Put a Ring on It

I cannot tell you the number of engagement announcements I’ve seen on my Facebook feed over the holiday season. It is slightly ridiculous. But I should expect such updates for people as my classmates and I reach an age where we’re all just living our lives, meeting the right people, and going from there.

Personally, I’m somebody who likes to slightly rush through things if I can and know it’s right. Ever since I’ve started dating, I knew I just wasn’t somebody who would go into it just wanting something quick. If I know what I want, I want it now.

But most people aren’t like that. People are spending more time in relationships and marrying at later ages, if they do so at all. So if you’re in a committed relationship and want to solidify it with something, what then? Well, apparently there’s a ring for that. Considered a promise or pre-engagement ring, the definition can vary among individuals and couples, but it’s basically a miniature version of an engagement, just not as pricey or legally binding.

The promise ring is something I can certainly appreciate. It’s a symbol of true commitment and progress. A clear future. Something tangible to represent what words might not fully describe. Sure, sweet nothings in your ear are great, but I feel like it’s something else when those words become something more. You’re committed and not afraid to truly show it, even if that means marriage might wait a little while longer. I’m not a jewelry person, but if the thought is there, I’m all for it.

And some sort of object like a promise ring is something that eases my anxiety. It’s not like I myself question how my relationship is going, but a never-ending consciousness throwing doubt into the mix puts a damper on my certainty. It turns into me constantly asking if things are still good, even when nothing bad has gone wrong, which is ridiculous. Here, anxiety, this is something that clearly shows that I have no reason to worry, so stop bugging me. I expect the anxiety to perk up when my relationship becomes one separated by many miles (if you were wondering what sparked my idea for this post in the first place, it was anxiety. You’re welcome).

I have also heard others get disgusted over this concept, usually asking “What’s the point?” Perhaps it’s more of the attention it might receive when simultaneously posting every detail of our lives online and just living in places small enough where everybody knows everybody else, another story in of itself. But for those who are using the ring for its true purpose, even if they want to share the update with others, it’s special and serious. And it’s worthy of excitement and a little celebration. Maybe I just watch too much of the Duggar family where they strictly court others rather than necessarily “date.”

Another reason this isn’t for everybody is because commitment in general is scary. Many people don’t even want to marry anymore after seeing the statistics for divorce, when things don’t work out or there is just no love left. In most cases, I’d say the reason for separating is reasonable, if there’s abuse involved or cheating. But it’s also losing value in the sanctity of marriage. The vows and “death ’til you part” doesn’t have much of a meaning when you want to get out of it when you might not want to face your problems or work things out.

I’m not here to judge. My ideals in most situations are modern and liberal. But when it comes to relationships, it’s hard for me to see past my old-fashioned views about love. And I believe there are so many ways that could serve the same purpose and message as a  promise ring. Promise rings don’t even necessarily have to be a makeshift engagement, either. It can simply be a promise of love or just platonic between friends. I enjoy the versatility of the symbol, and that isn’t something you can really portray on social media. Outside of the couple themselves and maybe close loved ones, the multitude of meaning behind the ring doesn’t fit into an Instagram post or tweet.

There’s a reason they say that the best, strongest relationships are ones that don’t feel the need to always post the details. They’re secure enough to not always need the comments and approval from others. It’s just something fun to do. In my head, I just see something like a promise ring or any similar object as something refreshing, something different. Even if that just means a post that isn’t an engagement. Not just another purchase to make or sneaky way to ask for more gifts and jewelry (trust me, that’s not my style). It’s a next chapter. A dedicated promise. A thoughtful gesture just to show how much you care. In my opinion, you can’t have too much love in the world.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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