Should my boy return the ring?

weddingringI received an e-mail from a faithful supporter regarding an issue she is having with her former fiancée. I’ll call them Kevin and Kim in order to protect the identities of the involved parties.

Kevin and Kim met 3 years ago at an office holiday party and hit it off from their first conversation. They dated for a year and a half before Kevin decided to pop the question. During an intimate Saturday evening gathering with family and friends, Kevin presented the apple of his eye with a $14,000 diamond engagement ring. Sounds like a romantic fairy tale right? Well not in this case!

Shortly after getting engaged the two began to argue about financial and family matters! Not seeing a way to compromise on the various issues, Kim decided to call off the engagement. There’s nothing wrong with Kim’s decision correct? We’d rather have the couple call off their engagement rather than find themselves in divorce court a brief time after marrying. It’s actually a very mature decision to make. However, here’s the complication. Kevin decided he also wants Kim to return the $14,000 ring since the engagement is off. Do you see any problem with his request? Is the engagement ring a gift or a marriage earnest deposit?

Men and women have been debating the issue of the engagement ring in various circles for years, and it has also created heated debates on my radio show. Some view the engagement ring as a gift; whereas, others view the engagement ring as an earnest deposit for the upcoming marriage.

Here are a couple of points to ponder:

For women:

1. Why would you want to keep a ring from someone you no longer want to marry?

2. Is the decision to keep the ring really a desire to spite your ex?

For men:

1. Why would you give a gift with the expectation of receiving it back in the event the relationship fails?

2. Is the issue of the engagement ring a financial or pride one?

What do you think should happen to the engagement ring when a wedding is called off? I would love to get your feedback.

Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Speaker, HLN Contributor, Host of the Chat Kafe Radio Show (, singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.

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