What is the meaning of a promise ring? When you are in a relationship, it is very usual for you and your partner to give gifts to each other to show your love and devotion. One of the most usual gifts and symbols of love would be rings, which are usually given by men to women. But it can also be the other way around — did you know that there are also promise rings for guys?
Rings are classic pieces of jewelry that are usually given to express commitment to the person. And because every relationship is different and every relationship has different milestones, there are also different types of rings that correspond to each milestone, such as promise rings, engagement rings, wedding rings, and even anniversary rings. We’re most likely familiar with engagement rings, but what is the meaning of a promise ring? What does a promise ring symbolize? And what is the difference between promise ring vs engagement ring?
Let’s take a closer look at promise rings — their meaning, history, when to give them, and the proper etiquette about them.
What is the meaning of a promise ring?
You may be thinking or even dreaming of getting engaged one day but there are several things happening in your life at the moment, such as your school, or being physically apart from your partner, or maybe just that the timing is not right yet. For now, you can opt for a promise ring.
What is the meaning of a promise ring? This ring symbolizes a commitment to each other, often with the implication that you want to become engaged in the future. This tradition symbolizes love and loyalty, and the idea behind it is that once a promise ring is given and accepted, the partners can count on each other and believe that they will stay true to the promise.
Of course, there are times when a promise ring does not necessarily mean a later proposal. By understanding what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize, you know that these are simply a symbol of love and commitment for a couple.
What does a promise ring symbolize?
A lot of people say that promise rings symbolize adolescent love, infatuation, and sometimes, abstinence, but the real meaning behind promise rings goes further and it is a usual gift and gesture between couples of any age.
What does a promise ring symbolize? It is a pledge between the couple, and it is different from relationship to relationship. The charm of a promise ring lies in the large variety of personal meanings it can symbolize. For some, giving and wearing a promise ring means getting engaged and married in the future. For others, it could simply be a sign of love, commitment, loyalty, and devotion to each other, even without the goal of getting married someday.
This means that a promise ring may represent a step further from dating. By this you know what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize for you — it is an indication to the outside world that your heart is taken and that you are in a serious relationship that you plan to keep and protect.
Whatever the meaning of your promise ring, you can have the promise engraved onto the ring and keep that as a reminder to each other.
What a promise ring should look like
Like with engagement rings, there are no rules as to how your promise ring should look like. When you are choosing the perfect promise ring, you need to consider your partner’s style and character. You also have to consider what does a promise ring symbolize for you as a couple.
If you have discussed exchanging promise rings with each other, then you can simply go shopping together. This way, you can choose what you like and what suits you and her.
Here are a few trendy promise ring ideas:
Smaller diamonds. Bigger center stones in solitaire design are usually used with engagement rings. A promise ring indicates a future engagement, and they usually have smaller diamonds of 0.25ct or less.
Love motifs. Simply put, the answer to the question of what is the meaning of a promise ring can be this: Promise rings symbolize love and devotion. So it is only fitting to choose among rings that have love motifs such as love knots, heart motifs, or even infinity symbols.
Gemstones. Adding a splash of color to the perfect promise ring would be fun! You can choose your partner’s birthstone to make it more special and sentimental.
Simple bands. One of the most ideal options for couples who are choosing a promise ring and plan to marry later with that same promise ring as their wedding bands would be one that is made of precious metal in a single band. You can customize this by engraving your names, fingerprints, a message, or even your anniversary date.
By being practical and taking into account what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize, you understand that there is the next step to your love story. Whatever that may be, it’s still up to you as a couple to decide.
Promise ring vs engagement ring
People usually confuse the two although they have quite different meanings. A promise ring could hint at an engagement and marriage but does not exactly promise them. Clearly, what does a promise ring symbolize is that the relationship will keep going and is worn as a symbol of commitment and love toward each other.
A promise ring could also be given at any point in a relationship even without having to set a wedding date. This means, a promise ring may symbolize a lot of things, and it could be given to mark any milestone in a relationship, devotion to your partner, or any event or meaning that is specific and personal to the couple. Bottom line, it’s still you (as a couple) that determines what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize in your relationship.
For the ring design, promise rings are usually simpler than engagement rings but are still very beautiful and elegant. But there are no rules when it comes to promise rings, and you can still choose one that has a large center stone or choose any other style that you would like.
Promise ring vs purity ring
Now that you know the difference between a promise ring vs engagement ring, you should likewise note that promise rings are also confused with purity rings, and these two terms are often used randomly. But promise rings and purity rings have different meanings, symbolizing two distinct promises and commitments.
As you already know what is the meaning of a promise ring, you understand that it can symbolize whatever you and your partner would like, while purity rings symbolize a pledge of abstinence before marriage. Purity rings are usually made of sterling silver and do not have diamonds or other stones. They are often engraved with a message like Love is Patient or True Love Waits.
When to give a promise ring
Unlike proposals, giving a promise ring is not that big of an event, as it does not necessarily mean marriage in the future. But of course, it is an important day for the couple. Especially if you’ve already had a conversation about what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize in your relationship.
That said, there are no restrictions of any kind as far as timing for giving a promise ring goes, so the whole process can be enjoyable and stress-free.
A promise ring is a physical symbol of your love and devotion to the relationship and to the other person. If you are not sure when to give your partner a promise ring, but would really love to show your commitment, here are some ideas:
- If the relationship is new and your family might think it could be too soon for a proposal, you can give your partner a promise ring as a sign that you want to commit to them.
- If you and your partner are both still very young and you are financially dependent on your partners, but you both really want to be together.
- If you need to move to a different place, a city or country because of school or work and will be spending time away from your partner, what does a promise ring symbolize then, is your commitment to a long-distance relationship.
- If you or your partner believe in marriage but would like to seal the deal in some less formal but still pretty romantic way.
- Finally, there are a lot of events such as anniversaries, Valentine’s Days, birthdays, and other occasions that you can use to give your partner a promise ring. Your definition then of what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize can be made relevant to these occasions.
How to give a promise ring
Choosing when to give the promise ring to your partner is one of the most fun parts of planning it all. You can choose to give it over a romantic dinner or while having a casual walk. It’s all up to you! As long as it is not too grand, without getting down on your knee and other huge gestures and speeches, you will be okay!
It is best to avoid misleading your partner that you are about to propose. To do this, you can talk to them about the ring beforehand and discuss what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize for you as a couple.
While exchanging promise rings, partners would often say what it personally means to them and what it symbolizes at the moment and for the future.
The history of promise rings
During the Late Medieval Period in Europe is when the concept of promise rings was made, from the 13th to 16th century. Men would usually give women the so-called posy or poesy rings as tokens of love and romantic interests. They were named posy rings after the French word poésie, which means poetry. These rings were given to women to let them know of secret love messages that were engraved onto the ring in a form of a short romantic rhyme!
In the Georgian and Victorian eras, elaborate promise rings appeared, and the answer to what is the meaning of a promise ring then was acrostic rings, which have multiple different gemstones. In acrostic jewelry, secret love messages were spelled using the first letter of each gemstone’s name. An example would be a ring that spells ADORE would have amethyst, diamond, opal, ruby, and emerald.
These days, promise rings are trendy because of certain celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, and many more! As time passes by in their relationships, people would give promise rings to reassure and guarantee the other person that they will stay loyal, and that the relationship will only keep growing.
Wrapping it up: What does a promise ring symbolize?
A promise ring is a physical symbol and promise of your love, and this is a promise you should intend to keep. Ultimately, it’s your intention that will give meaning and set the various rings apart, especially when it comes to a promise ring vs engagement ring.
A promise ring can mean many different things for different people and couples, so you’ll really need to establish what is the meaning of a promise ring and what does a promise ring symbolize for you as a couple.
Nonetheless, this beautiful piece of jewelry is but a testament to the couple’s commitment to their relationship and their future together.