In dating and relationships, many rings may be involved in the process. Commonly you hear of engagement rings, wedding bands, or maybe a purity ring. But what about a promise ring? What is a promise ring?
A promise ring is a finger ring usually given from one person to another, usually after some time in a romantic relationship. It is given to show fidelity, devotion, and commitment and is seen as the earlier step before engagement. However, there is no guarantee that an engagement may follow after a promise ring is given.
This article will explore the promise ring, describing its uses and how it looks. It will also differentiate it against engagement and purity rings.
The article will also discuss if men can wear a promise ring and what to do with the promise ring after engagement and marriage.
What Does A Promise Ring Look Like?
Commonly, a promise ring does not have rigid rules. Therefore there is no set look for it. People commonly keep the rings simple, with a metal band with either birthstone or a row of small-carat diamonds. There may be symbols of union, such as hearts, infinity symbols, or knots.
The main point of giving rings is their meaning, not the ring itself. The same concept could be used for a promise ring. There is no prescribed ‘formula’ of what a promise ring should look like. There is also no budget on how the ring should cost as well.
This leaves the ring maker to apply their full creativity to the ring. You may see some putting in designs such as hearts and an infinity symbol to represent their union. Some also try to put in some symbols relating to intertwining, such as Celtic knots.
Stones are also popular in a promise ring. Since there are prescribed rules, you can use whichever stone you like. Some like to use the recipient’s birthstone. Some also use a combination of the birthstones of both the giver and the recipient.
Diamonds are used in promise rings, too. However, they are usually in smaller carats and arranged in a row instead of a single larger diamond. The latter is more commonly seen in engagement rings.
When it comes to metals, there are also no set rules. It can be a simple band made from sterling silver or any precious metal such as platinum or gold. Gold alloys are also popular, such as white gold or rose gold.
You may be excited and keen to design and splash your money on a promise ring. Still, the best advice is to keep the design simple and the budget low. The more commonly accepted practice is to spend more money on the engagement ring.
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Is A Promise Ring Different From Engagement Ring?
A promise ring and engagement ring differ in meaning and construction. A promise ring signifies commitment and fidelity but does not promise the next step, which is engagement. An engagement ring carries the same meaning but promises marriage.
A promise ring differs from an engagement ring in meaning and appearance. When it comes to meaning, an engagement ring can be seen as the next step up from the promise ring before the final wedding band.
However, a promise ring does not signify that engagement will come, as it only symbolizes exclusivity, commitment, and devotion. It does not promise that an engagement will follow. This makes it meaningfully different from an engagement ring. When you give an engagement ring to the recipient, you are also promising marriage.
A promise ring also tends to be less formalized in design than an engagement ring. You may be quite free to decide on how your promise ring may look like, from the band metal, symbols or designs. You can even decide between the type of birthstones to add to it.
An engagement ring tends to have a conventionally accepted design, although you still can do it your way. Standard engagement rings feature a solitaire diamond, often in larger carats, and tend to use precious metals for the band, such as platinum. Various configurations of gold alloy may also be used, such as rose gold or white gold.
Is A Promise Ring Different From A Purity Ring?
Generally, a promise ring differs from a purity ring in construction and meaning. A promise ring tends to be more ornate than a purity ring. When it comes to the meaning, a promise ring focuses on the commitment of the relationship. In contrast, a purity ring focuses on the intention of an individual to stay pure before marriage.
A promise ring differs from a purity ring, although they may sometimes be used together. These two rings differ in the meaning, the construction, and the occasions in which they are given.
With the promise ring, the focus is on the relationship between a romantic partner. The ring signifies commitment, devotion, and fidelity between the two partners in the relationship. A promise ring, however, does not promise the next step in the relationship: engagement.
A purity ring, however, focuses on the individual. It indicates the commitment to pressure purity until marriage, usually by abstaining from pre-marital sex. A purity ring does not need to be worn by someone in a relationship. A single person with the intention to remain pure may wear it.
Construction wise, the rings are relatively unbound by any rules. However, you may assume that purity rings tend to be simpler and less ornate than a promise ring, although it may not always be the case. For example, you are likelier to see gemstones on a promise ring and a Bible verse on a purity ring.
The biggest confusion many may have is that some people call their purity ring a promise ring, based on the concept that they have made a ‘promise’ to stay pure. This means you may need to ask a little further to confirm if they are wearing a purity ring or an actual promise ring.
Can Men Wear A Promise Ring?
Promise rings are commonly worn by women, although men wear them too. Some couples are known to exchange promise rings, so both will wear one. Men’s promise rings tend to be more straightforward and less ornate.
Traditionally, a promise ring is given by a man to a woman to indicate his commitment and fidelity. When a woman accepts and wears the ring, she intends to do the same in return.
However, some couples are known to exchange rings with each other. This means instead of the man giving the woman a ring, the woman also gives the man a ring. As a result, the man and woman would wear the ring.
The most famous such practice is between Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus. They exchanged promise rings and were seen wearing them on appearances before they got married in 2018.
Similar to promise rings for women, there are no rules for men. However, similar to how men’s wedding bands tend to be simple and less ornate, it may be a good idea to keep the promise ring for men simple as well.
Where Do You Wear A Promise Ring?
Promise rings are usually worn on the left hand, on the ring finger. If other rings were given, such as an engagement ring, the promise ring can either be moved to the same finger on the right hand, worn as a necklace or no longer worn.
Promise rings also do not have a set rule regarding where to wear them. People commonly wear it on the ring finger on the left hand, similar to an engagement ring.
If an engagement were to follow, the promise ring could be worn on the ring finger on the right hand while the left-hand takes the engagement ring.
However, the rule above is not set in stone. Some people have been known to wear promise rings on their necks as necklaces. Others wear their promise rings on pinky fingers as well.
Some also stop wearing a promise ring when they receive an engagement ring. The rationale is that when an engagement ring signifies you are in a more committed relationship, you are engaged and preparing for marriage. As a result, a promise ring is redundant and no longer necessary.
What Happens If A Breakup Happens?
A promise ring could or not be returned to the giver, depending on the breakup circumstances. The standard rule is that if the giver broke the relationship, the ring might not be given back, and vice versa.
Relationships may not go the intended way, and in the event of a breakup, a promise ring is given back to the giver. However, there were cases where the man decided not to take back the ring, as he sees it as a gift, and asking for a gift back is seen as uncouth.
Another way to decide what to do with the ring may also depend on the nature of the breakup. If the breakup happens with the ring giver, then perhaps the ring may not be given back. But if the breakup happens from the receiver, then perhaps the ring may be given back.
But, when a relationship has ended, the promise ring is commonly no longer worn. Suppose the woman continues to wear the ring. In that case, it may turn away potential suitors, who may still think the wearer is in a relationship.