Most couples opt to have an engagement ring to truly mark the start of their engagement. However, because an engagement ring tends to be quite expensive and isn’t worn for as long as a wedding ring, some couples tend to think: Why is an engagement ring so important?
We can find the answer in the engagement ring’s history, its significance across various cultures, and the powerful statements it makes about one’s relationship. As we shall see, having an engagement ring is a choice you and your partner won’t regret, especially if you know the right reasons to get one.
Though an engagement ring can be expensive and short-lived compared to the more permanently worn wedding ring, it still has many unique and practical advantages. Indeed, the perfect engagement ring will totally enhance the meaning of your engagement and crystallize its memory for many, many years after your wedding.
Why is an Engagement Ring So Important in Marriage?
It physically seals your engagement.
An engagement ring is more than just a ring. It’s a solid confirmation of your engagement and a constant reminder of your willingness to be with each other for life. That is, it gives your commitment to marry one another a physical form.
Indeed, an engagement ring is a real and concrete message that says: “I’m willing to make the next big step in my lifelong journey with you.” Words can be unforgettable but giving such words a physical body can make them immortal.
It helps in bonding during your engagement.
Sometimes the process can be much more important than the result and finding the perfect engagement ring is no exception. With that said, discussing one another’s expectations for your engagement ring can be a good form of bonding with your partner.
Similarly, going out with your partner to select the engagement ring can be a good springboard for a date with them (which, in a pinch, can also help smooth out any disputes about the ring). Moreover, the day you and your partner wear the engagement ring can also be the perfect opportunity for a date together
It symbolizes everlasting love.
As far back as ancient times, rings have been regarded as symbols of eternal love. For instance, the Ancient Egyptians viewed rings as perfect symbols of eternity, as they had no beginning or end. Thus, it was common for them to affirm love for one another with rings.
To have such a symbol on your finger can be a powerful reason to have an engagement ring. It’s a way of telling your partner: “My love for you is undying and eternal.” To have this ring is to have this statement wrapped around your finger as a constant reminder.
It affirms your promise to one another.
To be engaged is more than a way to express one’s commitment. It’s a promise to meet each other down the road and live a long and happy life together. An engagement ring can be a fantastic way to affirm your intention to fulfill this promise.
Indeed, going through the effort of finding the perfect ring, purchasing it, and then wearing it for your engagement can truly show that you’re willing to satisfy this promise and fully commit yourself to the person you love.
It assures your faith and loyalty to one another.
Much like a wedding ring, the engagement ring is a sign of the trust that holds strong between you and your partner. It’s also a physical embodiment of the loyalty you have for one another. It solidifies the idea that you’re taking each other seriously and are not seeing anyone else.
Hence, an engagement ring is a beautiful and tangible way to assure your partner of your loyalty to them. No one else wears the ring you have, nor will it hold the same meaning if it’s worn by others. The engagement ring can thus be a wonderful symbol of your faith in one another.
It shows the world your love.
Being engaged with your partner takes your relationship to the next level. One tremendous aspect of this next level is being proud of your partner and the love you have for them. It means a kind of love so strong that it wants to be seen by the whole wide world.
An engagement ring perfectly encapsulates the intent to show the world your love and pride for your partner. As the ring often catches the eye even without a gemstone, it truly presents the love you share with your partner for all to see.
It deters would-be suitors.
Even if accidental, entertaining people interested in you during your engagement can be cause for awkwardness at best and a great sense of betrayal at worst. Thus, it’s crucial to have a way to show everyone that you’re already committed to someone you love dearly.
An engagement ring is important precisely for this reason. It quickly shows your commitment to your partner and helps to avoid those awkward encounters with would-be suitors. In an emergency, the ring can be an extremely visible reminder to point at for yourself and for anyone who’s too insistent.
It gauges love and material worth.
The process of selecting a good engagement ring can reveal how you and your partner view love with material worth. That is, finding the right engagement ring can raise questions like: “Do I need a very expensive ring to show my love?”
Some couples are satisfied with simple metal or leather bands. Others prefer intricate rings with brilliant jewels. In any case, picking out the right engagement ring can be a useful way to figure out what material and design mean the most for your relationship.
It’s a beautiful memento of your engagement.
You and your partner will no doubt treasure every memory of your engagement with one another. You may go over pictures or souvenirs from your time being engaged, especially if you celebrate your engagement anniversary.
Nothing quite comes close to an engagement ring as a reminder of your time being engaged. Unlike pictures or other physical reminders of your engagement, the engagement ring can encapsulate the entire engagement period, which is certainly a memory to cherish.
It’s a way to pass down your love for generations.
Engagement rings typically don’t deteriorate. Because of this, they can last for decades. Thus, even if you and your partner may not be wearing your engagement rings anymore, others may still wear and carry on this memory of your love.
Who is a better candidate for this than your future children or even grandchildren? Consider passing down your engagement ring as this can be a beautiful family tradition to have. It can make the love you share with your partner even more unforgettable as your children carry on its memory.
It shuts down the haters.
Sometimes, being engaged can be a controversial event. Some people may doubt the relationship you have with your partner, and others may be very jealous of your love. Some may also be unsure if you or your partner are truly committed to one another.
With an engagement ring, you can shut down the haters and clear people’s hesitations. It sends a clear message to your skeptical friends, family, and colleagues. Indeed, it shows that you’re both serious about getting married, whether people like it or not.
It won’t let you miss out.
Most people opt to mark the start of their engagement with an engagement ring. Your friends and family may have also done this. For couples who don’t like to be left out of trends and common practices, an engagement ring will most certainly be helpful.
Additionally, many cultures and traditions throughout the world find engagement rings to be fashionable and highly symbolic of one’s love and commitment. You’re most likely to impress your friends, family, and colleagues if you decide to have an engagement ring with your partner.
History of Engagement Rings
Like wedding rings, engagement rings have quite an interesting history. Since time immemorial, loving partners have found plenty of ways to seal and show their romantic bond to others. This helps to cement their lasting partnership as well as instantly communicate their romantic commitment to others.
Why is an engagement ring so important? Because the engagement ring is one such token. The lengthy time between betrothal and weddings compelled engaged couples to wear rings indicating their betrothed status. This tradition goes as far back as Ancient Rome, which viewed such rings as seals of loyalty between partners.
In 1477, the first diamond engagement ring was given by Archduke Maximilian of Austria when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy. He thus started the trend of modern engagement rings, which boomed when gemstones became much more abundant.
Meaning of Engagement Rings in Various Cultures
Christian tradition has had an interesting connection with engagement rings. For example, in 850 AD, Pope Nicholas I officially declared that engagement rings (then known as betrothal rings) are given because of one’s intent to marry.
There’s also the custom of viewing the fourth finger (where engagement rings are worn) as a representation of the earthly love between partners, with the first two fingers and the thumb representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Even the great and mighty Ancient Roman Empire practiced the use of betrothal and engagement rings. In fact, the beginning of this tradition in Western society could probably be attributed to the Romans.
According to the Gemological Institute of America, the practice of using such rings was widespread among the Romans. They commonly gave rings made of ivory, flint, bone, copper, gold, and iron as a way to signify business contracts and commemorate mutual love and loyalty.
The land of Olympians, great philosophers, and devoted lovers no doubt marked their budding relationships with engagement rings. We know this because of direct physical evidence of this practice.
For instance, betrothal rings and wedding bands were found in the famous ruins of Pompeii. These rings were worn by the well-preserved bodies of those devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
That said, why is an engagement ring so important? It’s important enough that people as far back as Ancient Greece have worn rings just like it. The engagement ring’s representation of true commitment is thus not only a belief but something that has stood the test of time.
Ancient Egyptian Culture
As mentioned, the concept of using rings to signify eternal love goes as far back as the time of Ancient Egypt. Because rings had no beginning or end, the Ancient Egyptians viewed them as a fitting symbol for eternity, now embodied by both engagement rings and wedding rings.
Moreover, the finger placement of the ring can also be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians. They believed in the venis amoris, or the love vein, which was an artery that flowed from the fourth finger to the heart. The ring’s placement on this finger signifies its connection to one’s innermost being.
The wedding ring can often overshadow the significance of one’s engagement ring, and some people can doubt its significance. However, plenty of unique reasons justify wearing an engagement ring, and its importance has been affirmed by various cultures and traditions now and in history.
So, why is an engagement ring so important? As a visible declaration of your engagement, it shows the world your love and it immediately tells others that you’re fully committed to marrying your partner. Truly, even the simplest engagement ring can mean so much.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to get an engagement ring. No matter its appearance, it will be a long-lasting reminder of your engagement. One day, you and your partner may look back at your engagement ring and will remember this time with fondness and love.