That Girl: Ring Radar

That Girl, Ring Radar, Twin Cities Agenda

Ring Radar.

Have you heard of this? It’s a thing. I have it – and didn’t even realize it.

What is the first thing you do when you’re single and you see someone attractive? Keep looking until you make eye-contact and then look down bashfully? Find a reason to get closer? Or, are you super confident and walk right up?

I’ve done the walk-up-and-strike-conversation thing before… only to have said attractive man’s significant other walk up and beautifully introduce herself.

(That reminds me of an old-school Alanis Morissette song… “It’s like meeting the man of my dreams… and then meeting his beautiful wife. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?” …Well, damn, am I totally aging myself?)

Anyway, yeah, I stopped doing that.

Now, being in my thirties and single, the first thing I do is look for a ring. My eyes instinctively shoot to the left hand, ring finger. It’s like a reflex.

Groom touching his wedding ring on hand

I didn’t even realize I was doing it until one day, I was chatting with a fellow single lady friend from church. She said, “Yeah, do you have ‘ring radar’ now? I totally do.” I was like, “Um, what the heck is that?” She explained.

We girls, who have tried the confident lock eyes, move closer, and even walk-up approach in the past, have been burned and/or embarrassed enough to know it may be in everyone’s best interest to keep a distance. At least at first. It’s important to be cautious, right? So, we look for proof of singledom before we take any kind of initiative.

I know what you’re thinking – a ring isn’t the only answer to whether or not someone is, in fact, single. I know. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, too. But it IS a start.

The longer we are single, the better we get at inferring and piecing all the things together.

Scene: He’s alone at Target, with no list and no ring…

Discreetly follow him to the next aisle.

Confirmed: No list, no ring – two definitive “taken” signs to eliminate.

In his cart. No feminine products? Random items strewn about in his cart? Two more good signs. 

Linger a bit, make eye contact. Smile. Maybe even reach for the same item and giggle.

But, keep in mind, this a dating advice column in reverse… so maybe don’t take advice from me. The last time I tried this, dude smiled back and kindly whispered, “You’re cute. But I’m gay.”


And clearly not very discreet, after all.

Tell me, single friends, do YOU have “ring radar?” Do you have surefire ways of knowing if someone is single? Share them with me!

Read next: That Girl: Dating younger guys vs. older guys