A promise ring is a ring given as a gift that symbolizes a promise or commitment, though the actual meaning can be unique between the person giving and the person receiving the gift. Traditionally, a man gives a promise ring to a woman, though it is not unheard of for a woman to be the one to give a promise ring to a man. Though promise rings can take on different meanings for different couples, they traditionally stand for a commitment to each other, often a commitment that the couple will one day become engaged and eventually married. A promise ring is customarily given to a woman by her boyfriend when the two are in a serious relationship but are either too young or not ready for engagement, but have the intention of getting married someday. However, promise rings can symbolize other promises, such as a promise to be faithful, a promise to avoid certain behaviors, or a promise to be there for the other person. A gift of a promise ring should typically be accompanied by an expression of what the ring symbolizes to a couple.
So, what should you look for if you are considering giving the gift of a promise ring? This depends largely on your relationship, budget and style. A man giving a promise ring to a woman to represent a promise to upgrade to an engagement ring when his finances allow is not uncommon. A promise ring may be an elaborate diamond ring or may be extremely simple, though avoiding a plain band that can be mistaken for a wedding band is a good rule of thumb. The important part is that you make the gift a meaningful and personal gesture to the recipient. What does this mean? In a literal sense, you may get the ring engraved with the initials of the recipient, both of your initials, or a private message that symbolizes the meaning of the ring. Even if you do not opt for the engraving, try to choose a promise ring that fits with your partner's style. For instance, if you are a man giving a ring to a woman, take notice of the jewelry of her own she usually wears, as woman sometimes have particular preferences. If she always wears silver jewelry, a gold ring would probably not be the best option, and vice versa. Most importantly, make sure to clearly convey what the ring represents upon giving it, to avoid a misunderstanding or unwarranted expectations from your partner.