Promise rings are growing in popularity as a symbol of trust in a young relationship. But what are promise rings, and should you and your significant other consider getting one? Click here to learn more.

Beyonce says that “if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.”

We all know what she’s talking about. The age-old tradition of giving an engagement ring to your special someone as a promise of marriage.

But what if you’re not quite ready to dive into an engagement? What if you still wanna “put a ring on it” as a symbol of your relationship? Can you? Who says there are steadfast rules of love that everybody has to follow?

Regardless, there is another age-old tradition that you can fall back on. The giving of promise rings. What are promise rings?

Let’s take a look.

What Are Promise Rings?

Promise rings are the ring before the Ring. In other words, people in a relationship may give them to one another as an expression of their love before getting engaged.

The tradition is not as old as engagement and wedding rings. But it still reaches all the way back to 1576. Around this time in England, it was common to inscribe poignant sentiments or a line from a romantic poem on the band.

Later on, during the Georgian and Victorian areas people started adding clever acrostics to their rings. They would arrange the gemstones to spell out a secret word. For example, they might make a ring with lapis lazuli, opal, verdelite, and emerald to spell out the word love.

Some people may find the tradition of the promise ring to be rather redundant. What’s the point of giving a ring to your partner before the engagement ring? But there are various reasons that people do this based on what the ring means to them.

What Does a Promise Ring Mean?

Promise rings can mean different things to different people. It also depends on the couple’s relationship and what they want to use it as a symbol for. Let’s take a look at a few common reasons.

  1. Some folks may be too young to contemplate marriage but want to do something to show how they feel.
  2. A soldier may give a promise ring to his/her partner before deployment as a promise to not let the separation mean the end of their relationship.
  3. Long distance couples may exchange rings to symbolize that their love will triumph over the distance between them.
  4. Others may have dealt with an unfaithful partner in the past. Their partner may give them a promise ring as a tangible promise of their fidelity.
  5. Some people simply like the idea of a tangible symbol of their love, even if they’re not quite ready for the Ring yet.

In short, there are many things that a promise ring can mean. Whatever the case, it is something special that you and your partner can share.

Do Guys Get Promise Rings Too?

While it is significantly more common for a guy to give a promise ring to his girl, guys can get promise rings too. As we’ve noted, there are many different reasons that people have for giving a promise ring.

If she wants to give one to her guy, there’s nothing that says she can’t. If it means something special to you as a couple, go ahead and do it. If you’re looking to put a smile on his face, this just might be the way to do it!

Check out some great men’s promise rings here for a bit of inspiration.

What Should a Promise Ring Look Like?

There is no hard and fast rule about what promise rings should look like. Most people do like to differentiate them as much as possible from engagement ring style to alleviate confusion.

In that vein, people buying promise rings tend to stay away from flashy diamond rings. But that’s about the only “rule”.

You can make your promise ring however you want it to be. You can incorporate a two heart design to symbolize the two of you. Or you may opt for one heart if you feel that you’re becoming one already. You may want to engrave something special on the band–a phrase, a date, or perhaps a scripture verse.

You might like to incorporate each of your birthstones into the design. Maybe you’d like to add a knot design to symbolize being bound by the promise you’re making. The old Celtic Claddagh design of two hands holding a heart and crown is a popular choice as well.

The important thing is that the recipient likes it and will want to wear it and that it symbolizes your relationship the way you want it to.

Where Should You Wear It?

Again, there are no hard and fast rules about where to wear your promise ring. Some people wear it on their left ring finger. Others avoid that finger so as not to confuse it with an engagement ring. They may place it on their right ring finger or even one of their middle fingers.

The choice is yours.

When to Give a Promise Ring

You’ve probably already guessed that there is no hard and fast rule about when to give a promise ring. It depends on your relationship and what you want the ring to symbolize.

However, there are a few guidelines you should consider.

  1. If you’ve only been dating/known each other for a couple of months, it’s unlikely that your relationship is deep enough yet to start making commitments. A promise ring may not be as serious as an engagement ring, but it still means something special.
  2. If you want to get an engagement ring, but can’t afford it, a promise ring is a nice stepping stone.
  3. You’re not ready to get engaged, but want to solidify your relationship with more than just words.

Whatever your reason, be sure you get a promise ring because it’s what you want. Don’t let other people or traditions dictate how you move through your relationship.

Promise Rings Aren’t Forever

We hope we’ve been able to answer the question, “what are promise rings?” You may not marry the person you gave (or who gave you) a promise ring. That’s okay.

But you should take promise rings seriously. They’re not the diamonds are forever kind of thing that engagement rings are. They are less expensive for a reason and can be a nice way to do something special for your significant other.

Then, someday, when you’re ready, you can replace it with something more permanent.

For more great ideas about life, love, fashion and more be sure to check out our blog. We’ve got lots of great content to help put a smile on your face! Have a great idea or question? Feel free to drop us a line!