Answers to Promise Ring Etiquette. What are promise rings, what do they mean and when is it appropriate to give them? They are also known as purity rings, chastity rings, pre-engagement rings…Please click on pictures to see where to buy the rings.
Promise Ring Etiquette To Common Questions:
What are promise rings?
The promise ring etiquette to what is a promise ring:
It refers to a ring to show that you are exclusively dating.
It may also be to a “purity ring”, a ring worn to pledge sexual abstinence until you’re married.
It may also be a pre-engagement ring, to be worn until you are old enough to be engaged, or at least until your partner can afford an engagement ring.
A promise ring is a general tangible symbol of a promise.
It can be given to promises of:
- to symbolize an exclusive Dating Relationship
Which Finger? Promise Ring Etiquette
Which Finger Do I Wear My Promise Ring?
Promise rings can be worn on any finger, sometimes on the engagement finger (ring finger on the left hand) especially if it is used as a pre-engagement ring.
It is also common to find that the promise ring being worn on the middle finger on the left hand or the ring finger on the right hand to prevent confusion with an actual engagement ring.
Unless there are romantic intentions, you should avoid wearing friendship-style promise rings on ring fingers.
So the general rule is, if there are intentions to get married, wear your promise rings on fourth fingers (i.e. ring fingers). Otherwise, wear them on other fingers.
If it is an pre-engagement ring, wear the ring on the left hand. The promise ring should be replaced with the official engagement ring within the next 2 years.
What if you won’t be officially engaged in the next 2 years?
Then, it is suggested you wear the promise ring on the fourth finger of your right hand.
History of Promise Ring Etiquette
Promise rings date back to the 16th century where there is evidence that rings were given as early as 1576. (source: Wikipedia)
When there is no promise to marry, the lady will be give a “friendship” ring which we can deduce to mean that they are in love with each other. Unless there is a promise to marry, these rings will then be known as promise rings.
Why were these rings given?
In those days, when a man could not afford to get married, he would often buy a promise ring as a placeholder until such time he would be able to effectuate a marriage. (Wikipedia)
It can be safe to assume that only ladies were given rings and the men did not wear rings, however according to Wikipedia, in some instances women would offer men’s promise rings to their man during the 20th century.
Why were they given these rings? For some reason, these men were not yet permitted to get married. It was generally a surprise offering and was something the man could accept or deny.
However, the general consensus is that the proper ring etiquette is for the men to offer rings to the ladies and not the other way round.
Promise Ring As Purity Rings
Can I buy a promise ring for myself?
Yes, it can mean something to you. It can serve as a reminder of a promise you made to yourself. It can also symbolize something. I personally buy myself rings to signify certain memorable events or achievements.
What is the history of these personal rings?
These promise rings which are also known as Purity rings originated in the United States in the 1990s when a huge movement of abstinence of sex until marriage mostly by Christian groups.
These rings are bought, sold to, given to adolescents or to parents (to give to their children) to represent a ‘promise to oneself’ of the above desire.
In some churches, purity-promise rings are accompanied with a religious vow with implication that the wearer will remain abstinent until replaced with a wedding ring.
They are also known as chastity rings or abstinence rings.
Promise Ring Etiquette
How old should I be?
When is a promise ring appropriate?
Promise rings are generally used only if you are quite young. The reason for these rings is to because many young couples are not in strong enough financial position (yet) to get married. Getting married (in those days perhaps) meant that you have enough finances to buy a home and start a family. That also translates to the husband earning enough to support his wife when they have children.
When the man have sufficient means to marry, he usually buys an engagement ring.
When giving a promise ring, make sure the intentions are clear between two party. It might be be mistaken as an engagement ring. Sometimes, it may simply be a lure to be in a exclusive dating relationship etc.
If you are thinking of giving any sort of ring, or if you have received one, do clarify intentions.
See also Marriage proposal etiquette.
Designs of Promise Rings
Promise Ring Etiquette
Traditionally, they contain the heart symbol.
These days, promise rings do not have to contain the heart symbol. Modern promise rings come in fashionable new designs.
They shouldn’t cost too much, thus, rings made of sterling silver are widely accepted. If financial means are not an issue, rings of gold, precious stones or even diamonds may be given. Just ensure that the intentions are clear and that it is not mistaken for an engagement ring!
Promise Ring Etiquette
My favorite Promise Ring story
A Touching Promise Ring Story
I love this story much more than any diamond studded promise ring in the world.
Steve took my on a picnic Sunday, and when i got distracted by the birds, he pulled out this ring and my polaroid. it’s a promise ring that he MADE from a quarter. the reason is because my grandfather made my grandmother an engagement ring by hitting a quarter (for roughly thirteen hours) until it looked like this. So Steve wanted to do the same for me. 🙂
he’s so adorable and thoughtful
The polaroid is of me being embarrassed by the camera. but i was so happy for the ring! 🙂 eepppp!
Isn’t that the most beautiful story?
My Own Story of Promise Rings
I will have to admit to you that I’m quite the ring fanatic and would use any excuse to get a ring for myself. They are my own promise rings even though I’m not very young anymore. Haha.
I’ve gotten rings for myself to mark any major milestone, or significant achievement. I attach a memory to each ring.
For example, my first diamond ring was self-bought. It was probably a 0.01 carat on a silver-toned gold band. It was on sale and cost me $99 AUD. I bought it to celebrate the opening of my second retail shop (in the past).
I also have another diamond solitaire for passing my first ballet exam. And another gold-tone one to celebrate the passing of my advanced exam.
There were other rings I bought mark a significant memory of an achievement or experience, a dream fulfilled or even to remember a special place. I’ve bought rings to wear daily as a reminder to myself. For instance I have a “believe” ring. It is really for fun, but also to reinforce my wavering faith sometimes. 🙂
That’s just my personal preference of how I buy and use promise rings. It may seem kind of silly to other people but I don’t usually talk about them. See some of my collection below.
SHOP Promise Rings
Here are some pretty rings that I really love! They are inexpensive too.