Should She Give the Ring Back? (The Engagement’s Off)

0 Posted by - March 1, 2010 - Relationships, Love & Marriage

Ring Back

I noticed something interesting the other day that I’m not sure anyone else caught. As I was reading through the comments on Thursday’s blog, “Do You Keep Relationship Mementos? (Metal Memories),” one in particular stood out.

NWSO regular, Elle, wrote:

“I have keepsakes such as cards, photos, movie tix, plane tix, items which remind me of a certain day/date, gifts like my iPod or my customized sneakers and of course my engagement ring. While I never look at them, I can’t get myself to get rid of them because, while I of course have the memories in my heart and mind, reminiscing gets a whole different quality (read: more detailed) when you actually have something tangible to look at and remind you of what love is like…”

Did you catch the part that stood out to me?

No?

Well, I found the fact that Elle nonchalantly mentioned she still had her engagement ring immediately struck me as an interesting bit of information. Although I can’t recall the specifics, I know from some of her previous comments over the past year or so that Elle was engaged but things just didn’t work out.

With that said, I’m not picking on my girl Elle or trying to start no drama, but that little detail that was slipped into her comment triggered something in my over-analytical brain. Now, I’ve never been engaged (my faux proposal in high school doesn’t count) and if you read THIS, you know I have no idea how much a “decent” ring costs, but I’ll be damned if things fall apart and she keeps the ring.

I know some may feel it’s tacky to ask for an engagement ring back in the event of a breakup, but if we never make it down the aisle that symbol of our love needs be returned to sender giver.

Seriously, what is she going to do with it? I doubt very much that a woman would actually wear an engagement ring from a man she’s no longer with and it’s even less likely that keeping it around will spark many good memories. So I really wonder what’s the logic behind keeping an engagement ring if you’re no longer together.

Spite?

Revenge?

Entitlement?

A consolation prize?

Bump that! Recession or not, brothers save up for years and spend a lot of their hard earned cash to “put a ring on it.” Just because things didn’t work out between a man and his former fiancé shouldn’t mean that he has to start from square one.

Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely see a few scenarios where a woman wouldn’t be readily eager to return a ring—like if he cheated or did some ultra-foul stuff—but even then I still feel she should give it back.

I mean, isn’t that what the average woman would do?

Like I said earlier, there’s not much a woman can do with an engagement ring that didn’t lead to a marriage. Wearing it would just seem weird. Keeping it a lock box just seems like a waste. And if it’s a family heirloom that’s just plain ol’ wrong.

So why not just give it back to the man?

That way he could get his money back and both of you could move on to bigger and better things. See, I’m all for keeping mementos but an engagement ring is one keepsake that need not apply.

If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it, but if you or I change our minds you better give it back.

All the fellas, if you hear me, put ya hands up.

Uh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh…

Do you think that a woman should give an engagement ring back if the wedding is called off? Does it matter who decided to breakup? Is it tacky for a man to ask for the ring back? Is it spiteful for a woman to refuse? Ladies, would you be upset if a man proposed with a ring that was initially intended for another woman? Regardless of what happens do you see an engagement ring as a “gift”? Do some women keep the ring as a way to get back at a man? Fellas, would you ask for the ring back or let your ex-fiancée keep it? Do you think it’s fair that a man can spend his saving on a ring in good faith only to see a woman keep it after the relationship dissolves?

Speak your piece…

Middle Finger ring

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Anonymous

    Just to make it clear, the “she” in title isn’t Elle. Elle was just my muse for this conversation in general so she’s not the focus of my thought process with the line of questioning I just spring boarded off her comment.

    @Elle

    It’s all love on this side :)

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Anonymous and Anon

    y’all know that anonymous names get hella confusing right? Is it really that hard to make up a name?

    :)

    I’m Just Saying

    May I suggest, Ms. X, Lady X, F-Him, Ring-A-Ling, lol

  • Anonymous

    Give the ring back Elle.

  • Anonymous

    If he broke off the engagement, she should get to keep the ring. If she broke it off, she should give it back.

  • Anon

    Wow, am I the first one?

    Well…as a person recently “unengaged” I have to say…I gave back EVERYTHING! I didn’t/don’t want shit around me at all that remotely reminds me of that man, least of all his RING.

    Women who “keep the ring” to me are sometimes suspect. I get spite (believe me) but for me – peace of mind and closure trumps spite at the end of the day. But that might just be me.

    I could have screwed over my bastard (lying, cheating, conniving, etc…) ex-fiance in a LOT of ways, but I didn’t want to stay in a cycle with him. I simply want my life back and my life pre-him was sans rocks (and stress) so good riddance to both.

  • Anon

    …oh and I HAVE to add….it is VERY, VERY, tacky to propose to a woman with an old ring from another woman…

    the ring is supposed to be selected with your CURRENT woman in mind, taking into consideration her taste and your budget. Would you like for a women to give you boxers she bought for another dude – even if he only wore them once? (that may not correlate, but you get my drift) It’s not right. Uhn-Uhn. No.

  • TBoogie

    Fine. This is the commenter formerly known as “Anon”
    ‘kay daddy?

    ;-)

  • da ThRONe

    I say just give it back. Just seems pointless to keep it IMO.

  • Love.Addict

    I wouldn’t want the ring. I would happily give it back. To me keeping it prevents you from moving forward with your life. That’s just my opinion. I see no need in asking for it back. To me he can’t do nothing more than she can with it.

  • legallybrown26

    First time comment…WHOO HOO! Couldn’t pass up this chance to comment, tho. I’m in my last semester of law school, and legally speaking, there are 2 ways to deal with this. In a “no-fault” jurisdiction, the ring is looked at as a “conditional” gift…meaning the woman does not have “legal” ownership of the ring until the condition precedent (i.e., the marriage) is met. That said, in those jurisdictions, the woman is legally obligated to give the ring back to the man (although I don’t know why he’d want it…unless there is a return policy, because I’m ALL about being green and recycling and whatnot…but THAT, my friends, is NOT a renewable good…but I digress).

    In jurisdictions that do not follow the “no-fault” standard, the person whose fault was the reason for the break-up of the engagement, relinquishes their entitlement to the ring. Now this, standard is VERY messy, and requires litigation and is therefore expensive, and it would be smarter for the person bringing the suit to just take the L in terms of the ring.

    As I live in a state that uses fault as the basis of determination of the ring ownership, if I were blatantly at fault for the break-up, I’d DEFINITELY give the ring back. However, if my fiance were at fault, I’d SO keep the ring! If it was worth a significant amount, I’d hock it and use the money for something important…like a down payment on a home or possibly paying down some of these student loans. *side eyes Sallie Mae* It it wasn’t worth much, I’d melt that bad boy down into a pendant or earrings or something. I mean seriously…WHAT is the man going to do w/ a tainted ring anyway???

  • Hiddenfreak

    I think that an engagement ring is a gift and its tacky as hell to ask for it back. I say keep it girl. It’s technically yours.

  • Tiffany

    As a woman who has been in this EXACT situation (of breaking off the engagement and keeping the ring), I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think that if it was a mutual decision and the relationship was ended on good terms, then she definitely should keep it.

    There is only one reason I feel that a woman should ever give back a ring and that is if she cheats. If she cheated, that means she didn’t love him in the first place, so of course he should get the ring back. All other circumstances, no dice.

  • THATgyrl

    I completely agree with TBoogie….formerly known as Anon…lol

    I don’t take proposals and marriage lightly so I wouldn’t get engaged to someone unless I was completely convinced that this was it…so if we never made it to the altar there had to be a really BIG reason. In which case I don’t want anything that reminds me of you.

    I know alot of females that don’t give the ring back, but they don’t keep it for a momento either… they usually sell the dayum thing and buy something they really want…

  • lola289

    Keep it…pawn it…. screw him! :)

    Only if he did sumthin foul….

    If not then keep the ring if its looks nice; give it back if its wack or a family keepsake….

  • LT

    If the break up was my fault, or it was mutual; then I’d give it back. If it was his fault, then it would depend on how the break up happened. If it was civil, I’d give it back. If it was an ugly break up, I’d sell it to finance a brief hiatus in the caribbean.

  • Classic Ruby

    @NWSO does the length of the engagement matter to you? Let’s say you were engaged for 8 years, built a life together perhaps buying a house together, joined your finances, maybe started a family, and then the engagement ended (for whatever reason), would this make a difference as to whether you think she should give the ring back? And you also say that if you don’t make it down the aisle you’d want the ring back….but what if you don’t remain married long…what if the marriage only lasts 6 months to a year? Would you want the ring back in this case as well? Would you think you have a right to ask for it back? Just wondering

    Having never been engaged, I can’t speak from personal experience per se, but having been in a long term relationship that ended I can certainly speculate what I would do…

    First of all, regardless of who was at fault, if the ring is a family heirloom I would give it back. That ring has more meaning to your family than it could ever have to me. But if the ring was purchased for me, there are certain conditions in which I would give it back, ones in which I would keep it as a “relationship memento” and ones in which I would hock the sucker and buy myself something sweet as a consolation prize.

    If I was at fault for the relationship ending (if I cheated – which wouldn’t happen because I just don’t cheat…but I’m just saying, if I decided it wasn’t working out because I fell out of love and I end up breaking his heart), or if the engagement was short lived for whatever reason so I had no real attachment to the ring or the engagement, then I would give the ring back.

    If we had a long engagement (we’re talking years and years here), or the engagement ended mutually and amicably and we remained on cool enough terms, or if it ended because he ends up breaking my heart because he falls out of love or cheats or otherwise betrays me but I still have happy memories revolving around the relationship and engagement, then I would keep the ring as a memento. If he did me real dirty, which also includes the betraying/cheating thing, and I feel animosity, hate, or something else equally negative and I know I can’t let it go, I’ll sell the ring and buy myself something ridiculous I wouldn’t otherwise splurge on.

  • God’s Gift…

    Pawn it and get the money!

  • N2Deep

    Two things:

    1. I wouldn’t give a family heirloom until we passed the last for more than a year or two test!! Then we can maybe renew vows and I surprise her.

    2. I feel like the ladies that said “I don’t want nothing to remind me of her ass” so she can keep it, pawn it, sell it or whatever.

    Besides these two things and anything legal, I don’t give things to make up or to persuade. I give things from the heart so once I give, it belongs to her.

  • Elle

    Errrrrrr …. ok. :|

    1. The ring didn’t even cost 50 bucks. So chill.

    2. I wasn’t the one who got on one knee to propose. It was his idea. But apparently I was more serious about it than he was since it was good enough of a reason to break up so he could screw some other chicks without having to feel bad about cheating on me. Had I broken off the engagement I would have given the ring back. Even if it was solely out of symbolic reasons or a guilty conscience.

    3. Why would I spend money on sending some ring which didn’t mean anything to him in the first place back across the ocean? Puhlease.

    4. I think it would be tacky of him to ask for a gift back. Since when do we return gifts once we break up? An engagement ring is just that, a gift. I see no difference. So now I have to give back my iPod and my sneaks too? Do I have to pay back all the meals and movie tickets he spent on me as well? When I give, I give from the heart. It is what I want to do for somebody at that moment. If I am given gifts with some sort of agenda in mind or only under certain conditions that person might as well keep them.

    Why would I care about a person’s finances or feelings who expressed the ultimate “Eff You!” towards me. I don’t owe him anything. No ring. No morals. No decency. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Zero. Nichts. Rien. None.
    Besides, while that ring may be stashed away somewhere it is an ultimate reminder of what I am not willing to do ever again.

  • Othaniel Cruickshank

    I was engaged myself and still have my engagement ring. I’m a total loser in this sense , I still put it on and hold my hand up toward the window and let the sunlight stream in and watch it sparkle :) .

    * Fantasy bubble popped*

    I do think a woman should return the engagement ring, it’s all apart of the promise to wed. If a marriage doesn’t take place, the ring should be returned. * sorry*

    I honestly tried to return mine but was told by my ex to keep it. He had no idea what he’d do with the ring , didn’t want to take a loss if sold, and wasn’t going t give it to another woman. It has good memories attached all around 1st tiime I got it and the classy 2nd time it was given back to me.
    I look at that ring and my heart skips a beat because it reflect on all the great times . My relationship died but my good memories haven’t. In the future, I might remix it ; necklace, earrings, etc, but am happy with it as is…..

    Now, If a man asked for it back , it should be returned but it would be soooooooooooooo tacky to give it to another girl. I’m not sure if that would even work because everyone is so different in terms of personal taste.

    • 1231289312

      He really loved you if your ex told you to keep it when you tried to return it.

    • 1231289312

      He really loved you if your ex told you to keep it when you tried to return it.

  • Ms Jay

    This is my first time commenting on this blog..although I have been reading it since August last year. I absolutely love it. Well done Ans.

    Back to the topic at hand. I would give back an engagement ring. What use will it be to me? Regardless on who ended the relationship or not.

    Funnily enough I have been in a similar situation where an engagement ring wasn’t involved but another ring was. And he asked to have it..even though it meant alot to me. I gave it but when we ended things i thought he would give it back considering how important it was to me. I even had to ask for it back and his response was “I want to keep it as a memory”

    I still haven’t got the ring back and its been 4 years. :\

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Classic Ruby

    Why is anybody “engaged” for 8 years? That’s almost a damn decade. Something ain’t right in that scenario. You know what you can do in 8 years? Get TWO diplomas/degrees. lol

    In my world if i was doing all that “building a life together” stuff we would have already been married early into that. I don’t believe in making all those financial ties if we ain’t hitched, just sounds messy to do with no tangible commitment cause until you’re actually married you can always just leave.

    Anyway, to answer you question I really don’t know. Honestly, it will always come down to the individuals and their particular situation and emotions. Setting the life together for 8 years is basically married to a degree so I guess I could part with it in that scenario, but I also think if I were the woman I would give it back as well. But of course the cause of the breakup plays a role in that decision.

    as for a short marriage, you did get married so as much as it sucks you completed your part of the contract. Let’s not forget that marriage is a CONTRACT—at least in our society that’s why you need a license approved by government. Love, however, is 100% free :)

    Oh and all the ladies talking about a engagement ring is a gift. HA! Not in my book, that’s a promissory note. Meaning I love you and wanna spend my life with you, your acceptance means you feel the same. As soon as you don’t (before walk the aisle) I need my joint back, return to sender.

    Thank you, see you around kid.

    Fellas, you with me?

  • MultipleHeart

    Ok, this is going to sound corny but this reminded me of something Kelly Taylor did in an episode of 90210.

    When her engagement to Brandon Walsh was over (she returned the ring to him) he went to exchange it for something new for his current girlfriend. Kelly went and bought the ring because she didn’t want to know that “someone one else was wearing her future” I think she wore the ring on a chain around her neck.

    When my engagement ended, I was the one that ended things and I was the one that decided to give the ring back. I kept for a while. 6 years of a relationship…yeah I wanted something to show for my loyalty. My fiancée didn’t ask for it back but I found myself staring at it, wearing it, doubting myself so much to the point that I HAD to give it back just so I could move on. I later found out that he sold it.

    Of course in true soap opera fashion Kelly gets over Brandon but I always thought that was such a touching thing she did.

    I’m a romantic at heart :-/

    My engagement ring was something I picked out, with my taste in mind. That ring was a true symbol of all I had worked towards for those 6 years. At the time I had no right to hold on to it for more than an hour let alone the few months after I ended things but at the time I just wasn’t ready to give up completely on the future I thought I would be having.

    But in the end I knew that giving the ring back was the right thing…now if we pooled our money together and paid for it…that would have been a whole other story!

  • TBoogie

    Wow…totally off topic, but I have to say it is pretty cathartic to read about all of these sisters who have been where I am now (un-engaged). It has only been a month. In fact TODAY makes a month and this shit is HARD. This blog is the most I have said publicly about the whole thing. This drowning feeling of hurt, anger and humiliation (he cheated in a BIG way) seems like it will never go away – but you all seem pretty well adjusted. (Meaning not venting, angry or “shrewish” in your responses)

    Just saying it gives me hope…because right now I’d love nothing more to take it straight to his jaw…with a crow bar, but I digress.

  • Classic Ruby

    @NWSO

    Ok, I pulled out some random number from my head to illustrate the concept that some people DO remain engaged for extended periods of time. For example, a friend of mine and his fiancee got married last year after being engaged for 6 years. He knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and already enough money saved for a ring so he proposed to her. However she was just beginning, or close to it at least, her undergrad in Kinesiology. So she wanted to wait til she finished before actually getting married. Then they (yes, they) decided to invest in her Masters, and a house prior to investing in a wedding.

    So he moved into their house while she remained at home with her mother (she is a Christian and the only woman I know who got married at 27 and was a virgin on her wedding night) and they spent the days of the weekend (she would go home at night) together putting together their home or with her studying. After getting her Masters they buckled down for that last year and saved like crazy and with that money, combined with the help they received from their parents, they had a crazy elaborate wedding, all without going into debt, and already had a retirement fund and a nice little nest egg for whatever else.

    So that is one example, and a good illustrative point, for why some people end up having long engagements or end up mixing finances prior to marriage.

    idk though, IMO mixing your finances with your non-spouse SO you trust can be just as easy or just as messy as it can be with someone you married. I think it has a lot to do with the people involved and their maturity levels. Very early on my exboyfriend and I had shared finances on a lot of levels, and even though he ended up being a whore (lol) I had known instinctively I could trust him on that financial level and I was not proven wrong.

    And he helped me out for a year and a half after we had broken up (I’m in school full time and had made the decision to go back to school jointly with him backing me, so he helped me until I figured out my new financial situation) showing that we had enough maturity and care for one another to handle the separation maturely…even though we weren’t legally bonded, emotionally we were — which I think can count for more if anything.

  • rwifey

    love the post, ur a great writer sir!

    who gives them back, love always works out…and i wake up and close the fairy tale book

    give it back, move on martha move on

    if he allows you to keep it, melt it, pawn it, use to pay for a vacation

    MOVE ON (this coming from the gal not over the last one)

  • The Duchess

    Why is anybody “engaged” for 8 years? That’s almost a damn decade. Something ain’t right in that scenario. You know what you can do in 8 years? Get TWO diplomas/degrees. lol

    In my world if i was doing all that “building a life together” stuff we would have already been married early into that. I don’t believe in making all those financial ties if we ain’t hitched, just sounds messy to do with no tangible commitment cause until you’re actually married you can always just leave
    ********************************************
    You must have been reading my mind! Being engaged for any more than 2 yrs is RETARDED!! True meaning isssssss, he/she doesn’t really want to be married!

  • Sherell

    I am typing this response with an engagement ring on my right hand. It depends. In my case the relationship died over time and when it officially ended, we remained friends. He never asked for it back and I didn’t offer. It wasn’t expensive ($800) he paid for it and this was many years ago. He has since passed and it took years for me to realized that he loved me like no man ever has since. I cherish it and when someone ask, I say it is a gift from a very very dear friend.

    Life is about perpective and time will always add depth.

  • Othaniel Cruickshank

    @ T boogie

    As much as your current situation must hurt. I think it’s better now then later and be entangle in a mess of paperwork. I don’t understand guys who’re in relationships , engagments, or marriages that cheat. Why not stay single? so selfish …..

  • Shequita

    I married the fool and eventually moved out….he claims he can’t find my ring!!!! It was ALWAYS in the same spot (obviously not on my finger) and could not have been misplaced. Can you say pawn shop???? Cuz he already told me he pawned his, so why would I be fooled to think he actually held on to mine??

    If the man breaks off the engagement he isn’t owed anything, if she breaks it off she needs to give it back IF he asks for it

  • Artivist

    An engagement ring given to a woman on her birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s day is considered a gift, and does not have to be returned– according to NYS law any way. My personal view is if the man breaks the engagement, he should give the woman the option to keep the ring (and Emily Post agrees). If the woman breaks the engagement or the break-up is mutual, the ring goes back to the man. I wouldn’t want the ring, but he damn sure better not give it to someone else after I return it.

  • Shequita

    @ Othaniel LOL I guess I wasn’t the only one who gave it back and got it back!!

  • Anike Love

    OMGoodness, let a man propose to me with an engagement ring initially intended for another women, and crap…he better watch his life! That’s just tacky and uncouth.

    But if a guy proposes and gives me a ring, I think I would give it back if we ended the engagement. Especially if the engagement was called off for a bad reason, the last thing I would want is to have any type of connection to him. Even pawning it and keeping the cash would still be like a continuation of the negative energy from the relationship, and I wouldn’t want that.

  • Damond

    Give Back the Ring!!!!

    @ Legally Brown….Is there a Website that list which state has “no-fault” jurisdiction?

  • Elle

    Sorry Ans, a promissory note? Are you kidding me?
    How about you give my parents a couple of goats, camels or cows in exchange for me?

    An engagement ring is a gift in my world. It’s something that accompanies an important decision but does not factor into it. It’s not an item in exchange for my heart, my love or my life. If that was the case no money in the world could “buy” me, and certainly no ring.

    If you don’t give the ring from your heart, don’t give it at all and certainly don’t ask anyone to marry you.

    Besides, you keep assuming that the woman ends the relationship. From my own experience and what I am reading here it seems men have a tendency to end engagements one way or another. So not only do they get to crush our hearts by toying with the idea of marriage, they also get to be tacky/cheap and ask for the ring back?

    *smh*

  • Elle

    @T Boogie

    It get’s better. I didn’t believe it at first but it does.

    Now, 7 months later, I can only pity him and ask myself what the heck was I thinking.

  • QuoteMan

    Fellas let’s suck it up, you lose your woman you lose the ring, disregard to who is at fault.

    If you’re a man enough to make such a colossal move then be a man enough to take a loss.

    Maybe I’m saying all these crab because I’ve never bought a ring LOL

  • Epip

    She better keep it

    its not like hes going to recycle it?

  • MultipleHeart

    @Elle

    I agree 100%. If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. When I was with my ex fiancée my Christmas and birthday gifts consisted of home cooked meals, and poems. Money was TIGHT.

    When he proposed with the ring ( a ring I picked out about a year before, on day we were window shopping) I was in tears. Tears that he actually proposed and remembered the ring.

    In reality it was just as much mine as it was his.

  • Rastaman

    Personally, I don’t foresee myself ever being in that situation because I am fully opposed to the whole engagement ring concept. Don’t bother ladies, I heard it all before…

    The idea that a man should spend two to three months’ personal wages for an engagement ring originated from De Beers marketing materials in an effort to increase the sale of diamonds. So I am not going to spend that kind of money so you can flash ish at your girlfriends. I will propose with a downpayment on our future home together.

    But as to who should retain the engagement ring in the event the engagement falls apart, if it is an amicable split whomever wants to keep it. But as legallybrown26 the law in many jurisdictions apparently addresses all these disagreements. Interpreting the ring as a formal agreement to future marriage, sort of like a downpayment.

    These things are fraught with emotions and in event of a split precipitated by man or woman will always bring call for retribution and or punishment. I don’t have time for all that and if I cheat on you, lied to you or just turned out to be an insufferable AH or you the same, the less we have to do with each other the better I would think. Gimme my sht, take your sht and PEACE!!

  • M A R C R OO S E L E R

    No Brainer: The person with the receipt gets the ring. I took mine back, pawned it and at least got a little of the money back I spent. Any woman who keeps the ring (especially if she’s in the wrong) is a sick greedy bitch.

    Period exclamation mark.

  • Othaniel Cruickshank

    @ Rastaman

    I hope for your future wifes sake you change your mind. However,what you proposed is so sensible that it would be hard to argue.

    Personally, I’d rather sacrifice the wedding versus the engagement ring.

    @ Macro

    *gasp*

  • Potato w/ Jive

    hes not gonna recycle it but he MIGHT get his money back. them things arent cheap.

  • TBoogie

    @ Othaniel – I don’t get it at all. And this guy was on some master deception ish…two relationships at once, babies on the way in a third…but the SALT of the earth to me and my daughter…it’s really scary actually. I wouldn’t have known a t thing if one chick didn’t get wise when he slipped up. So YEAH, i don’t want SHIT in my house – or anywhere else that reminds me of our past together… As a matter of fact i found a pair of his drawers tucked in my underwear draw this morning and just almost threw UP! I couldn’t imagine pulling out a ring and looking at it fondly ever! I even gave him the wedding band that I brought for the him…I l have no use for it and he is a size 14 ring so most men couldn’t fit it and it was custom made so…
    It’s just very fresh…our wedding would have been this August.

    @Ellie – I can’t wait for that feeling to sink in…because this mix of nausea, humiliation and anger is giving me the business. *sigh*

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/bradleysubershow Bradley

    I feel that she should give the ring back. The guy worked hard for the money to show that he wanted to marry her however the engagement didn’t work. That’s like taking thousands of the man’s dollars and saying screw you. I would just give it back because it is also a reminder that the relationship didn’t go anywhere.

  • Elle

    Well damn, Marc.

    Thanks for the compliment – I guess.

    Engagement rings ain’t cheap if you let them be expensive. Who said they have to cost a fortune? I know mines didn’t. Heck, I was proposed to with a keyring initially and I adored that thing. And who forced anyone to abide by some obscure societal rules (3 months salary BS)?

    If a man doesn’t have the guts to propose with a cheap ring, keyring, piece of aluminum foil he is probably buying that big rock for all the wrong reasons. And then to turn around and have the audacity to ask for a ring back you gave to me when you claimed to love me is a bitch move.

    If you can’t afford to lose the money you spent, the ring is out of your league. Pretty simple. Folks should in general only make purchases they can actually afford without having to think much of it. And that applies to engagement rings, weddings, cars, houses and such. But no, it’s all about the big pose for the public.

    Ridiculous.

  • Elle

    @TBoogie

    I SOOOO know the feeling you’ve just described. Especially the humiliation part when you have to go back and let everyone know the wedding they were preparing for isn’t going to happen.

    I loved it :|

    Never again. Should I ever get married I’ll do it in secret and inform folks about it after the fact. No more wedding planning BS for Elle.

    Mines would have been this April … meh :|

  • DC Man With a Plan

    smdh….EVERY time we speak of a man’s pocket–we get to see just how caviler women are about a man’s money. I have read many times that the expected cost for an engagement ring is 2-3 times a man’s monthly salary. THAT can get to be some REAL azz money, especially when there is NO tradition where a man receives an engagement ring…So “women” again get to ride the gravy train using funds from the money-tree (bcuz they THINK that’s where a man get his money from….) and you want to KEEP the ring? Think it’s a gift for you to dispose of as you see fit? Some dudes pay for an engagement ring for a year or longer, and you want to keep it if we don’t make it to the altar? IMO, you need to give the ring up. I don’t blame Elle for not shipping it back across the pond, especially based on the cost and her specific scenario, but I wouldn’t think ANY woman would want to keep it for anything BUT spite. Grow yo-azz up and take your ball and jacks, give me my marbles and ery’body find a new sand box to play in…..

  • DC Man With a Plan

    @ Classic_Ruby…what if dude was still paying for the ring (since U playin 20 questions with Ans) would you keep it or feel it was yours to sell under that scenario? (ok, NOT you specifically) but in general, what do you think?…lol

  • DC Man With a Plan

    listen to this B/S from Multipleheart “If you can’t afford it don’t buy it.” THERE are few women who would accept a zirconian ring or something so small it didn’t even sparkle. 95% of women want and expect a ring that is substantial. This isn’t a “pick anything a dude might like type of event” this is buy me some shyt my gurls are going to ohhh and ahhh about, bcuz for real, most MEN don’t get all excited about spending money on a ring. We’d be just as happy to do a “pinky swear” and call it a day IF we could get away with it. lmao…. So I don’t know WHY you tryn to act like most women are willing to accept any ol-ring like it ain’t for display. I have read several reports of women talking about they’re thinking about “not marrying dude” bcuz he couldn’t get a substantial enuff engagement ring. Stop playin like it’s “only” about love…….

  • BrokN_RecorD

    Do you think that a woman should give an engagement ring back if the wedding is called off?Does it matter who decided to breakup?

    I dont see why a woman would want to keep such a symbolic gift from a relationship/marriage that didnt happen. It makes no sense. I’m giving the damn ring back regardless of how or why the breakup occurred.

    Is it tacky for a man to ask for the ring back?

    I think it is tacky for a man to ask for the ring back, but again I dont think he should have to ask for it back since the woman should give it back at relationships end.

    Is it spiteful for a woman to refuse?

    I do feel a woman who refuses to give the ring back is just being spiteful. What could she possible get out of keeping the ring unless she decides to pawn or sell it (which I think is whack, wrong and inappropriate on so many levels, btw).

    Would you be upset if a man proposed with a ring that was initially intended for another woman?

    I dont do sloppy seconds, so my future husband/fiancee better know not to even come at me with something he intended for another female. The engagement ring is a symbol of OUR love and commitment to each other so using a ring he intended for someone else is a HUGE violation.

    Regardless of what happens do you see an engagement ring as a “gift”?

    See above, its a symbol of our relationship/union.

    Do some women keep the ring as a way to get back at a man?

    Hell yes, and thats foul as hell. Karma is a bitch so there’s no need in messing up your own chi to get back at dude. He will get whatever is coming to him.

    Do you think it’s fair that a man can spend his saving on a ring in good faith only to see a woman keep it after the relationship dissolves?

    No

  • The Duchess

    Elle- I agree with you on EVERYTHING you’ve said..

    DC- One question you should ask isssss, if there were NO RING involved, would they still want to get married? That is the REAL question ;)

    • ebniwa

      DC seems to be a man… and if he's saying that he'd rather do a pinky swear then most likely he'd rather go without the ring. The real question is would the woman do without the ring?

  • skye

    I guess it all depends. Personally i think the woman is entitled to keep the ring, as it was meant as a gift to her.

    Sometimes guys don’t want the ring back anyway either. I’m not an “ice” girl anyway- i really could care less about diamond bracelets and the likes, so keeping the ring wouldn’t be about money more than sentimental value. I’m a big hoarder, and i never throw away old anything.

    But if i broke the guys heart and he wants his ring back- he can have it. In fact I’d offer it back to him- it’s only fair. But if he broke my heart, i’d think about it- taking into account how he broke my heart- if it was some random, thoughtless bull$hit, then he can kiss my @$$ and whistle for the ring for all i care. Lol, i’d give it back- but i’d make u seriously sweat for it- esp. if i see yr more worried about getting the ring back than how i’m handling ‘whatever u did to break my heart- lol.

    But if dude just genuinely felt that our engagement was a mistake and sat me down for some grown-up talk- *shrug* what can u do. You can’t force someone to love you, or make them consider u the love of their life. I wouldn’t wanna be with anyone who doesn’t see me the same way anyway.

    Would i be upset if a man proposedwith a ring meant for someone else? Yes, women don’t just want any old ring. U must have looked for something that you consider beautiful enough for your future wife, something that you knew was perfect for her and the feelings you want to express to her about who you think she is. Not some recycled ring- ag that’s not cool on so many levels.

  • Rastaman

    @DC Man With a Plan

    “..get to ride the gravy train using funds from the money-tree…” LMAO!!

    How about I don’t buy you something I can’t afford not to take back?

    Ladies you all got to quit fronting like an engagement ring is considered a small token in you circles. Even my ex-GF the only previous woman I had ever considered marrying and one of the most independent (got her own) chicks I have ever met was wedded to the idea of an engagement ring. So much so against her better judgement she accepted one from the dude who followed me.

    Women should call engagement rings, bedazzlers because that is the effect it has on most of them.

  • The Duchess

    I think women who are SO hell bent on engagement rings, never owned diamonds to begin with :neutral:

    Also, I am with folks not buying ANYTHING they can’t afford. Jewelry, cars, houses, etc..

  • M A R C R OO S E L E R

    Like dude says, here we are talking rings and rights to it and they want to talk about affording the thing. Different conversation. But of course it goes back to the dudes pockets as always.
    ATTACK BITTER WOMAN!
    I find new reasons to stay single everyday.
    Thanks!

  • da ThRONe

    lol@ DC Man “pinky swear”.

    Me and Shay have a secret hand shake when we get married.

    And one for when we get divorced.

  • DC Man With a Plan

    I have tons of respect for Rastaman bcuz he consistently puts down logical, thought provoking commentary. DEEP down inside I’d like to “second” the ditch the engagement concept, but I’m not sure I’d find many women willing to forgo it, so I’m sure when push comes to shove and I find “the one” I’ma do it the tried and approved way…But I feel ya, Rasta. I’m cheering for you while my gurl isn’t lookin…lmao… A while ago Ans asked the ladies how much a typical date for two, with dinner and drinks costs and women were ALL on the low side, while MEN knew what the deal was. Ask the average woman how much an engagement ring costs and I’ll betcha they’re “spot on” this time bcuz this is some shyt they keep up with. I see you at the Kay jeweler and Jearads web site…I see you..

  • DC Man With a Plan

    LMAO @ DaThrone with the secret handshake…..Just last week, Shay was SAYING how much she missed you one day when you were absent…..U put one of those N.O spells on that woman?

  • Dread

    I have been reading this blog for a little under a year now. Never commented, but I had to get in on this one. The ultimate fact cannot be escaped. When a man buys an engagement ring for a woman, it is ultimately a representation of himself when he is not present in person. When a woman tells her friends she’s engaged, what’s the first thing that come out of their mouths? Not “congratulations girl, I’m happy for you”. More like “Girl, let me see that rock.” Because it’s not the fact that she’s engaged that matters, it’s the fact that she got the rock. The hardware is more important than what it represents. Take a poll, how many women would get engaged/married if there was no hardware involved? Very few, if any. So should they give it back, yes. Will they, no. Reason, either to make you suffer by removing any chance of ever recovering even some of your money, or to keep for their self esteem to show themselves that at one point a man actually thought she worth spending the rest of his life with her. Whatever the reason, anything resembling a contractual requirement (be it a vehicle purchase, a home or an engagement ring) if the contract is not fulfilled, best believe that mofo is getting repo’d.

  • God’s Gift…

    I agree with Elle. It’s a gift! Stop being an Indian Giver!

    Tron, get over the secret handshake thing already! :D

  • The Duchess

    DC- Stop bunching ALL women in the same group. Not all women aspire to be married.. Think about that..
    I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in a jewelry store pricing an engagement ring NOR would I be in there with my man. That is something for him to do for me not something that I WANT him to do for me..

    Dread- I TOTALLY feel you ;)

  • niki

    I have been engaged 3x and I still have 2 of the rings. (the other was stolen during a home break-in) The 1st I kept becuase he wanted me to, we were still friends and it was that high school puppy love thing. The 2nd, I called it off but we were working on it so i kept the ring pending the actual marriage (which never happened & I still kept it because he didnt want it). The 3rd put me thru so much drama, I told thejudge I was keeping it as payment for the hell I went thru & since I live in a state where an engagement ring is considered a gift…the judge laughed & went ahead and issued the restraining order against him.
    if times get hard, I have both rings that I can pawn or sell to make ends meet!

  • juniebug

    am i the only female who hates diamonds? lol. i hate all jewelry but ear rings for some reason and i hate rings the most. yea im a cheap one lol. i hate material things that are not needed…and i definitely hate spending more than needed on things.

    im not even sure if i want to get married yet….and i definitely dont want a wedding if i do get married. i think it was Elle who said one time that the next time she gets married it would have to be at vegas or something like that, cant remember. (yes ive been stalking this blog for a minute lol). but i like the idea of skipping all that jazz…..

    but i really would like a ring that costs less than $500 ….but the way i am, i probably wouldnt even want a ring. ive been thinking about getting my (future) husband’s name tattoed on my ring finger instead of wearing a ring. because i dont like tats either and doing that would really show my love more so than a ring. idk, just a corny idea lol.

  • da ThRONe

    Flower, candy, shoes, tennis bracelets, vacations all these are gifts

    An engagement ring is a down payment.

    If I cut the plumber a check I expect my drain fixed or I want my money back.

  • da ThRONe

    Tron calls dibs on juniebug! I love a cheap bride.

  • niki

    on another note, I have to agree with Dread because I am currently engaged and I told him that I would rather us go in together on the house than spend the money on rings. He thought that was cool but said he wouldnt be the man i love if he didnt give me the ring so he agreed that the house will come 1st and the rings will come at the wedding!

  • The Duchess

    Junie- I feel you! I don’t want all that elaborate wedding crap neither, it is just a waste of money.. Definitely don’t want a Vegas wedding but I would like an intimate wedding with just me & HIM on a beach in the Caribbean :)

    Niki- You engaged again or is this engagement #3? Were you pregnant all those other times? Just curious

  • juniebug

    oh, i meant woman instead of female lol……

    i also would want a polyamorous relationship when i get married…but my boyfriend wont agree to that. it was hell getting him to agree to a simple threesome. im a wierdo i know….but i love it. shoutout to my fellow wierdos…..

    first (well technically second) time posting….and i love the blog by the way……

    i actually forgot to comment on the actual topic lol. i personally would give the ring back simply because i dont keep mometos of past relationships. i throw away/destroy all of those things. once i move on i move on. that means no more associating of any kind. but at the same time, i guess i can understand certain situations where women would want to keep the ring. i dont think its tacky for a man to ask for it back, but i also dont think its tacky for a woman to keep it. i can see both sides to this one. and im not a fence rider type of person. maybe its just because ive never been engaged.

  • Private Dancer

    Isn’t there some kind of rule about if you get it on a holiday it is a gift and the man can’t get it back? I dunno. I’m not really sure of the morality code on this because I’ve never been there. But I definitely think if the woman breaks it off, the ring should go back to dude.

  • lola289

    P.s NWSO can u do a blog on guys getting an engagement ring…
    I saw an article about that back in ’09 discussing the idea that men should get an engagement ring also!
    A couple should be tied together. PERIOD…
    (evil laugh!)
    If you cant deal with an engagement ring then thats sayin sumthin bout you getting married.

  • juniebug

    wait, i thought men already got rings too?

    ok, i guess i need to be schooled on these traditions…just so that i can break them…..

  • God’s Gift…

    Can someone explain to me the point of an engagement ring?

  • da ThRONe

    @GG

    Its something the jewelry company made to cash in.

  • mochapuddin

    in my previous engagment I gave the ring back first b/c it was his mothers diamond from her engagement ring and second “what was I going to do with it” it was now my past so let I let it go.that is what everyone should do let go!

  • DC Man With a Plan

    DAMN, Niki….You greedy! You been engaged goin on 4 times now? WTF? Isn’t there a law limiting the number of times you can PLAN to jump the broom? lmao…..U stealing other women’s opportunities….. I hope none of those dudes put you in their will, bcuz DAMN…………U got it like THAT?

  • Sherell

    If I broke of the engagement, I would offer to give it back.

    If he broke off the engagement, depends.

    If there is was some shit on his end, I do not know what I ‘do. If he broke my heart, I say the ring is mine for pain and suffering.

    FYI :The use of engagement rings was actually formalized in 860 AD by Pope Nicholas I. In the 6th century, it was illegal for a man to “steal” his future wife from her family hence requiring the “wed”, a sealed agreement between groom and the bride’s father that a marriage would take place. But again, this did not involve any ring. In fact in some cultures, the man would give a pair of gloves to his beloved. If she wore them on church on Sunday, it signified acceptance of his marriage proposal.

    In barbaric times, kidnapping a woman with the aid of his men or warrior comrades was man’s way to secure his future wife, a literal illustration of fighting for one’s love. Later on, this marriage by capture turned into marriage by purchase, wherein the bride-to-be was bartered for land, social standing, or political alliances. The ring served as the security deposit.

    Perhaps it is because of such value placed on the woman’s acceptance of a marriage proposal that the ring marking such acceptance should also be of high value. But actually, it was Pope Nicholas I who insisted that it should be gold, to signify the man’s financial sacrifice.

    I would give the gloves back, Lol!!!!!

  • mizze

    Be it superficial or not, I want an engagement ring- point blank- if you dont agree with it then thats you..if you dont feel like you need one..thats you too

    I am not going to be made feel bad because I want what I want.. Just like men say they have their preference when it comes to women and that is what they go after, my preference is at least two carats..I let my fiancee know that and he got it.. point blank..if you cant afford it, you should not feel bad and if you are with a woman who does not need that, then its perfect!! Shop within your means..

    Yes, I do believe that its something retailers try to hold on to in order to make money just like Valentine’s day..but hey, its tradition.. Men dont get engagement rings, oK?? THats just how it is.. I dont know a single married man who even cares about getting a ring.

    SHould she give it back? Thats between her and him.. If he wanted it bad enough he would sue her for it, if he aint trippin she shouldnt be either

  • bogart4017

    A real lady would return the ring.
    There are several cases on the New York Law Books where men have successfully sued and won the ring back. And there are others where the judge ruled the engagement was a contract, the contract was broken and the ring was considered a “gift”.
    Go figure.

  • legallybrown26

    @Damond…you can probably google it. And also, just b/c a jurisdiction currently isn’t a “no-fault” jurisdiction, doesn’t mean it will be forever.

  • MultipleHeart

    @ DC Man With A Plan

    Please don’t speak for me or insinuate that I am bullshiting.

    My engagement ring wasn’t one of diamonds. It was a with the birthstone of the month we met. I didn’t want a diamond.

    Some women and their friends are all about the bling. I’m not one nor are my friends. Some men feel the NEED to buy an expensive ring and my ex was one until I told him over and over again that it wasn’t what I wanted. Marrying him was what was most important.

    So he got a ring that I picked out with his budget in mind. I have heard too many stories of men complaining that when things didn’t work out they spent all that money on the ring. Is the ring a symbol of your love or a showcase for how much money your love means?

    And if I get engaged again I will think the same way.

    Don’t group women as general sex…each woman and each man is different.

  • DC Man With a Plan

    That’s a good storyline, Sherell. Makes it all seem “perfectly” logical. There also used to be the case of a dowry, you didn’t pause to cover that period of time. tsk-tsk, must not have been beneficial to women…lol……Tradition is really “cool” if it doesn’t require anything of you. Like say your future husband (purely hypothetical) can afford for you to stay home and be a house wife, even though you have a degree, and you’re like “cool.” And he brings home clients and the folks on Sun after church and expects you to cook; have his clothes ready (no maid or cleaning service for him) and do all that “typical” house wife shyt…year in and year out. Then you have kids and again, you’re getting up for the 2 am feedings PLUS to cook his breakfast b4 he goes off to work; plus his lunch; plus dusting, cleaning, grocery shopping…ALL that “house wife” shyt. No girls night out for you bcuz that’s not what “good” housewives do. No, good housewives are at their man’s beck and call. U know the image from back in the day when dude arrived home and wifey met him at the door with his pipe, slippers and a cold one? ALL of a sudden, a lot of women will want to “alter” some of the traditions. Funny how that works…..

  • da ThRONe

    @mizze

    I think I speak for most good dudes when I say I dont mind following traditions. But you should understand whats the most important aspect of engagement and marriage are and hint its not the ring.

  • Rastaman

    @DC Man With a Plan

    Who are u Al Gore with more “inconvenient truths”?

    Stop trying to burst folks bubbles. Next you are going to insist she give her husband sex anytime he requests and he be able to beat her with a stick no thicker than his thumb… or even worst not come around him and his boys when she on her period.

    Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

  • Missy

    When my fiance called it off I wasn’t thinking bout the ring. Months went by and I was ready to move on. I took the ring back to him and said I wouldn’t be needing it. I didn’t feel I could move on hold on to him (via the engagement ring). It was my closure. Lots of folks were like WHY U GAVE IT BACK?! Because it was what was best for me.

  • mizze

    @Da Throne

    You are absolutely right!! A ring does not signal a good marriage!

    But to me, that logic can be used in all arenas- A girl with a fat ass does not necessarily mean she is going to be a good girlfriend, but men go after that if that is what they desire to have.. You just hope that all is good… you get what I am saying?? I know it may sound weird but its the way I look at it..

    People want what they want- If you want a fat ass, then by all means go after it.. I just dont like how some people make it seem its wrong when a man has to come out of his pockets.. If he wants to marry me and he has the money to afford what I want- why not? Im not saying i HAD to have that, I said it was what I preferred..if he got the best out of what he could afford, then that is alright with me too.. I just think that some men just wanna be cheap (not all) and say “oh, it aint about the ring” just to NOT get the one she desires. I think if you feel your girl deserves what she wants and you have the means to get it, why wouldnt you just get it? My man wanted some damn superbowl tickets, does that strengthen our relationship? NO, its what he wanted, he deserved it and I got them so I got them for him

    I do agree with you though

  • Just curious

    Is it tacky to ask a man back for a $700 watch when he ends the relationship?

  • http://reggiesblogspotrantings.blogspot.com/ Reggie

    I got engaged once when I was in college. Our relationship lasted another 9 or 10 months and when it ended, I went and got my ring. Made a stink out of it, kinda acted a little ignorant too. I’m still ashamed of that to this day and now I’ve been married for more than 20 years. Moved on.

    She gave it back to me then; but after a week or so I went and gave it back to her. The reality is, it wasn’t mine; I’d given it to her. Sure it was a symbol of our love and all that bullshit, but what was I gonna do with it? What would she do with it? I don’t know and I don’t care. I gave it to her, so really, the way I see it, that damned ring belonged to her.

  • sj

    I personally would not keep the ring whether he or I broke it off because the ring no longer holds any sentiment value to me if I break it off. If he broke it and asked for the ring I would gladly hand it back but I don’t think the guy shud ask for it cause that just tacky. It not like he can re-gift it but it his choice as to what he wants to do with it. I would hope the guy is not going to re-gift it for another girl but that’s not my business.

  • illbdat

    wow……man a lot of drama behind a ring… spiegel (the precious the precious!!!!)

    I guess by being a man Im on the side of the coin that says give it back…….. but I wonder if women see it as a consolation prize? bum prize if you ask me cause its a constant reminder of shortcomings….

    pawn it? I guess if you’re hurting for cash or thats your thing….

    To me keeping it may make the guy feel like you needed it or still holding on…. giving it back shows you dont need a thing from someone who it didnt work out with…..

  • Alexis

    Keeping it brief b/c im on my ipod.

    Anywhoo. Like i said on Twitter. He GAVE the damn ring therefore it’s not his.

    Personally, I wouldn’t hold on to it for too long because those…”memories?” or whatever are gone and I don’t want shit that reminds me of you. Hello! Lol, but I’m not giving a damn thing back. I have no use for it besides money. But does the guy really have any use for it?

    Regardless of legalities, wait… would one party take another to court for an engagement ring? WOW!

    Uhhh yea, keep that damn ring! LOL

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @artivist

    “An engagement ring given to a woman on her birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s day is considered a gift, and does not have to be returned– according to NYS law any way.”

    Word? Thanx for that lil bit of info.

    NOTE TO SELF: If I ever propose to someone it’ll be in the middle of August (ain’t no holidays) LOL

  • Alexis

    Oh yea…is it tacky to ask for it back? Duh!

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @Elle

    Yes I said “promissory note” (Was partly tongue in cheek) because I definitely don’t see it is a gift. When I give a gift the only thing I’m looking for is a thank you (end the day might not even need that). But an engagement ring? I’m asking you to be my wife forever ever and we TOGETHER will build something. Once that TOGETHER goes south (before wedding) and we decide to go our separate ways I’m trying to get all my stuff TOGETHER and go about my business. lol

    But let me amend that, I’m coming from the perspective that the wedding didn’t happen because of HER as I don’t see me doing anything wrong **puts on halo**. But now if I did some foul ish, okay it’d be wack for me to ask for MY ring back. I could take some pity and let her keep it :P

    BUT DAMN if I wouldn’t be mad about it because my (what was to be OUR) savings was probably depleted on something for HER not me or US.

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @lola289

    That’s an interesting idea. While I haven’t covered men getting engagement rings I did do a post early on about women actually proposing to men.

    Peep it here:

    http://www.nakedwithsockson.com/2008/09/29/day-28-what-ifa-woman-proposed-to-me-8390/

  • menluvmysmile

    Ok so legally if an engaged couple doesn’t go through with the wedding aka the engagement is called off; the ring does go back to the person who gave it. That being said, if I was engaged and it was called off then I would give it back, however if my ex-fiance wanted me to keep it I would…and then make it into something else (a pendant if things were amicable) or sell it (if the break-up was bad) and buy something I truly wanted.

    I do think it tacky if a man re-uses an engagement ring on a ‘new’ woman. The least he could do was trade it in and get something different to suit the new memory he is creating with this woman.

    Traditionally and engagement ring should cost 30% of the mans annual salary…

  • juniebug

    of the annual salary? stop playin lol……thats the tradition foreal?….annual salary? nah stop playin……

  • EnglishRose

    friend of mine got a £4000 (that’s about $7000) engagement ring. she broke off the engagement and kept the ring. she also went on 2 dates with a different dude who gave her a 1994 red merlot wine. she hasn’t and probably will never give these items back because she feels her company and the benefits she alluded her ex fiance are ‘payment’ of some kind. guess each to their own.it is between the couple that once was what to do with the gifts given and recieved

  • sweetsexxybrown

    Good topic Ans.

    IMHO, an engagement ring should be given back if the engagement is off. What’s the need to hold onto it for? If the relationship is over/engagement off? Why hold it as a keepsake (insert line from Love Jones: “Maybe I’ll just keep it as a reminder not to do the same thing twice.”)—->Yeah ok. Cut it out-it’s not a gift. An engagement ring is a symbol/gesture about wanting to move forward into a legal union. Once the wedding band comes and now you’re married, that repesents to the outsiders “keep your hands off “I’m/he/she is spoken for”. When/if the marriage ends, that’s when you keep the ring/s as a keepsake or reminder.

    I just feel the man should get the ring back because most men have spent a pretty penny on the ring. Hell, even if he didn’t spend that much its really his ring until you two are married. If you two are not moving forward on what that symbol represents, give the man back his ring. Ladies, what are you doing with it, walking around the house with it like Charlotte from Sex in the City? Lol. What are you doing with it, wearing it with certain outfits, or on the weekends or to keep the idiots away? I just don’t get it.
    If he said this is a gift or said “No keep the ring” when you tried to give it back-then get your keepsake on!

    Oh yeah: hell no, I don’t want a ring that my dude proposed to another lady with. It wasn’t bought with me in mind. Go sell it and get something just for me. I don’t want any hand me downs.

  • I’m Just Saying

    If the guy breaks it off, she should keep the ring. If the woman breaks it off, she should return it. In either case, you need to be sure that you really want to be with someone.

    IJS

  • sweetsexxybrown

    One more thing…while I don’t think tacky is the word for a man asking for the ring back, I think it becomes weird and that’s when some women feel entitled like its their ring. Its only the woman’s ring when she’s accepting to move forward with the marriage. I think its fine for the man to ask for the ring back but I think if he’s dealing with someone with enough sense to call off the engagement, she should use the same logic to give the ring back. It’s called an engagement ring because he wants to “engage” you towards marriage. But overall, I think most women give the ring back. Who wants that reminder? I got memories for that,lol.

  • Naomi

    I was given a ring with the promise of marriage. I planned a wedding and I stood there in my wedding gown on our wedding day only to receive a phone call telling me that he, “wasn’t going to make it.” Those were his exact words. We had a gorgeous party (everything was paid for) and I was humiliated beyond anything I could ever imagine. I had to deal with the aftermath of a wedding that never was: returning gifts, writing thank you cards. The life I thought was in store for me never came to fruition.

    I still have the ring. He and I have spoken a few times since everything went down (not pleasant conversations, mind you) and he’s never asked for the ring back. I haven’t felt I needed to give it back.

    In reading some of the comments on here, I think it’s easy for people to have an opinion on whether or not to give something like that back. Everyone has an opinion about everything, right? I honestly haven’t thought about the ring until you posted this topic. To me it represents a life that was never meant to be. So why keep it? I’ve kept it (and my wedding dress) because I haven’t known what to do with it. Again, he hasn’t asked for it back. In my heart and in my mind I’ve forgiven him and I wish him all the best. Maybe I should “seal the deal” so to speak and give back something that represents a life I was never meant to live. Maybe it will bring closure, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just a ring, kind of like a photograph. Maybe it only has meaning if you give it meaning. I doesn’t mean anything to me and hasn’t since October 11, 2008. It’s just a diamond ring. It meant something to me at one time and it doesn’t anymore.

  • karmagini

    I also believe the engagement ring is a bit of an investment… not just financially though. You’re proposing because you want to invest your life & future with that person.

    Myself I wouldn’t keep the ring… unless the engagement had to be broken because I found out he had been lying about our finances or stealing money from me… but then I also don’t think that kind of thing happens out of the blue, and if I accepted a proposal, I’d know enough about his finances or responsibility to know that wouldn’t happen.

    I think some women keep it out of spite or justify their reasons for keeping it. I wouldn’t want to feel that way though or hold onto that energy, so in that aspect also, I wouldn’t keep it.

  • QuoteMan

    @menluvmysmile

    “Traditionally and engagement ring should cost 30% of the mans annual salary…”

    You should have your own show on comedy central LOL

  • The Duchess

    Naomi- That was horrific! I wish you best & YOUR knight in shining armour is out there ;)

  • Naomi

    The Duchess: Things work out the way they’re meant to. Thank you.

  • Sherell

    @DC Man with a Plan
    I do not have to deal with the hypothetical , I have real life experiences: I was married for 9 years and did all of the cooking, cleaning , grocery shopping, laundry, feeding the baby and worked a full gig and made more money than my husband, but I digress.

    Obviously we followed some traditions and not others! From some of your comments you seem to follow traditions as well, in terms of men and women roles.

    IMO It’s up to the two involve to decide what traditions they want to continue in their relationship

  • http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com Tiffany

    Hmm this is a good one, I think if she breaks it off then she needs to give it back. If he breaks it off, if he has the gonads to ask for it back then she should give it back. If he broke it off and is a coward and is afraid to ask for it, pawn it and get something nice.

    Tiffany
    http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

  • Elle

    Welp, I guess I am with some of the ladies here. Much like men dislike being lumped into one big group of “this or that” I refuse to let anyone tell me I am such and such for keeping the ring.

    Number 1:
    I don’t care for an engagement ring. At the end of the day it doesn’t mean jackshit if the love isn’t true. It’s just a ring. Could be an apple and have the same symbolic meaning if society made it into that. It is what follows that proposal and the wedding which matters to me. For all I care we can cut the BS, go to Vegas or city hall and start our life together. I never felt the need to be a princess for a day. *shivers in disgust* Actually I bumped heads a little because my views on weddings are rather untraditional and my ex wasn’t having that. Keep the cupcake dress, keep the overpriced food, keep the drunken family members, keep the stress of having to plan it all. I really don’t want it. I just want mushy everlasting and unconditional love I can count on even when isht gets rough.

    Number 2:
    I specifically do not want diamonds because I do not want any part in supporting this dirty industry. Like I said earlier, I was proposed to with a keyring which I loved more than the ring I wore later. I still kept that keyring too.
    When my ex-fiancé went searching for a ring I asked him to look for a silver ring (no platinum or white gold mess) with my birthstone (Aquamarin). That’s what I wanted because it is what I deem “pretty”. Besides, I asked him not to spend more than $200. We didn’t have thousands of Dollars / Euros to spend to begin with. Plus I’m rather frugal. And spending money on a freaking ring which doesn’t feed us or keep us warm or feeding his way too huge family on our wedding day wasn’t something I wanted to do. If it’s not for our future together (house, new apartment etc.) I’d rather spend money on something WE as a couple could enjoy.

    Number 3:
    Where I am from (Germany) both men and women get engagement rings. They buy them together and wear them on their left ring finger. On the day of the wedding they switch the ring to the right ring finger. Essentially, engagement rings look a lot simpler than the classic American engagement ring women in the US get as they are just wedding bands.
    Nowadays due to movies and TV slowly but surely folks start buying a rock just for the woman. But the tradition is not yet deeply rooted as to where there are rules in regards to how much it has to cost.
    My ex being from the US though started this whole ring deal “the American way”. However, I was in the process of buying my ex-fiancé a ring as well when he ended the whole thing. It was supposed to be a surprise. I couldn’t do it right after he proposed because we waited with telling his family for a while. Once he did that and could have officially worn a ring things ended pretty soon after that. So yea, a plan which never hatched.
    I think it is only fair for the men to get engagement rings as well. After all I wanna mark my territory too :P

    After reading all the comments from the guys I must give my ex credit for not bothering to ask for anything back. Granted, he didn’t spend a fortune. But the way I know him it would have been out of the question for him to ask for the ring back even if he did. He is too generous for all that mess.

  • Danielle

    From what I understand, no matter if this ring is a family heirloom or regardless of which either parter broke off the engagement, legally the person who recieved the ring has every LEGAL right to do what they please with the ring after a broken engagement (b/c it’s a gift and you can ask for a gift back). MORALLY, however, in certain cases it’s just proper to return the ring.

  • DC Man With a Plan

    Damn, Naomi. YOU deserve to keep the ring. That was jacked up. Naomi’s situation is one where everybody can agree, she DESERVES to keep the ring, car and anything else she can get from his azz. The point being, MEN are fair minded ppl. I noted WAYYY too many women felt the need to say “everybody has a right to do this or that” blah,blah blah. THAT’s ALWAYS the case. There will NEVER be 100% agreement on any damn thing. BUT, there will always be a standard; a “general rule” and far too often, women fall on the shady side when it comes to expenditures that men have that women do not have. Like: most dates (99%) are paid for by men; In the USA, engagement rings are ONLY purchased by men for women; Weddings are planned and designed for women. And for some unknown reason, a lot of women STILL wanna believe they’re doing a man a “favor” just by being with him, thus he should be “happy” to pay for everything. We as men want you to know it’s a mutually beneficial experience. And it’s okay to admit, y’all been getting over for DECADES and y’all don’t want the good times to end now. It’s okay. We know. It’s just that it would be good if y’all stop tryin to “justify it” like it’s among mankinds natural laws. Women have resources you don’t want to spend to do for men what we spend money to do for y’all. It’s ok to be a hypocrite. Shyt happens.

  • Anonymous

    Lmao@ decades of women getting over men

    May I need to remind you that we’ve been living in male dominated societies for millions of years? I guess we have to give our right to vote back too. Or maybe we should all be stay at home moms again so there will be more job openings for the currently unemployed men.

    I guess I missed the point where this topic turned into a war between the genders.

    *smh*

  • da ThRONe

    @Elle

    Well I would hope the relationship would last longer than an apple. Unless your taking about the computer. :D

  • da ThRONe

    Maybe I should have said this earlier(ohwell) ,but If Im not getting married after I proposed I have bigger issue than the ring. As cold as I have come across to some in my NWSO days. Really Im a very sensitive person. It would kill me to know that Im losing a person that I thought was worth marrying. The ring is a side note for maybe a later day. But I would be way to hurt to even bother with asking for it back.

  • Set In Stone

    ^ I Totally Agree.

    I recently became engaged on Valentine’s Day of this year to the father of my now 3 month old daughter. I am completely conflicted over whether or not I would return the ring (God Forbid) if the relationship didn’t work out. I don’t feel as though he’s entitled to get it back because he brought it and I don’t necessarily think I should keep it because it was given to me. However, if it were a family heirloom I would probably hand it over immediately.

  • dbaby11

    Today’s post was great but the comments were better!!
    I have been engaged twice one resluting in marriage. my first engagement was a crock and when he gave me his grandmother’s engagement ring, i gave it back when things didn’t work out.Not because i felt obligated but because we were both young and dumb. If we could mentally grasp what a big decision we were making, we would have just continued to ” kick it.”
    My second engagement/ marriage, i kept everything that he gave me when the marriage dissolved. House, car, engagement ring, wedding ring, and wedding dress, hell even his wedding band-this all went to the selling block! he made the desicion to end it so i felt no obligation to be nice, fair, or….. sane!lol

  • Classic Ruby

    @ DC Man With A Plan

    If he was STILL paying for the ring (who DOES that?? lol) I would give him the option of turning the payments over to me…but…I don’t know, IMO the same rules would still apply…I’m not an asshole so if he was struggling like I said I would take over the payments, but I think whether or not he is still paying for it, this is a token he has given to me and as such I don’t think he has any rights to it once he gives it to me. Whether I’d give it back or not truly depends on emotional attachment and moral values, not monetary issues. And honestly, I would feel the same if roles were reversed.

  • I’ll give it a try

    Was in the middle of planning my wedding when my ex cheated on the low and called it off. Still have my dress sitting in the closet. Then he comes back into my life months later saying it was a huge mistake, and gives me my wedding band (it was a set) to show his promise. Shit didn’t pan out, cause he was still being stupid.

    Is he getting the rings back? Hellllls Nawl.

  • Naomi

    @ DC Man With A Plan: LOL thank you! If he ever gets enough courage to ask for it back, I will gladly hand it over. Since he handled the situation so cowardly I’m not expecting to hear about the ring. For now it will sit in it’s pretty black velvet box in my old bedroom at my parent’s house.

  • I’ll give it a try

    And to add, these weren’t K-Mart Blue Light Special rings either. Call me petty, spiteful, immature, whatever, dude is not getting those rings back.

    Maybe he’ll think next time before he starts running, skipping, hopping his ass in love then doing dummy ish to mess it up.

    @legal brown, once I find a buyer, I’m sending EdFinancial some duckets and taking my baby to the shop to get some work done on her.

  • Gemini

    I kept the ring. He never asked for the ring so when our daughter turned 18 I gave it to her in a pendant. It came from her father so now its hers. He was very cool with that.

  • The Duchess

    Elle- You are SOOOOO REAL!! I love it!!

  • Ms. Parker

    I say give it back…IMO

  • niki

    @ duchess – I wasnt pregnant any of those times & I’m not now either! lol (I’m sure u weren’t the only one thinking that!)

    @DC – yes, this is #4 and I didnt steal anyone’s opportunity, i just bought them a little extra time (LOL) but they are back ob the market & they can have all the rest!!!

  • P-la

    @ M A R C R OO S E L E R

    If the person chose to keep the ring, why do they have to be a ” sick greedy bitch” as you stated?

    Would you apply this term to a man too?

    Just asking.

  • BeingHarassed

    Well first off let me say that Im glad I ran into this site because I have found myself smack dab in the middle of trying to figure out my rights here. I have just been recently unengaged and at first nothing was done or said about whether I would be keeping my ring or not.

    Here’s the story…I was proposed to New Years Eve 2008 and was told that my ring was also my Christmas gift due to the fact it was pricey and my new fiance was not home for Christmas. We had talked about marriage prior to this and I picked out my ring and he knew what he was getting into. The price did not matter at that time because he paid for the ring in full upon picking it up. He moved to my state to work and be with me while we moved in and attempted to plan for our wedding which would have been this summer. A month into our new arrangement he wanted me to move out back to my own house. We continued to see each other, myself making the 1 hour drive there and 1 hour drive back to see him. Several weeks later on the day of a party I was having at his house, he asked me to pack the rest of my things and leave. I was horrified, I was and in many ways still am in love with this man. I believe he knew it was over at that time yet strung me along a few more weeks as he asked for some time and space. He did not ask for his ring then. 364 days after he proposed (to my face of course), he broke it off via text message and asked me to mail him his ring back. Mail a four thousand dollar ring back?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! First off, you took the coward way out by unengaging yourself from me via text message and to think Id take that ring and put it through the mail…well now thats just stupidity! This man had several opportunities to get his ring back and although I was not the one who wanted to break up, I took it well. What type of man breaks off an engagement and then over a period of a couple months comes back at his ex to harass her through yet more texts. I have never begged him to stay, drove by his house, sent him annoying emails or texts or called him or stalked him. He doesnt want me and yes that hurts like hell, so where does he get off by harassing me?!? Now after a couple months he is threatening me with small claims court to get his ring back. Is he insane or is it just me?!? No matter what the price of the gift is, it is just that, a GIFT, in which when you break it off you dont ask for it back. Its like asking me to repay you for the money you spent on my dinners and drinks throughout our time together. I mean seriously!

    So whats some advice here people?!? Does he have a chance? Can you harass your ex and still try to play the victim card yourself??? The ring holds no meaning yet I feel that as it was given as a gift, I have the right to keep it or do what I please with it. He lost his rights when he backed out of his commitment to me. I take marriage and engagement very seriously. He punked out…his loss!

  • Naina

    Not giving the ring back is plain tacky and I’d be very suspicious of any type of woman who thinks it okay. Unless the man specifically tells you to keep it, have some sense of pride and return the darn thing.

    Shoot…if the wedding was called off would you NOT return the gifts bought by guests? Point blank, if a marriage is not happening, return the gifts – engagement ring included!

    SMDH at the type of woman who thinks it’s okay to pull such stunts. Ugh.

  • ebniwa

    I think the ring should be given back. Its only right. Now the reason I say this is, its always the man that is giving the woman the ring. But if you look at it in a broader picture, what does the woman really do for the man besides accept the ring. The woman doesn't buy him a ring that symbolizes their love. And DC man is right. Most women do care too much about what society standards have made out of the engagement ring. If you can't see the diamond its too small and embarrassing, if the ring is fake they wouldn't be caught dead wearing it, and only once its so big that you have to drag your hand every where you got that women care about the ring. Yea the way he proposes might make the ring more symbolic, but damn think about what your giving him NOTHING! In my book even though I'm a woman, I think thats hella shady. Men deserve something more than women accepting the ring. And if the man worked longer shifts and used all his paychecks that just means that he loves you that much more that he was willing to go broke for you. It makes it that much more sweeter when he has that 5 karat diamond ring on your finger and he sees your reaction than if he was just made of money. Men just need a little more credit, women need to stop being greedy and give the damn ring back, or while he's getting you a damn ring you get off your lazy ass and buy him something too. That way when the relationship ends you can both ask for your shit back.

  • Jimmy Bean

    WOW. Elle, this is the dumbest crap I’ve ever read. The ring represents a unity! If the woman doesn’t follow through with it, the ring isn’t hers to keep. If the guy drops her than I can understand not giving the ring back. If they never said their I DOs, it’s not hers. Wtf are you a thief??? Wtf, you think you somehow earned it? jackass.

  • Jimmy Bean

    You honestly can’t be as stupid as you are ugly.

  • Jimmy Bean

    I honestly can’t believe their are women like you and Elle out there. I hope I never meet a couple of thieves like you two.

  • da ThRONe

    LOL at secret handshakes. It’s funny how things come around full circle.

  • Melissa

    I’d give it back. It was given out of love and once the love doesn’t exist anymore, then neither should the ring. I personally wouldn’t want to keep something that doesn’t mean anything anymore…

  • 2old2bplayed

    I agree skye. As I’m reading these responses, I’m hearing people – male & female consider what it cost him. But no one is thinking about what it cost HER. Chances are, he gave her the ring expecting to GET something from her during the engagement time, and I’m sure she invested intimately in ways she probably wouldn’t have otherwise without the ring. If and when he can give her back the time, $ex etc. especially if HE cheated, lied and deceived, then maybe giving the ring back would be a consideration. If things were on the up and up, how they treated each other should matter much more than that ring. There are consequences and collateral damage when someone uses another. Ladies, stop selling yourself short.

  • 2old2bplayed

    By the same token, “realmen” wouldn’t ask for nor expect the twat before marching down the aisle.

  • 2old2bplayed

    ok. That makes sense. If you intend to keep it. What if the sista loves jewelry and intends to trade or pawn it and get something she really likes – after all she lost in that relationship? Has nothing to do with “bad” memories of, or holding on to him.

  • 2old2bplayed

    Finally a brotha keeping it real by fairly and squarely putting it out thre.

  • 2old2bplayed

    I agree and am in a similar situation. Something must have been amiss during the 2008 holiday season. Yes, he did take the cowardly way out – texting and emailing, when he had opportunities to do it face to face and respectfully. He knew he had an agenda when he asked you to move out.

  • que

    what is this, he gives the ring in exchange for time, $ex etc?

    sounds a lot like our oldest profession.

  • Joe Blow

    If the woman did not give my ring back, I’d put a bullet between her eyes.

  • Jimmy Bean

    Well said Joe Blow! I’m sure you won’t catch ELLE though. She sounds like a pro at accepting rings and not giving it back if it doesn’t work out. I feel sorry for the next guy that ends up with her.

  • Tirannie

    I might be the exception and not the rule, but when the Mr. and I talked about engagement rings, I pretty much said I don’t give two shits if I get one or not. I don’t wear jewelry and am liable to lose it.

    So despite that, he said he wants me to have one. I’m not going to argue the point. It’s not a hill I want to die on.

    But if it ended before the marriage took place, absolutely I would consider it a gift and I have NEVER asked for a gift back. It’s tacky as all hell.

    I’m not going to ask for the expensive watch that I bought back which probably cost about the same amount, because what the hell am I going to do with a men’s watch? Give it to my next boyfriend? That’s so classy…

    I can tell some of you guys have gotten burned by women or think we’re all out to get your money. But maybe you should just stop dating the ladies who are into your money, and start dating the ones into you. I knew a guy like that. He always talked about how much money he made and then complained to me about how the women he dated were such money-grubbers. Here’s a tip: stop talking about your bling.

    I’m sorry, but asking for gifts back is just tacky, and I would never do it and I would think less of the guy who does it to me.

    That being said, if it was a family heirloom or something, I wouldn’t think twice about returning it. I’d hate to have someone do that to me.

  • Tirannie

    Sorry dude, but that just sounds like you’re buying a person or buying sex, and both ideas are pretty fucked up.

  • Tirannie

    Engagement rings are a fairly new tradition that started about the time Men started to get wedding bands as well as women (end of the 19th century)… so take a guess as to why this got started. I bet you only need just one. ;)

  • Tirannie Tranny

    Tirannie, you sound like another whore who accepted a ring, broke it off and then decided to keep the ring. The MEANING of an engagement ring is not the same as a nice watch or any other jewelry for that matter. You sound like an idiot so I’ll end it there. dumbass.

  • Tirannie

    Hahahaha. You don’t sound like a bitter asshole at all. In fact I have been engaged once and had no ring.

    I’m sorry someone fucked you over once, but that doesn’t make random internet people whores.

  • Tirannie

    I can’t even believe I am going to waste my time with a second response, but this needs to be said.

    It’s really telling what kind of person you are that you read my comment you automatically went to a place of such anger. You didn’t stop to think that people can possibly have a different set of traditions and values from yours.

    Maybe I am from a different place in the world, where normative engagement traditions are different (for example, where’s it’s common for men and women to exchange engagement rings). I bet I am. I bet you’re American.

    Maybe I am from a place where the traditional symbolism of an engagement rings squicks me the fuck out, due to its “symbolism” of the purchase of a human being.

    Maybe we exchanged the ring and the watch because he doesn’t wear rings. Maybe that watch has just as much meaning as the jewelery he gave me.

    Your shit is not a nuanced discussion of differing opinions: your shit is acting like a petulant child because your worldview was not just reinforced by some scary new people.

    So seriously, grow the fuck up. The only person who sounds like an idiot right now is you.

  • Lola

    she’s right…

  • http://nwso.net/ NWSO

    Can we keep it respectful folks? There was no need for the direct hostility and “trannie” screen name response. We all have a right to our own opinions. All I ask is for respect in the forum, folks.

  • lottie

    hi, interesting debate. my mam and dad got married without engagement rings – and for the wedding rings, my dad used his (deceased) grandmother’s and my mam bought a (real) gold ring from an antique shop – i mean it’s a nice ring, but it was no way near the prices of typical wedding rings today.

    personally, i say spend the money (if you have it) on something important to you both like time out for travel/ deposit on a flat together/ savings for babby’s education/ whatever… and if i guy got me an expensive engagement ring i’d tactfully suggest he might not really want to spend money on me in that way. and id so give it back to him if we broke up, and id expect/ demand him to sell it and not offer the same ring to the next g/f – creeeepy.

    if we are going to question the tradition of engagement, we may also while we’re at it question marriage: isn’t all a bit archaic and old-fashioned? i mean, im all for cosy, snuggly monogamy and life-companionship, but having having a ceremony whereby all your family has to sort of give blessing to the relationship is a little invasive for my liking. whatcha think?

  • Julz

    Fair enough. The marriage thing is generally done out of order now away. Interesting how no one can agree what men and women should bring to the table. Women value their time and to use 2old’s words, twat. Men’s currency is well, currency. Unfairly enough women can’t get their time/ emotions/ sex back while a man might get the ring back. Now that people are less likely to get to “death do you part” society has to rethink how to treat all this faily. I don’t know the answer just saying…

  • Julz

    Don’t group women as general sex…each woman and each man is different.

    Ahhhhh… if only more people got this the divorce rate could be so much lower.

  • Julz

    Not at all. What good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Julz

    Everybody has made some good points. After all I’ve heard I say screw engagement rings. One ring at the wedding. Because apparently it’s all in the air until “I Do” anyway.

    one love (if love still even factors in these days. I wonder…)

  • Carly

    From a legal perspective (since engagement rings can be very expensive and an ex-couple can go to court over who gets the ring), the person who broke off the engagement forfeits the ring.
    From a personal perspective, my ex-fiance cheated on me and did some other incredibly crappy stuff. When our engagement ended, I kept the ring and eventually sold it. The money I got from it seemed like at least some small compensation for the hell he put me through. I would make the same decision if I had to do it again.

  • Stefanie M

    It’s interesting that I stumbled across this thread. I did a search on “ringbacks”, the tones that allow callers to hear music when they call.  This article fell within the search results and it’s well over a year later lol.  Nevertheless, I’m glad that I was directed to this site, seems like some good discussion is exchanged here.  Anyway, I have been engaged before and have been married/divorced.  I was engaged when I was in my early 20’s, too young IMO.  Anyway, I broke off the engagement and I gave the ring back.  I did not feel I should have kept the ring.  I think it would have been wrong to do so, especially since he was financing it.  Nothing like being dumped and still having to make monthly payments on a ring for a person you’re no longer with, ouch…  I do not think an engagement ring is a gift, it is a physical token of a promise to marry.  If that promise to marry is broken, then the engagement ring should be returned.  Back in the days when I watched Judge Judy, there was an engagement ring dispute and she ruled in the giver’s favor which I agreed with.  If I give someone a gift, it is without expecting anything in return.  An engagement ring is not given without expecting anything in return.  The MARRIAGE is what’s expected in return, therefore that expectation or promise to marry disqualifies an engagement ring as a gift.  It is kind of like an exchange.  If the United States is supposed to exchange a certain amount of money for barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia and the US doesn’t come up with the money, then they don’t get the oil.  Or if the oil has already been provided and the US doesn’t pay, they are indebted to Saudi Arabia.  The ring is given as an exchange for marriage.  The marriage doesn’t happen, the ring is owed.  

    Now, if the giver of the ring broke off the engagement, it can get a little sketchy.  I still feel the recipient shouldn’t want the ring if the marriage is not going to occur.  But, if the giver cheated or did some other trifling act, I don’t think they should feel obliged to ask for the return of the ring because the promise of marriage was not executed due to the giver’s actions.  It can be a slippery slope.  But I definitely feel that engagement rings shouldn’t be given back so that they can be given to someone else down the road.  I think that is tacky.  Either the man should return the ring or pawn it to get some sort of financial retribution.  

    Many years later, I got married but unfortunately it ended in divorce. I did not give him the rings back because we were married. He also didn’t give me his ring back. I ended up returning my rings because frankly I needed the money due to going back down to one income and having secured more debt after marriage. I still would not have kept the rings even if I didn’t need the money. I wouldn’t wear, nor want to look at the physical symbol of our marriage that failed. As beautiful as my rings were, I felt no need to keep them because of the symbolism that they represented.

    • Anonymous

      Actually what I’ve found out is that legally the man owns the ring until the marriage vows are exchanged so if a engagement is called off the ring is supposed to go back to him, but i agree based on the hows and why it can be a slippery slope

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AFF6NGZOCVTG74W2MWPEWHIGNU Baseballhead94

    An engagement ring isn’t a gift. It is a symbol of the promise the two people are making. If the promise is broken, give the ring back. I would hate any woman I proposed to and didn’t give the ring back. I’ve heard horror stories of women getting engaged to multiple men over the years, keeping the rings and selling them to make an extra few thousand dollars. Honestly, the thought of that happening is enough to make me never want to get married.

  • pineapple

    I was engaged to this man, and we were going to get married a few months after i had his baby. He broke up with me a week after i had his baby and married his ex not even a month after i had his baby. I am struggling and he won’t help me. HE is asking for the ring back, should i?

  • Asabrinalee

    I still have the ring, Im still wearing it on my finger actually. Maybe the breakup is too new, but that was such a part of me for so long I cant bear to take it off yet. 

  • Seals12

    Anyone who keeps the ring is a piece of trash whore.  It is an agreement to get married then you get it, if you don’t go through with it the deal is off.  

  • Tess

    This is a no brainer and if you have to even think about it, you clearly have alterior motives, not to mention shitty character. Of course the ring should be returned if the marriage does not take place.