A Promise Ring Isn’t Real Commitment—Put A Real Ring On It Or GTFO

It might sound like a promise ring is a romantic idea, but it could also be a waste of time and bad for your relationship. Here’s why.

  1. It’s like the guy’s stalling. Hear me out: if a man wants to give a woman an engagement ring, he’ll do it. Why the hell would he first need to give her a promise ring? It just doesn’t make sense and it could be that he’s really stalling so that he doesn’t have to make such an intense commitment right now.
  2. You don’t get a pre-birthday gift, do you? Imagine what the promise ring would be like in different situations, such as if it were a pre-birthday gift. It would basically be like the guy’s saying, “I’m giving you this gift years before your birthday to say that I’m going to give you a really amazing gift on your birthday.” WTF? It’s just building up anticipation and suspense, causing stress and unnecessary waiting.
  3. It feels like something teenagers do. Promising to do something in the future and being all cute about it instead of manning up and getting your GF a real ring? That’s so childish.
  4. It’s not about the money. Wanting the guy to buy an engagement ring instead of a promise ring isn’t about him paying more money for a flashier piece of jewelry—it’s about showing real commitment. Getting engaged is much more committed than promising to get married “someday.”
  5. He’s not stepping up. Promising to get engaged in the future could actually not come to fruition. And that’s the problem: when he gives you a promise ring even though he doesn’t know if you’re going to end up together, it feels cheap. When a man steps up and gives you an engagement ring, he’s being clear about the fact that he wants to be yours, no matter what life throws at you.
  6. It’s better not to expect something. TBH, I hate it when guys talk about all the grand things they’re going to do in the future. I’d rather not have such expectations and pressure. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to plan a future with someone—I just want something more concrete. Let’s start doing instead of dreaming of doing.
  7. If he’s not putting a ring on it, he doesn’t feel it. He might not want to get engaged right now and that’s why he’s obviously not giving you an engagement ring. So what? That’s more honest than if he’s showering you with a promise ring. You don’t want to feel like he’s saying he’s half-committed or promising that one day he’ll commit. How is that a compliment?
  8. He should show commitment in other ways. Forget the promise ring—guys should show commitment in other ways, such as by being consistent and showing love every day. It’s not a case of giving a woman a promise ring and then not having to show love. That’s a copout.
  9. It’s a bit cruel, actually. Sometimes guys might give a woman a promise ring that never actually becomes an engagement ring, so she’s stuck walking around with this ring that’s supposed to mean he’s going to propose someday, but all her friends think she’s actually engaged. It leads to awkward conversations about how she and the guy aren’t actually ready to take that step, which sounds like she’s just making excuses for him. Arrrgh.
  10. It’s confusing AF. Imagine the scenario: your boyfriend gives you a ring and you think “OMG, he’s proposing!” But then he tells you that he’s not ready to propose. Huh? It’s such a confusing situation. He might see the promise ring as a way to show you how much he loves you, but it’s not adult love. It’s a ring that has to lead to another ring. Maybe. What a joke!
  11. No one’s going to Facebook this. You know when people upload pictures of their engagement rings on Facebook? Ever seen anyone post about a promise ring? Exactly. It’s nothing to write home about. So let’s just call it an ordinary ring and cut all the crap, okay?
  12. It’s just for show. Sometimes it feels like promise rings are just for show. The guy gives his GF a promise ring that she wears as an engagement ring and it shows the world that she’s taken. Just because it’s a ring, it seems to have much greater significance than if it were earrings or a necklace but it doesn’t. It’s not a big deal and actually doesn’t make women feel special.
  13. It could be a sign of the end. If you’ve been dating for many years and then you get a promise ring, it’s not fun to think that the guy’s not actually committed, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. By that time, he should know if he sees you as wife material. By giving you a promise ring at this stage, he’s basically saying he’s still not at the point of wanting to marry you. WTF? You’re sure to want to GTFO of that dead-end relationship!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.