I am 28 years old, and my boyfriend of 5 years recently gave me a promise ring. He is 33. I love him with all my heart, and I sincerely want to spend my life with him, but as you can imagine, my friends got jokes! They say he’s too old to give me a promise ring, and that promise rings are for kids. They think he is just stringing me along and dragging things out, so I will stop talking to him about marriage. He has a decent job, but maybe he feels he doesn’t make enough or have enough money to buy me a nice engagement ring like he thinks I deserve. I want to get a second opinion, aside from my friends, to make sure they’re not just jealous and hating. So, what do you think? Should I be satisfied with the promise ring or is there more to what my friends are saying? Please help.
– He sort of put a ring on it
Dear “He sort of put a ring on it”:
This is a tough one. I’ve always felt a certain kind of way about promise rings, seeing as how I was engaged at 19 (he was 21) to someone who probably couldn’t afford the best ring money could buy at the time either, meaning this usually isn’t the issue. If at 33, my man gave me a promise ring, I probably wouldn’t take him seriously either. You’re adults. Adults get engaged and then they get married. A promise to marry does seem like a stall tactic, especially since you said he has a decent job. Have you hinted about the type of ring you desire? This may have put undue pressure on him to get you the ring of your dreams, rather than just getting you a ring he can afford, and therefore caused a delay in an actual proposal of marriage.
I won’t lie, I’d probably be just as cynical as your friends about his intentions. I would basically see the ring as a gift, not as indicating any more of a commitment than being his girlfriend. Some commitment phobe back in the 80s probably came up with the idea of promise rings. I actually don’t see the point. Did he actually propose marriage? What is said during the giving of the promise ring, ‘I intend to spend the rest of my life with you, one day?’ Or does the man actually propose like he would with an engagement ring?
I’m usually not so pessimistic about these types of matters, but I think a promise ring should be taken with a grain of salt. It means very little in the grand scheme of things, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. I’d just continue on in the relationship as usual because nothing has really changed.
At the end of the day though, you said you love him, so I’m sure you were quite disappointed too when he whipped out a promise ring, and although it’s a little insensitive for your friends to joke about your boyfriend giving you a promise ring, you sound as though you feel the same way about receiving one.
Continue to make it clear that you are not off the market until he puts an “engagement ring” on it. It’s sad that you have to be so specific these days. He’s probably thinking, ‘Beyonce just said to put “a” ring on it, she didn’t say what kind.
Anyhow, I wish you the best and I sincerely hope he doesn’t make you wait too much longer for the real thing.
Ladies, what would you do if your man gave you a promise ring? Is there an age when it is appropriate or inappropriate? Guys, have you ever given a promise ring? How old were you and what were you thinking (no, seriously)? Why did you settle on a promise ring rather than an engagement ring?