The last decade or two has seen the rise of a new form of ring in American culture which is slowly crossing to the UK: the promise ring.
What is a promise ring?
There is no exact definition of what a promise ring is, as its meaning varies depending on who is wearing it and what the giver and wearer wants it to stand for. However, for the majority of couples, a promise ring is used as a symbol of love and commitment.
In many cases, a promise ring is worn as a pre-engagement ring, and this is particularly true in the case of many young couples, for whom an official engagement may be inappropriate or unwelcome. Many people view it as the stepping stone between simply dating and becoming engaged to be married, as it acts as a physical symbol of the relationship. That said, many modern couples who have no interest in marriage instead opt for a promise ring as a sign of love and dedication to one another. Those who are in relationships following a previous marriage may also wish to make a sign of commitment to their new partner without the need for marriage, and a promise ring is a meaningful way to do this.
Where is it worn?
There are no hard and fast rules for how a promise ring should be worn, but the majority of unmarried people tend to wear them on the third finger of the left hand, in other words the ‘ring finger’. Those who are married, or get married at a later date often wear their promise ring on the third finger of their right hand. However, some people choose not to wear them on their hands at all and instead opt to wear them on a chain around their neck.
Who can wear a promise ring?
While promise rings are typically exchanged between people who are in a physical relationship with one another, there are an increasing number being exchanged between people in other types of relationships. This includes friends and family, where the wearers make a different type of commitment to one another.
I want to give my loved one a promise ring. Do I need to get down on one knee?
No – unless you really feel the need to! The proposal is a large part of what makes an engagement so special, so if you are planning on getting engaged at some point, we would suggest you avoid the bended knee at the time of giving a promise ring! Most promise rings are given as a gift around birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s day and are accompanied by a conversation about your commitment to one another.
What style of ring should I buy?
When it comes to choosing a promise ring, there is no set or acceptable style. Try and pick something that reflects your personality, and of course something that your loved one will find beautiful! You could even custom-design something so that you can give a promise of your commitment that is truly unique.
If you plan on eventually becoming engaged then you should avoid any styles that are similar to an engagement ring, or those that would detract from it.
Whether it is a lover, a family member or a friend, make the promise of love and commitment with a promise ring, a gift that can be treasured forever.