They say, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. However, it is also the thought that counts. Whether you are a man or a woman, if you want to express your true love to your partner, nothing could be a better gift than a promise ring. Before we teach you about the various ways to present this wonderful gift, we would want to tell you what does a promise ring mean. Read on.
What Does A Promise Ring Mean?
By definition, a promise ring represents a commitment or a promise between 2 people. Mostly, a promise ring is given to a romantic partner to show that you are committed towards the person. However, you can give it to a family member or a friend too. So, it isn’t meant for proposals alone. It is a way to show a person the way you feel or to just say “I am there for you always” or “I am here to be with you”. A promise ring can be given to almost any promise made. It is not restricted to promises made for weddings or engagement. Also, we would want to make you aware that the reason for accepting or giving a promise ring must be comprehended by both the individuals. This is to prevent misunderstandings.
Why Is A Promise Ring Exchanged Or Given?
As mentioned earlier, a promise ring is given for any kind of commitment or promise made. It isn’t limited to connubial commitments. However, there are some primary reasons why a promise rings are given or exchanged. The promise ring meaning depends on a person’s case.
Say for example, a pre-engagement promise ring is given when 2 people decide to get engaged and married soon but don’t desire for an official marriage or engagement for the time being. This is a very common meaning when it comes to promise rings. However, in most cases, an engagement or a wedding ring replaces the promise ring later.
A purity promise ring on the other hand has a little different meaning. It symbolizes a promise or a commitment to stay abstain or chaste from something. For example, a parent (either mom or dad) can give a promise ring (purity) to his or her kid to make a promise that he or she will remain pure (sexually) until marriage.
In countries like Europe and United States, the thought of liberal sexual behavior is gradually going out of fashion. Moreover, the mark of purity promise ring is getting more relevant. Also, purity promise rings are given as a sign to resist from bad virtues such as smoking or drinking.
Friendship is yet another obvious reason why promise rings are given. In such a case, the meaning does not associate to a romantic affair. Instead, it signifies a commitment to be there for each other always, especially in bad times. The pal who receives the promise ring may live nearby or in another country. It is important that both the friends comprehend the meaning of a promise ring and there shouldn’t be a space for misunderstanding.
Religious promise ring is another kind of ring, which needs special mention. A group of supporters or believers of a specific religion or saint could wear religious promise rings. It signifies a commitment for following the beliefs or teachings of that religion / saint.
What Does A Promise Ring Looks Like?
A promise ring is a tiny, beautiful jewelry piece, which is frequently given between couples and friends. However, they can be exchanged among children, parents, relatives and so on. Though it is a sign of commitment, there are some other meanings as well. Here are few to make a note of.
Promise Ring Meanings
A promise ring symbolizes any number of commitments and promises, which include:
- Breaking a terrible habit
- Maintaining a secret
- Renewing a promise to a specific task or a change in lifestyle
- Promising to take care of a new family or a new baby
Based on the way and the kind of promise ring given, the meaning changes. The most common promises represented by gemstone and diamond rings include:
Promise rings might be used as a substantial sign of purity, either to sexually remain abstinent until wedding ceremony or to stay pure from uninvited influences like smoking, drinking or drugs.
Even best friends can exchange identical or complementary rings to signify their continuing relationship, especially if they won’t be together or will be moving away from each other. At such a time, a promise ring serves as a remembrance of their commitment and friendship to be in touch.
A religious promise ring represents commitment to a particular faith or specialized component of that faith. Say for instance, a specific saint.
Apart from the above meanings, here is another one to make a note of. Whether the promise ring is given between young couples or married couples, it might also represent fidelity. Even gay couples might use promise rings as a pledge to their monogamous vow to each other. This can represent either an engagement or wedding ring (if they can’t legally marry).
Myth About A Promise Ring
Myth 1: Only Couples With An Intention To Get Married In The Future Can Exchange A Promise Ring
No, certainly not. A promise ring isn’t bound to couples alone. Promise rings can be exchanged between friends, relatives, parents, children and other closed ones.
Myth 2: A Promise Ring Is Only Meant For Teenagers
Again it is a “no”. Whether you are young or old, you are free to exchange a promise ring. Few young adults use promise rings to indicate abstinence whereas others wear it for something else. You cannot outgrow your capability to present a meaningful gift. Remember that, pairing a gift with a wonderful promise makes it 10 times better.
Myth 3: Friends Do Not Exchange A Promise Ring
No. As said earlier, a promise ring can also be exchanged between friends. It denotes their enduring healthy friendship. Who would not want to rejoice a promise of eternal friendship with their best friend?
Myth 4: A Promise Ring Is A Symbol Of Chastity
No, a promise ring does not have to symbolize chastity. Few couples perceive promise rings as a promise or a sign of purity while others do not. Hence, it is all up to the persons.
In Which Finger Is A Promise Ring Worn?
Traditionally, a promise ring is worn on the ring finger of your left hand and is made with a heart pattern or motif. However, today, promise rings are available in various designs. The trend has been changed and therefore, you will see people wearing promise rings in different ways. Though wearers wear a promise ring on their ring finger of left hand (particularly if it’s a pre-engagement ring), it can be worn on any hand.
What Styles Does A Promise Ring Come In?
These days, you will see promise rings in various styles and designs. Few have some pretty gemstones (bold and bright) whereas others are simple and more subdued. Hence, you have a lot of designs to choose from. You can not only pick promise rings based on one’s personality but also based on the kind of commitment and occasion too.
Other Things To Note: What Does A Promise Ring Mean?
Apart from the above-mentioned meanings of a promise ring, there are other things you need to make a note of. Though it is claimed to have a lot of meanings, we believe that there is one true reason behind — when you present this ring to someone, you are promising to be faithful or honest to the individual. Some important meanings of a promise ring include:
- I promise to be faithful or honest to you
- I will always be with you
- I will return to you
- I will maintain your secret
- I will keep up my words
- I really love you
- My intention is to marry you; however, I am not ready to be engaged
- I will save my virginity only for you
- We are thick friends
- I promise to be with you in your happy and bad times
- I swear to desist from a vice (drinking, gambling, smoking…)
- I swear to replace this promise ring with a bigger and beautiful diamond once I am able to afford it
More On Promise Ring Symbolism
If your girlfriend or boyfriend has given you a promise ring, it is perhaps a symbol that that he or she is ready for a commitment but not in terms of marriage. That is ok. You should take your relation at a pace that is comfortable for two of you. On the other hand, the way a promise ring is designed adds more layers onto its meaning. Say for example, you can have them made with birthstones, heart-shaped stones to represent romance, friendship or love. Usually, crosses, angels and doves are more often used on religious promise rings. However, they can be engraved with:
- Promise date
- Few encouraging words
- Intimate sentiments
All these can make a promise ring more meaningful.
Origins Of Promise Ring
If we talk about the social life in ancient times, they had betrothals as a very important part of their lives. The origins of promise ring progressed from betrothal practice, which was little different from an engagement. In Biblical terms, betrothal was an agreement made through public announcement. This agreement covered all the financial arrangements. The parties of the agreement cannot back away and the wedding will take place only after few months. However, the betrothal agreement is a commitment or a promise to marriage. A man would then give a ring to the woman as a vital part of the betrothal ceremony. The ring becomes a sign of his promise to marry her. There is another kind of ring known as gimmal ring, which is associated to betrothal ceremonies. It is made of 2 or 3 separate rings. It can be worn either separately or together. These ring styles became very popular in the sixteenth century.