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Old 01-23-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
HamaLee
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Oh boy, I need some advice!
Ok, this is way OT but I'm seeking advice from as many sources as I can!

So, I am dating this lovely boy and he's very nice. We've been dating since October-ish, we hang out a lot, he has a puppy so we walk the dogs together, etc etc. We have a lot in common but, you know, it's a very new relationship.

I made him a hat for Xmas and another one this weekend for a ski trip. He got me a fun book about dogs AND a very generous gift certificate to my LYS (he thinks knitting is super cool, yup he's a keeper ).

My birthday is coming up this Friday and he's going to be away on a pre-planned ski trip in CO. He felt really bad about missing it, but it's so not a big deal to me. I don't really like celebrating my birthday anyway. But I suggested we go out for a nice dinner before he leaves. So he took me out to a really really really nice dinner Monday evening. We had a great time, I was thrilled. He also got me a cute card with a personal note. Yay! Birthday is fun and over, right?

...nope not so much...

He comes over last night to pick me up, we're heading out to Borders so I can spend some Xmas gift cards. He says "Oh here, I did get you a little something."

And it's a good sized box, like maybe shoe sized. And I think, "Wow, that's unnecessary but really nice. Did he get me shoes? He knows me well!"

So I open said box. And. HE BOUGHT ME A LAPTOP!!!! Like, a really really nice one. He's a computer programmer, and I know he got a deal but still...this is like, gotta be over a $1000. I'm totally flummoxed. I feel like I can't accept this gift, but he wants me to have it so badly. He'd be so insulted if I refused it, how can I even refuse it? How do you do that?

I was seriously speechless. I mean I said things like "Wow" and "Thank you" and "I can't accept this...can I? Wow...crazy" etc etc etc. It was clear I was very happy. But I feel like it's inappropriate to accept a gift of this magnitude!

But he's so proud of himself because he thinks it's a perfect gift because:
  1. My laptop is old as dirt and might as well be a paperweight
  2. It crashes, freezes, overheats, etc etc etc
  3. I'm gonna need a new computer for grad school
  4. I'm computer nerdy and I'd love a new computer.
  5. He is morally, personally and professionally offended by the state of my current computer.
And the thing is: Of course he's right!! This is an amazing gift, I'm thrilled, I love it and it's not something I can afford for myself. But yikes! Why am having such a problem with this? I guess I sort of feel beholden now? Like I owe him something? Even though I know that's not true, and I know that's not what he intended.

The thing is, we're the same age but I'm in the human services field and he's a computer programmer. He makes significantly more money than I do. I mean probably about 5 times as much, honestly. So I know that this gift is not actually a financial hardship or anything on him, but it would be for me and I feel so guilty. Especially since "all" I've gotten him are a couple of handmade hats and plans for a dog sweater and some argyle socks. (I say "all" because I feel a little cheap, but like I said he thinks the hand knits are totally impressive).

Oy. Wow. I rambled for awhile.

So Ladies, Gentlemen, Fellow Poor Folk Headed Back to School: What do I do? Do I keep this amazing gift? Do I give it back? If I give it back how do I approach that without totally crushing him? (I feel like this is sorta the modern day equivalent of accepting expensive jewelry from a man who's not your fiance/husband--which is an etiquette no-no).

As my roommate said, "Hey if your only problem with this guy is accepting a generous gift...let's trade places." But still--I'm all ears here!!!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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wow, that is tough. As I never been in a relationship I don't know much. But you could tell him maybe not to give you such expensive gifts anymore. I think you should keep the laptop (I feel that he will be letdown if you give it back) but just let him know that you feel unconfortable accepting gifts like that and that he really doesn't need to give them to you. Hope for the best!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:25 AM   #3
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Wow, he is a keeper!

I know how you feel though. I got an expensive Christmas present once (Freddie Mercury box set! ^_^ ) that was more than I could ever afford at the time. We'd only been dating for a few months so it was very unexpected. He was sooo proud of himself though. I felt a bit like you do at first but I decided to accept the gift because it was given with love. Oh and this man is now my husband but I didn't marry him because of that

So personally I would say accept the gift and feel happy! If things do go wrong and you part with him in the future you could always return it then if you feel badly about it.

And don't feel bad about the gifts you have given. They were made by you! I'm sure that means a lot to him
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
I think you should keep the laptop (I feel that he will be letdown if you give it back) but just let him know that you feel unconfortable accepting gifts like that and that he really doesn't need to give them to you.
You're right, he would be totally crushed if I gave it back. And he knew I'd be uncomfortable. Before I even said anything he was all "I know you're gonna think this is crazy and too much. But it's not, you deserve it and I want you to have it, and I promise I'm not gonna do stuff like this all the time."

Thank you for the advice! I'm beginning to calm down. Plus he's gone til Sunday so I can mull this over in peace for a few days. Hehehe.

I'm also open to those of you who think I should give it back, what would you do, etc. I have never been in a situation like this before!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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He sounds like a great guy and that his heart and mind are in the right place.

I think I'd personally feel awkward with it...like how it takes the relationship to a new level whether he sees it or not (probably not since he's a guy ). Think about it and when he comes back I'd sit him down and talk to him about the whole thing.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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When I give someone something, it's because I WANT to. It makes ME happy. Reverse positions here. What if you were the one with the megamoney and he was in desperate need of a laptop? Wouldn't it thrill you to be able to help?

Say thanks and move on!
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
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Financial situations aside, he obviously really likes you and I would wager a guess that he wants this relationship to be more than a friendship. That said, if you are not interested in anything other than a dog walking buddy the laptop goes back. If you are interested in pursuing the realtionship - keep it, enjoy it and do not feel guilty that he gave you something you couldn't afford yourself.
As far as feeling like you haven't done enough for him, take that LYS gift card and get some yummy yarn to make him a scarf to match one of the hats you made him or the socks you mentioned. Mail him a card that says Thank You more than you'll ever know. Make him dinner when he gets back in town. My hubby loves that I pick yarn and spend time making him things and he brags about the things I make him to anyone that will listen. If he has the money to BUY himself the toys he wants, then I am willing to bet that he LOVES that you take the time to MAKE him things.
I say cheers to you on finding such a wonderful guy and I hope you hold on tight

Last edited by vaknitter : 01-23-2008 at 11:11 AM. Reason: poor grammer
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:22 AM   #8
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If my boyfriend gave me a laptop a) I'd ask if he was feeling OK and then b) If he'd robbed a bank. These considerations aside I would probs be really thrilled that he had bought me something so expensive but also uncomfortable knowing that at the moment I couldn't return the gesture. I understand where you are coming from, especially in a fairly new relationship, but at the same time its a lovely gift and he obviously likes you very much. So I think I would explain to him that I would rather he did not spend so much on me in future but I love the gift and I intend to keep it.

Hope that helps

xxx
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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I think it depends on *him* and on your relationship with him. If he is the type that is just extremely generous, never wants anything in return, and is an all-around good guy, then say thanks and move on, realizing that your hand-knitted-with-love items are worth just as much!

However, if after some real, honest reflection, you think he is the type that does usually want something in return, who might hold this sort of gift over your head, then you might want to rethink it.

That would be my only worry. I tend to expect the best from people until they prove me wrong, but... you have to 'protect' yourself, too.

Sounds like a wonderful guy to me.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #10
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I think he sounds fantastic - and, while I would feel awkward about accepting it, I think it would be harder to return the gift he was so proud of himself for getting you. It sounds like he got it for you just because he wanted to, because he thought it would make you happy and he likes it when you're happy. It would be a different matter if he'd scraped and saved and eaten beans for a month to buy it, but if it's a gift from someone who can afford it, then I think it's ok to enjoy it. He wants you to be happy, not to be stressing about it for weeks on end.

The one caveat has been said above - if you think it would ever be used against you, then think hard about whether you want the relationship to continue or not. It doesn't sound like that's the case though. I was once given a piece of jewellery by a boyfriend that cost over 1000, and it was incredible. In all the time we were together, he never held it over me in an argument and he was just happy when he saw me taking joy in it, so feeling beholden about it and it causing problesm isn't an inevitable consequence. We broke up a few years later, and I did wonder whether to give it back then, but he'd said that whatever happened between us, it was meant for me and had been meant with love, and that's not something to regret or feel bad about.

Hope it works out, I really think he sounds great :-)
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