Promise rings serve as a symbol of commitment between two people, but deciding which hand and finger to wear your promise ring on can be tricky. From cultural associations to personal preference, there are various factors to consider when choosing where to place the ring. This article will explore the different meanings associated with each hand and finger, helping you find the perfect spot for your promise ring.
There is no strict rule about which hand or finger a promise ring should be worn on because promise rings can be used to represent many types of commitments. Each hand and finger can carry symbolic meaning for different forms of commitment.
While a promise ring typically signifies that you have found ‘the one’ and plan to marry them someday, the potential range of meaning behind the ring could be much broader and more diverse. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll share what you need to know about promise rings, so you can find the most appropriate spot for your special ring.
Which Hand Does a Promise Ring Go On?
A Promise Ring is most commonly worn on the left hand. However, some choose to wear the ring on the right hand, so it isn’t mistaken for an engagement or wedding ring. Wearing a ring on the left hand is said to signify friendship and loyalty. However, it is ultimately up to you to decide which hand to place your Promise Ring on.
We’ll explain which finger to wear these rings on below.
Which Finger Do You Wear a Promise Ring On?
These rings can be worn on any finger. It’s common to wear a promise ring on the ring finger of the left hand. This placement signifies that you intend to eventually become engaged or married. The middle finger of either hand is another common option. It symbolizes that two individuals have formed a bond and want to stay connected. Ultimately, the finger you wear your promise ring on is up to you.
Are There Promise Rings for Men Too?
Both men and women can wear promise rings. In some relationships, only one partner makes a promise, while in others, both partners exchange rings to symbolize their joint commitment. While many assume that promise rings are only for women, men can wear them too. In fact, many couples shop for promise rings together. While men usually don’t have a symbol engraved on the band of the promise ring, women often do.
In some Asian cultures, men also wear promise rings as a sign of commitment and love. Promise rings worn by women come in many different styles, but most feature gems or stones of some kind. Promise rings for men often take a simpler and more masculine form, like stainless steel or titanium bands with no stones. Ultimately, promise rings are not just for women – they are an expression of love and commitment that both sexes can share.
Should Guys Wear Promise Rings in the Same Way as Girls?
The norms for where and how guys wear promise rings are the same as they are for women. It’s often worn on the left hand’s ring finger, but any finger on either hand could be used.
The finger you choose to wear your ring on could simply come down to which fingers are available after putting on other jewelry, personal preference, comfort, or symbolism that’s meaningful to you.
Why Wear a Promise Ring?
Promise rings are a traditional symbol of love and commitment dating back to ancient times. By wearing a promise ring, you show your partner that you are committed to them and your relationship. It’s common for promise rings to be given as pre-engagement rings. When that’s the meaning you’ve discussed and agreed on, the ring is typically worn on the ring finger.
Promise rings come in many shapes and sizes and can be customized with any gemstone or metal. They are usually smaller and more modest than an engagement ring, making them a meaningful and more affordable way for couples to express their love and commitment to each other.
Promise ring meaning can also vary. They can represent different kinds of promises–between friends, parents and their child, or committed couples. You define the meaning of a promise ring based on who you give it to, what you say when the ring is given, and the nature of your relationship.
What’s the History of Promise Rings?
The history of promise rings dates back to the Roman era, when betrothal rings were constructed of cheap iron. During the 15th to 17th centuries, posy rings were popular in England, which were engraved with romantic poems or short messages. Acrostic rings were introduced in the Victorian or Georgian eras, with gemstones arranged to spell out meaningful words. In the Middle Ages, they were exchanged between family members or friends, making an oath or agreement with one another. The Victorians also adopted the tradition of gifting promise rings, but during the Renaissance period, their popularity surged and became increasingly romanticized. People from different cultures have adopted this symbol as a way to express their commitment and loyalty towards one another for centuries.
What’s the Difference Between a Promise Ring and a Purity Ring?
Both are used to signify a commitment. A promise ring is usually given as a pre-engagement token of commitment between two people in a romantic relationship. The gesture symbolizes that each partner has made an informal, yet serious, promise to stay together and be faithful to each other. In these situations, the couple essentially promises their love and loyalty to one another.
On the other hand, a purity ring is typically given by parents or guardians to children who have pledged abstinence from sex until marriage. This type of commitment isn’t necessarily directed at another person, but rather toward God or themselves as part of an individual decision for moral conviction and spiritual growth.
What Do Promise Rings Look Like?
There are many types of promise ring styles to choose from. The ring symbolizes specific feelings and commitments, so promise rings often include colors and symbols that are visual reminders of those intended meanings. The meaning behind a promise ring is often buried in its symbolism.
One example is the popular Claddagh ring. These rings originated in Ireland and are named after the area where they were first created. The rings have two hands holding a heart. The heart has a crown on top. Each part of the ring is symbolic of something meaningful. For example, the hands symbolize friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. These elements become another visual reminder of all that the ring is intended to represent.
Promise rings often include depictions of knots, hearts, custom fingerprints, infinity symbols, and other similar engravings. In addition to those popular promise ring styles, class rings are also very commonly given for this purpose. Promise rings are also frequently engraved with a name or special message inside the band. The message is only visible to the wearer when they remove the ring. The gems or stones chosen for a ring can also be symbolic, at times, based on the color and other characteristics of the stone.
How Much Will a Promise Ring Cost?
If you’re at a stage where you’re now looking to buy a promise ring, you’re probably starting to wonder how much you’ll need to spend.
So, what will a promise ring cost you? Fortunately, there are so many style options available, so you’ll likely find the combination of materials and detail that fits your budget best. You can find many good options under $100—or beautiful ring selections going up to $2,000 and beyond.
Choose the sub-$100 ring, and you’ll likely get a stainless steel, sterling silver, or plated ring (plated with gold or platinum). These rings may also include synthetic stones like Cubic Zirconia or very small natural gems. As the cost of the ring increases, you’ll get more options, including solid gold or platinum settings and larger gemstones.
Can You Wear a Promise Ring as a Necklace?
Promise rings can be worn on chains as necklaces. Some couples prefer this approach because it’s a way to keep their relationship’s symbolism physically close to their heart. This is also an excellent way to wear a promise ring that no longer fits your fingers—on a chain around your neck.
Necklace-style promise rings come in many different styles, from traditional gold and diamonds to more modern pieces made with alternative materials like titanium or silver. When shopping for a necklace-style promise ring, make sure the chain is comfortable and secure, so you don’t have to worry about losing it while wearing it around your neck.
How Do You Give a Promise Ring?
Giving a promise ring to someone is an intimate gesture of love and commitment. It’s a physical symbol that signifies your devotion to one another—even if you aren’t ready for a formal engagement yet. If you want to give someone a promise ring, there are a few steps you can take to make the experience special.
First, decide on the type of promise ring you want to give. Rings come in all sorts of styles and metals—it’s important that the ring effectively communicates your intended message. Consider her tastes and pick something that will be meaningful and timelessly stylish.
Next, plan the words you want to say when giving the gift. This should be tailored based on your relationship. Romantic, or casual yet sincere, phrases will show just how much this gesture means to both of you.
There are few things more important than the words you choose while presenting this type of ring. Because these rings can represent such a wide variety of meanings (depending on who it’s presented to and how it’s presented), the message behind the gift must be communicated clearly—as this defines the nature of the commitment that the ring will represent for you both.
The best way to express your sentiment is by being honest and sincere in your delivery. Explain why you chose them to share such an intimate token of love with, and then finish off by explaining why you believe that now is the right time for both of you. Make sure never to apply pressure or resort to an ultimatum, but rather emphasize how much they mean to you and how excited you are for what is ahead in your relationship.
What Should You Do With a Promise Ring if You Get Engaged?
If either you or your partner has worn a promise ring as a sign of love and commitment, you may decide to continue wearing it after engagement. You could keep it on the left ring finger and simply redefine its meaning for engagement.
You could also move the promise ring to another finger of your left hand or your right hand instead. This way, you can still be reminded of your original commitments to each other while also making room for an engagement or wedding ring on the traditional finger. As mentioned previously, putting the ring on a chain and wearing it as a necklace is another popular option.
How Long are Promise Rings Typically Worn?
There are no hard and fast rules regarding how long promise rings can be worn, but we’ve observed, over time, that they are typically worn for about a year before the relationship ends or advances to engagement. That’s, obviously a rough estimation, but we also have noticed many couples waiting until they have been dating for roughly six months to a year before exchanging promise rings. Of course, some couples also choose to stay in the promise ring phase much longer—sometimes for a lifetime.
Can a Promise Ring be Used as an Engagement Ring As Well?
While the traditional purpose of a promise ring is as a pre-engagement commitment, it is possible for the same ring to take on a new meaning as it later becomes an engagement ring. In fact, many promise rings do look very similar to traditional engagement rings. If the ring was worn on a finger other than the fourth finger of the left hand, simply moving it to that finger when you get engaged can make it feel like a whole new ring.
Financial savings are a huge benefit of repurposing your promise ring to serve as an engagement ring. A new engagement ring could cost several thousand dollars—That’s money that you could otherwise put toward your wedding, honeymoon, or paying down debt. Your promise ring is a reminder of the one you love and your commitment to them. It can continue to serve that same role as an engagement ring as well.
The hand and finger on which a promise ring is worn is a highly personal choice. Whether it’s the left or the right, for some people, wearing the ring on a particular hand or finger carries deep meaning. Ultimately, it’s important to wear the promise ring in a way that feels special and meaningful to you. If you’re still not sure which hand or finger you should wear your ring on, take time to consider your options and speak with the giver to decide on the placement that would make the most meaningful or practical for your situation.