For centuries, engagement rings have been a symbol of love and commitment for those about to take the plunge into marriage. But why don't men get to wear them? In this article, we'll explore what's behind this long-standing tradition and some of the alternatives that are becoming more popular with modern couples today.
Engagement is an exciting time in anyone's life, so it seems natural to mark it with something special. An engagement ring has become an iconic part of getting engaged, but why does only one partner receive one? We'll look at how society has viewed gender roles historically and how these views have affected which partner gets to wear an engagement ring.
Finally, we'll consider some emerging trends when it comes to celebrating engagements. Couples who want to show their union by wearing matching symbols no longer need to conform - thankfully, today there are plenty of options available if both partners want a physical reminder of their commitment! Join us on our exploration into the changing world of male engagement rings.
Marriage Is Based On Ancient Cultural Traditions
The answer to why men don't wear engagement rings is rooted in centuries-old traditions and culture. While diamond engagement rings are an important symbol of a couple's commitment today, this wasn't always the case. In ancient Egypt, it was common for couples to exchange simple bands made from reeds or hemp as a sign of their union. This practice eventually evolved into exchanging metal bands at weddings and placing them on the left ring finger – a tradition that survives even now.
However, it wasn't until 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy that the modern notion of this symbol being a diamond ring became solidified in European tradition.
Traditionally, only women have worn engagement rings because they were seen as property under law. That meant that society required that women needed some visible proof of their betrothal, a symbol that could be easily identified by others. Men on the other hand, did not need such a visible sign that they were "taken", nor did they need an overture of financial commitment since they retained ownership over any assets during marriage and women were essentially seen as their property.
Nowadays, same-sex couples can (and do) choose to exchange engagement rings regardless of gender, without any feeling that it is a requirement tied to "bride price" or betrothal agreement. Young heterosexual couples though still often follow the traditional customs when it comes to wearing these symbols of eternal love on their wedding day. This is starting to change though.
Male Engagement Rings Are Popular For Men In Chile And Sweden
In some countries, men's wedding rings are becoming increasingly popular. In particular, Chile and Sweden have seen an increase in the number of guys wearing engagement rings. This is likely due to a change in cultural norms that no longer view marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
Typically, when it comes to engagement rings for men, they wear them on their right-hand ring finger just as their female partner does. The most common type of ring worn by these guys is either a solitaire diamond or a simple engagement band made out of yellow gold. However, there are a wide variety of options available today. Men wear engagement rings for a variety of reasons and the perfect ring should be an expression of that sentiment.
While South American men, those in Latin American Countries, and those in Scandinavian countries may have different views on male engagement rings, this really highlights the importance of focusing on what YOU as the couple that is becoming a union what to express to yourself as you create a modern family. While traditions are well established around women's engagement rings ... for men, for young couples getting married today ... the future is wide open!
Male Engagement Ring Trends In The United States
Although male engagement rings have become increasingly popular in Chile and Sweden, the United States is still lagging behind. Whereas men in those countries often wear diamond rings on their right hands to signify an engaged relationship status, American men are far less likely to do so. In fact, many Americans may not even be aware that they can purchase a ring specifically for this purpose.
The lack of adoption of male engagement rings in the United States can partly be attributed to cultural differences between different countries. While same-sex marriage has been legalized in some parts of the US since 2015, it still remains controversial and socially unacceptable in many states. This means that there is much less social pressure or incentive for men to flaunt an engagement ring than there would be if same-sex marriage was universally accepted.
In recent years, one male engagement ring trend is to go with a simple metal band made from stainless steel or silicone as a way for couples to express their commitment without necessarily making a legal pledge. These rings are generally seen as fashion accessories rather than symbols of commitment; however, wearing them on one's left hand - traditionally where wedding rings go - could indicate otherwise. Ultimately, whether or not American men choose to follow suit with their counterparts from other countries by wearing male engagement rings is largely up to personal preference and comfort level with public displays of affection.
Engagement Rings For Guys - Materials & Style Options
When it comes to engagement rings for men, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It all depends on personal preference and the choice of material that fits best with your lifestyle. For guys interested in this new trend, there are a few types of rings to choose from.
Here are three great ideas for an engagement ring for a:
- Traditional Look: A classic white gold band with a single black diamond set into it - a simple yet elegant diamond engagement ring evokes tradition without having to be feminine.
- Modern Masculinity: Tungston, Carbon Steel, Damascus Steel, Titanium, or Cobalt send a symbol of strong masculinity and these rings are usually flat, wide bands with less jewing or decorative design than can be done with softer materials like gold or platinum.
- Silicone Rubber: While these tend to be among the cheapest of the material options, you should not confuse this as purely a budget option for shoppers looking for cheap male engagement rings. Silicone is a high-quality material that can be a great option for men who work in industrial or manual labor situations but also offer a chic modern look and can be much more comfortable than a metal band to wear while working out. While a silicone ring won't be able to have a jewel, they can come in different colors and designs.
- Ceramic: As men become more comfortable with showing color and flair, ceramic rings have become increasingly popular since you can create elaborate designs and infuse the material with a wide range of colors to create a piece of jewelry as unique as the man who will be wearing it.
The important thing to remember here is that - just as with men's wedding bands - the engagement ring should be a symbol that shows the recipient just how much the person who is giving it to them means to them and more importantly - the joy and excitement that both of you share about an upcoming wedding ceremony.
What About Engagement Rings In Same-Sex Marriages?
Engagement rings for same-sex couples have been on the rise in recent years. This is not surprising since with marriage equality laws being passed and society is more accepting of homosexual marriage, there are significantly more gay and lesbian married couples than there were just 20 years ago. As might be expected, this has led to more jewelry stores offering engagement rings for guys - straight or gay - so that the couple can take part in this symbolic gesture of commitment.
Honestly though, at this point - there's no singular answer for anything related to engagement ring traditions with gay men. This is a new area that is ultimately rooted in the breaking down of old traditions and creating fabulous new ways to celebrate love and commitment.
For instance, some male couples will choose to both wear matching engagement rings, in others the honor goes to just one member of the future union. Likewise, while many gay men will wear the engagement ring on the middle finger of their left hand, many others chose to wear the engagement ring on the right hand instead.
Wearing symbols of affection and commitment is not a completely new tradition among gay men. However, in the past, these were more hidden - for instance as a special necklace - than a more obvious symbol such as an engagement ring.
Today though, whether it is a traditionally masculine Titanium or Tungsten Band or even Carbon Steel or a Yellow-gold band with a solitaire design that evokes a more traditional engagement ring look ... it's all about what is right for the two of you. Just like it should be for any happy couple.
Gender Roles And Traditions Are Changing With Younger Heterosexual Couples
The times are changing, and nowhere is that more evident than in the traditional gender roles of engagement rings in modern relationships. In years past, only men had to worry about finding the perfect engagement ring for their bride-to-be. However, with same-sex couples now being able to legally marry, many younger heterosexual couples are bucking tradition by having both men and women wear engagement rings during their engagement period.
This new trend of men wearing engagement rings has been met with some resistance from those who feel that this modern take on relationships is an affront to traditional values. However, plenty of people see nothing wrong with men taking part in this custom. After all, if two people love each other enough to commit their lives together in marriage, why should one person be excluded from wearing an engagement ring?
This is still an emerging tradition though. A study by marriage site, The Knot in 2019 found that while half of homosexual men exchanged engagement rings, the number was only about six percent for men in a heterosexual engagement.
Frankly speaking, even twenty years ago though - I would have liked to get an engagement ring. I suspect a lot of men feel similarly though the added expense can be prohibitive for a young couple trying to make ends meet.
Engagement rings can signify many things depending on the couple - commitment, dedication, or simply a reminder of how much you mean to another person. For gay couples they have always been important symbols of equality and acceptance, no matter what society may think. Now though, even straight couples are breaking down barriers when it comes to expressing their undying love through jewelry. Truly, our views on relationships continue to evolve every day - pushing us ever closer towards true equality between all genders regardless of sexual orientation.
It's Your Marriage, Do What Feels Right!
Like a flower blooming in the spring, it seems that more and more people are turning to engagement rings for guys to express their love. In recent years, western cultures have started to accept engagement rings for men in heterosexual relationships as well. A piece of jewelry can be just as meaningful - if not even more so - than any wedding band or other token of commitment.
The personal choice is ultimately up to each couple on whether they want both partners to wear engagement rings or not. Some may feel that only one partner should don such a ring, while others may think that both persons involved in the relationship deserve this symbol of unity and devotion. There's no right answer regarding personal preference. However, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of men wearing engagement rings over the past decade or so.
Ultimately, what matters most is your own feelings about exchanging pieces of jewelry with your significant other. Whether you decide to go traditional and only give her one or opt for something unique by offering him one too doesn't matter. The important thing is that whatever decision you make makes sense to both parties involved and brings happiness into your lives together!