For as long as they can remember, your partner has been waiting for and dreaming of the day you present them with a special ring. You’ve dated, moved in together, binge-watched the same shows with each other, and even considered a puppy (somehow you two ended up with a cat, though). The time just seems right. You’re ready to go to the next level, and deepen your commitment.

So, you head out and buy the perfect little promise ring.

Wait! Shouldn’t that be an engagement ring? Well, maybe not quite yet…

Promise Rings – More Than Symbolizing A Future “I Do” | Uncustomary

These days, people in general are waiting longer to get married, for a variety of reasons. For women, the average age is 26, and for men it is 28. And studies suggest waiting to marry until you’re between the ages of 28 and 32 to help lessen the likelihood of divorce. And, society at-large is practicing daily acts of commitment-phobic crimes against humanity online and in person, such as ghosting and breadcrumbing. So, combine the wait to get married and the god-awful trendy ways we leave each other twisting in the wind, and the idea of someone at least caring enough to put some kind of ring on it has a certain emotional appeal.

Just be sure to manage expectations ahead of time if you’re planning to offer a promise of commitment rather than popping the question. Avoid that misunderstand with your partner – and their mom – through clear communication before and during the ring presentation.

Why Give a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is a tangible symbol demonstrating your commitment, or a promise to commit in the future. People typically equate the giving or wearing of a promise ring as a pre-cursor to a marriage proposal and engagement. But through cultural evolution, the practice has taken on many different meanings and symbols beyond the pathway to marriage. There are actually a few common meanings behind this piece of jewelry, that run from the friendly and romantic to bonds of friendship and personal beliefs. You might decide to present a ring to symbolize

  • Pre-engagement
  • A purity promise
  • Abstinence
  • Friendship
  • Religious devotion

What Does a Promise Ring Look Like?

As far as flash, flair, and decoration go, promise rings typically fall somewhere between simple wedding bands and sparkly engagement rings. Foremost, though, the ring you choose is going to depend on your budget and style. It could be a simple band of gold with an infinity knot woven in, symbolizing your plans for a future life together forever, or tastefully elegant ring with a gem or stone that has special meaning to you in your friendship or relationship – like your birthdays or the month you met. The promise ring is what you decide will best represent your intentions, and you may want to work with your jeweler to custom design your ring to get it just right.

Promise Rings – More Than Symbolizing A Future “I Do” | Uncustomary

Are There Promise Rings for Guys?

While not on the receiving end as often as girls and women, boys and men are given promise rings by their partners, parents, grandparents, friends or others demonstrating their love or fellowship. Again, the design and price is at your discretion, but durability and understated stylishness are top consideration. Don’t get too fussy when it comes to the fellas. You can also get some couple band rings.

Promise Rings – More Than Symbolizing A Future “I Do” | Uncustomary

Men’s promise rings are typically repurposed men’s wedding bands.

For whatever reason it is given, and whether you go modern or vintage, simple or sparkly, or maybe design it yourself, a promise ring is a personal and intimate gesture of your feelings for the recipient and vision for the future.