For many years, I was in a committed relationship. High school sweethearts, you could call us. I was head over heels in love with this man and truly saw a future with him. I wanted to get married, raise kids, and grow old; and he did too. He even made that promise to me.

Yes, I had a promise ring, and the promise was broken.

You see, I was only the wee age of 18 when I received my first ever promise ring. It's what I thought I needed in my relationship. The idea of commitment and loving forever was such a grand idea to me; however, just because you possess a piece of jewelry doesn't mean the promise is fully there.

With a promise ring comes exactly what it entitles: a promise. Most of the time, someone will give their loved one a promise ring in return to, or promise to, replace the said ring with an engagement/wedding ring someday. A promise ring is essentially the first step to an engagement. Essentially.

I used to truly believe that way and I wore my promise ring with pride. I was happy to show my man off and his love for me. I wanted everyone to know that he was mine and was going to be forever all because of a ring. Many times I had people say, "Oh, that's such a beautiful ring," or "He's one lucky guy."

However, what no one tells you when you receive a promise ring is it's just as easy to break a promise as it is to make one.

For me, there was never a "true" promise that came along with my ring. It was just sorta given to me as a birthday gift because it was something that I had been hinting at for a long time. There was no speech, or perhaps "I'm going to replace this someday," it was just a "Here ya go!" And, that's where I get rubbed the wrong way.

You give a promise ring to make a promise. A promise to forever, not a few years and then call it quits. Forever.

Promise rings don't mean what they used to.

Forever and promise are just words that are thrown around and not given any real meaning.

Nowadays, the "p-ring" is heard of way too often because it's what is supposed to "fix the relationship," according to my generation and younger. But, a promise ring will not fix a broken relationship. Only two people in love can fix a broken relationship. A promise ring isn't like glue. You can't suddenly buy one, put it on your finger, and expect everything to work out in the end. That's not how love works. If you believe that way, you definitely aren't ready for a forever promise.

With love comes pain, tears, happiness, and some of the best memories of your life. A stupid ring isn't going to make you fall more in love with your partner nor is it going to promise forever. Only the two of you can do that, not a diamond, emerald, ruby, whatever it may be.

But alas, I am forever with this promise ring. With or without the boy that comes along with it.

So now, instead of looking at my promise ring as a piece of jewelry that I'm just stuck with since the promise was broken, I instead look at it as a promise to myself.

With my now "broken" promise ring, I can make the promise to myself to never be as foolish as I was in that relationship again. I promise to love myself more than I ever love any guy because I will always be here for myself, men are only temporary. I promise to make the best future for myself and not plan on someone else to set my future for me. My future is in my hands, not a man's.

I promise to me, not you.