What's all this fuss about promise rings? Are they something new or have they been around for a while? What do they mean and why is my teenager wearing one? If you've ever wondered what rage is all about, then you've come to right place!
What exactly is a promise ring?
When an agreement or oath has been made between two people, a promise ring is a piece of jewelry given as a token of commitment that was made.
Sounds simple enough doesn't it? Well, be careful because promise made between two people can be practically anything. It's imperative that both parties are clear on meaning of pact or pledge.
- Monogamy: A promise to stay faithful to one another.
- Chastity or Purity: A promise to keep ones virginity until marriage.
- Friendship: A promise to seal a pledge of eternal friendship.
- Substance or Sobriety: A promise to remain free from addictive behavior (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, etc.).
- Religious or Christian: A promise to remain committed to one's faith or belief in God of their understanding.
These are just a few of more popular reasons to give or wear a promise ring.
That being said, most popular reason to give a promise ring is for pre-engagement.
Are you confused yet? Pre-engagement is actually not as bad as it sounds. It has always been popular to exchange promise rings, so a couple can showcase their commitment to one another prior to getting engaged. In other words, this ring is symbolic of a promise there will be an engagement ring forthcoming.
If you are old enough to remember "going steady" with someone then giving this type of promise ring is kind of updated version of going steady. The symbolism of promise ring is really no different than a girl of years ago wearing her boyfriend's high school ring on a chain around her neck or wearing her steady boyfriend's letterman jacket. If you are too young to understand this analogy, talk to your parents or grandparents and they can enlighten you.
This trial period before engagement is a good way for a couple to test waters before they make an actual commitment to marriage. Some may scoff at this gesture of pre-engagement. However, with rise in divorce rates in this country it may be wise to start off slowly in relationship instead of rushing ahead into something you are not ready for.
The other good news here is that a promise ring costs significantly less than an engagement ring. It makes a wonderful alternative for couple who chooses not to spend a fortune on a ring at this time but still wants to make a statement about their commitment to one another.
How does one wear a promise ring - which finger, which hand?
Basically it's strictly a matter of personal preference, however finger and hand you choose can depend entirely on type of ring it is and in some cases type of pledge. For example, an Irish Claddagh ring can have several meanings depending on way it is:
- Worn on left hand, wearer has made a promise of love and fidelity.
- Worn on right hand with heart facing outward, wearer's heart is free.
- Worn on right hand with heart turned inward, Wearer's heart is taken.
If you are exchanging friendship rings, it may be wise to wear ring on your right hand so there is no confusion about romantic ties. There are many different types of rings you can share with a friend that will be meaningful to you both. A fun vacation you went on or love of a certain hobby or animal, for example. My best friend and I share a love of cats. Therefore, we bought matching kitty cat rings, gold with diamond pave no less! These rings are special only to us and are a symbol of our friendship.