Returning The Ring

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I met a woman a little over a year ago and I fell in love with her. She was smart, well-educated, pretty and kind. About 6 months into the relationship I proposed and she accepted.  In preparation for a life together, we each put our apartments up for sale. One day when she was at work our realtor brought in a potential buyer to see her apartment. The man walked in to what he thought was an empty apartment, saw a picture of her and announced to the realtor that he used to date her. When I walked out of the bedroom, I recognized the man as a drug dealer and user. A friend of mine bought from him regularly. I was devastated that my sweet finance would be involved with a man like this and later that day, I sent her an email telling her that she wasn’t the one for me and I ended the relationship.  I also asked her to please mail me back the very expensive Tiffany’s engagement ring that I gave her. That was 7 months ago. I have not heard from her since. I am now contemplating whether or not I should institute litigation. I paid almost twenty thousand dollars for that ring. What do you think I should do?


I’m almost speechless by this question. I can’t even imagine the pain that your email breakup, sans explanation, must have caused her.  Adding insult to injury, you had the audacity to ask for your ring back, a right that you forfeited (if not legally, than for sure morally) when you ended things without giving her a chance to explain.

That ring was a symbol of a contract that you both entered into when you gave it to her. It’s like putting a deposit on a home that you want to buy:  If you change your mind, you don’t get your money back – it’s the price you pay for pulling the home off the market. You pulled this woman off the market and as a result, unless the ring was a family heirloom (which you’ve already confirmed it was not), you don’t ask for it back.

You stand on your moral high ground passing judgment on this woman because some random man, who you disapprove of, claims to have dated her? Here’s what I think: I think you used to buy from that drug dealer yourself. I think you have some dated patriarchal double standard of the woman who you fantasize will be your wife and that disconnect between said fantasy and your drug dealer’s words injured your fragile ego in that moment. So much so that you didn’t even give the woman you claim to have loved an opportunity to explain her side of the story.  You did her a favor, douche bag. Go ahead and sue her. I’m sure that ring’s long gone. The only think you’re getting is a drawn out legal battle with no bounty in the end.

Writer’s stats: Male, straight.