6 People On When A Diamond Means Commitment, Not Marriage
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It took me a while to learn the significance of what jewelry can symbolize. On the day of my first communion, my parents gave me the most beautiful cross necklace. My 8-year-old self was enamored with such a "grown up" piece of jewelry, and I put it on immediately. I wore it for a full two hours before my mom noticed that the chain and pendant were no longer hanging around my neck. After hours of searching my home and the yard I had been playing in, we came to the unfortunate conclusion that it was doomed to stay missing — forever.

My parents learned their lesson and didn’t buy me jewelry again for many years. Perhaps that’s why growing up I never really invested in my own collection of personal ornaments. Yet once I got older and started dating, my perception toward jewelry changed. From the first diamond necklace I received from my high school boyfriend, to the intricate bracelet a past love gave me upon returning from two weeks of traveling, I learned that there are few more simple and powerful ways to express commitment — and a mutual feeling of love — than with a beautiful piece of jewelry.

To celebrate all kinds of love and the various stages of every unique romance, we partnered with Shane Co. to hear from six young couples of all backgrounds about when a diamond means commitment — and not necessarily marriage.

No Paper, No Ceremony. Just Put A Ring On It.

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“I used to tell people I’m engaged, which is technically true. Now that it’s reaching eight years since my partner popped the question, I’ve stopped saying I’m engaged but rather 'committed.' My partner and I have all the trappings of marriage without the piece of paper, and it just works for us. We planned on doing the expected thing of getting married about a year after he gave me the ring, but for a lot of reasons — sudden career advancements, family drama, finances — we kept putting off planning the wedding, and now I’m not sure if we’ll ever have one because we don’t need it. Not having the piece of paper and the ceremony doesn’t change the fact that we love each other and share our lives — or the fact that I can still show off my engagement ring, which I love!”

—Stephanie, 31

The Past, Present, And A Brighter Future

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“On my 19th birthday, my boyfriend surprised me with a diamond necklace. I had never received something so beautiful before, and I was so touched at the gesture that I cried when I opened it. I didn’t even realize until years later that the three stones within the necklace symbolized, ‘past, present and future.’ While the gift of a diamond alone was enough to make me feel special and loved, knowing that he had picked out a piece with such meaning made me more confident in our relationship than ever.”

—Kelly, 27

A Heart Of Gold

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"Two years into our relationship, my boyfriend got me a ring for my birthday—a gold snake with two black diamond eyes. It was by far the fanciest thing he'd given me so far (and the first diamonds!), and I freaking loved it. Something about his investment in the piece made it seem like we were ready to legit invest in the relationship, too. Two more years later, we're engaged, but believe it or not, I actually still wear the snake ring more than my engagement ring."

—Lexi, 27

Worth The Wait

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“My first year with my boyfriend was wonderful, but it was also full of conflicting opinions about our future together. He has a tendency to want to rush into the next phase of our relationship — to the tune of, ‘Let's move in together!’ and, ‘Let's get engaged!’ — while I'm significantly more hesitant and had to realistically explain where I saw our relationship going (I want to move in together and get engaged, too — but not right away!). After making it through our first year together with plenty of these conversations, he gifted me a beautiful diamond necklace with a note saying how grateful he is for the dynamic the two of us have. It's so nice to know that my boyfriend is ready to wait until we're both ready for our next step, but proved he still wants to be committed to me with that diamond necklace.”

—Allison, 27

The Realest

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"My boyfriend and I have been together since 2009, and we always said we’d get engaged the second gay marriage became legal. It did become legal, and we got engaged — got the rings, did the social media posts, all that — but we haven’t legally tied the knot yet. There’s no specific reason why we haven’t … we just love our life the way it is with our apartment and our cat and our writing careers. There’s nothing we need to make our relationship more real because it already is."

—Jason, 29

A Life Of Adventure

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"Shortly after moving in together, my boyfriend (now husband) and I made our first big trip together to New York City. Trips can always  be make or break moments in relationships, but after a whirlwind five days, we were browsing a store when I came upon a simple ring I loved. As I hemmed and hawed over it, he asked if he could get it for me since it would be such a nice reminder of our fun trip. I wore it every day as a reminder of our relationship, and all the amazing adventures we still had ahead of us."

—Sarah, 28

This post is sponsored by  Shane Co.

Main Image: Offset; Images: Offset (1, 2, 4, 5); Pexels (2, 3, 6)