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by Abigail Van Buren

Man of Letters Feels Lost in 'Modern' Communication

DEAR ABBY: I am having a disagreement with a friend and we have decided to let you be the judge. If a couple is engaged to be married, and the woman decides to end the engagement, should she return the engagement ring? -- B.A. HEITKAMP, CINCINNATI

DEAR B.A.: The ring goes back. When a woman accepts an engagement ring, she is also making a promise to marry the man who gave it to her. If she changes her mind, the ring should be returned. Occasionally, when the man breaks the engagement, he may offer to let the woman keep the ring, but he is not obligated to do so. Easy rule: The ring belongs to the person who paid for it, until the marriage has taken place.