Love Letters: Should You Give Back Your Engagement Ring?

keep their heads ringin

Its the first Love Letters of 2016, and I hope y’all resolved to move away from pointless, destructive relationships. If you’re still on the fence, allow me to shove you into the land of good sense.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

So I called off my yearlong engagement to a dear man. It was nothing personal but I just knew we couldn’t get married. Now should I give the ring back or keep it? He says keep it but I’m having guilty feelings. Help!


Oh boy. There’s no way I can answer this without the ensuing hate mail turning my inbox into the Saving Private Ryan beach scene. But before y’all scream “IT’S A GIFT, KEEP IT” or “THE ENGAGEMENT IS OVER, GIVE IT BACK” take a breath and realize that the truth usually lies in the middle.

Give SN props for realizing that the ring is a symbol of their relationship and not a poll tax a brother pays for a lifetime of female servitude. Seriously, I’ve had women tell me that the ring is “payment” for the lifetime of cooking and cleaning they have to do. Well, Mrs. Gender Role, what do you give the brothers for a lifetime of grass-cutting and tire-changing?


Yeah, didn’t think so.

In most (but certainly NOT all) cases, possession of the ring should be determined by whomever called off the relationship. If a guy calls off the wedding, he should take the L and let the woman keep the ring. If the woman decides to walk away, she should give up the ring too. In my eyes, why would you want something that symbolizes a broken relationship?

But life isn’t always that black and white, as SN’s case proves. SN did the right thing by offering to give the ring back, and the guy proved he’s a true gentleman by asking her to keep it.

I’m kinda sad the relationship didn’t work out. Y’all seem like good people.

SN, I suggest you adhere to your ex’s wishes and hang to the ring. I understand the lingering feelings of guilt, but you can rest easy knowing that you at least offered to return the ring. Put it away in a safe place out of sight — don’t pawn it and try to get paid off his pain.

It seems like you two still care for each other. Maybe you’ll get another chance to wear that ring. I certainly hope so.

SN made me all optimistic n’ stuff, so I’m in a good mood. Let’s knock out another question:

Why is it that when a black woman dates outside her race she gets super shaded? When brothers have been dating outside of their race for years, they get applauded?


eye rolling

Well, that good mood evaporated in record time. We’re back to Irritable Edd now.

I never understand this myth that brothers have been getting high fives and pats on the back for dating outside their race for decades. Yet black women, who apparently just decided to date outside their race about three years ago, get dragged through the mud for it.

2016 News Flash: EVERYONE dates outside their race. EVERYONE still gets flak for it.

EVERYONE needs to mind their own business.

I do get where THM is going with this, as there are a few brothers who whine that black women “don’t respect” black men, which forces them to pursue women of others races, yet out of the same side of their crusty mouths criticize black women for interracial dating — you know, the same thing they were defending men of doing.

Today’s lesson: Stop listening to dumb people.

I personally don’t care if you date this guy:


Or this guy:


Or this guy:


Focus on your own happiness and mute the haters who are still stuck on skin color. It’s 2016, we’re off that.


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