Post # 1
My SO gave me a lovely earring and necklace set from blue nile for Christmas. The necklace is perfect and I love it. Unfortunately, I am super sensitive to most metals and do not wear earrings.
I told him the next day and gave them back to be exchanged for somethign else (I thought). That was last Tuesday and I never heard a word about them again. Yesterday I sent him an email with info about the return policy (he had said he was unsure) and a link to the ring that matches (it’s a little more than the earrings (less than $100 difference), though he said he got the set at a discount) and said that I really liked it.
Now, my SO has a great job and is financially well off (just bought a house with cash). We regularly find money around the house in drawers and such and it totals well over $100. I’m just saying, $50 or $75 is nothing to him.
So a few hours after I sent the email, he called and mentioned the earrings and said “well, the earrings were only about half the cost of that ring, so I guess we can figure something out.” The conversation was really awkward- I hung up later feeling like I was too pushy or asking for too much. I’m not sure if his plan was to simply return the earrings and have that be the end of it?
The whole situation has me feeling uneasy. I have never taken money from him (even when he won gambling and I lost) and am not the girl that ever asks for anything. Returning the gift to him was hard for me- I hate feeling like I’m letting him down, even though there’s a real, physiological reason.
If the situation was reversed, I would have said, “Let me return them and you can have the credit to get what you want.” or “Show me something else you want.” I would never have just taken the gift back and never mentioned it again.
He’s never been ungenerous so this seems so out of left field. What do you bees think? Should I have just not said anything? Am I asking too much? Is he being weird?
Post # 4
I think he’s being a little odd since it’s not exactly your fault. Why not offer him the difference in the money and just have it done with? Pick your battles is always my motto 😉
Post # 5
I would talk to him. Say something like, “From your reaction, I feel like exchanging the earrings for the ring is too much for you. I was hurt by your reaction.” and see what he says
Post # 6
Well, he bought you a gift and you not only want to return it, but you want something that costs more than the original gift. I realize you have a valid reason for the return but maybe he doesn’t quite understand and is a little irritated? It’s hard to say.
Post # 7
bakerella thanks- i considered doing this, but then wonder if i will seem even more ungrateful (believe me, i’m really not). i think he would feel like i was manipulating him into getting the ring for me.
@MrsSl82be– well, that would be the sensible thing, right??? 🙂 i just want some opinions because i don’t want to approach it wrong (if i mention it at all).
delirium.megans i sound so ungrateful, right? i really don’t mean to be. there aren’t a ton of options on the site that fit right exactly into the price. i guess i should just let it go. so weird.
the whole thing is weird. or maybe i’m over here thinking about it and he’s not given it a second thought. this is why i never return gifts!!!
Post # 8
Clearly he’s uncomfortable with the additional cost, even though you get the impression money isn’t an issue for him. And even though you had a valid reason for wanting to return/exchange the earrings, he might still be somewhat hurt that the present he picked out wasn’t a winner all around.
If I were you, I would take a step back and stop trying to control the exchange. He has the facts, that you can’t wear those earrings and would prefer the ring and now he as the gift giver can decide what to do. If I were you, I would just proudly wear my necklace for now and wait to see what he decides to do with the earrings. He might just need some time to get over the hurt and get comfortable with the idea of an exchange, but I wouldn’t keep pushing him.
Post # 9
Just a thought – are you engaged? If not, could there be any issue of him buying you a ring? (From here I’ve read that some guys can get funny about it – they don’t want their SO’s to read too much into it?)
Could be way off, but that’s what came to mind?
Post # 10
Hmm. That is odd.
You don’t mention how long you’ve been dating, if you live together, etc. If there’s significant income disparity, is it possible that he feels taken advantage of? Does he usually pick up the bill when you go out, etc? Do you live in his house?
It could be that he’s uncomfortable with the possible symbolism of buying you a ring at this stage, or maybe he just doesn’t understand that you are sensitive to metals (it’s not something most guys ever have to think about or deal with, you know?) and thinks that it’s a bogus excuse to get something you like better. (I’m not at all trying to justify this, but it is possible that if he’s never heard of allergic reactions to earrings he might think it sounds fishy.)
Without knowing more details, I think you basically have two options. You could pay the difference for the ring you want yourself and put this whole episode behind you. Resolve not to dwell on it, but do keep an eye out for future issues of this nature and try to assess what, if anything, this says about his character and your relationship. Alternatively, you could sit down with him and apologize if you hurt his feelings in any way. Emphasize that the necklace is lovely and a generous gift and that you are perfectly happy with just it, but since you can’t wear the earrings you would like him to return them and keep the change. Then ask if there is some deeper issue or if he feels like you aren’t contributing equally to the relationship or that money is a problem. This could be an opportunity to air some deeper concerns, and it sounds like there may be some sort of failure of communication you need to confront at some point.
Post # 11
You gave him the information and now I would let it go. You got a necklace you like, so I would let it be and if he ends of getting the ring great, if not you still have the necklace!
Post # 12
@Button: YES! I posted before Christmas about stumbling on a ring my SO purchased as my gift. And yes, I jumped to conclusions. Your SO probably doesn’t want to buy a ring for this reason.
Post # 13
Thanks so much everyone! I am definitely going to let this go. I don’t care that much about the ring, really. I’m definitely not gift-grabby. I guess I just made the wrong assumption and now am feeling a little embarassed.
We’ve been together for almost a year (Feb) and are planning on moving in together in the spring. We haven’t discussed exactly how that will work in terms of me paying rent (there’s no mortgage), tho he has expressed that he wants me to focus on paying my student loans.
Good point about the income thing. He definitely pays more often than I do, but he is the one who wants to always go out to dinner and I simply can’t afford it. I guess we should talk about it- I don’t want him to ever feel like I’m not pulling my weight, you know?
Again, I appreciate all your thoughts on this.
Post # 14
@mamadingdong: I don’t actually think you sound ungrateful but I was trying to put myself in your SO’s shoes and maybe he kinda felt that way?
Post # 15
Yeah, definitely sit down and discuss finances and stuff soon, before you move in together. I haven’t been in your situation but I definitely understand the potential awkwardness – and of course it’d be totally unreasonable for you to split things 50/50 when he’s much better off and he prefers to go out more than you otherwise would. Probably this is just a weird manifestation of anxiety/tension surrounding moving in together, finances, etc. I’m sure you’ll both feel much better if you just talk about it!
Post # 16
I would not say to him that the returning of the present was too much for him. If my SO said that to me, I would take it as a jab at me.