Woman divides after refusing to buy $280 shoes for man she’s dating

‘If you are uncomfortable buying an expensive gift, you should not be comfortable accepting one,’ one reader writes

Kaleigh Werner
New York
Wednesday 06 March 2024 16:17 GMT
Online dating filters changing the dating landscape

A woman has sparked a debate after admitting she wouldn’t buy the man she’s dating an expensive present.

Seeking feedback on her decision, the Redditor took to the platform’s famed forum, Am I The A**hole, to explain why she refused to buy a pair of $280 shoes. She started by explaining how she’d been dating a man who lives in her home state “non-exclusively” for the past nine months.

“We talk every day, but we don’t see each other often because we live in different states. He lives in my home state, so I see him about once a month when I go home, and he’s also come to visit me once,” she confessed. “When we see each other and go out, he pays for most things, but I do pay for our stuff sometimes as well (you could maybe say 75/25).”

According to the Reddit user, this man has bought her numerous gifts for Christmas and Valentine’s Day even when they weren’t with each other in person. Additionally, he’s randomly gifted her Apple AirPods.

She confessed: “We exchanged Christmas gifts (we both got each other cologne/perfume lol). For Valentine’s Day, we weren’t able to see each other, but he sent me money for nails, sent me flowers, sent me a teddy bear, and bought me an expensive purse.”

Now, his birthday is approaching. The original poster asked what he wanted, and he showed her a pair of $280 shoes he’s had his eye on.

“I told him those shoes are out of my budget... My grandma’s 80th birthday, my mom’s 60th birthday, and my sister’s 21st birthday are all in the next few weeks as well. I definitely don’t intend to spent $250+ on each of them,” the woman admitted.

In her opinion, spending that much on a man who isn’t her official boyfriend is “unfair.” Also, she said she “can’t fathom” the idea of spending close to $300 on a pair of shoes when the most she’s spent on a pair for herself is $100.

According to the woman, when she refused to buy the shoes, he got very upset. “He’s really hurt I won’t get him the only thing he asked for. He says he’s spent a lot on me, and never thought twice about it,” she wrote.

“For example, the purse he got me on Valentines Day was $400 alone (note: he also got me other gifts),” she continued. “He also asked me to stay for his birthday dinner, but that would entail me staying home with my parents far longer than I want to which is also upsetting to him.”

The Redditor’s original budget was $100 to $150. Despite the amount he’s spent on presents for her, she doesn’t want to spend that much on him.

She noted: “I know he has spent a lot on me, but that was his choice. Like I said, I also have paid for things when we go out. I have never asked for any of those gifts he has given me either.”

She also noted that they’re not exclusively dating or in a committed relationship, and she doesn’t want to be in one with him “anytime soon”.

Reddit readers swarmed the comments with diverse opinions, with some pointing out how it seemed like the man assumed they were in a committed relationship.

“Does this guy know you’re not exclusive? Because from what you’ve written, he’s incredibly into you and wants a relationship, but you want to have all the benefits of a boyfriend without the commitment,” one individual wrote. “You’re NTA for not wanting to spend as much money on him as he does you, but YTA if you’re stringing him along with the hope that one day you could be more.”

Another user agreed: “This was exactly my thought as well. It’s an uneven relationship because they have different expectations for what it is, and what it is going to be in the future.”

“You can scream that you’re nonexclusive, until you’re blue in the face, but I bet by next paycheck that he doesn’t know that,” another person added. “Nobody buys all those expensive gifts for somebody they’re non-exclusive with.”

Other readers thought the woman handled the issue correctly, noting that the two of them have different love languages and that’s not her fault.

“I would have not said he is one until he tried to guilt you. You’ve known each other for nine months, been talking daily but aren’t exclusive. If he wants to gift you expensive things thats fine, his money,” one supporter commented.

Meanwhile, another said: “It sounds like he’s trying to buy an exclusive relationship with you. Time to talk about boundaries.”

However, one Redditor disagreed, writing: “If you are uncomfortable buying an expensive gift, you should not be comfortable accepting one.”

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