Promise rings have been back in vogue for a few years now. But these rings differ greatly from the men’s promise rings the Jonas Brothers rocked back in the day. Rather than symbolizing a vow of chastity, today’s promise rings symbolize love and commitment between two people.
While women are often the recipients of promise rings, men can wear them too! For millennial couples looking for new, unique ways to showcase their relationship (before or in lieu of a formal engagement), promise rings are the perfect token of fidelity, exclusivity, and commitment. And, as perceived gender roles are constantly evolving, more men are open to wearing fine jewelry beyond the traditional wedding band.
It helps that men’s promise rings can now be found in a variety of styles, metals, and designs, so you can find a ring that fits your personal style, regardless of how simple or sophisticated you’d like it to be.
As a rule, however, promise rings shouldn’t be too over the top. Many view promise rings as a pre-engagement ring, and you don’t want to invest too much in a ring that will be replaced by a future engagement ring. A less elaborate ring is also more cost-effective—a huge “pro” for many couples not ready to emotionally (or financially) tie the knot.
For men’s promise rings, choose budget-friendly metals like sterling silver, ceramic, tungsten or titanium. You can shop specifically-designed promise rings that feature words like “I promise” engraved on the band, or choose an alternative men’s wedding band that reflects your personality or relationship.
Some men might shy away from jewelry, but a promise ring is just another way to show your commitment—so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If there is a hesitation, make sure you set aside time to discuss it. Make sure it’s the ring he’s unsure of, not your relationship. After all, a promise—like every other serious step in a relationship—should mean that both partners are on the same page about the significance of your status as a couple.
However, not all men who resist men’s promise rings are afraid of commitment! Many men were raised to believe that only women wear the ring, but that tradition is flawed. Even the earliest types of promise rings—known as Posy Rings—were exchanged between men and women. If he isn’t comfortable wearing a ring because he feels that men “don’t wear” promise rings, shop for low-key style options that look and feel more casual.
While an engagement ring is often given in a surprise ceremonious display on bended knee, promise rings tend to be discussed by both parties beforehand and exchanged together. As the traditions of promise rings have changed through the decades and it’s become custom for both partners to wear a ring, exchanging promise rings showcases a symbolic commitment and understanding of the elevation of the relationship status. So although gifting a men’s promise ring is acceptable, exchanging rings is often more symbolic and meaningful.
When shopping for men’s promise rings, look for a ring that speaks to both your love for him and his individuality (or promise ring sets that complement your unique relationship!)
Most importantly, keep the ring budget friendly and choose an understated style that doesn’t scream engagement or wedding band. Remember, the men’s promise ring you choose for him is a symbol of your love and commitment. If he balks at wearing that symbol, then perhaps you should reconsider the promise.