Why Is the Wedding Ring on Your Fourth Finger?

Updated on June 23, 2016

The Chinese Explanation

The Chinese have given a beautiful and very convincing theory as to why the wedding ring should go on the fourth finger. As the story goes:

Look at your left hand, the hand that your wedding ring goes on, and do you see your thumb? Well the thumb represents your parents. Now your index finger, or your first finger, represents your siblings. The third finger, lovingly called the middle finger by some, represents yourself. Where the fourth finger represents your life partner. And your pinkie is to represent the children you will some day have.

Now if you place both of your hands together and bend your middle fingers together, and leave the other fingers touching together (like shown in the picture).

When your hands are as such do this :

Pull your thumbs apart. (this represents the parents) Your thumbs will open because you and your parents are not destined to be together forever. At some point they will leave you in your life. Now put your thumbs back together.

Repeat the same motion with your index fingers (this representing your siblings). Of course your index fingers will also separate because you are also not destined to be with your siblings for the rest of your life. They will move on and have families of their own. Now put them back together.

Now separate your pinkies. (representing your future children) Of course these will also separate because your children will not be with you forever. They will grow up to have lives and families of their own as well. Now put them back together.

Now for your "ring" finger. (representing your life partner) Try separating them as you did with the other. Can't do it can you? That is because your life partner is the one who is supposed to be with you for the rest of your life. They will be the one to be with you forever and through thick and thin.

Roman Belief

According to Roman belief, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because of a vein that we have in our left "ring" finger. This vein is called the vena amoris. It is believed that this vein runs directly to the heart which as we all know is the symbol of love.


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      keheumbo 3 months ago

      great and very clear teaching.

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      Ebenezer M.Seh, Jr. 8 months ago

      Thanks ever so much, I really had a great experience with the Chinese version. Though the Roman's type is also good. Strange and educative.

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      bobbi808 2 years ago

      Very sweet tales about the ring fingers and family members. We just don't know what follows our decision that we made years, or months ago. I think the one element that stands strong is, love. And where there's love there's respect. This we should always have for our families, extended ones as well.

      Thank you for your beautiful stories.

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      Diweudonne 2 years ago

      Weda ur ring fingers separated or not I love the theory and I believe that it works!fd So I refuse to try separating them cuz Don't want to separate wit my wife .

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      buhle 2 years ago

      I always want to find meaning in everything i do so i can have a story to tell, now this is the most beautiful♥

    • Mrs40sHistoryBuff profile image

      Mrs40sHistoryBuff 2 years ago

      The theory of the vena amoris actually goes back to the Egyptians, well before the Romans came along and claimed it for themselves. Their experiences with preparing bodies for mummification, and basic anatomical disection in seeking out medical knowledge were done under rather primitive circumstances, and without magnification of the much smaller veins and the paths of circulation.

      The reasons for wedding and engagement ring placement vary by as many reasons as there are cultures to address it. Various European cultures have adopted the right hand placement, have switched to the left hand, and back again over time for various and assorted changes in thought processes.

      There were many anecdotes arising from the initial presence of American GIs in different European countries during the Second World War, involving their creating serious incidents by assuming that all women wore their wedding rings on their left hands, like American women do. They were looking at European women's left hands, searching for the presence or absence of a wedding band while seeking out female companionship, not realizing that the right hand was the proper placement for women in certain countries. This lead to more than one unintended episode of hand-to-hand combat with very angry husbands before the issues were sorted out, and this information was finally adopted into the indoctrination courses for new GIs just making their way into Europe later on in the war.

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      Angie 2 years ago

      nuckle to nuckle and they won't come apart!!!!

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      Catherine 3 years ago

      Yes, it does seem to help. One can reason what one feels when doing the exercise.

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      Chelsie 3 years ago

      For everyone saying you can easily pull apart your ring fingers, you're probably not doing it correctly. You can move your hands apart, which then obviously separates your fingers, but you can't really just move your fingers. Your other fingers easily move in isolation, without your hands moving apart at all. Your hands have to move slightly apart for your ring fingers to separate.

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      Jessica 4 years ago

      I could separate my ring finger easily but I could not separate my middle fingers... Does that mean I'm gonna be alone forever?!?

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      bearyspclmom 4 years ago

      My "OPINION" to the left hand versus the right is, in some cultures the left side being ornamented with flowers or rings in this case, shows you are married or taken, the right side shows you are single and available. As for the fourth finger I really have never heard of anything until reading this, but my thoughts are maybe because the 'ring" finger is more fragile, and not as strong as the other fingers. I have always been told to apply foundation or smooth creams & things around the eyes with the "ring" finger because it doesn't have the pressure behind it that the other fingers are capable of, and is more gentle. As with anything, these stories or advice, everyone should take everything with a grain of salt, and not so literally or seriously. Enjoy life! What's meant to be will be! :)

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      SRaven 4 years ago

      My ring fingers separate while my middle fingers still touch... does that mean I am destined to be alone? Because if so I should probably have known this before I dragged my husband into this. lol

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      Ryan Swayt 4 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      This is such a fun Hub. It is neat to hear these theory's. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

      I've always known one theory -- the Roman that is -- but I am not aware of the Chinese explanation. Thanks for putting it up. Very interesting hub. :P

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 4 years ago from Croatia

      Great Hub, I am half Chinese and have never heard of this, fun experiment, It took a little bit of effort but I managed to pull apart my fingers, just goes to show if there's a will there's a way :) lol

      but its a very touching theory. As is the Roman one :D

      dang I hope I didn't use too many emoticons :p

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Sweet hub, enjoyed reading this useful info.

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      ellie 4 years ago

      this is cool. my ring fingers would not separate!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this interesting hub. I never even thought about it.

      voted up :)

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      robbiecee 4 years ago

      The Chinese theory is too much for me; however, I do like the venous amoris theory!

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      MissMarshie 4 years ago

      Actually, I can :)

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      Angel36 4 years ago

      Found someone that this theory doesn't work on

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      justin 4 years ago

      @sarah alright english major we aren't hear to correct people. You knowcwhat they meant damn.

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      Confused 4 years ago

      ....Am I the only one who had no problem at all pulling apart my ring fingers?

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      Love lost 4 years ago

      Booo . . . Anyone getting married is a fool . It does nothing but give you false hope and break your heart . Stay single . #justsaying

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      Sfghjkkl 4 years ago

      We discussed this my anatomy class and my professor showed us that there is no vein in our fingers that runs directly to the heart. It's a cute thought/theory though!

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      Jordon 4 years ago

      Comments ruined this story.

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      4 years ago

      The Chinese wear their wedding rings on their middle fingers, the "third" finger, not fourth :oS

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      lucie 4 years ago

      Yes. If you can separate your ring fingers, it absolutely means you will be alone forever. Rough life.

      Don't take everything so literally! It's one culture's explanation of why we wear our bands on the ring finger; no different than any other folk tale. It's a cute story to warm your heart, not based on anything scientific. I think it's adorable :)

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      ashely 4 years ago

      I can open the two ring fingers, so does that mean it wasn't meant to be and that is why we are having problems?

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      Emily 4 years ago

      I can separate my ring fingers easily... :/

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      trackstar 4 years ago

      oh i wish all you haters would shut up and appreciate it for the face value. this was great :)

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      Amy 4 years ago

      Interesting that a Chinese explanation would involve siblings...

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      Lea 4 years ago from Texas

      I was able to separate all of them, does this mean i will forever be destined to be a cat lady?

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      sally 5 years ago

      From one science nerd to another.... The romans believed that the vena armoris was a single vein that ran directly from the finger straight to the heart.... so biology people, yes this has been disproved, however, it was aslo a biology history fact... so yes all veins lead to the heart, however they used to beleive that this one was the most direct and simple way because it was one long vein in their beleif. :) try not to loose the beauty of life in science... use science to help show you more of life's beauties.

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      kelley 5 years ago

      very cute but i hope you are also including a note that these are myths, not facts.

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      nat 5 years ago

      Cute concept except that Chinese don't wear wedding rings; the only ones who do so do in reference to western culture.

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      starsheen 5 years ago

      All you fingers have veins that run to the heart. All veins run to the heart. Biology.

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      Kristy 5 years ago

      Try making the heart shape with the bent middle and thumbs makes it even harder and cuter ;)

    • LifeisLovely profile image

      Megan 5 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Very interesting hub voted up and useful will also be following to check out more of your hubs.

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      Jen 5 years ago

      It's not meant to be how you predict your life partner or the "truth". It's just a quirky thing our body does and a cute little reasoning behind the ring finger. No need to get all witty and snippy about it.

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      Josh 5 years ago

      I was able to do it..... forever alone.. lol

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      Jennifer 5 years ago

      Wow, some people are taking this really literally....

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      Jamie 5 years ago

      This is cool, but all veins lead to your heart

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      Truth 5 years ago

      This has nothing to do with wedding rings and life partners. This is simple anatomy. When you flex your middle finger (say put your hand as instructed on a desk instead of putting them together), this fully stretches the muscle that is responsible for extending both your middle and ring fingers. The muscle is now locked in a streched position by flexing your middle finger, thus you can't contract it to extend your ring finger.

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      sheryl 5 years ago

      my fiancé sat there trying to pry his ring fingers apart and managed to move them a little bit to prove that it was possible....guys...

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      Dean 5 years ago

      My guess it's a pragmatic issue: If a guy gets into a fight, a ring on the fourth finger has less risk being damaged by a solid punch; the index and middle finger knuckles provide most of the impact. And, a rock-and-metal ring implanting into an opponent's head/face could be fatal or possibly maiming. I've had friends in that situation where the opponent attacked without warning, using their diamond ring as a weapon. Diamond ring vs. Wing chun kung fu.... Ring loses.

    • gqgirl profile image

      Sabrae 5 years ago from Georgia

      Seems like I'm gonna have to do some research on other cultures and write more hubs on this topic! Thanks all for your inputs! MUAH!

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      Please proof your post...you don't label the thumb as a finger, you say the index finger is the first finger and that the third finger is the middle finger. Where did the second finger go? And, yeah, all my fingers moved apart without problem.

      To answer Jillian, maybe the right-hand movement came in when German-speaking immigrants came? In German speaking countries, they where the wedding band on the right (I'm American, live in Germany, married a German and follow that tradition).

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      Barbarella 5 years ago

      What if you're an only child...

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      Bobbyann 5 years ago

      This is soooo sweet.

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      Jillian 5 years ago

      So the Romans wore their wedding rings on their left hand? At what point did it move to the right hand (because I know that not too long ago, in American history at least, that people wore the wedding band on the right hand and then it moved again to the left.) just curious.

      Really lovely concept by the way.

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      Michelle 5 years ago

      I could separate my ring fingers quite easily, but not my pinkies :)

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      Ali 5 years ago

      K so i showed this to my boyfriend who i am planning to marry soon C: (haha he knows so don't worry). and what does he say? Well the only reason they stay together is your middle fingers...if you just straighten them out the 4th finger separates really easy! Sigh lol i do love him but there are just some things meant to not be questioned hahaha c:

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      Joy 5 years ago

      Love the Chinese one! I've never heard that. Obviously it's just a cute story, not meant to be some hard and fast rule. Also, just so people know, the Roman one has been disproved. It's neat to know that they believed that, just don't automatically assume an ancient belief is the truth...

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      Eva 5 years ago

      Cute story, although it's really just anatomical. Intertendinous connections are the reason it occurs, and if you happen to be an individual that doesn't have them and can move your ring fingers easily apart...don't go thinking that it's a sign you are meant to be with your spouse :o)

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      Ella 5 years ago

      Every finger has a vein in it that runs to the heart...

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      Mn_9311 5 years ago

      That's beautiful and inspiring. Made me smile and tear up.

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      shay 5 years ago

      yess , i found myslef smiling as well . its true then lol

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      Sann 5 years ago

      I had no trouble pulling apart my ring fingers... ? It's a neat concept though. Never heard that. I was told we wear the ring on our "ring" finger because of the vein that runs through it, and it's the left hand because it's the hand closest to the heart.

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      Victoria 5 years ago

      Except my husband does desert me fairly regularly and treats me as if I am beneath him more often than not. Sure there are good days where he is the sweet guy I married but more and more it's the other way around. At this point I think I messed up my destiny and it is time to take a new path. But I do love this theory, just another sign I am not with my life partner yet.

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      a;eitn 5 years ago

      very inspiring and i want this included in my wedding

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      mzkuxofxkk 5 years ago


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      jessie4777769 5 years ago

      wow! i never thought about it its and inspiring and great thnx a lot! omgggg

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      Nkoro obinna 5 years ago

      The duo is relatively acceptable

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      Lions 5 years ago

      Love them both, great and meaningful.

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      queen 5 years ago

      tnx 4 the info i never thought of it dis way

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      April 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful. It really keeps one's perspective strong,on what the ring really symbolizes.

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      nice 5 years ago

      very interesting.. i read a lot regarding wedding ring but this ones' convinced me.. Tnx!

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      Marie ruth 5 years ago

      I never knew that the ring finger its vein goes to the heart thnks

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      cassandra 5 years ago

      wow that's really cool1 i never thought of it that way. thanks for telling me!

    • Calgarz profile image

      Calgarz 7 years ago

      This is interesting. I've never heard of this theory before thanks.

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      Me 7 years ago

      You aren't separating your middle fingers. It's saying you can't pull apart your "ring" finger, which is the finger beside the middle finger. So yeah....

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      i like you 7 years ago

      i can spread apart my middle fingers quite easily actually....

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      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      :) I found myself following your instructions and smiling. Interesting little piece of information! Never heard it before but I like it.