Great news Royals! Knight Vision Photography has officially done its first engagement shoot! What made it even more special is that it was at Busch Stadium and we got an amazing mini tour and to take pictures in the dugout and what not. Being the diligent assistant that I am, I started looking up the best hashtags to use on social media for engagement pictures. While doing this, I stumbled across several pictures of women rocking “promise rings”. It has been quite a while since I heard someone mention a promise ring and I was genuinely shocked that people still gave them to their significant others. I started doing more snooping and was surprised to find many of the women showing off their promise rings looked to be in their mid-twenties or older. At this point, my mind flashed back to an episode of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta when Mama Dee’s beau gave her a promise ring (just for reference, this woman is probably at least 50 years old). I immediately began to question why these women would except promise rings in lieu of an engagement ring at an age that seems appropriate to be getting married. I decided to do a little research to understand exactly what promise rings are and what they symbolize.

promise ring

According to The Knot the meaning of a promise ring is defined by each couple, but typically serves as a symbol of commitment. Kimberly Canary, vice president of social media and public relations at Kay Jewelers, says that “many couples use the symbol [promise ring] as a way to signify a future engagement, others simply wear the ring as a means of reflecting devotion to one another”. Another professional in the jewelry business noted an increase in the popularity of promise rings and believes it is related to the increased trend of cohabitation prior to marriage many couples partake in.

The idea of giving a ring as a commitment of love dates back to 16th century England. Recently, the meaning of promise rings has slightly changed for some people to include a promise to abstain from sex until marriage. It seems that regardless of the time period, promise rings represent a commitment to a romantic relationship between two people.

As far as ring style, anything goes. There are a lot fewer “traditional” standards and these rings tend to be more fashionable. The value of a promise ring is not determined by the metal its made of or whether or not it contains diamonds. Promise rings can be worn on any finger, but are often worn on the left ring finger by unmarried women and the right ring finger by married women.

So now the burning question..how old is too old for a promise ring? From my google search research there does not seem to be an age limit on promise rings. Many sites did mention promise rings serving as a pre-engagement ring so I would assume people would be at an age where marriage was possible. According to the internet, the decision to gift and subsequently wear a promise ring is really up to individual couples. I know for me personally, I’d think The Boy was totally out of his mind if he called himself giving me a promise ring. At this point, we’ve been together for over four years and we’re both getting older. We both know whether or not we want to marry each other. There is no need for him to promise me to one day propose marriage. The way I see it, for people in long term relationships, they can either sh*t or get off the pot….but that’s just me.

I will admit that I was quite surprised to learn (and liked the idea) of a promise ring meaning whatever a couple wants it to. Perhaps if I were still in undergrad or at a place in life where my ideas of marriage were only what I could dream up on a Pinterest board, I would be into the idea of my man giving me a promise ring. At the end of the day, regardless if you will accept a promise ring or not, it can’t be denied that it is a lovely gesture to show your commitment to your significant other.

How do you feel about promise rings? Did your man give you one? Would you accept a promise ring from your man? How old do you think is too old for a promise ring?

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53 comments on “How Old is Too Old for a Promise Ring?”

  1. Hum, i would wear it on my right finger if i accepted one. I had one when i was 19 or 20, butg i am 43 now zxo i wouldnt do it at my asge, but maybe if i were in hs through maybe 22, but, do what u feel

  2. I didn’t get a promise ring or any other jewelry before engagement. If we were in high school or college at a time where marriage would be far off, I would’ve accepted and appreciated a promise ring. I think after your senior year in college is a bit too old for a promise ring.

  3. I think you’re never to old for a promise ring. its sweet and simple. To be honest it depends what type of person you are if your a woman who wants get married and loves the idea of marriage and is seeking it in the relationship then a promise ring may seem offensive but I believe its a nice gesture to give someone at the start of the relationship say 5months in when you care for eachother but are no way ready for enagment or marriage its cute

  4. I’m not a fan of promise rings. I think that if you want to make a promise just get married…especially if its already in the plans. I’m one that thinks you are never too young for marriage if you are both in love.

  5. I guess I am not with these classic anymore! few years ago I would consider this as “something” , but now I just love new innovating ideas.

  6. Honestly I don’t even think a wedding ring is necessary let alone a promise ring. If some couple feel better by exchanging them then they can go for it. But everything happened on the inside, ring or not, old or young, if someone wants to break a promise he will lol

  7. I had no idea this was still a thing! I got one when I was a senior in high school/freshman in college, but this seems like the guy isn’t really going to commit and that he’s giving the girl a fancy ring to appease her for the moment. LIke just use that money to buy a real deal. So I agree with your assessment. Wimpy way out of agreeing to not decide whether you are going to get married or not. If some guy tried to give me a ring in my mid or late twenties I would look at him like he was crazy and move on.

  8. Oh my, I had never heard of promise rings, thank you for doing the research and sharing it with us! I am not entirely sure I am a promise ring girl, I mean you are either committed or not, I think its just another really cute gift, LOL
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  9. This is such an interesting post. I know people who just need it or really put a lot of emphasis on it, but I have the same outlook as you. I am 23, my boyfriend and I have been together for a while and have also been friends for over 15 years. We know we want to get married one day so I just don’t see the point of a promise ring… to me it’s just buying time for something the person can’t fully commit to, but I guess it’s different for each couple.

  10. I always felt that promise rings were a bit childish. 90% of the people I know who have ever received a promise ring, received it in their teens. I had one when I was about 16 from my boyfriend of almost 5 years (2 years at the time). And like others have said, you’re either committed or you’re not. A promise ring is kind of like a “I want to be with you, but I don’t want to marry you” lol but to each their own, I guess.

  11. Promise rings are different for everyone but I just don’t like them. I think it’s a little tacky, but that’s just me! I don’t need a ring from my boyfriend promising to marry me one day, his word is enough.

  12. Honestly, my take on it is to say: Do whatever rocks your boat! If the recipient is cool with it then great; especially as there are all sorts of reasons why people give and accept them. 🙂

  13. We don’t do promise rings here in Finland. It’s engagement ring that is the fist thing you put to your finger before getting married. 😀

    <3: Jasmin N | littlethingswithjassy.blogspot.fi

  14. I did not hear of a promise ring until 3 years ago and it feels like something young people do (high school / college). But when you get older or have already a few years in a relationship, I don’t think there’s a need for that. You get more mature and you can openly discuss the possibility of marriage

  15. Personally I don’t see the point in them, to me they are the same as an engagement ring. If you are going to promise yourself to someone then you are engaged

  16. Actually i gave my then boyfriend a promise. Eventually we got engaged. I even had my promise ring on the wedding day. It isn’t even that pretty. BUUUTT it still means a lot to me. Then I took it off, cause I wearing my engagement ring and wedding ring. But can you believe I lost my weddingring??!!! Still a damn mystery where that rings is hiding. So I’m now wearing my engagement ring and promise ring together. My husband eventually lost his promise ring when I put on his wedding ring. His promise ring was all beaten up cause he never took it off and it’s the same story with the wedding ring. SOOOO…I love the concept of a promise ring. Makes a bit legit between the couple before the engagement.

  17. Also with the price of engagement rings, some use jewelry labeled as promise rings and purity rings as engagement rings. A friend of mine found a birthday month ring with a lab-created sapphire for $50, compared to the $3500 engagement ring of the same design. Some aren’t into the pricey jewelry anymore.

  18. I had never heard of the concept of a promise ring before. But now I can think of a thousand reason to buy one for my special one! Thank you!

  19. I have had a promise ring and I loved it but I think they are for a younger generation. If you are marriage age you should be getting an engagement ring.

  20. I don’t think there should be an age for promise rings. It shows a symbol of love, and commitment. Also, what if you’ve been with the same person for 4 years and they still don’t want to get married. Is it silly to ask for some type of commitment ring? I don’t think so. It’s between you and your partner, and you should be willing do anything to make them feel special and loved. I am for one for it, it can be any type of ring you want.

  21. I received a promise ring a year ago. It has aggravated me in a huge way. I was 50. He was 48. We have a mortgage together. Been together for 5 years.
    I do not understand any of it. It would be cute and I would love the ring if I were in my early 20’s or still in school. I say s##t or get off the pot. Or just say what you really feel. In my case I feel like it’s a hush ring. And I am disgusted by it. I feel I deserve the real deal.

  22. I just received a pre-engagement/promise ring at the age of 56. I’m in a serious relationship for the past 5 months and we have talked about marriage and agreed it’s in our future. It will be a second marriage for each of us, but right now I have my elderly mom living with me, he has his 25-year-son. We have a lot to figure out, but we wanted something to symbolize our monogamous commitment and our intention to get engaged at some point in the future. Life can get complicated, but it’s good to know that we are working on creating a life together and doing it in a way that works best for our families, too.

  23. What about the late bloomers who did not have a “sweetheart” in high school? Actually to me, receiving a “promise” ring from a teenage relationship seems more “childish” than the other way around. I mean what exactly are you promising at that age anyway? You usually don’t know what you want at that time. Most of those relationships don’t last (some do…kudos to them)

    Who’s to say what “ring” is more serious than the other? As for engagement rings …newsflash, some marriages will fail. Does that mean when ppl get engaged they were anticipating a divorce along with it? No, it does not. Same for promise rings, it’s not a way to avoid marriage. Some people just want to take an extra step. Perhaps that person has been married before, or has divorced parents and do not want to repeat the same mistakes, yet want to express their love and devotion…then a promise ring would be the perfect scenario.

    But to each’s own…

    • I am 65 years old and a twice widow. I have been dating a widower for quite some time. We love each other, but at our ages don’t think we want to marry again. We are committed to each other. He gave me a Forever Us ring or Ever Us ring. Two diamonds representing us.

      • Stephanie, this is beautiful. Certainly a different perspective on the “promise ring” concept. It’s really easy to say what you wouldn’t do/accept when you are in hypothetical situations..before your comment, I probably would have gone as far as to say I’d never accept a promise ring. You have helped me change my mind!

  24. I am 55, and have been with my bf for almost 6 years. We have lived together for 5. Many older couples are giving each other promise/committee rings. One of the most common reason is financial because of medical costs are so high. For myself, I can not be married due to this. After working my entire life, I have had to go in full disability. My prescription cost along can run up to $11,000 a month. I do receive a form of Medicaid that helps with these costs. Also, my hospital/medical bills can run well over $250,000 a year. Hospitals regularly will “write off” the costs incurred after Medicare insurance pays. If we were to be married, I/we would not be able to pay for these costs. Nor, would I/we have to money to pay for my prescriptions. After research, I am doing this legally. Because we are not married, I do not have to include his income to qualify for aforementioned. I also, give him $600.00 a month to go for household expenses, which I legally report as rent. My father and his girlfriend, plus many senior citizens from my church also are in committed relationships, not marriage, because of skyrocketing medical costs.

    • As a young public health professional, this really breaks my heart to hear. No one should have to let medical care expensive dictate their marital status. I’m sure that the love between you and your bf is unwavering and wouldn’t necessarily be strengthened by marriage, but it’s unfortunate that anything beyond your choice is preventing you from being able to wed. A work friend told me she often looks for coupons straight from the medication company to get discounts on her scripts and I know many hospitals here allow patients to apply for financial aid (based on their income) on an annual basis. I’m not sure if you’ve explored these options, but if not I certainly hope they help! xo

  25. I’m 49 and have been married and divorced. I have NO desire to get married again. I do want a committed relationship and have one with a man who has had the same experience and wants the same thing. After a few years, I would like a ring (which he knows and agrees with). It tells the world that we are in a committed relationship and are committed to each other. I know a few people our age who have done this, so it’s not a new idea. When you are older, the legalities of marriage can present a few problems. Your relationship is no less valid because you don’t plan to go that route.

    • I love this take on the promise ring “debate” Bridget. I can totally understand your point coming from the perspective of a more seasoned adult. While I’m certainly not as anti-promise ring as I was when this post was originally written, thanks to awesome comments and insight like yours, I still worry that younger adults/men sometimes use this token of affection and commitment as a means appease an inpatient girlfriend who is ready to take the next step in the relationship. All-in-all though I’m a firm believer in doing whatever is best for your relationship. I’m sure it’s all about the meaning of the ring for each couple!

  26. can you wear a promise ring for more than a year before married? am 28 my guy has given me a promise ring n he said we will marry in one year time but my friends are influencing me that i cant wear a promise for that long .am confused

    • Edith, I think it is most important to follow your heart and do what works for your relationship. If planned to propose within a year’s time, I wonder why he even gave you the promise ring. I think many people who receive promise rings wear them for well longer than a year. I def. do not recommend letting your friends talk you out of your happiness!

  27. This is a great conversation.
    I just turned 50 and I was previously married for 26 years. I did all the standard stuff when I was 20. The proposal with ring, the 18 month engagement, traditional big wedding and 2 amazing kids. I am now dating a wonderful man who was also married and has raised a daughter. We have both been there and done that. We are open to marrying again for the last time but truly, no need to rush anything.
    I feel a promise ring at this stage would be a wonderful symbol of commitment and partnership. And it never has to move towards an engagement ring or marriage.
    Times have changed and so has the dynamic of relationships. There is no one way to do relationships these days.

    • Lila I can’t agree more with that bit about times having changed and the dynamic of relationships. There is truly no one way to do a relationship. I think what’s most important is that the people IN the relationship are happy. Trying to live up to “society’s standard” is pointless. You ave t live for you and only you.

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