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What is the Meaning of a Promise Ring?

What is a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is a symbolic gift given to a significant other as a physical reminder of your commitment to the relationship. It signifies devotion, loyalty, and dedication to creating a future together. Promise rings are typically a precursor to an engagement ring and are gifted to symbolize the intentions to one day tie the knot and officially get married. Now that we’ve defined what I promise ring is, let’s figure out the next important question: what is the meaning of a promise ring?

What is the Meaning of a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is just that – a promise. It’s an agreement between two people to not only eventually get married, but to also uphold the pillars of any successful relationship: honesty, loyalty, communication, and commitment. Promise rings can also hold special, more specific meanings unique to each couple’s one-of-a-kind relationship. If your partner accepts the ring, it’s a sign they are ready to commit to the relationship in a similar way you are.

Promise rings are also a recognition of the importance of your partner in your life and a symbol of gratitude for their presence. They are a physical reminder to your partner that shows that you are thankful for them and are a step above a traditional gift.

Promise rings are also an indication that you and your partner are entering a phase in your relationship that is a step above dating. When you give your partner a promise ring, you show the symbol of your relationship to the world and display the seriousness of your feelings outwardly but also show that you may not quite be ready for marriage. These rings are a convenient commitment symbol for your lover that also acknowledge the real-world complexities concerning finances, work, cohabitation, and marriage.

Though promise rings mostly symbolize romance, in modern times they have also been gifted not only to significant others, but to friends and family members as symbols of love and kinship.

The History of the Promise Ring

The answer to the age-old question ‘what’s the meaning of a promise ring’ has changed over the centuries. In olden times, promise rings were used more broadly than just in terms of romance. For example, Bishops wore promise rings that symbolized their spiritual and religious commitments. And in Venice, Italy heads of the city hearkened back to the historic ‘promise’ between the city, its canals, and the Adriatic Sea by tossing a ring into the water on the same day each year, having a new ring crafted, and a year later tossing it again.

It wasn’t until the Roman era that promise rings, as we consider them, became popular. Then, you were required to wait for a specific amount time before marriage, and promise rings were a sign of commitment to an individual to wait through that time period and eventually be married.

In the 14th century, the French adopted promise rings and called them posy rings. ‘Posy’ is derived from the word for poetry, and these rings were engraved with poetic phrases that signified romantic feelings of love. By the 19th century these phrases were no longer just engraved – they were cleverly and ornately spelled with small gemstones.

Is a Promise Ring the Same as an Engagement Ring?

A promise ring is not the same as an engagement ring. An engagement ring is a commitment ring indicating you are to get married in the near future. The intentions of giving someone a promise ring vary depending on whom you are offering, like a significant other, friend, or family member.

If you are giving the ring to your partner, the promise ring acts as a pre-engagement ring signifying you are committed to one another as a couple. For friendships and family, the promise ring symbolizes memories, bonds, love, and the strength of family ties. In all cases, a promise ring will act as a physical reminder of your promise and will remind you of the commitment you’ve made.

It’s also worth noting that a promise ring is not the same as a purity ring, which symbolizes an individual’s commitment to celibacy before marriage. Promise rings are meant only as a signifier of commitment to love and partnership.

What Does a Promise Ring Look Like? 

A promise ring can look like whatever your heart desires! As with engagement rings, promise rings can come in any style, shape, color, and size. It should be tailored to fit the taste of whoever will be wearing it and not be so over the top that it’ll outdo any future engagement rings.

How Much Should You Spend on a Promise Ring?

As mentioned, a promise ring shouldn’t upstage a future engagement ring. However, as a special, meaningful piece of jewelry, a promise ring should be carefully considered and crafted out of quality materials. When considering which promise ring to purchase, think about quality over quantity – a promise ring should signify your beliefs, preferences, and relationship, as well as consider the individual style of the person wearing it. A promise ring shouldn’t break the bank but should be valuable enough to treasure for a lifetime. 

What Finger Does a Promise Ring Go On?

The short answer is – there is no answer! Promise rings offer the flexibility to wear them on whichever finger (or hand) is the most meaningful and comfortable for the wearer. Wearing it on the ring finger on the right hand is one of the most popular ways – as engagement rings are traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand, wearing a promise ring on the exact opposite side is a meaningful choice. Or, if the wearer is comfortable with it, they can choose to wear it on the left ring finger and replace it with an engagement ring when the time comes.

A Promising Future

No matter which ring you decide on, whichever finger it’s worn on, and what you discover the meaning of a promise ring is to you, they are a promising move: it shows that you’re committed to crafting a meaningful future. Browse our selection of promise rings to find your perfect match.

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