What Is a Promise Ring? Exploring its True Meaning and Purpose

A Guide to Symbolize Your Love and Devotion!

Are you curious about promise rings? Do you find yourself wondering what they symbolize and who they are for? You're not alone. The meaning and purpose of promise rings can be a source of confusion for many people. In this blog, we'll dive into the topic and answer some common questions like what is the purpose of a promise ring, what finger should it be worn on and are there promise rings for men too? We'll also explore the perfect moment to give a promise ring and what it represents. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of the significance of promise rings and how they can play a meaningful role in a relationship.

forever love promise ring
forever love promise ring (Michelle Amato)

See also: Best Oval Engagement Rings With Perfect Wedding Bands

What Is a Promise Ring and What Does It Symbolize?

A promise ring is a powerful sign of commitment and love. It's a symbol of affection that represents a promise made between two people, a promise to be faithful, to love and cherish each other, and to build a future together. This small but meaningful piece of jewelry is not just about showing off to the world that you're in a relationship, it's also symbolizes the bond that two individuals share.

What is a Promise ring?
What is a Promise ring?

The Meaning Of Promise Ring

The meaning and purpose of a promise ring can differ from couple to couple and there is no one-size-fits-all definition. For some couples, a promise ring signifies a future engagement, while for others, it may simply represent a commitment to a long-term relationship or a promise to remain faithful. The important thing is that the meaning of the promise ring is personal and significant to the couple wearing it.

A History of Promise Rings

The history of promise rings is long and interesting, reaching all the way back to ancient. Roman brides wore promise rings in the 2nd century BC as a sign of their commitment to getting married, especially since couples were expected to wait before the ceremony. These rings served as a physical symbol of that promise.

Later, in 14th-century England, “posy rings” became a popular type of promise ring. These rings were often engraved with romantic short poetic phrases written in Latin or French and were given as a sign of love and commitment between couples. Similarly, acrostic rings were popular in the Georgian and Victorian times of the 19th century. These rings used gemstones to spell out a word or message. For instance, a ring with a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond would spell out “regard” while a ring with a diamond, a diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and tourmaline would spell out “dearest.” These rings were famous because of the secret messages of love and devotion they might carry.

Today, the promise band has become a pre-engagement ring that shows a promise to stay together until marriage. While the tradition of giving a promise ring has evolved over time, the significance of the ring remains the same.

cute promise ring for her
cute promise ring for her (Shanell Bledsoe Photography)

Is a promise ring the Same as an Engagement Ring?

A promise ring is not the same as an engagement ring, as it has a different meaning. It's a symbol of a promise to take a relationship seriously and a hope for the future of the relationship. It doesn't promise marriage, unlike engagement rings.

purple and blue pearl stone promise ring
purple and blue pearl stone promise ring

Is a Promise Ring the Same as a Purity Ring?

A purity ring is not the same as a promise ring because it is bought by the child or given to them by their parents to encourage abstinence before marriage.

What Finger Does a Promise Ring Go On?

A promise ring can be worn on the ring finger on either hand. The ring is worn on the left hand if it is given or accepted as a symbol of an enduring commitment, and the right hand if it is worn by a married person. The ancient notion (sadly not based on actual anatomy) that there is a vein running directly from the ring finger of the left hand to the heart is the reason why this is the most common finger on which they are worn.

Promise rings can be worn on any finger but they are usually worn on the ring finger of the left hand
Promise rings can be worn on any finger but they are usually worn on the ring finger of the left hand

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What are Promise Ring Styles?

A promise ring, in contrast to an engagement ring, typically features a less ornate design. You're free to make a promise ring in whatever style you wish. Claddagh rings, eternity bands, and rings with a birthstone mosaic or a composite of stones are all common types of promise rings. Rings with a heart shape, an infinity symbol, or interlaced designs are also popular.

A simple band of gold, silver or rose gold with a written message might also be meaningful. Popular alternatives to the classic solitaire diamond engagement ring include cluster or row settings for diamond promise rings. In the end, it's up to you to choose the style of the promise ring. It should show your relationship and personal taste, as well as fit within your budget.

Promise ring comes in different styles from simple bands to intricate designs with gemstones
Promise ring comes in different styles from simple bands to intricate designs with gemstones

Do Men Wear Promise Rings?

Absolutely! Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “promise ring” is an image of a guy handing one to a woman. But anyone, including men, can wear a promise ring. A promise ring is a significant symbol, but that doesn't mean you can't make it meaningful in your own way. Promise rings can be given from a man to a woman or the other way around.

Promise rings are not limited to any gender and can be worn by anyone
Promise rings are not limited to any gender and can be worn by anyone (Andreina Popa)

See also: Smart Wedding Bands for Mens

When to Give a Promise Ring?

The best time to exchange promise rings is whenever both partners are ready. The significance of the promise ring you've chosen will be an important factor here. Young couples often give each other sentimental rings as an alternative for a future engagement ring. It's common for couples to delay getting engaged until they feel they're ready to show the world how serious their relationship is. It's up to you when to give a promise ring, but you shouldn't give one if you don't plan on spending the rest of your life with that person.

minimalist promise ring
minimalist promise ring

What to Say When Giving A Promise Ring

When giving a promise ring, it's important to express your feelings and the meaning behind the gift but it doesn't have to be long. You can say something like that:

  • “This is a symbol of my love and commitment to you.”
  • “I promise to always be there for you, and this ring represents that.”
  • “You mean everything to me, and I want you to have this as a reminder of our love.”
  • “I love you more than anything, and I hope every time you look at this ring, you remember that.”
  • “I'd like to marry you someday because I love you so much. This ring symbolizes that commitment.”
  • “I promise to always cherish and respect our relationship, and I hope this ring shows you that.”
  • “I want to give you this ring as a symbol of my promise to love and care for you always.”

 Significance Of Promise Rings

When you give or receive a promise ring, it's not just a physical item that you possess. It's an emotional connection, a reminder of your love and objectives. Every time you look at your promise ring, it reminds you of the promise you made to each other and the hope you have for your future together.

Perhaps you've been in a long-distance relationship and you want to show your partner that you're committed to making it work. Or maybe you're not quite ready for marriage yet but you want to demonstrate your dedication to your significant other. Whatever of the reason, a promise ring signify a unique approach to show your love and devotion.

When you wear a promise ring, it's like carrying a piece of your partner with you wherever you go. It's a source of comfort and reassurance, a symbol of your shared journey. Whether you're just starting out in your relationship or you've been together for years, a promise ring can be a beautiful expression of your love.

significance of Promise ring
significance of Promise ring

See also: How Much Should You Spend On Engagement And Wedding Rings?

Best and Affordable Promise Rings

Heart Shaped Moissanite Promise Ring For Her
Heart Shaped Moissanite Promise Ring For Her
promise ring for couple with adjustable band opening
promise ring for couple with adjustable band opening
Small Diamond Moissanite Promise Ring
Small Diamond Moissanite Promise Ring
Three Stone Moissanite Promise Ring
Three Stone Moissanite Promise Ring
Simple Heart Shaped Promise Ring
Simple Heart Shaped Promise Ring

Common FAQs

How much should a promise ring cost?

There is no hard and fast rule about how much you should spend for a promise ring. However, it is typically cheaper than an engagement ring. Keep the promise ring budget under $2,000 so you can put more money for an engagement ring.

How to give a promise ring?

Marriage proposals can be overwhelming with grand gestures and long speeches. But giving a promise ring, on the other hand, is refreshingly simple. Choose a special moment like a birthday or holiday, express your feelings and the meaning behind the gift, and present the ring as a symbol of your commitment to the relationship.

What to do with a promise ring when engaged?

After getting engaged, you can decide what to do with your promise ring. You may choose to wear it on a different finger or move it to a necklace or other jewelry. Some people give their promise ring to their partner as a symbol of their commitment. It's your choice based on your feelings and the significance of the promise ring. As a trend, you can also wear all three rings—promise, engagement and wedding band on the same finger. So don't worry, just do what you think is right.

Who wears promise rings?

Couples who are dating, engaged or in a long-distance relationship can give and receive them. Most of the time, a promise ring is given to a girlfriend by her boyfriend after they have been dating for a long time. As a sign of a strong friendship, promise rings can also be shared between friends.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're ready for marriage or not, wearing a promise ring can be a meaningful gesture to show your commitment to your partner. Age doesn't matter when it comes to expressing your love and devotion. A promise ring can serve as a reminder of your promise to one another and can be worn as a symbol of your relationship. A promise ring is not just a piece of jewelry – it's a promise, a commitment, and a symbol of your love. It's a way to show your partner that you're in this together, for the long haul. So if you're looking for a way to express your feelings and deepen your connection, a promise ring may be just what you need.

About me


Seven years ago, I took a leap of faith and merged my organisational skills and love for all things wedding by starting this blog. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of sharing my insights, covering the latest trends, and offering practical how-tos, all aimed at simplifying your wedding experience.

Why weddings, you might ask?

Well, for me, weddings are more than just events; they are a tapestry of love stories, each unique and beautiful in its own way. With a blend of technical expertise and a keen eye for style, I bring a fresh perspective to the wedding scene, marrying (pun intended!) precision with creativity.

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