1. Elizabeth

    I have heard that, traditionally the engagement ring is returned when the woman breaks off the engagement, and it is kept when the man breaks it off. However, this is a question with legal ramifications, and I would bet that it differs state by state. In most states, the engagement ring is considered a ‘conditional gift’ and as such must be returned in the event of a broken engagement. However, there are some states that consider the ring an unconditional gift and as such, it may be kept. You would have to look up the specific laws for your state.

    Also, you may consider that a clean break in a messy break-up may only be achieved with the return of the ring, and you might do so even if you feel you deserve to keep it. That way you can maintain your integrity despite a possibly bad situation.

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