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A commitment ring publicly acknowledges the importance and permanence of a romantic relationship, without necessarily serving as an announcement of an impending marriage. Wedding bells might be in the couple’s future, or they might not. Some couples might not be on board with the traditional institution of marriage, but still want to share their feelings for each other through a meaningful symbol, like a piece of jewelry. 

Rings make things real. Whether they are made of some type of precious metal, wood or an unnamed element from an undiscovered planet, they change the sound and texture of laying our hands upon a table or gripping our morning coffee from ordinary activities into constant reminders. Whatever finger they are worn on, they are a public declaration. If you and your significant other show up to your sister’s birthday party with a set of his and hers rings, you better believe she is going to be asking a lot of questions.

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Even though it is visible to the whole world, a commitment ring doesn’t have to explain itself to anybody who isn’t giving it or wearing it. The exact meaning of the symbol remains the couple’s personal decision. While that liberates lovebirds from answering to a rigid set of societal expectations, it does make them responsible for agreeing on what kind of commitment the ring symbolizes. There’s only one universal rule for commitment rings that really matters. Ready for it? You and your loved one can be on a different page from everybody else, but you have to be on the same page as each other. 

It’s on the two of you to know what being on the same page looks like, but if you want to take a peek at how other couples have fit commitment rings into their relationship, read right on.

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Commitment Rings that DTR

Have you come out of too many “define the relationship talks” still unsure about whether you were in a relationship or not? Let an unmistakable plain band loop you in on where things stand. You aren’t just seeing each other casually in a hazy “oh, we’ve gone out on some dates” kind of way. The connection you have isn’t just in your imagination. You are linked by a tangible object. 

Commitment Rings vs. Engagement Rings and Promise Rings

Technically, engagement rings and wedding bands also fall into the commitment category, but the term is typically reserved for the other rings that have a more personalized structure. A promise ring might be a pre-engagement ring that serves as a placeholder until the couple decides exactly what they want in the engagement ring or enters a phase of life in which they feel more comfortable with wedding planning. But that isn’t the only promise that can be made with a ring. It can also be a lifelong pledge of devotion without the obligation to fill out legal paperwork. Unlike an engagement ring, promise rings for couples can be exchanged and worn by both parties on any finger on either hand. 

What Is a Promise Ring?

holding hands on beach wearing wedding bands

Other Types of Commitment 

While commitment rings are typically thought of as rings given outside the traditional framework of marriage, they can also be post-marriage gifts. You and your spouse might not have had a formal ring proposal and ring exchange. Or maybe a couple wants to reaffirm their commitment, especially in terms of a particular area or in commemoration of a specific relationship milestone. You can exchange commitment rings to reaffirm your devotion to one another.

And finally, while commitment rings usually have romantic associations, they can also serve as symbols of commitment to other strong bonds – such as lifelong friendship or shared convictions.

Commitment Ring Styles

Just as the couple is in charge of choosing the level of commitment or the nature of the promise, the style of the rings is up to them. Commitment rings are often less formal than an engagement ring, which often sends the design in two different directions: a simple plain band or even more elaborate decoration that incorporates meaningful engravings or other symbolic ornamentation that is personal to the couple. But again, anything goes, so long as both parties are going in the same direction.

What Do Commitment Rings Look Like?

We went into styles a bit just now, but let’s dive a little deeper. The overall likelihood is that you want a commitment ring to be different from a wedding ring. Now, if you don’t care about that, you’re more than welcome to select traditional wedding rings or eternity rings and call them commitment rings. If you do care about that, however, the type of ring you select is going to make a difference.

A good option for walking this line is gemstones. Gemstone rings don’t scream wedding ring nor do they scream any sort of commitment really. If you want something that just the two of you know, then gemstones (or your birthstone) are absolutely a solid choice. If you want something a bit more obvious, you can opt for something simple still. Solitaire rings are going to be a great choice, especially in a more subdued color like a sterling silver or white gold. 

Like promise rings and any other sort of pre-engagement ring, commitment rings can be worn on either hand. Most couples are likely to opt for the traditional ring finger, but both right or left hand wearing is an option. That’s mainly up to the preference of the wearer. The right hand is going to be less likely to be perceived as a wedding ring, for what that’s worth. Your choice is mainly going to be defined by what the ring means to the two of you and, consequently, what you’d like it to convey to the outside world when you wear it.

Commitment rings, like all well-thought-out rings, are a beautiful way to express your feelings through a symbol of love. Whether this means engagement is coming imminently or you want it to be a show of future engagement that’s yet to be determined is up to you. Just be sure you find one you love (for the one you love)!

Browse Our Collection of Promise Rings