Post # 1
Last night, I was talking to my mom about rings, and mentioned that I don’t want a diamond, and she went off on this while thing about that if he doesn’t get me a diamond or pay for things or get me gifts all the time he doesn’t really care about me. I’d had a long, bad day, and my future husband isn’t a big gift-giver. I frequently pay for myself or both of us at restaurants, and I got him a huge birthday present. But we’re both students, and I have a full-tuition scholarship, whereas he’s paying for it all by himself. He’s poor, and I don’t need gifts or dinners to feel loved. Unfortunately, I brought it up with him and said I paid for things too much and he didn’t get me gifts and that made me feel a little bitter sometimes (it does, but I know I’m being selfish and snap myself out of it.)
He was hurt, but mostly just sad that he hasn’t been doing everything right in dating me, because he’s really trying to. I really, really, really wish I hadn’t said anything and I’ve apologized 8,000 times, but I still feel way bad. I wish I hadn’t listened to my mom.
What do you think? Does a guy need to pay for everything and give you gifts to show he loves you? Does it set a precedent for marriage on how you want to be treated? Or does it not matter, like I thought?
Post # 3
With me it’s not so much gifts as it is, how thoughtful he is. I’ve been married a few years now and I can say while gifts are nice of course, it’s the little things my husband does that says “Hey honey, just a quick heads up, I appreciate you!” that really mean the most.
Like when I wake up in the morning to find that he went to the laundromat super early before he went to work because he knew I was up with our daughter all night. Or when I see him checking my oil before I have to leave to go into the city. Or when he is running to the store quickly to get something we need like eggs or milk and adds a surprise carton of strawberries (my favorite). Stuff like that.
As far as the whole diamond thing goes? Whatever. Diamonds are just what we’ve learned is the standard, traditional choice. Give me a nice sapphire any day.
Post # 4
@misabell: No, he does not have to pay for everything to make you feel special. You have to look at the circumstances and the effort he puts forth. If he’s giving you his best and its a $10 meal, be happy. If he is full of crap, cutting corners and offers you a 10k engagement ring and its NOT his best efforts….that is a red flag. All you can ask and all a person can give is their best. Its not about the amount of zeros, its about the heart and intent. When he has more, expect more. Currently, he does not have much, lift him up and encourage him. He’s getting an education, he will not always be poor.
Post # 5
I’ve never really read the whole 5 languages of love book, but maybe that’s the problem? If your mom is a gift kind of person and you are a spend time with me kind of person maybe she just doesn’t get it? Of course, its going to get a little old to pay for everything, that is natural. But if you know deep down that you’d pay every single time for the rest of your life if it means you get to spend time with him then don’t worry about it. Your mom just works a different way. Maybe you can explain that to her. And the whole diamond thing is silly! I love my peridot ring and I love the compliments I get on it.
Post # 6
Money does not equal thoughtfulness. My philosophy is a guy should give whatever means HE is giving a lot of himself. So if a guy is a millionaire who buys a lot of toys for himself, he should also spend money on you because that shows he values you as much as the other things in his life like a new phone or tickets to a game. But if a guy doesn’t have a lot of money, it’s not the amount he spends on you but the consideration he shows in other ways by doing what he can.
Post # 7
Ah, we have so been there. Almost exactly. The PPs are right – it’s not about the gifts or the money. One thing to be careful about is the bitterness you mentioned, and while it’s fleeting, it’s still there. Trust me, I get it. Our first 2-3 years together were college years, I had more money because my parents helped me out and his didn’t. But at the end of the day, we lived together and got our bills paid and our needs met, that’s all that mattered. I did mention to him how it made me feel in a very calm, “I just need you to know this” kind of manner and it made us both feel better because he confessed that he almost felt immasculated. A good thing to know in that situation!
Since we have graduated college and are engaged, he actually makes MORE than me and is our primary bill-payer now. So to us, it’s like it all evened out with patience. We had to look at how it was going then as a short-term, which I hope/imagine you guys will too. Even if he doesn’t make MORE than you, he will at least be able to be an equally contributing partner in the not-so-distant future.
Also, I echo what PPs say about the presents/gifts thing. Gifts aren’t the important things in relationships, nor does the type of engagement ring you receive make it any less a promise to love you and marry you. Your mom isn’t a part of your relationship, only you know what you expect and what you need. Like @Caizn said, the Five Love Languages book = excellent! I got it for myself as a stocking stuffer this year. 😉 And if you enjoy it, there is also a Men’s version that I haven’t gotten around to buying yet.
It sounds like he is trying and doing his best, and as long as that meets YOUR expectations (not your mother’s) then you guys are doing just fine. 🙂
Post # 8
Thanks, everyone. I’m only 20 (but very nearly 21!) and super young to be getting married, so sometimes I listen to my mom when I shouldn’t. I am going for a moissanite ring that I LOVE and am SUPER excited about, and I really don’t care about presents. Yeah, paying for everything gets old, but you’re right–it’s worth it to be with him.
Thank you all for being supportive. My family is really not supportive and it’s hard when I’m so young and not sure how to do this whole engagement/marriage the “right” way.
Post # 9
@misabell: WoooooHoooo Moissanite!Youre going to LURVE a Moissy!
Ahem, anyways lol, I agree with the previous posters. Its about staying within his means and the thought behind anything he does for you! It seems like the poor guy is trying the best he can and sounds super sweet! Just sit him down and tell him how much you appreciate him and all he does!
Post # 10
@misabell: I agree with other posters about ability and means, BUT want to caution you about being taken advantage of. If he doesn’t treat you well generally, and is always up for a handout, that is a red flag. I think that is what your mother is trying to be cautionary of. But if your Boyfriend or Best Friend is a totally loving guy that does things for you to say he loves you and cares, that’s a good sign. Be on the lookout for those signs of love. But if it truly bothers you that you give more than you are comfortable with, stop offering to pay for things, no matter how much you love him. If there is any chance that he is taking advantage of you, you will know very soon after the well dries up. If he sticks around and still treats you like gold despite you refusing to diffuse his financial strain, you’ve got a keeper.
Post # 11
Fiance and i have “ups and downs” in our financial relationship. Some months I have more money and I pay for a lot of things and other months it’s the other way around. But I agree with the PP’s frequent gifts aren’t necessary.
Usually 2 nights a week or so when I get home from work I’ll find a note from Fiance on the tv, or in the fridge, or on our nightstand..etc.. with some goofy/cheesy love message on it. Those are my favorite things. Not material gifts.
Post # 12
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies and opinions. I feel a lot better about the whole thing. Although I felt way bad for criticising him about it, I’m glad we talked and I’m glad I figured out my mom is wrong; I definitely don’t need a diamond (I WANT a moissanite! I’m not settling!) and gifts aren’t the way either he or I feel loved.