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?

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