Promise Ring Etiquette

Young couples that aren’t old enough to wed, lovers that aren’t quite ready to make the plunge into married life, and anyone else that wants to make a commitment to their significant other often wear promise rings to signify their love, commitment, and devotion to the other person. Since these rings differ from engagement rings in terms of purpose and meaning, there are certain guidelines to follow when purchasing a promise ring, giving your lover the ring, and wearing the ring to ensure that one member of the relationship doesn’t get confused or left with a broken heart.

Promise Ring Etiquette for Young Couples

The Right Ring

Engagement rings are often a large purchase and significant investment. Since a promise ring doesn’t necessarily signify marriage, the purchaser shouldn’t feel pressure to buy a ring studded with diamonds that resembles a traditional engagement ring. A promise ring at should cost less than a standard engagement ring and won’t resemble popular styles of engagement rings not to confuse the intent. When you are out looking for a promise ring, purchase one that is simplistic or adorned with a unique gemstone like an emerald or ruby.

Presenting the Ring

When you present the ring to your significant other, it is important to present it in a way that won’t get confused as a proposal. Make the presentation of the promise ring a special moment between you and your significant other but don’t forget to make the intent of the ring clear when you give the ring to your partner. Make the presentation special but avoid getting down on one knee and using any other gestures that would signify a proposal for marriage is being made. This will ensure that your partner realizes you are making a commitment to them but at the same time not confusing the presentation of the promise ring with a marriage proposal.

Wearing the Ring

A promise ring that is given with romantic intent can be worn on either the left-hand ring finger or the ring finger on the right hand. The ring finger that the wearer puts the ring on is up to the preference of the wearer. Many people feel uncomfortable wearing a ring on their left-hand ring finger because that finger is often reserved for an engagement ring. If your partner chooses to wear their promise ring on their right hand, understand that they may be more comfortable wearing it on their right hand rather than their left.

Keep in mind that a promise ring that signifies chastity or a promise between friends or family members can be worn on any finger that the wearer chooses. If you have a promise ring that represents your commitment to something else besides a romantic partner, remember that people may be confused about what the ring means if you wear it on your left-hand ring finger.

If for whatever reason the promise between you and your significant other is broken or it no longer applies, it is appropriate for the wearer of the ring to give the ring back to the individual that purchased it. Although this may be difficult to do, it is the same rule that applies during a broken engagement and is ultimately a symbolic gesture.