Rings are one of the most precious gifts that you can present to your loved ones. A promise ring is quite special among them. It is a beautiful piece of jewellery given as a token of love to anyone who means the world to you. The idea of gifting a ring to your special someone is quite romantic. The promise ring does exactly that. A promise ring is meant as a sign of commitment between two lovers. But there are a lot of rings like engagement rings and wedding rings that keep the same ‘promise’. So what’s so special about the promise ring itself?

What is a promise ring?

what does a promise ring mean in a relationship
What is a Promise Ring?

A ring is often regarded as a sign of love because it stays with you for a lifetime. When you fall in love, you promise each other of being together forever. A promise ring is a constant reminder of that vow and signifies the sense of commitment towards your beloved.
The concept of wearing a ring to signify loyalty and fidelity among couples date back to hundreds of years.

History of promise rings

History shows that Roman brides-to-be wore engagement bands during the 2nd century BC. England has a history of women flaunting delicate and beautiful rings engraved with romantic verses as well. The modern promise rings aren’t as fancy anymore, but they convey the same emotions.

The English were lavish with their rings with stones arranged to spell words of love. A popular example is the gemstones combination of ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond rendering the word “regard”. Georgian and Victorian era men sure knew how to say it to their women!

The promise ring has made a comeback to the modern era only for a decade or so. Celebrities like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are credited to bringing these rings back in vogue.

What does a promise ring mean?

There must be a thousand questions running through your mind right now. What does a promise ring mean? Can you present this ring only to the person you love? Are you confusing it with an engagement ring? Here we break it down for you.

A promise ring, also known as a pre-engagement ring is a sign of the commitment of love for one another. It is often presented as the first token of love between couples who are entering a serious relationship. It symbolises that they are thinking about spending a lifetime with each other. A few couples also flaunt it as an engagement ring. Others simply wear it as a sign of devotion to each other.

In this way, a promise ring is quite different from an engagement ring as the reasons behind exchanging these rings are different. This ring certainly does not mean that the couple exchanging it are about to be married. An engagement ring states clearly that the couple will soon be wed. Promise ring denotes fidelity and loyalty in a relationship.

What does a promise ring say?

What promise ring means for couples is highly individualistic. Many consider it a pre-engagement gift or as a ‘promise’ to always be with each other. Mostly, promise ring for couples is a public statement of a committed relationship.
There are also many interpretations of the ring. Each couple has a message that the ring carries. It can say,
“I am truly in love with you”,
“I promise to be with you for a lifetime”
or “I promise to work hard for you”.

The individuals give meaning to the rings. Young love is truly wonderful.

what is a promise ring mean for a girlfriend
Source : Gordon’s Jewelers

A promise ring, in its literal sense, can also be worn to keep a promise. Thus it can be exchanged between couples, friends or even family members when keeping promises to each other.

It can signify your commitment towards your partner, your goal, your love towards your parents, your pledge to break a bad habit etc. It can be regarded as a simple promise that will last a lifetime. The ring will be a constant reminder of the vow you have taken as you wore it.

What does a promise ring mean in a relationship?

As we saw now, the meaning of a promise ring can vary. This ring can be categorised into different types as per the situation. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to promise rings. But let us navigate you through some of the common occasions when promise rings are worn:

For young couples

  • Romantic symbolism: You are right out of college, and you can’t part with your sweetheart. A promise ring is well-timed for this occasion to state your love. The ring says that you are committed to one another. In raw terms, the ring is worn by couples in an exclusive relationship.
  • Pre-engagement: This is the most popular category. Most promise rings are a symbol of commitment. It is not as much as an engagement ring. It says your relationship is serious and you may eventually head for marriage at a later time.

Family and Acquaintances

  • Friendship: Did you know friends can present a promise ring to each other? Well, you can. It’s regarded as a sign of bonding and eternal friendship. Oh, to have friends like that!
  • Family bonds: Mother-daughter, father-son, mother-son, and brother-sister duos can wear a promise ring too. A very sweet gesture, the promise ring can say a lot of things here. It silently says about your relationship, love and adoration for each other. Parents do sneak in this ring if they really want you to break a bad habit. You can’t keep indulging when the ring that your mom put on your finger is a constant reminder.

For Self-vows

  • Abstinence or Chastity: Promise rings are also worn by folks who choose to remain abstinent. They are called abstinence ring or chastity ring as well. It is a powerful symbol and worn by nuns and religious sects as well. It proclaims their vows.
  • Promises to Yourself: Who doesn’t like to gift themselves? Well, if you achieved a goal or want to abstain from your guilty pleasure, a ring may be an answer. It’s a great reminder of your victory if that’s your reason for wearing the ring. Wearing a promise ring, in the other case, always reminds you to better in life and work towards your goals.

What does a promise ring symbolise?

Ideally, a promise ring is perceived as similar to an engagement ring. They are usually worn by people who are involved in a serious relationship. But for the last few decades, people have been flaunting it as a sign of promise made to each other.

Understanding what a promise ring means in a relationship is important. Don’t mistake this ring to be an engagement ring. It is quite different. An engagement ring between a couple says that the couple is likely to be married in the near future. A promise ring although can be considered a pre-engagement ring, plainly speaks love and commitment towards one another.

What does a promise ring mean in a relationship?

wearing a ring

A promise ring between is a young couple is a beautiful showcase of their love.

What does a promise ring mean for a girlfriend?

By wearing the ring, the girlfriend lets the world know that she is committed to her guy. It also shows how completely involved she is, in her relationship. The ring shows that her boyfriend had gifted it to her as a token of commitment. It can also show a likely marriage in the future.

What does a promise ring mean from a boyfriend?

For the boyfriend too, the meaning of the ring does not change. It signifies that the boy is devoted to his girl.

Promise ring for girls has a thin and delicate design. Whereas, for boys, the ring has a slightly masculine look.

What hand do you wear a promise ring on?

A promise ring can be worn on any hand, depending on the reason for wearing it.

When is a promise ring worn on the left hand?

Since this is the hand that has your engagement ring finger, a promise ring can be worn on this hand as a pre-engagement ring. If you have been gifted by your partner, then wearing the ring on the left hand can be the right choice.

When is a promise ring worn on the right hand?

Wearing a promise ring on the right hand is a good alternative as it leaves your left hand free. You can keep your left hand ready for the engagement ring. This also makes people stay away from questioning your commitment status.

But while choosing a ring for your partner, you should know their preferences and sizes too. A badly fitted ring can completely ruin the moment. You don’t want that!

Which finger does a promise ring go on?

If your ring is a symbol of a romantic relationship, then you can wear it on your ring finger instead of a wedding ring. You can also wear it on any other finger to specify that your relationship has not reached the engagement level yet. If you have been gifted the ring by friends or family, then you can flaunt it on any finger of any hand except the ring finger.

Wearing a ring on the ring finger is often considered a sign of a relationship.
A ring can also be worn as a pendant around the neck or as a bracelet. When it comes to answering what hand to wear a ring on and what finger to wear the ring on, there are no such specific rules for the promise ring.

Wearing a ring on a particular hand and finger is a matter of personal choice. Stressing too much on which finger to wear is useless.

In the end, what is important is the idea of two individuals promising something to each other. The promise gives a ring all the new meaning of being there for each other.

Can any ring be a promise ring?

At a glance, all purity rings or promise rings look like any other ring. But if you actually look at the minute details, i.e. the engravings on it, then you will understand the difference.

The designs on the ring mean the idea of commitment, self-love and purity of life. You can also have quotes engraved in it and have your favourite design made. You can play it up with gemstones if you fancy it.

If you really want to go the extra mile, sneak in questions to your partner between conversations. This way, you can know her taste in jewellery and select the ring accordingly.

Can a promise ring be an engagement ring?

what is a promise ring mean from a boyfriend

There is not much of a difference between an engagement ring and a promise ring. It solely depends on the purpose of gifting or wearing the ring.

Promise ring essentially means it is a ‘promise’ to stay together for a lifetime. The ring can also be presented as a sign of an engagement that will happen someday.

An individual can receive ring years or months before the engagement. Their partner can also straightaway present it as an engagement ring right before the engagement too.

There are, of course, slight differences between the engagement ring and promise ring in terms of designs. Promise rings are more subtle and smaller than engagement rings. Unlike engagement rings, promise rings are mostly not engraved elaborately. They are surely not studded with humongous diamonds like engagement rings.

The design speaks volumes of the sign of purity. Make your message clear with the style of the ring.

Ring etiquette

Since promise rings are a sign of pure commitment, its significance should not be taken lightly. Here are a few etiquettes you should be following:

  • You and your partner have been dating for a year at least. You may have to give a second thought before jumping to the promise ring gift if you haven’t been together for long.
  • It is an ideal gift if your engagement is not on the cards for the time being.
  • If you want your partner to know where your relationship is headed, then the ring is a great option to establish it.
  • If you are gifting the ring to your family members, friends or self, always remember the meaning behind the ring. Make promises to yourself that you can always fulfil or live up to it.

Perfect way of presenting a Ring

The perfect way of presenting a ring is different for every couple. Each couple has a diverse set of values and respect for each other. What matters is you enjoy the moment. Don’t forget to click the ring exchange pictures and make it a big deal! Make them memories to cherish!

Time needed: 2 minutes.

How to give someone a promise ring?

  1. Make it adventurous

    If your partner is adventurous, then you can give the ring while playing a treasure hunt game. It would be great fun to see the real surprise hidden there!

  2. A Romantic gesture

    If you both are quite the romantics, then you can go down on your knees and present it. Don’t forget to have her dress up for it in advance.

  3. Surprise!! Surprise!!

    You can surprise your lover with a bouquet of flowers and a ring hidden in it. It’s a classic and women will love it.

  4. Foodie’s Delight

    If you guys are foodies, then you can gift him/her a ring while out on a date or even while watching a movie. Hiding the ring in dessert has been all over the movies, now it’s your turn to try.

Amrita Singh
Author Amrita Singh

Amrita Singh is an engineering graduate of Mumbai University. She has spent most of her life playing sports and cuddling cats and has annoyed parents & professors alike. Now a Fabulously writer, she enjoys writing about all things lifestyle.

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