A Full Guide on the Etiquette of Giving a Promise Ring

You’ve probably heard of promise rings many times before. It’s one of the many significant moments that can happen within a romantic relationship. You might think this custom has been around for a long time, but it only came into prominence in the 1970s. Promise rings are sometimes referred to as pre-engagement rings, signifying the commitment between two people in a monogamous relationship. Maybe you’ve thought about if it’s the right time to give your partner one. Here’s all you need to know about the proper etiquette for giving a promise ring.

A Full Guide on the Etiquette of Giving a Promise Ring

Before giving the promise ring

Unlike engagement rings, the etiquette surrounding giving a promise ring has a lot more flexibility to it. There are only a few typical conventions that may be good for you and your partner to follow. In general, a promise ring shouldn’t be expected at a particular stage of the relationship. The timing of when a couple decides they want to establish a significant commitment is different for each one. Some couples decide within a short period, such as a few weeks, that they feel a strong enough connection to where they want to solidify their relationship through a promise ring. For other couples, it may take months before they mutually agree to deepen their connection through the exchanging of promise rings. Once the decision has been made to exchange promise rings, it should be discussed what the meaning of the promise is. You and your partner should be clear that it’s meant to symbolize a serious commitment and that you’re ready to take that next step in your relationship. 

Promise ring styles

Another etiquette for giving a promise ring is that the jewelry shouldn’t be as elaborate and expensive as giving an engagement ring. A beautiful promise ring should never be mistaken for an engagement ring or a wedding ring. It won’t be too hard to find a ring design that’s unlikely to be misconstrued. The average cost spent on an engagement ring is $6,000, which you more than likely won’t be spending that much on a promise ring. Rather than diamonds or gold, the ring could be based on something you both share in common. For example, if jaguars are you and your partner’s favorite animal, then an option that might fit your relationship would be jaguar rings. If you’re interested in learning more about them, you can find them at this link: https://jewelrylab.co/collections/jaguar-ring 

Other ways couples may stylize them include matching gemstones or birthstones, engraving the ring with names or initials, or choosing figural rings. Take time together to think about which style of ring would best reflect the relationship you two have.

Giving the ring

While giving a promise ring to someone is a special moment in any relationship, it should never be confused with a marriage proposal. Ideally, it’s good that you avoid giving it while bent down on one knee, and avoid setting up any grand romantic gesture. The best way a person can go about exchanging a promise ring is by keeping things simple. A candlelit dinner with flowers can be good enough for this specific moment in your relationship. After you enjoy your meal, you can say some words about how you feel for each other, then exchange the rings. Interestingly, promise rings aren’t only given in relationships, but they’re also given in churches at times. A religious promise, also known as a purity ring, is given to young men and women as a symbol of choosing to remain abstinent until marriage.

Ring wearing etiquette

When it comes to engagement and wedding rings, they’re usually worn on the left hand’s ring finger. In the case of promise rings, they can either be worn on the left or the right. Some suggest if you and your partner know the jewel represents a precursor to an engagement ring, it should be placed on the left hand until the engagement ring is worn. It’s not always couples that exchange these rings. Sometimes, friends do it, too. In the case of exchanging rings as a signal of commitment between friends, it may be best to wear it on the right hand. You and your partner can decide whichever hand and finger you want the ring to be worn. If you don’t feel like wearing the ring for any reason, you could wear it on a chain around the neck as well.

When the promise is fulfilled

As a commitment has continued to be fulfilled for a significant length of time after exchanging the promise rings, the inevitable next step is an engagement ring. Once an engagement ring has been given, it’s common for a partner to switch the promise ring from their left hand to their right hand. It’s acceptable to continue to wear it as a reminder of the promise you two made to each other. It’s equally acceptable to choose not to wear it, and instead, wear only the engagement ring.

When the promise is broken

Unfortunately, sometimes, not every couple ends up keeping their promise to the point of reaching the engagement stage of their relationship. In these cases, it’s considered proper etiquette to return a promise ring, similarly to how someone would return an engagement ring after a broken engagement. Nonetheless, the promise ring isn’t as serious as an engagement ring, so you and your partner may decide you’re both fine with the rings not being returned. You should, however, be aware that there are varying laws as it relates to what happens to valuable gifts that are given in relationships. If the ring given was an expensive one, there might be a legal obligation for it to be returned to the person who gave it. Be sure to investigate the laws before deciding what course of action to take.

A promise ring can be a beautiful gift to your partner to show how much you’re ready to have a serious long-term commitment with them. Be sure you and your partner discuss taking that next step before any jewelry is purchased. Once you two agree, find a ring that best signifies the romantic relationship that you have together.