep it moving because he sees her finger occupied. And, being the respectful gentleman that he is, he knows it’s inappropriate to try to holler at a woman who’s already spoken for.

I realize that this may not be an issue for everyone. Some people may see a ring on the finger and proceed as if it didn’t exist. But, I can’t do such a thing. Neither would most of the respectable men I know. After all, ladies, would you want a man that tried to holler at you thinking that you were married? What does this say about his feelings about the sanctity of marriage? What would stop him from cheating on you? That relationship probably wouldn’t be the least bit healthy.

What’s a girl to do? Whatever the heck she wants. That’s what she’ll do anyhow, regardless of what I write about, isn’t it? Ultimately it is a personal choice. I just can’t help but wonder if, by wearing a ring on that finger, a woman might miss the man she’s supposed to be with. What do you think?

[Written by Stuart McDonald for Elev8.com. For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.]

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