What Is a Promise Ring & What Does It Mean?
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What Is a Promise Ring & What Does It Mean?

If you haven’t heard of a promise ring, then chances are you haven’t been paying attention to popular culture for the last decade.

In recent years, promise rings have been popularised by Hollywood couples like Charli D'Amelio & Chase Hudson, Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart (eep!), Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth, and Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber.

And before we dive into the pattern between these couples, let’s give promise rings the benefit of the doubt and take the time to understand what they are and what they mean.

what is the origin of promise ring?

What is a promise ring?

A promise ring is a symbol of love, commitment, and fidelity that is gifted from one spouse to another.

Promise rings may be given to one partner or they may be exchanged between partners as a unifying symbol of commitment to a relationship. Typically, promise rings are a precursor to an engagement and subsequent marriage, however, they may also symbolise a shared commitment – whatever that might be for the couple.

For others, a commitment ring may simply reflect the commitment to a friendship or a bond between siblings.

What does a promise ring mean?

A promise ring can mean different things to different couples.

Typically, a promise ring is a precursor to marriage, however, with many couples now opting for long-term relationships that never result in marriage, a promise ring can symbolise the same bonding commitment that is typically associated with an engagement ring or wedding ring.

A promise ring might be exchanged as a symbol of commitment and a future ‘promise’ to marriage for couples that are not able to get married for different reasons including age, religion, financial circumstances, or any other factor that might mean marriage is not currently an option.

What does a promise ring look like?

A promise ring may look very similar to an engagement ring, or they may take on the design of a simple band – the decision comes down to the couple. Because promise rings are less ‘traditional’ than engagement rings and wedding rings, there is more room for interpretation on what the promise ring may look like.

what does a promise ring mean?

What is the origin of the promise ring?

Promise rings date back to the 15th Century in France and England. Commonly known as Posy or Poesy rings, these rings were a symbol of commitment between couples that were required to wait a certain period before marrying for age or religious reasons.

Posy rings were usually engraved with a poem or a sentiment that was symbolic to the couple. This engraving would reflect the shared commitment that was symbolised by the ring. Today, many of these rings still exist as family heirlooms or artefacts in museums.

Are promise rings and engagement rings the same thing?

No, a promise ring and an engagement ring are not the same thing.

Typically, a promise ring is a precursor to an engagement and marriage. For most couples, the promise ring symbolises their commitment to their spouse and their relationship.

An engagement ring is an immediate symbol of an intent to get married. On the other hand, a promise ring may be a promise of a future engagement, or it may be a completely separate symbol of a civil relationship that may never progress to an engagement or marriage.

What is a promise ring?

What finger does a promise ring go on?

It depends on whether you’re married or not. If you’re not married, a promise ring will typically be worn on the ring finger of your left hand (the same as an engagement ring or wedding band). The promise ring may act as a placeholder for a future engagement ring or wedding ring.

If you are already married or a promise ring means something different to you and the person that you are gifting a promise ring to, then it may be worn on a different finger. When you’re giving a promise ring, it’s important to consider the intended finger so that you choose the correct size.

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