Promise Rings: what are Promise Rings used for
If you are thinking of buying or giving a Promise Ring to someone special, you need to bear in mind that there are many different types of Promise Ring. It is important to understand what these are and how Promise Rings are used.
Promise Rings are for promises and the promises that people give to each other vary quite a bit. If you feel that the promises you and your guy/girlfriend are significant enough to have a ring associated with them, then that alone constitutes a case where a promise ring may be appropriate.
The above applies to Romantic Promise Rings but there are other kinds of Promise Rings that are used for different kinds of promises. Here are the most popular uses of promise rings:
- Romantic Promise Ring: a pre-engagement ring. Many couples feel that there is a step in their relationship when they feel comfortable with each other but a formal engagement may still be far off. Even so the sense of commitment they feel for each other is already quite strong and they feel that they would like to demonstrate this to each other and to the world at large. In such situations, exchanging Promise Rings is appropriate and goes some way to formalizing the realtionship.
- Promise rings can be used to symbolize an exclusive, monogamous relationship. There are times, when two people have no intentions of getting married or engaged in the immediate future. They may still want to affirm their strong love and commitment to each other. Again an exchange of promise rings often takes place – or at least one of the partners begins to wear such a ring. The style of such rings can be similar to a wedding bands both in the choice of gold and the choice of gemstone – a diamond, one of the other major stones, or a particular birthstone.
- Living together. There are times, when a couple will decide to live together and want to exchange Promise Rings before they do so. Again, it is entirely appropriate for such couples to exchange rings.
- Friendship rings. Although the emotional bond of a friendship ring may not be the same or as strong as one associated with a romantic relationship, there are times when two people want to express friendship, loyalty and support for each other. Friendship rings have been traditionally used to express this loyalty and commitment to each other. This exchange of friendship rings may be especially appropriate if a friendship becomes more difficult to maintain, for example if one of the friends has to move away. Friendship rings do not imply any form of exclusivity and they can be given and worn by both men and women.
- Claddagh Ring: this is nowadays seen as a form of friendship ring but Claddagh Rings have a long tradition most often associated in the past with betrothals and marriages. As a traditional Irish Claddagh Ring, the giving of the ring and the way it is worn can have many meanings and associations.
- Purity Rings – Chastity Rings: Purity rings indicate the wearer’s desire to abstain from any sexual activity before marriage. Over recent years, the wearing of a Chastity Ring has become popular amongst certain groups of people. In some cases, individuals, most often teenagers – both male and female – voluntarily make a commitment to abstain from sex until marriage and they themselves obtain a purity ring and wear it. In some cases, Purity Rings are obtained and worn by couples. Purity Rings can also be given by a parent, in which case it is not uncommon to have a simple ceremony followed by the signing of a document that further asserts the agreement between the wearer and the parent/guardian. Purity rings are intended to be worn until the wedding day, when they are replaced with wedding bands. Technically, any ring can be designated as a purity ring. Typically, however, certain inscriptions are very commonly engraved on these. They are worn both by male and female teenagers alike. These Promise Rings are sometimes called “True Love Waits” rings.
- A Personal Promise: these are Promise Rings that serve as a reminder of a commitment to oneself. Such rings can be worn in order to preserve the strength of one’s commitment to a personal cause or a crusade – fighting addiction to smoking, drugs or some other from of substance abuse. Promise rings of this kind can be greatly enhanced by engraved inscriptions that summarize the wearer’s vow.
- Religious and Faith Rings. These are rings worn to demonstrate one’s commitment to God. Different denominations of Christianity encourage their followers to show their faith by wearing such rings. They tend to be gold or silver decorated with strong religious symbols and often inscribed with the words of a prayer or simple vow.
- Eternity Rings. An eternity ring is a woman’s ring comprising a band of gold (or silver) set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones – often diamonds. The ring is designed to symbolize never-ending love and is usually given by a husband to his wife on the occasion of a significant anniversary.
- Journey Ring: this is a symbolic piece of jewelry that is used in a relationship to symbolize the development of the relationship itself. It is called a “Journey Ring” because it starts out small and gradually gets bigger in size, usually in a circular shape, which symbolizes the way a relationship grows and changes over the course of time, or over the course of one’s life journey.
- Posie Rings: although Posie Rings (and Gimbal Rings) have gone out of fashion, they are still sometimes worn as Promise Rings. Where people have a preference for vintage and antique rings, such rings are sometimes used as an alternative to a more modern Romantic Promise Ring.