Life is full of promises. Some are simple and easy to deal with – you promise to help a friend with an assignment. While others more complex, require more thought and have a greater impact on our lives – you promise to be a god parent.

When you promise something, you declare that you will do/say something and you are bound by your word. Promises bring about expectations and hopeful feelings.

I’ve always heard about promise rings but had never given them much thought until recently. In a bid to understand what exactly they entail, I decided to do some research which led to the discovery that there are at least 6 types of promise rings, namely;

Monogamy – these rings represent mutual commitment of unity and faithfulness
Chastity or Purity or abstinence – , these rings symbolize a promise to remain sexually pure until marriage, to keep one’s virginity until marriage
Friendship – these rings symbolize eternal friendship, pacts made between friends to always be there for each other
Substance or Sobriety – these rings are a promise to remain free from addictive behavior such as alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, etc
Religious or Christian – these rings are a promise to remain committed to one’s faith
Pre-engagement – these showcase a commitment to the relationship and a promise for building a future together

The promise ring that really interests me is the Pre-engagement one. It is imperative that the individuals involved are clear on the meaning of the promise otherwise there will be discontentment. Others are for promising marriage, others say they stand for a serious commitment but if its commitment then
1. why do I need to wear a ring on my finger to show that I am in a committed relationship?
2. why do we not get engaged instead if our relationship is at that level?
3. Should my behavior not speak for itself?
4. If its because we feel we are still too young, then why are we in the relationship in the first place?
5. Or its too early in the relationship to get married then why don’t we wait and let our actions speak.

I do not understand the concept of needing a ring to show your commitment whilst you are still dating. As human beings we tend to go back on our word. People are known for breaking promises so what is the purpose of promise rings?

Personally, I’m not a big fan. I think it is a way for a man to keep his girlfriend around longer when he sees that she is capable of leaving. I think promise rings are a way of keeping your girlfriend in line. You tell her you promise you will marry her in the future, that way she won’t leave you because she thinks there is a future. Some guys know which strings to pull when a woman is fed up – gifts, holidays, rings, “promises of marriage are all part of the package.

But maybe I’m just cynical.


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