Promise Ring Meaning

Promise Ring Meaning / Definition: What is a promise ring? Traditional and contemporary meanings explored.
promise ring

Promise Ring Meaning

What is a promise ring?

A promise ring is a ring given as an outward and physical expression, or symbol, of a promise made between two people.

Traditionally, the promise ring is given for virtually any type of promise made between two people - either romantic or platonic.  Popular reasons to give promise rings include: 

  • Pre-engagement:  If you're sure she's the right one for you, but not quite ready for engagement, the pre-engagement ring expresses commitment to the relationship and a promise for the future together.

  • Chastity or abstinence:  Often called Purity Rings, these rings are generally given by a parent to a child and symbolize a promise by the child to remain sexually pure until marriage.  It is a constant reminder that true love can wait for a sexual relationship.  Purity rings can also be given to symbolize a child's pledge to remain substance free.

  • Monogamy: In the absence of marriage or pre-engagement, promise rings can be exchanged as a mutual commitment of unity and monogamy. 

  • Friendship: Good friends have always made pacts, sealing them with the exchange of friendship rings and other small tokens.  Whether your friend is moving halfway across the country or lives right next door, you both know you will always be there for each other.
When Giving A Promise Ring
The most important rule in giving a promise ring is to be up-front about the terms of the promise, especially if the ring contains a diamond.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than a person reading something into a gift of a ring that is more than intended!  A simple note accompanying the ring, to be read prior to opening the gift, can clarify your sentiments.

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