Promise rings have gained a lot of traction over the last couple of years. Although, this type of rings have a longer history than you might expect, they are still perceived as an unknown and sometimes confusing novelty. What does a promise ring mean? How do you wear it? Does this mean I am now pre-engaged? The short answer to all these questions would be “It depends”. For the longer one continue reading as we try to give you the answers you long for.

The secret to the meaning of a promise ring lies right there in its name – it’s a promise. What kind of promise is up to the couple who are wearing a matching set of promise rings. Even though promise rings can be, in fact, pre-engagement rings this doesn’t have to be the case. Promise rings also symbolise the vow of abstinence until marriage but don’t have to.

The beauty of promise rings is that they give you the freedom of interpretation. You and your partner hold all the cards and only you can know what this little band on your finger means. At its core, promise rings signify your deep commitment to one another. Whether it comes with strings of future marriage attached is for both of you to decide through healthy communication. Maybe, you don’t want to get married yet but want to have something that symbolizes your deep love for one another. Maybe, you have to go through long-distance relationship for a while but vow to be reunited soon. Maybe, it is in fact a pre-engagement gift or any kind of promise you want it to hold.

As we said before, promise rings equivalents have been around for some time. Have you ever heard of posy rings? Posy – derivative from “poetry” – rings used to be popular from the 5th to 15th century which in itself is an impressive run. These rings could bear any kind of message, from religious to messages of support, but there’s a much more romantic aspect to such rings. Lovers would exchange secret messages engraved on the inner side of the rings. The fact that the heartfelt message would have contact with the skin of the wearer was believed to make it even more special and sincere.

Fortunately, in today’s age you don’t have to come up with such intricate ways of showing your affections in fear of judgement from the society. But it can be argued that the deep romantic meaning of posy rings has given life to a new line of jewelry that carries the same level of intimacy and devotion – promise rings.

What Finger Does a Promise Ring Go On

Have we already mentioned that the best part of promise rings is that its meaning and interpretation belong only to you? Yes, we did. Well, the same principle applies to where you wear your new promise ring. There are no guidelines as to which finger the promise ring should go on. It even doesn’t have to be a finger and you could wear it on a chain around your neck, closer to your heart, so to speak.

But, since promise rings usually look very different from engagement rings (and they absolutely should), you might want to wear it on your left ring finger if it actually is a pre-engagement or commitment ring. Even if you are already married to the love of your life, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for promise rings as a celebration of your anniversary or important date in your lives. Then, you’d want to wear the promise ring on your right ring finger.

Getting an engagement ring usually precedes a lot of scrutiny and an upcoming avalanche of “how, when, where, how much” questions. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and getting engaged will be one of the happiest days of your life. But if you want a more intimate symbol of your love and devotion for your partner that will not be subjected to the same kind of scrutiny, promise rings are just what you are looking for.

Lina Dzido is a creative writer, enthusiastic content creator, Senior Editor and PR Manager of Awesome Stuff 365, a web magazine about cool, creative & awesome things.