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  #1  
Old Nov 29, '10, 10:37 pm
ironman62292 ironman62292 is offline
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Question Promise Rings and Advice

Can anyone tell me what a promise ring is all about? I've heard about them and was wondering whether or not to get one for my girlfriend. We've been dating for about a year and four months. I'm 18 shes 21. We're both very much in love, and yes, love in the real sense. We are both also very commited to purity and chastity. In fact, if God wills, I hope to marry her sometime after I graduate from college.

So, promise ring or no?

Also, any advice from you married couples on how to deepen my relationship with my girlfriend and God?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Nov 29, '10, 10:53 pm
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spunjalebi spunjalebi is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Seriously promise rings are just part of a fad. It's just my opinion but I think promise rings give couples false promises to keep. I have yet to meet a couple where they still stayed together even after the promise ring. From a scriptural and Catholic teaching view, the only "promises" which should be kept are marriage vows.

Not to mention you two are so awfully young. Wait until she's halfway done with college at least before you start to make serious steps toward marriage.
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  #3  
Old Nov 29, '10, 10:55 pm
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Honestly - and this is my opinion - for high school kids they are cute. For adults I think if you know you want to marry her there is nothing wrong with an engagement ring knowing you will have a long engagement due to finishing school. This is IMO b/c I am not you or her but as adults if we know we are ready to marry why not be engaged rather than promise it is not like it changes the relationship in any physical form it is just an actual comittment to marry instead of a quasi one.
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  #4  
Old Nov 29, '10, 11:13 pm
ToeInTheWater ToeInTheWater is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

I think that to many people, engagement means they are going to make concrete plans and steps toward planning and having a wedding...obviously for Catholics pre-cana is required, but even for non-Catholics there is much involved, such as booking the venue, choosing the caterer, buying the dress, etc. I know a couple who "knew we were going to get married" for years before actually becoming officially engaged, as they both spent many years completing their education.

Of course, on the other extreme, there are people who seem to be happy being permanent fiances, who are already living together, often have actually bought a house together, sometimes even have children, and are "engaged" for years, even decades, yet seem to always have some reason for not making it to the altar. Also, it seems many women find it more "respectable" to refer to a "fiance", not "shack-up boyfriend", even though some don't even have rings yet...indeed, I often wonder if the man would actually admit to being engaged, or it's just the woman engaging in wishful thinking.

I have heard a number of women say "I'd only live with a guy if he gave me a ring", and mean an engagement ring, not a wedding ring. So, I think that perhaps "promise" rings are in some way a reaction against how engagement has often become another term for common-law marriage. It seems many people who find the promise ring concept appealing also are committed to premarital chastity, and some have promise rings seem to double as purity rings.

I agree, though, that once someone is finished with schooling, and really have no financial or other reasons for delaying entering the vocation of marriage, that a "promise ring" seems rather silly. I'm past thirty, and if a man my age offered me a promise ring, I'd likely wonder why he didn't save his money toward the actual engagement ring.
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  #5  
Old Nov 29, '10, 11:42 pm
PrayerShark PrayerShark is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Maybe you Yanks have a different definition of 'promise rings' to us Aussies. But I always thought that a promise ring was a surrogate engagement ring; that is, you buy a simple ring to propose with in the case of (i) she wants to specifically pick a ring, or (ii) you don't have the money to buy a diamond ring (assuming the girl likes diamonds).

My old man gave mum a cheapy ring then upgraded her to a diamond ring once he had the money. The promise ring worked out for them, and mum wears the promise ring over the diamond ring most of the time anyway. That was back in the stone age (70s), so it's not exactly a new fad.
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  #6  
Old Nov 29, '10, 11:47 pm
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spunjalebi spunjalebi is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

The promise ring the OP speaks of is a completely different concept. It's a ring which is supposed to be in between dating and engagement. So it's dating, then "promise ring," then engagement ring, then marriage.
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  #7  
Old Nov 29, '10, 11:59 pm
PrayerShark PrayerShark is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Perhaps a chastity ring would be a more appropriate then? Nothing less than 18ct white gold though. He can buy two - one for each of them.
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  #8  
Old Nov 30, '10, 6:58 am
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrayerShark View Post
Perhaps a chastity ring would be a more appropriate then? Nothing less than 18ct white gold though. He can buy two - one for each of them.
Why nothing less than 18ct white gold?

IMO, promise rings are kind of a hollow promise. The only time I ever hear of them is when someone wants to be engaged and the other party in the relationship is not so sure of wanting to get married or that they've found the one. It seems more like a promise to consider getting engaged, only a reassurance to the one that actually wants a serious commitment. Its a ring to placate and nothing more.
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  #9  
Old Nov 30, '10, 7:16 am
Catholic90 Catholic90 is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by spunjalebi View Post
Seriously promise rings are just part of a fad. It's just my opinion but I think promise rings give couples false promises to keep. I have yet to meet a couple where they still stayed together even after the promise ring. From a scriptural and Catholic teaching view, the only "promises" which should be kept are marriage vows.

Not to mention you two are so awfully young. Wait until she's halfway done with college at least before you start to make serious steps toward marriage.
Meet me! Late DH gave me a promise ring in college. We knew we wanted to get married, but we also wanted to finish college and be employed first. He gave me a promise ring, then an engagement ring once we were both employed, and then we were married. That was over 20 years ago - we would have celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary a few months back.
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  #10  
Old Nov 30, '10, 7:39 am
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

(1) Responding to another poster, I don't believe an engagement should be made until you are prepared to get married that moment (if there weren't mitigating factors, such as booking a reception venue, going through marriage prep, etc.)

(2) If a "promise ring" is given as a token of affection along with realistic promises (perhaps reinforcing promises you've already made), then I think it's a very sweet gesture. You could even present it to her with "vows" such as promising to be honest, to maintain your own chastity and to respect her chastity, and to treat her like a princess (or whatever).

(3) If a "promise ring" is given with promises to eventually get married, I would veto it. If you want to get married, get married. If you aren't ready to get married, you do not know what the future holds and should not make promises that you can't necessarily keep. I would caution against vows such as "love you forever, never break up with you, never love another, marry you someday." Save these promises for your wedding day.
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  #11  
Old Nov 30, '10, 9:06 am
ironman62292 ironman62292 is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Well, very nice comments from all of you. Thank you. I know we're both very young and have no intention of getting married anytime soon. But we both have talked about it and we both really want to be married someday. We're both college freshman set to graduate hopefully in four years. My plans, If God wills of course, is to finish my undergraduate then go for my masters in Social Work. Perhaps sometime in between these two, or even after my masters will I actually propose, if God wills. But for now it's just a nice thought. I want us both to finish school before marriage. I'm sure as the years pass our plans for marriage will become more serious.

In fact, I asked her awhile ago, hypothetically speaking, that if I were to propose to her now what would be her answer. Without hesitation she answered yes in total and complete seriousness. I love this girl dearly and i know she loves me. I really hope and pray that we will be together. We have a relationship, that I think is much more stronger than most relationships between people at this age. But we both know that neither of us is nowhere near ready for marriage, financially or even mentally speaking.

So, with that promise ring, I think I agree with some of you that it probably isn't necessary. I'll probably just giver her another necklace or find some cheap ring. My initial intention for getting was to promise that I would marry her someday. Now I realize with reflection that I can't make that decision yet. Maybe God wants something else from me.

So, can anyone offer some advice at maybe what steps I can appropriately take to work towards marriage? When do you think that we should seriously begin thinking about and taking steps towards marriage?
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  #12  
Old Nov 30, '10, 9:54 am
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman62292 View Post
In fact, I asked her awhile ago, hypothetically speaking, that if I were to propose to her now what would be her answer. Without hesitation she answered yes in total and complete seriousness.
I had the same conversation with a boyfriend many years ago. He didn't become my husband. Like you said, very eloquently, it's hard to know what God wants for you quite yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman62292 View Post
So, can anyone offer some advice at maybe what steps I can appropriately take to work towards marriage? When do you think that we should seriously begin thinking about and taking steps towards marriage?
I am reading a "romance" novel published in 1871. It's incredibly charming how the men pursue the ladies they admire. The thing that really struck me was a suitor asked a guardian for permission to date his ward. Immediately after receiving permission, the suitor lost his fortune (through no fault of his own). He immediately withdrew his pursuit of the lady because he felt unworthy to marry unless he were capable of providing a comfortable life for her.

The point I'm trying to make is--it sounds like you're doing everything you can to prepare for marriage. At this point, you each need to prepare yourselves as individuals. Get an education that will help you find a stable career. Grow in your Catholic faith. Develop friendships with like-minded people. And acknowledge that the personal growth you experience in the next four years will CHANGE you (and your girlfriend)--and you won't necessarily be as compatible in 4 years as you are today.

Honestly, you sound like such a sincere and intelligent young man. I hope that your plans align with God's plans... but, as always, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
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  #13  
Old Nov 30, '10, 9:58 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

You are talking about a long time for a relationship to last, because it is a time of life when you're going through so many changes. Statistically, I wouldn't expect you to be together long enough to marry. Having said that, it is hardly unheard of for a relationship to last so long. I have many friends who were sweet hearts in high school and are sweet hearts still, 30 years later. It's the way to go, if you get that lucky!

I think it is enough that you both know that your intention is marriage, when the opportunity presents itself. I don't think the promise ring is necessary or even a good idea. There also needs to be a recognition that this is a time of life when you have to be ready for the possibility that one of you could change your minds. If you have exchanged jewelry and wear it, if you have an understanding that you will talk it over before one of you flirts or engages in the "rituals of courtship" with anyone else, then that is enough. It is not wise to be too locked in just yet. Let that wait for your engagement (which IMHO ought not be longer than a year and a half, in the absence of a military deployment or something like that).

If you have not done it already, this is a good time to work out what your boundaries are with regards to friendships with members of the opposite sex. Some couples admit none, save that they socialize with other couples. My husband and I admit friends of the opposite sex, but only of the type that an unmarried man or woman might have with a priest or religious: That is, they meet in public, never secretly, they avoid anything that could give the impression of courtship, and others are aware of the meetings and always invited. In our case, this means that my husband is always aware and invited if I meet a male friend for lunch, and I don't socialize with any male friends with a frequency or under circumstances that would be scandalous if it were with a priest. For instance, you might have coffee every day before or after class, with a classmate. In the absence of a standing event that you both attend, though, you wouldn't arrange your schedule so as to meet her for coffee every day. That is a bit much for "just a friend".

These are things that each couple works out, but a good thing to work out before you head off to college, or before she heads out into the workforce and leaves you in college. I think that it is good to have friends of both genders, but friendships in which you might develop an attraction that you could not ethically pursue have to be treated with prudence, or else disaster is likely. Attractive people have a way of attracting people. It is just the way humans tick.

Having been in high school relationship that did not work out, though, I would give you this advice: You need to be completely honest about whether you are feeling you should date other people. Promise each other that if you have this desire in a persistent manner for longer than a month, that you will admit it, and give each other permission to date others. I would suggest that you wait, though, and don't actually go on a date for two weeks or so after you get that permission. Spend a little time without going on a date before you date anyone else. It may be that you only needed a little breathing room to be yourself, and not a different relationship. Whatever you do, though, do not get emotionally entangled with a third party without having had this discussion. Only fools and the cruel let themselves be in more than one relationship at a time! Don't let that be one of you!
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  #14  
Old Nov 30, '10, 4:03 pm
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman62292 View Post
Well, very nice comments from all of you. Thank you. I know we're both very young and have no intention of getting married anytime soon. But we both have talked about it and we both really want to be married someday. We're both college freshman set to graduate hopefully in four years. My plans, If God wills of course, is to finish my undergraduate then go for my masters in Social Work. Perhaps sometime in between these two, or even after my masters will I actually propose, if God wills. But for now it's just a nice thought. I want us both to finish school before marriage. I'm sure as the years pass our plans for marriage will become more serious.

In fact, I asked her awhile ago, hypothetically speaking, that if I were to propose to her now what would be her answer. Without hesitation she answered yes in total and complete seriousness. I love this girl dearly and i know she loves me. I really hope and pray that we will be together. We have a relationship, that I think is much more stronger than most relationships between people at this age. But we both know that neither of us is nowhere near ready for marriage, financially or even mentally speaking.

So, with that promise ring, I think I agree with some of you that it probably isn't necessary. I'll probably just giver her another necklace or find some cheap ring. My initial intention for getting was to promise that I would marry her someday. Now I realize with reflection that I can't make that decision yet. Maybe God wants something else from me.

So, can anyone offer some advice at maybe what steps I can appropriately take to work towards marriage? When do you think that we should seriously begin thinking about and taking steps towards marriage?
You sound like a very nice man with nothing but the best of intentions towards his girlfriend. I pray that God will grant you both many blessing in your lives.
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  #15  
Old Nov 30, '10, 6:19 pm
PrayerShark PrayerShark is offline
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Default Re: Promise Rings and Advice

You can still buy her a ring mate. If she doesn't have any rings at all, then she may like that extra piece of jewellery. Being that we are now close to Christmas it would make a great present. Does she have a favourite stone (or colour)? Get one of those done in a nice simple setting and you're a hero. It doesn't need to signify anything except as a present to the girl your really really love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joandarc2008
Why nothing less than 18ct white gold?
Well maybe 18ct is probably stretching his budget. Perhaps 9ct would be much better. Either way, I find silver jewellery doesn't age well and some jewellers I've spoken to refuse to work with it. This is assuming she likes white metal over yellow of course.
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