After A Broken Engagement, Who Keeps The Ring?

Well dang, I never thought I would be so lucky as to personally weigh in on this debate! The Frisky presented both sides to this conundrum way back when, but The New York Times decided to voice their opinion in this weekend’s Wedding section (what a downer for all the rejoicing couples whose weddings were celebrated in the announcements!). Many disputes over the true “ownership” of an engagement ring have taken the couples to court, but Joana Grossman, a Harvard Law Professor who has written on the topic says, “People can spend an exorbitant amount of money on rings they cannot afford and then it is not uncommon for them to break up. But the rings are not usually worth enough to offset the cost of litigation.” I wonder if there’s a corrolation between how much a guy spends on a ring and the likelihood that the engagement will be broken — like a guy with a Porsche probably has a small penis, a guy who’s spends, say, $20,000 on a ring is more likely to dump you because he’s trying too hard to prove he’s ready for marriage. Or something.
Anyway, the article goes on to say that a lot of women will make the case that an engagement ring is really more on a non-conditional gift rather than a token of a conditional agreement or promise. Gift my ass — if it was just a gift, you would be equally as excited over a gravy boat.

An engagement ring is really a conditional REWARD. Whoever doesn’t violate the conditions should keep the gift as a PRIZE. “Congratulations! You managed to keep your end of the deal! Here is your reward!” If no one violates the conditions, the couple then spends eternity enjoying the prize of marriage and companionship and children and grandchildren and tax breaks.

Relationships are about give and take and when one person giveth and giveth and giveth, and the other person taketh and then spiteth and then s**teth, well then, the one that giveth ought to have earned SOMETHING besides a lifetime of heartache and therapy bills. It’s not about money or greed. It’s about fairness. And punishment. I mean, the heart and soul I put into my relationship is/was priceless. My ring is/was a token of the love, hopes, dreams, and plans that we both shared — and to find out that maybe those loves, hopes, dreams, and plans were really kind of one-sided, well I think the token of those loves, hopes, dreams, and plans belongs to yours truly. Yours truly may just decide to throw that token into the East River. [NY Times]

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