Broken engagements can mean broken hearts, or they can mean indifference. In some cases, they can bring controversy. In particular, issues can arise in terms of who returns the ring when an engagement is broken. As we know, many rings are quite expensive!
There can possibly be legalities involved, and maybe even precedent in some states on how these things should be handled from that standpoint. I won’t go into that here, as I’m not an expert on the law. What I will do, however, is get into my thoughts on what seems fair about how to handle different situations.
Who Keeps the Ring if the Guy Breaks the Engagement
If the guy breaks off the engagement, and the girl is hurt by the situation, she deserves to keep the ring. Now, I suppose she could repurpose it for something else. Or, sell it and pocket whatever money she gets. But the bottom line is that in that case, I think it she should keep it. The one exception I can see is if he gave her an heirloom ring from his family. In this case, I think she should return it even if he broke the engagement.
Who Keeps the Ring if the Girl Breaks the Engagement
If the girl breaks off the engagement, and the guy is hurt by the situation, she needs to give the ring back to him. Sure, one could say the ring was a gift. But let’s be real here – the ring is a conditional gift. It’s not given just because the guy feels like buying super expensive jewelry to make her happy. Rather, he’s buying it to make her happy AND secure her engagement for marriage. If she breaks the engagement, the ring should be returned. Now, what he should do with it is another topic which I’ll return to later.
Who Keeps the Ring if Both Parties Mutually End the Engagement
In this case, things get a bit blurry. Well, like I mentioned before, I think that rings are conditional gifts. So, should the girl automatically keep the ring? I don’t think so. But, by the same token, I don’t think that the guy can just expect to get the ring back.
In this case, I think that taking the high road and returning the ring would probably be the nice thing to do. After all, these are expensive things. But if you’re the guy in this situation, just expect to not get it back. You may not even want it back, who knows? Bottom line is that just hope for the best, but plan on not getting it back and just being fine with it.
Regifting a Ring
Okay, a bit of a separate topic here, but let’s say the engagement ended, and the guy got the ring back. What should he do with it? She he – gasp – save it with the idea of giving it someone else in the future?
I heard of somebody who supposedly did this. Now, I never asked him personally, and I have no idea what the earlier ring looked like. Frankly, I don’t really pay attention to the rings that women wear, which is typical for guys.
But if he truly did this as was claimed, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I totally get that rings can be outrageously expensive and that it would be a tough pill to swallow if you had to pawn it off for much less than you paid for it. However, you just can’t make the woman happy with a ring that was originally given to someone else. The story about how you bought the ring – if she cares about that stuff – will not make her happy.
Now, while I don’t think that life needs to be a fairy tale – and some people take that concept way too far - I do think that there are some things that are simply a matter of good taste. This is a case where regifting a ring won’t be something done in good taste. Thus, it’s best to get rid of it. If a guy is fortunate enough to meet the right person at some time in the future, he can buy her a ring that’s all about their relationship.
My Questions for You
What do you think about the above thoughts on “who keeps the ring”?
What are your thoughts on regifting a ring? Meaning, giving a previously returned ring to another person in the future?
Have you ever known anyone in such a situation? What ended up happening?