A boyfriend selling a birthday gift, failing platonic wingmen, and the chance to pitch in for a championship ring.
This article originally appeared on GoLocalProv.com.
I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months. I love him and he has told me that he loves me. Recently we were at a gallery and he saw a piece of art that he really liked. He considered buying it but it was pretty expensive and he decided not to. Knowing his birthday was coming up, I returned to the gallery and bought the work. In my family, birthdays have always been a big deal and we splurge on each other. (As I think back, my boyfriend was completely downplaying his birthday. I had to really push for us to get together and celebrate!)
His birthday was last week, and I gave him his gift. I watched him open it with great anticipation, but instead of being thrilled, he was mortified! I asked him if he liked the gift, and he said that he liked it but could not accept it. He thought it was too extravagant, and he explained that my companionship was enough for him. He wanted me to return it. I told him I couldn’t return it, so he suggested that I keep it and enjoy it. I asked him just to hold on to it for the time being.
A couple of days after his birthday he called me and said that he had wanted to talk about his gift. He reassured me that he loved it but was just uncomfortable with me spending that much on him. He has a wealthy friend that was visiting his apartment and loved the artwork. The friend offered to buy it for more than what I paid for it! My boyfriend said that he would give me back the price of the gift and that we should go out for a really nice dinner together with the extra cash. I have mixed feelings about this–what do you think?
Not So Much
Dear Not So Much,
You’re in luck–it’s your boyfriend’s birthday, and you’re getting a present. I think you should take advantage of this wealthy stranger’s offer before he changes his mind.
This is one of those situations that arise early in a relationship when you’re both figuring each other out. You make a big deal out of birthdays; he doesn’t. That’s okay. I suppose you could have talked about presents and dollar amounts before something like this happened, but what’s the fun in that? Now you have this great Plan B that’s fallen into your lap. Grab it!
Yes, there are a couple of loose ends here that merit some exploration. Did your boyfriend react the way he did for the reason he stated, or is he perhaps not as crazy about you as he’s led you to believe? And what about you–could you afford this expensive gift, or are you trying a little too hard to show how much he means to you? And you love each other after four months? Maybe. But that strikes me as being a bit on the quick side.
I’m not saying any of these things are the case, mind you. But think about them. And talk about them with him. Back to your question, though–do it. And have a fantastic dinner together.
I’m a young single woman, and my best friend is a guy. Our attempts to wingman each other have been less than spectacular. According to friends, we often give off the appearance of either a complacent couple that no longer has sex or gay best friends (alternating who looks gay based on location: gym, me; art opening, him), neither of which is advantageous when we are out meeting people. Do you have any advice for how the two of us can go out together without sabotaging each other’s sex lives?
First, let me thank you for the most awesome sign-off ever. Sometimes I have to make up letter writers’ names. Whether deliberately or not, people frequently omit this advice column convention. Thanks for embracing it without restraint.
I have a couple of thoughts on this, but I think the first thing you should do is temper your expectations. If you’re going out with hopes of meeting a guy, whether for a short- or long-term relationship, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage by going out with a friend who’s a guy. Right off the bat, you’re making it harder for guys to approach you–and your buddy is doing the same thing to his prospects. That’s just the way it is.
But you enjoy each other’s company. You want to start the night together (if not end it that way), so what can you do? Show a little more initiative! Say you’re at a club and you see an attractive guy. Make eye contact, and if he seems the least bit receptive, just go over and talk to him! If you want your friend to fulfill his wingman role, have him go over to this guy and introduce the two of you (although personally, I think you should just go over yourself). Same for your friend. He’s got to be a little more aggressive here. If he sees someone he’s interested in but she shows no signs of having the fortitude to overcome your skilled vaginablocking, he should just approach her himself.
The problem here is not that the two of you are together when you’re out socializing. It’s that you’re too passive. Get yourself out there; be just a bit more forward; and see what happens.
Here’s the deal. My son-in-law is an employee of a professional sports franchise that recently won their sport’s championship. He’s not an athlete, but because he is an employee, he gets a ring just as the players and coaches do. Management gives out the rings tomorrow.
These are large, expensive, custom-made rings. In addition to receiving one himself, my son-in-law has an opportunity to buy a ring for his wife, my daughter. Now, I know my daughter would love a ring, but we’re talking about several thousands of dollars here. I know such a sum would strain their finances, so I’m thinking of helping them buy the ring with the stipulation that I get to wear it once in a while. How often would be reasonable? And if you were me, how much would you contribute to the purchase?
That’s very generous of you. I would contribute whatever you can comfortably afford. I would forget about tying any strings to this ring, though.
It’s difficult to jointly own something, and it exponentially increases the chances that feelings will end up bruised in some unforeseen way. (“How could you think you’d be wearing the ring to the masked ball? You know I have the ring that weekend!”) Besides, unless you have remarkably slender fingers, it would really be your son-in-law’s ring you’d be borrowing, wouldn’t it? That’s even worse.
Perhaps, if your finances allow, you could purchase your own ring through your son-in-law. Alternatively, many pro teams sell good-looking replicas of championship rings for far, far less than the ones bearing real diamonds and all the rest. You could treat yourself to one of those. But if you choose to present your daughter and son-in-law with this gift, whatever the amount, I would present it without conditions, or I wouldn’t present it at all.
Photo credit: Flickr / Au Kirk