A promise ring is an ornament that symbolizes a pledge, bond or promise between two people. Such rings are not specific to one gender. Men and women can wear these rings. In fact, given the various types of promise rings, it is not surprising to find exchanging rings between the same gender.
What are the origins of the promise ring? This tradition dates back hundreds of years. It is derived from olden days when marriage between two people was not just an act of love, but rather a joining of two families (their land, finances, etc.). Thus, when two people intend to marry it was usually announced at a betrothal ceremony. This was a legally binding ceremony where the man presented a ring to the woman as a symbol of this promise.
Today, a promise ring can have many meanings. There is, of course, a derivation of the marriage promise - this ring represents an intention of marriage. What are the other types? Some people make abstinence promises to each other via a promise ring. This might be a vow to stop smoking or a no-sex-before-marriage pledge. Friendship rings, with a promise of eternal bond, are also popular.
Do you have to wear the promise ring on a particular hand/finger? While there are no specific rules as such, certain 'placement' choices are advisable. For instance, someone who is single and available might want to avoid wearing their friendship promise ring as an engagement ring. Some couples who wear promise rings prior to engagement might opt to wear them on their left hand's ring finger. This swifts to the right hand once the official engagement takes place.
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