Promise rings ring true for some

Zach Wagner | Collegio Writer

Daniel Youngers gave his girlfriend of three years a promise ring at Christmas as a symbol of his commitment to her. For Youngers, family tradition was a large part of his decision.
“Both my older brothers gave their girlfriends promise rings before they got engaged,” said Youngers, sophomore in plastics engineering. “College can be a tough time for keeping relationships, so what the ring does is it keeps our commitment and faith for one another stronger.”
Promise rings have been around for centuries, but in the last few decades they have become more popular with younger couples. The purpose of a promise ring is to signify exclusive commitment to one another.

Promise Rings

Promise Rings | Photo illustration by: Hunter Peterson

Younger’s girlfriend, Nicole Dooley, says that the promise ring serves as a reminder and symbolizes both the seriousness of their relationship and the time they have been together.
“For this being my longest relationship, I see it as a reflection of how long we’ve been together, how much we’ve been through, and that even through college we can stay faithful to each other,” said Dooley, sophomore in nursing.
Ashly Erickson says that her promise ring meant much more to her before splitting up with her boyfriend.
“When I first got the ring at Christmas, I saw it as the next step, showing how exclusive you are and at the same time it’s a step closer to engagement,” said Erickson, freshman in marketing. “It showed that through thick and thin, you can make a relationship last and you’re always going to be there for that person. Now it’s almost just like a piece of jewelry. I don’t really know what to think of it now.”

Other students like Chelsea VanLeeuwen say that you can still remain committed without a promise ring. VanLeeuwen says even though her boyfriend of six months attends Notre Dame University, she has no problem maintaining her commitment without a promise ring.
“It’s just a thing. I don’t see anything really symbolic about it,” said VanLeeuwen, freshman in physical therapy. “It’s basically a piece of jewelry that says don’t cheat on me and let’s stay together. You’re just putting the symbolism in your head by giving a gift like that.”
Eugene Briski says he sees how a promise ring can be meaningful for others, but he doesn’t feel it is necessary to remaining committed in a relationship. Briski says even though his girlfriend of nine months lives in Oklahoma, he doesn’t need a promise ring to keep his relationship strong.
“It’s more important for some than others. I really don’t see anything behind it, though,” said Briski, freshman in nursing. “People are going to do what they want in college. I don’t think a ring could stop someone from being unfaithful, but that may be different for other relationships. I feel I don’t need to buy a piece of jewelry to show my commitment to her. We stay in contact over the phone and I visit her when I can. That’s all I really need to keep us together.”

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