What Does A Promise Ring Mean?

Written by , BE, PGDBM, Certified Professional Life Coach Harini Natarajan BE, PGDBM, Certified Professional Life Coach Experience: 17 years
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Promise rings are the new fad. However, the concept is not new. Rings have been worn as a symbol of trust since ancient times. Modern new-age couples want to express their love and commitment in unique ways. As they cross milestones in their relationship and get closer, they celebrate it with tokens of love – like a promise ring.

What is a promise ring? How is it different from an engagement ring? How do you choose the perfect promise ring? Find answers to all these questions and more in this article.

What Is A Promise Ring? How Is It Different From An Engagement Ring?

A promise ring is a sign of commitment and faith shared between two partners that the seeds of love that they sowed will prosper into a strong relationship and continue to grow forever. A promise ring is usually given as a sign of commitment for your love.

The basic distinction between a promise ring and an engagement ring is that a promise ring stands as an assurance to love the person forever. It does not necessarily have to be a promise to get married, unlike the engagement ring.

The reasons to get a promise ring may vary from one person to another. Some of the popular ones are discussed below.

The Meaning Of A Promise Ring

The Meaning Of A Promise Ring
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1. Friendship

Best friends share a bond closer than most couples these days. You are lucky if to have found a friend who has your back, no matter what. When you know you have found the friend of your life, gift them a promise ring and wear a similar ring to celebrate your undying friendship.

2. Pre-engagement

A promise ring stands for undying love and does not necessarily have to indicate marriage. But in case you and your partner intend to end up together, and it’s too soon to announce an engagement, a secret exchange of promise rings between you two can keep the bond intact and romantic until you decide to get married.

3. Monogamy

Some couples value a promise ring more than an engagement ring and prefer keeping it on even after the engagement and marriage take place. You can also give a promise ring after marriage to signify the fulfillment of certain promises together.

4. Self-love

If you haven’t met your prince charming yet, don’t worry. Promise rings are all about love, and you do not have to wait for someone to give one to you. You can simply get one for yourself! Resolve to attain your goals in life and fall in love with yourself all over again when you fulfill them.

How did the tradition of giving promise rings come by?

Tradition Of Promise Rings

Tradition Of Promise Rings
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Rings have been used as symbols of promise since ancient times. However, the term ‘promise ring’ was first used in a dictionary of jewelry terms in the 1970s.

According to ancient traditions of Italy and Venice, nobles renewed their marriage vows by tossing their rings in the waters of the Adriatic Sea every year on Ascension morning. Later, in the 16th and 17th centuries, rings slowly began to be considered as tokens of love.

According to the historian Brinkman, the idea of giving a ring as a symbol of love and affection can be traced back to hundreds of years. In ancient times, rings symbolized loyalty and faithfulness. In the 2nd century BC, Roman brides wore engagement bands. Posy rings with romantic quotes engraved on them have been recovered from 16th century England, which proves the use of rings as symbols of everlasting love.

Though the designs have transformed from the Victorian age, which involved heavy stonework on rings, to the simple bands worn today, the basic idea of the promise ring remains unchanged.

Making promises while you are in a relationship is a sign of serious commitment. Here’s what you need to keep in mind while giving a promise ring.

How To Give A Promise Ring

How To Give A Promise Ring
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Make sure you do thorough research on the significance of the ring and the message it delivers. If the ring has a diamond, the recipient may consider it as an indication of engagement. Hence, make sure you clearly communicate with them so that there is no scope for misunderstanding.

The best time to give a promise ring is usually during moments of celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Pick a date.

If you want your moment to be meaningful and special, you can write a little note of the promise(s) you intend to keep in the ring box. If you want to give it to the person as a gift, you might want to wrap it up neatly in a box.

How do you plan to give your partner the promise ring? Are you going to take them out to a fancy dinner or a picnic? Or do you plan to surprise them by slipping it into their pocket? Whatever method you choose, remember to make them feel special.

What you say while giving the promise ring also matters. You can express your love and commitment through a speech, song, or poem. Keep it low-key and private and remember not to overdo it.

There are various reasons people give their special person a promise ring. Some of the most common reasons are as follows.

When To Gift A Promise Ring

When To Gift A Promise Ring
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  1. Exchanging promise rings before the actual engagement is becoming a popular concept. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to find the person of our dreams when we are too young, but getting married so early in life might not be feasible. In such cases, a promise ring can help you pledge your seriousness and commitment towards the relationship.
  1. In a long-distance relationship, it is a challenge to keep up with the space between you both. A tiny loop around your finger reminds you of your partner and their unwavering love, and that keeps you loyal and committed.
  1. If you cannot afford a real engagement ring right now, a promise ring can denote that you want to work hard to make it big in life and look forward to a better tomorrow and a better life for both of you.

Now that you know how and when to give the promise ring, it is also important to understand how you can pick the perfect promise ring for your partner.

How To Choose The Perfect Promise Ring

How To Choose The Perfect Promise Ring
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A promise ring can be of any type – a classic platinum band, a diamond-studded ring, or simple personalized rings with your names engraved on them. Some rings are customized with symbols of hearts, knots, infinity signs, and arrows.

To make things even more interesting, you can keep gifting each other a ring whenever you reach milestones in your relationship – one after finding love, one after getting married, one after having a baby together, etc.

What about the material?

Platinum is the best metal that can withstand daily wear and tear. It is the toughest metal and looks the best. It is also very expensive, and you might want to keep it as an option for the engagement ring. Gold is a good option for a promise ring as it is shiny and lasting. If you have a limited budget, silver is the best option.

You might be wondering if only men are supposed to give promise rings. Could it be the other way too? Can you gift a promise ring to your boyfriend? Yes! Remember to choose a metal that is durable and can withstand constant use. You can go for titanium, tungsten, or pure steel. You can make these bands super special by getting your names or a special date engraved on them.

Since it is going to be a surprise, how can you make sure that the ring fits your partner’s finger?

Measuring The Ring Size

Measuring The Ring Size
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If you are taking them to a jewelry store or ordering a free size adjustable ring, there’s nothing to worry. But if you want it to be a surprise for your loved one, the ring size can be a challenge to find out. Worry not! Technology can help you out.

You can downloads apps like Ring Sizer that allow you to place their ring on a circle. The app will tell you the exact size of the ring. Make sure you are sure about the size of the ring as an ill-fitting ring will make the entire effort go in vain.

While a promise ring does not cost as much as an engagement ring, you have to keep in mind that your partner is going to wear it long before and after your wedding too. It has to be made of a tough, long-lasting material that can withstand the daily wear and tear.

The more you customize your ring, the more it shows how much the relationship means to you. Here are some popular design ideas.

Perfect Design For A Promise Ring

1. Solitaire

Image: Shutterstock

A single diamond ring, called a solitaire, is a popular design for an engagement ring. However, it fits the purpose of a promise ring as well.

2. Cluster Of Diamonds

Cluster Of Diamonds
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If you want to incorporate diamonds but cannot afford a solitaire, you can opt for small clusters of diamonds.

3. Trilogy Ring

Trilogy Ring
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A trilogy ring has three stones that are set horizontally in a row. Usually, the middle stone is bigger than the other two. These stones are said to represent the past, present, and future. They can also represent friendship, love, and fidelity.

4. Gemstones

Image: Shutterstock

Gemstones are the perfect alternative to diamond rings. They are affordable and come in a range of colors and sizes. Be careful with the stone you choose as soft gems like opal can break easily. Pearls are a good option, but rubbing against water can damage them easily. Choose a stone suitable for daily use like sapphire, topaz, emerald, quartz, and aquamarine. They give your promise ring a longer life with a little care from the wearer.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you wear a promise ring. They are discussed below.

Promise Ring Etiquette

Promise Ring Etiquette
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  1. A promise should not be taken lightly. If you agree to wear the ring around your finger, you are signing in for a lifelong commitment.
  1. If you are the one presenting the ring, make sure your partner is aware of the concept of a promise ring and does not confuse it with an engagement ring.
  1. To avoid confusion, do not kneel down while you are giving a promise ring. It would be a good idea to keep a note with the promises besides the ring in the box to make sure no unintended message is delivered.
  1. There is no hard and fast rule that the promise ring has to be worn all the time. It depends on your preference.
  1. The best part of wearing a promise ring is that it does not have to be worn on your ring finger. Usually, people wear it on the ring finger of the right hand. Some people even wear it like a pendant or on other fingers.

Regardless of why you want to give or get a promise ring, it is a beautiful way to show your love and commitment to your partner. What do you think of promise rings? Have you given one to your partner? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below.

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Harini Natarajan
Harini NatarajanHead Of Content Operations
As Head Of Content Operations, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She is a Certified Professional Life Coach from Transformation Academy, a Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner from The Priority Academy, and has over 17 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media.

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