In most cultures, a promise ring symbolizes the commitment between the man and woman in love. It precedes the engagement ring and is usually given when there are objective reasons why two people can’t be together for some time. They show the world that their relationship is strong, although they are too young or live too far apart.
Unlike the engagement ring, the procedure for giving this one is less rigid, and it is not so expensive. Most women don’t have a clue what finger does a promise ring go on. However, this band is an important symbol, and there are numerous options about the promise ring meaning finger. Let’s take a look.
A Symbol and Meaning of a Promise Ring
There are several meanings of the promise ring nowadays. In most cases, it represents a commitment among lovers, but there is other symbolism, as well. Let’s see.
- Pre-engagement – It is the most common reason to give the promise ring. Two people in love want to wear rings before the official engagement. They want to show affection and commitment before becoming ready for marriage and exchanging vows.
- Monogamy – Young couples often exchange this ring as a symbol of a mutual commitment. That way, they promise each other to remain monogamous and faithful to each other.
- Chastity (purity) – In some cultures, parents give this ring to their child with a wish to remain in celibate until getting married.
- Friendship – It is not rare that two best friends exchange promise rings as a symbol of intention to be there for one another forever.
- Promise to yourself – You can give this ring to yourself as a reminder to stay strong in reaching a particular cause or keep a positive attitude faced with adversity.
What Finger Do You Wear a Promise Ring On?
Basically, the finger and hand where to wear your promise ring will depend on its meaning. It is not the same if you have the ring given as an introduction to engagements, or you are already married but want to keep this first symbol of your love along with an engagement ring and wedding band.
You can wear all three if they match in style and design. Otherwise, it is OK to choose another finger or even a hand to put your promise ring on.
Some women can decide not to wear their promise ring on any hand but to attach it to the necklace as a pendant. There is also a possibility to use it as a charm and wear it on a bracelet.
Experts claim that you can wear this ring on any finger, and there is no need to follow the ancient myth about a vein running directly from the left hand’s right finger to the heart.
Unfortunately, such a vein doesn’t exist at all, plus you will avoid possible misunderstandings. If you wear it on the ring finger, your friends and family members may get a false impression that you are secretly engaged.
1. Choose the right finger
I will give you some possible explanations of why the right or left hand is the right place for wearing your promise ring. Always keep in mind that it is only a recommendation, and the final decision is on you.
2. Left hand’s ring finger
In most cases, a promise ring represents a promise of commitment in case the engagement is impossible. The reasons for this are different, but the most common are the following three:
- Lovers are too young for an official engagement
- They live or work far away and need to wait for the convenient moment to ger married
- Their current financial situation is not adequate, and they want to wait for a while to earn some money and afford a real diamond engagement ring
Whatever reason is, the promise ring often precedes the engagement one, and most women prefer wearing it on the traditional ‘wedding ring finger.’ Once they get engaged, the engagement ring replaces this one. Some women decide to wear both of them on the same finger.
Keep in mind that you may have a problem to wear your promise ring on some other finger because of its size. So, you may consider resizing it to fit better in the new place.
3. Right hand’s ring finger
Wearing your promise ring on the right hand’s ring finger is practical since you leave it ready for important future ones. That way, you won’t need to make any changes once you get the engagement ring and wedding band.
This choice has two crucial advantages. First, there will be no need for resizing if the ring doesn’t fit another finger perfectly. Second, you will avoid awkward questions about potential engagement.
There is one more option. If you don’t know when you will get engaged or are not sure if you want to get married at all, you should wear your promise ring on the right hand’ ring finger.
This traditional Irish ring is something special and represents essential qualities that connect lovers or even best friends. Its unique design includes:
- The heart (grá) symbolizes love
- Hands (cairdeas) symbolize friendship
- The crown (dílseacht) symbolizes loyalty
You can wear it in four different ways, and each choice symbolizes a different status:
Right hand – Worn on this hand, the ring can mean that you are single or in an informal relationship. Single women looking for a partner wear it on with the heart point faced away from their hearts. Once the woman is in a promising relationship, she will turn the ring around and wear it with the heart pointed inwards.
Left hand – Worn this way, the ring shows that you are engaged or married. After getting engaged, women wear this ring on the left hand, with the heart pointing toward the fingertips. On the other hand, married women turn it around and place the heart top facing her heart. Most Irish women wear the Claddagh ring as a wedding band.
5. Promise ring for men
Many people are unaware that both women and men can wear the promise ring. It is actually a symbol of commitment, and both sexes have the same rights on this issue.
Nowadays, it is not strange that a woman takes the initiative and gives this ring to her partner. In this case, it represents the same thing for the man as the engagement ring means to the woman.
However, men can also wear their promise rings as a symbol of celibacy, friendship, or a promise to their parents. These rings differ significantly from the ones given to women.
Unlike the elegant and delicate feminine promise ring with or without a gemstone, the male one is always thicker and of rougher design.
6. Promise rings for same-sex couples
For most LGBTQ couples living in states where same-sex marriages are prohibited, the promise ring is an excellent solution to confirm their mutual commitment. They usually wear it on the left hand’s ring finger to show how serious their relationship is.
Types of Promise Rings
Unlike the diamond engagement ring that is often expensive, the promise model is modest, and it always depends on the couple’s style and preferences. It can be made of cheap materials and include a birthstone or engraved name of a beloved partner.
The point of this ring is to symbolize commitment, not an official status. As long as it suits the real purpose, the model is irrelevant. The most common promise rings include:
Infinity Knot ring
One or more interwoven knots this ring has is a universal symbol of fidelity and eternal love. This design also implies a monogamy promise and a strong relationship between the two lovers.
This highly fashionable band is an excellent choice for the promise ring. It features two or three bands made of the same or different metals that fit together or are intertwined. It symbolized two lovers connected forever.
A heart-shaped gold or silver ring or a band with a small heart instead of the gem is a widespread symbol of love. It can also feature a diamond or any other jewel if you prefer that way. Couples often choose the ring with a heart to show their affection and emotions.
Ring with a gemstone
The promise ring often features a jewel, but it is rarely a diamond. When the woman prefers a solitaire or statement model, the man will pick out her birthstone instead. That way, you will have more space for creativity and individuality.
This elegant ring looks like a wedding band, so you shouldn’t wear it on the left hand’s ring finger. That way, you will prevent possible confusion. Men wearing the promise ring usually pick out this model.
It is a popular choice among your couples who want something different and unconventional. Such a ring is embellished with a specific pattern or carving on the exterior side.
A jeweler can engrave her name inside the male band and his name inside the female ring in some cases. You can also pick out some other model and add engraving as a personal touch.