Expensive gifts too soon

by Dating Goddess on November 21, 2010

I would have never predicted that this would be a problem in dating. But it was — for a friend of mine.

She was dating a few guys casually. On the fourth date with one, he bought her a large flat screen computer monitor. When asked why, he told her, “Because you need it.”

He did not get it on sale or discount. He is not a wealthy man, but isn’t impoverished either. She had not mentioned she longed for a large monitor. He noticed her smaller one and went out and bought it.

Normally, we’d adore a man who saw something that would improve our lives and acted on it — even without our mentioning it. But since this was only their fourth date, it was too much too soon. Besides, she wasn’t really interested in continuing to see him. She had no intention of accepting such an expensive gift (nearly $1000), but what if she had, then broke it off with him soon after? Not good for either party.

Some women say, “Hey, a man feels good about taking care of a woman, buying her presents he knows she’ll appreciate. So what if she stops seeing him? He’ll have had the joy of knowing he’s made her happy.”

While it’s true most men like to make a woman they care about happy, it’s also true that they can feel taken advantage of. Many men have complained to me about women who just see them as a walking wallet. But is this scenario different since she didn’t ask for, nor even mention wanting, a larger monitor?

I think other-than-small gifts early in a relationship can be trouble. I’ve received many small gifts from men I’m starting to date, but nothing over $50. Some were items I appreciated; others were just something the man picked up thinking any woman would like it. I’m not just any woman, so I’m generally hard to buy for. But I always appreciated his thoughtfulness and effort.

Have you had a man give you an expensive gift too early in your relationship? What did you do and why?

Men: How would you have felt if a woman refused a gift from you early on? What if she kept it then broke up with you?

____________

Want to know more info on how to casually date more than one person at a time — with integrity? Get your copy of Multidating Responsibly: Play the Field Without Being A Player.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark November 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

It’s a bad deal on both sides. The woman should refuse, and if she doesn’t, she’s out of her mind or selfish. The man should know better, and if doesn’t than he’s either an idiot or socially backward.

Dating Goddess November 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Mark:

Glad to see we’re on the same wave length!

Another interpretation for the man’s behavior: He’s so enraptured with the woman, that he thinks an expensive gift is fine. Hmm… his altered state of mind would qualify as “idiot” I guess.

Catherine November 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm

My ex got me a sizeable pair of diamond earrings out first Christmas together – just five months into the relationship. I loved them, and he seemed to really want to give them to me, so I took them. And upped my game on his Christmas gift the following year – I wasn’t prepared for such an extravagant gift and had only gotten him something small.

Mark November 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

“Another interpretation for the man’s behavior: He’s so enraptured with the woman, that he thinks an expensive gift is fine. Hmm… his altered state of mind would qualify as “idiot” I guess.”

Ha ha. Idiot may be too strong, but it shows poor judgement.

Gifts early on should be small. They should be tokens to show that the person is thinking about the other person. I remember a second date I had with a woman, and since she had to drive 10-12 miles to meet me, I decided a small gift was in order. I got some small package of fancy chocolate bars that I believe cost me about $4. It was just four tiny chocolate bars, but the package was pretty. She later told me that impressed her.

Spending too much puts undue pressure on a beginning relationship. It can create a fear of expected reciprocity in the mind of the woman.

When men do this I put it down to clumsiness on their part. They are too eager to impress and please and don’t have the social skills to understand that they are actually doing the opposite — coming across as needy and creating anxiety in the lady.

Mark November 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

“My ex got me a sizeable pair of diamond earrings out first Christmas together – just five months into the relationship. I loved them, and he seemed to really want to give them to me, so I took them. And upped my game on his Christmas gift the following year – I wasn’t prepared for such an extravagant gift and had only gotten him something small.”

That does seem like a lot, but five months isn’t just a few weeks of dating. People can be quite serious at five months if they’ve been spending a lot of time together. It doesn’t really seem out of line if the relationship is serious and the guy can afford such largess.

Anon April 16, 2012 at 1:06 am

This guy iv’e started seeing just for a month has started buying me gifts hadn’t seen him in over a week, then he decided to take me shopping once again. I told him before we went that if he was expecting something in return like sexual favours it wasn’t going to work, he insisted that wasn’t his intention, bought me perfume yesterday and wants to buy me shoes today. Just don’t want him to have a lightbulb moment and think i should have refused. Would he respect me more if i whole heartedly said no? which i sort of have done, said I felt cheeky accepting gifts so early but he wants to treat me…any advice.

Angie July 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Just went on a first date last night came home to a Coach purse. I am very uncomfortable with this. What do I do?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: