The Difference Between a Promise Ring & an Engagement Ring

Marry me

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The intention of an engagement ring is clear: the wearer has said yes to a proposal of marriage and a wedding date will be set. However, the meaning behind a promise ring depends on the couple involved.


Engagement Ring

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A promise ring may signify a couple's commitment to stop seeing other people or to remain monogamous.


Man carrying woman on his back

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For younger couples or those with religious beliefs that people should not have sex before marriage, a promise ring may signify their commitment to abstaining from sex.

Lifelong Commitment

couple together

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For couples who don't believe in marriage, or those who simply aren't sure if and when they want to get married, a promise ring can declare their lifelong commitment to each other in lieu of an engagement.


Man placing wedding band on woman's hand (focus on hands)

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Especially for younger couples, the promise ring may signify the intention to become formally engaged when they are older. It may be seen as a temporary symbol until the couple is financially able to afford an engagement ring and plan a wedding.