Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Stone Purchased for Promise Ring Has Uncertain Future

DEAR ABBY: I had a relationship with a wonderful woman for almost six years. During the course of our relationship, I purchased a rather expensive precious stone -- exactly what she wanted -- with the intent of giving it to her as a promise ring. (Neither of us are fans of the institution of marriage.) We have since gone our separate ways, but we still communicate.

Because it was purchased for her, I am tempted to give her the stone. At the same time, I have entertained the notion of keeping it and giving it to my future life partner, should I meet someone I care for that deeply. Your guidance would be greatly appreciated. -- ROMANCING THE STONE

DEAR ROMANCING: Promise rings symbolize the promise of a proposal of marriage. In the case of your former girlfriend, it didn't pan out. Because the two of you still communicate, why not mention to her that you have the stone and ask if she would like to have it. If she says no, you can always offer it to someone else, although I can't promise the lady will be eager to receive a souvenir of a failed relationship.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Money | Etiquette & Ethics