When the man and woman separate in engagement before marriage, who should have the engagement ring?

If a couple splits up, while they are engaged to be married but not married, who should be aloud to keep the engagement ring? The man, or the woman?

I think it should be the man, here is my reasoning:

(1) He is the one who bought it

(2) Engagment rings are a contract, a contract of love, If the woman accepts his offering of her to marry him, she has signed on the dotted line of the contract, saying they should be in love forever and have a happy relationship. If the contract is broken, then she should give it back becasue if she want him, she shouldn't have said yes

However, I know there is different legal matters on the subject, there are 3 kinds of laws about the ring:

(1) Depending on who broke off the relationship, the one who broke it off should let the other spouse have it out of courtesy

(2) A ring is a conditional gift, if the condition does not take place, or the marriage, it should be returned to the gift giver (what I agree with)

(3) Once a gift is given, it can't be taken back

Now I want to here which option you agree with, and your reasoning, I'm not talking about special exceptions, like if the woman proposed, I'm talking about a normal, run of the mill engagement.

So...who does keep it?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I feel that it should be the person who wasn't the one to break it off that gets it. But there are conditions that I think it would make sense. It's only fair to the person who was fulling intending on carrying out the marriage vows should get it.

    But if it were me, I would just take the high road, give back the ring, even if he cheated on me and that was the reason for breaking up. I just see it this way, why would I want something that reminds me of that person if it weren't meant to be? Sure I could sell the ring, pawn it or whatever, but even then, that money is from that ring and that symbolized the love. But that is how I see it.

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What Guys Said 4

  • ho hum... we earthlings do get so caught up in things like this when we are so small and insignificant in the scheme of things.

    In my opinion leave it be and let the woman keep the ring. Why complicate things any more. Better to let it go than end up in a loveless relationship and or ultimate divorce which could cost 1000 times more than the ring is worth. It is only a possession and if it makes the woman happy to keep it let it be. Although I cannot figure out why someone would want to keep something that is a reminder of a failed relationship.

    I once lived in a small German community and the ring was the last thing to worry about. There a broken engagement was considered a breach of contract and could lead to expensive settlements way above the cost of a ring let me tell you.

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  • I completely agree with you that an engagement ring is meant as a conditional gift given in contemplation of marriage. So I think that the woman should return the ring to the man, no matter who broke off the engagement. Some men might let the woman keep the ring, but she should still be fair about it and offer to give it back.

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  • I agree with you that, while it's a gift, it is given on the condition of marriage. Based on that, I think it should be given back if the marriage doesn't happen.

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  • i actually think there are real laws in regards to this. I think the way it works is that an engagement ring is like a contract to get married. but if the marriage (contract) never happens (the contract is broken), whoever is responsible for breaking the marriage/contract doesn't get the ring.

    I think that's the way the laws work, but I could be totally wrong

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    • The 3 options I listed above are the different laws on the matter, california is the first one, a bunch of other states are the second one, and kansas and a couple othere states are the third one

What Girls Said 6

  • Yeah, those things are expensive, so if they're not getting married, the man should definitely get it back.

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  • I say the woman, because it was a gift from him to her in the first place!

    why should he demand a GIFT back?

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    • Yes but what use would a woman have with an engagement ring? Its not like your going to wear it around trying to find someone else...

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    • he doesn't have to buy a ring to become engages if buy a ring is waisting his money, besides, why would a guy want to keep an engagement ring that he bought for a woman who turned him down. because every time he looks at it he will remember her. which is stupid crazy...

      also if he wanted to give it to someother woman I think it wouldn't be faire.

      even if the ring is symbolic or not it is still a gift. other wise there is no point in buying a ring.

    • there are some cultures around the world that find it very very offensive to demand an engagement ring back.

  • The guy should keep it. I agree with you.

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  • Put it in a sealed bottle of urine and send it back to him.

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    • Why exactly?

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    • I mean, maybe if he cheated on you or something I could understand, but if it was called off for something like they didn't love each other anymore or something, this would be a childish way to handle it...

    • That is your opinion. I think its childish to talk to the person and give the ring back to them.

  • whoever bought it

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  • In my opinion, I think the guy should keep it for all the same reasons you stated.

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