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A New York judge recently ruled, Debbie Lopez, 48, can keep the diamond ring — valued at $10,200 — that her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Torres, 52, gave her. Normally she would have to return the jewelry to Torres. Under New York state law if an engagement is called off, a woman must return her ring to the partner who proposed to her. In this interesting circumstance, Torres actually never proposed to Lopez. According to The New York Post, Lopez says Torres gave her the ring as a token of appreciation. She said, “When he gave it to me, he said it was a gift for being a great woman, a good mother of his child.”

He says they had a romantic proposal at Rockerfeller Center in April 2010, where their son gave Lopez her engagement ring. Despite Torres’ account of the memorable event, Lopez said he never asked her directly to marry him. Lopez wore the ring on her left hand but she told friends, when they asked if she was engaged, “Maybe, I don’t know yet.”

The couple parted ways in 2012. Their case was reviewed by Judge Scott Fairgrieve, who ruled Lopez was not required to give back her rock because of Torres’s indirect proposal. Torres’s attorney claimed his client was devastated by the ruling and truly believed he and Lopez were engaged to be married. Although this is an unfortunate circumstance for both parties, I find it odd they did not communicate to each other the status of their relationship after the exchange of such an expensive ring.