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Gifts Kept or Returned After Breaking Up

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I ended a three month relationship with a man who wanted a much more serious relationship than I. A few weeks prior to our break-up, he gave me a very pretty gold necklace that cost a few hundred dollars. At the onset of our break-up, which was 2-3 weeks later, he requested that I return the gift. We have ended our relationship, and I returned it without question.

Was it proper for him to ask me to return the gift?


Relationship issue

Dear Relationship issue,

A general rule of thumb regarding gifts and presents exchanged in a relationship is to return an engagement ring and any heirloom jewelry.

Other gifts do not need to be returned unless the person receiving the gift has plans to break off the relationship or doubts about staying together. In this case, the gift(s) should not have been accepted to begin with and should therefore be returned, especially if an expensive gift was given within a few weeks of the break up.