What is a promise ring, you may ask? A promise ring is an ornament that symbolizes a pledge, bond or promise between two people. Such rings are not specific to one gender. Men and women can wear these rings. In fact, given the various types of promise rings, it is not surprising to find exchanging rings between the same gender.
Nothing is more important than a promise. It's so easy to say the words, but when you actually mean it, a promise is tantamount to being like an iron-clad contract. While promise rings are not as traditional as engagement rings, they can still mean so much. A promise ring is a symbol of a promise between two people. This can be either romantic or platonic, but they are always given with sincerity..
Typically, a promise ring is given as a pre-engagement ring. Sometimes you are sure this person is the right one for you, but are not quite ready for engagement. This is a great opportunity for giving a promise ring. It expresses a similar commitment to an engagement ring without all the ties that come with being engaged.
An engagement is a very serious commitment, and at times may be too official a step for a young couple to make. Yet, at the same time, if a man and woman are in a very serious relationship which both intend will one day lead to marriage, just being boyfriend and girlfriend may not seem like enough. Enter the promise ring, also sometimes referred to as a pre-engagement ring. The purpose of this ring is to be less of a commitment than an official piece of wedding jewelry like the engagement ring, but a serious pledge and a promise that the relationship is headed down the path to engagement at some point in the future.
There are many situations in which a promise ring might be in order. It can be a wonderful way for a very young couple to show that they are serious about their relationship, without becoming officially engaged if they feel that they are too young to get married. They are popular among people who travel extensively for work, as in the case of military deployments or in the case of a long separation caused by one half of the couple moving away to attend college. The pain of an extended separation might be eased considerably by the love and commitment implied by the ring.
Promise rings can also be given by a parent to their child for abstinence from sexually immorality until marriage. They can also be used in place of an engagement ring or wedding ring. Not everybody feels the need to get married, but exchanging rings can still symbolize commitment and monogamy.
While the idea of promise rings may seem new-age, they've actually been around a long time.
The phrase "promise ring" is relatively new, but the concept still dates back centuries. In Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was quite popular and common to exchange rings in a vow of friendship or love. The symbolic nature of a circle representing eternity and some kind of metal symbolizing the sturdiness of the relationship was always popular ways people showed their love for one another.
It is traditionally only the woman who wears a promise ring, although there is no reason why the man could not have one as well. As for the ring itself, it is generally more simple than an engagement ring. A decorative band would be very appropriate for a pre-engagement ring. If the man has a special class ring, he might have it sized down to fit his girlfriend, or have a more petite replica made for her to wear. It can really be any style of the ring which appeals to both people, although it is common to make an effort to select a ring which does not look too much like an engagement ring.
WHICH FINGER DO YOU NEED TO WEAR A PROMISE RING ON?
The promise ring is generally worn on the ring finger of the left hand until such time as it is replaced by an official engagement ring. Although it is nice if the style of the ring is compatible with the rest of the wedding jewelry which follows, one would not typically wear the promise ring and engagement ring together on the same finger. For one thing, it would look too much like you were already married, and for another, it is fun to show off the sapphire engagement ring all on its own. Typically, the promise ring will be moved to the ring finger of the right hand once the woman has her engagement ring.
The type of promise ring given to you determines the finger that you will wear it. For example, if you have been given the band as a sign that your partner will be engaged to you, you can wear it on the left ring finger. When you receive an tanzanite engagement ring, it's recommended that you remove the promise ring and wear it on the right hand.
If you have exchanged the rings with your partner as a symbol that you will remain in a monogamous relationship, you should wear the band in the right hand. This is to avoid confusion with other rings that you might receive in the future.
While it's recommended that you wear the band on the right hand, you can wear it on the left ring finger, but remove it when you receive another band.
Do you have to wear the promise ring on a particular hand/finger? While there are no specific rules as such, certain 'placement' choices are advisable. For instance, someone who is single and available might want to avoid wearing their friendship promise ring as an engagement ring. Some couples who wear promise rings prior to engagement might opt to wear them on their left hand's ring finger. This shifts to the right hand once the official engagement takes place.
If you receive an abstinence ring you should wear it on the left ring finger. The band should remain on the finger until it's replaced by an engagement band.
If you have made a promise with your platonic friend, you can wear the band on any finger-including the thumbs. You should avoid placing the ring on your ring finger in order to avoid any confusion with romance.
COMMON TYPES OF PROMISE RINGS
Infinity Knot: it represents unending love and fidelity. The ring features one or more interwoven knots and is commonly used as a pre-engagement or friendship ring. It's also common to find couples wearing the ring as a sign of a strong relationship and love for each other.
Heart: This is a simple symbol that reflects the love that people have for each other. A heart-shaped ring is common with couples. The most common ring type is the simple gold band with a gold heart as the centerpiece. There are other elaborate rings such as diamond and platinum. Couples usually give a heart-shaped ring as a pre-engagement ring.
Plain band: Simple promise rings are a plain band with no design and stone on it. They come in gold and silver. Though it is simple yet it is the most elegant rings of all.
Name engraved rings: In this one, you can have your partner's name engraved on either outside or inside of the ring. It shows your immense love and attachment to the person you love. It is very romantic and gives the feeling of personal touch.
Interlocking Promise Rings: The design of the ring shows interlocking which can be seen as a metaphor for being interlocked in love. It is also the promise that one day they will get locked on the pious relation of marriage. It is one of the most famous designs.
Colored Diamond Rings: Diamond is a beauty in itself and when it lies on your hand placed within a band it beauty further increases. You can gift your girlfriend diamond rings in different colors like blue or black.
HOW TO PRESENT A PROMISE RING
To make it memorable, you should present a promise ring in a unique way. Here are tips on how to present the ring:
Short Speech: There are some people who opt to prepare a simple speech that expresses their emotions. The cool thing with planning a few words is that you don't get tongue-tied or forget to give important information on why you are giving the ring.
While it's good to prepare a short speech, you should avoid practicing a lot to the extent that the words you give sound rehearsed and without emotion. All you need to do is to note the special parts that you must mention and then use your own words to put across the information.
Song: if you have a special song that has the information that you want to pass, you should consider playing it when giving the ring. The results are usually better when the song is of great importance to the person that you are giving the ring.
REASONS TO GIVE A PROMISE RING
Pre-Engagement: A couple that is very committed to one another may have assorted reasons for waiting to get married or even engaged. Youth could be a factor if the couple is just out of high school, or perhaps a life situation compels them to wait, such as wanting to finish college or achieve some other goal before making official plans to marry. A simple promise ring might also indicate commitment while one partner saves to purchase a formal engagement ring; in time, another ring will replace it.
Chastity: This type of ring, also called a purity ring, is a symbol of a promise to remain a virgin until after marriage. Parents typically give these rings to their children as a reminder of the view that love is patient. Young people who accept these rings promise to honor the belief. These, too, are intended as placeholders for wedding rings.
Substance Abstinence: These rings symbolize a different type of pledge between parents and children: a commitment not to smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs. However, there is no reason an adult could not wear a ring to make the same promise.
Monogamy: A monogamy ring reflects a promise to remain faithful. Marriage, engagement or pre-engagement might not be a factor, yet a couple could still want to promise to be true to each other; a ring is a visible symbol of that commitment.
Friendship: Friendship rings may seem less important than other types of promise rings, yet they can be equally meaningful. As a platonic gesture, friendship rings show a commitment that sometimes lasts longer than marriage. Friends who are devoted to supporting one another may want a visual symbol in the same way a romantic couple would. Though not typically worn on the left ring finger, the gift is still significant.
Religious: A religious promise ring symbolizes an act of devotion or faith. This ring can be worn to show commitment to a particular spiritual path or to a specific saint whose teachings are meaningful to the wearer.
Another common type of ring in the old days was a "poesy ring." These were often rings engraved with a heartfelt sentiment or promise when given to a dear friend or lover. One typical loving phrase read, "Vous et null autre." In English, this translates to "You and no other."
There is no rule that says on what finger you must wear a promise ring. Part of its appeal is that it can mean many things to many people. Typically though, many tend to wear it on their ring finger, the third finger on the left hand. This is more common when the ring is given as a pre-engagement ring or a chastity ring. That being said, many feel more comfortable wearing it on their right ring finger so it doesn't get confused with an engagement ring.
A Promise ring can mean just as much or more than an engagement ring and will cost less because they typically don't involve a lot of jewels.