Rings have been traditionally associated not just with meaning, but with authority and power. Different rings have different powers, and the dynamics between individuals and groups of people are often inscribed in them. The pre-engagement ring, promise ring, and commitment ring are all examples of rings that have different significations in the context of a romantic relationship.

What Are The Differences?

Pre-Engagement Ring

A pre-engagement ring is worn when both the individuals feel that a marriage might be on the horizon, but the date of the marriage is not set, and the commitment to the marriage has not yet solidified. There is a sense of eventuality and some sense of sureness, but both are not yet ready to say that they want to be married at a certain date and they are completely committed to one another.

A pre-engagement ring says that both individuals are there for a long term and mutually agreed upon relationship, and they are happy with what they currently have.

A pre-engagement ring is also a great way to make sure that both people have the same understanding of the situation. Too often, people aren’t fully aware of the readiness of each other when it comes to marriage. At least with this type of ring, there will be no surprises when either one in the relationship suddenly proposes.

There are four situations when the pre-engagement ring is ideal:

  • An inexpensive but meaningful ring may be used by high school sweethearts when they feel that they may end up marrying each other in a couple of years. Of course, many sweethearts in high school are still not fully mature, so they may not be completely aware of what they want in the future. A pre-engagement ring is a great way to symbolize that blossoming desire to get married.
  • College couples who are struggling financially but have an abundance of love for one another may get this ring to symbolize something that they are motivated to do down the line. A ring is a most romantic symbol and wearing one may also be taken as a sign that either one is interested in checking out others in a romantic way.
  • The previous logic applies to those who have just graduated from college and are still looking for jobs.
  • And finally, the pre-engagement ring may be used by couples who are not interested in getting formally married but are still monogamous and are committed to one another in a very real way. The ring can help signify monogamy and commitment.

Promise Ring

A promise ring functions similarly to a pre-engagement ring, with one small but essential difference. A pre-engagement ring states the idea that either of the two intends to marry the other, minus the timeframe.

If a person is only romantically attached to the other but has no intention of marrying, or has not made a long-term commitment to the relationship, then a promise ring is more appropriate.

Design-wise, there are usually no big differences between the two, either. Pre-engagement rings are meant to look simply because there is no fixed commitment yet for the event they signify.

To reduce any confusion between the two, the promise ring is often worn on the right hand instead of the left.

The promise ring can be worn on any finger, while the pre-engagement ring is readily worn on the ring finger of the left hand since it serves as a placeholder of sorts for the next ring, which is the formal engagement ring, which is the one that is given during a proposal.

What Does it All Mean?

Pre-engagement rings are limited to romantically-attached individuals with the desire to marry each other at a later time.

As we have also discussed earlier, pre-engaging rings may also be worn by monogamous partners who have no desire to formally marry or wed. When a relationship has reached a point where those involved want to settle down but cannot decide yet when then they go for pre-engagement rings.

Promise rings and commitment rings are the same. While those in romantic relationships can opt for a promise ring or commitment ring, they can skip it and head straight for either an engagement ring (after a proposal) or a pre-engagement ring. There are several situations when a promise ring or commitment ring is more appropriate:

  • When the romantic relationship is only newly-established and the two people in the relationship are only really getting to know each other better.
  • When two friends have a really deep bond and they want to give each other a ring to signify their undying unconditional love and support.
  • When the two persons in the relationship are just too young to be talking about settling down or marrying but have a desire to symbolize their young love physically. Everyone goes through this kind of love, and it’s perfectly fine for younger people to be expressive about their young love (e.g. teenagers).
  • When two people in a blossoming relationship are temporarily living apart for an extended period. Those in long-distance relationships are included in this list of people. Since time and distance are a problem and perhaps no one knows when they will be together, longer, then a commitment ring might be a good reminder that there is someone out there who is waiting for a more ideal time for the romance to fully bloom.
  • A commitment ring can also be used to symbolize a blooming relationship between two people, but they may not be fully committed to each other yet.
  • There is a financial aspect to this as well: if you are interested in proposing, but do not have the money to purchase a more expensive or prettier pre-engagement ring, then a much simpler commitment ring might be a better idea. It’s the thought that counts, anyway.