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POLL RESULTS: Carat Before the Horse?: (9 comments)

POLL: Carat Before the Horse?

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: I’ve been divorced for six months and recently began dating. Lately, I’ve gone out with an older man who is quite successful in business. We just had our third date (dinner) last weekend, and he gave me an expensive piece of jewelry. I was shocked. I tried to be gracious and thanked him, but it really made me feel uncomfortable. I am a woman of modest means, and I’ve never been that excited about jewelry or expensive clothes. I have this icky feeling he thinks I will be obligated to him if he buys me expensive things. He has spent quite a bit of money on our dates. Am I reading too much into this? Should I return the jewelry?
POLL: What should she do with the ring?
 
67% (787) Return it and tell her beau that she's not comfortable accepting it
 
4% (51) Keep it, but only wear it in his presence
 
8% (99) Keep it, but don't feel obligated until the jewelry gets *much* bigger
 
11% (133) Keep it, and throw the guy a bone every now and again.
 
7% (88) eBay.
1158 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
pecoros7
Lover

Posts: 16

Registered:
May 2008
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 24, 2009 - 01:07 AM (#47602)

At ALL times in a relationship, you should be free to reject anything which makes you feel uncomfortable. Your best option is to politely return the gift and explain that accepting such an expensive piece of jewelry makes you feel uncomfortable at this early stage in a relationship. Tell him that you appreciate the thought and the effort, but such magnanimous offers should be saved for later. He should, assuming him to be a man of decent character, be understanding of your position.

 It is possible that he is in a financial position such that the gift doesn't seem to be so expensive to him. Some people can afford to drop a few thousand dollars without much thought. It could also be that these expensive gifts were expected of him from previous relationships. If that is the case, he might even be relieved to find out that you aren't looking for a major financial contribution. In the event that he IS trying to buy his way into your pants, returning the gift sends a clear message that it won't work.

 Whatever his motives may be, it is important to establish boundaries and expectations early in a relationship. You are still getting to know each other and making the rules clear at the start helps to avoid future problems. You owe it to both of you to return the jewelry as soon as possible.


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HandEFood
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Posts: 11

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 24, 2009 - 01:51 AM (#47603)
In Response to pecoros7 (#47602):

I reckon he needs to know that it makes you somewhat uncomfortable. Also realise that he may just want to share his wealth. What good is money if you can't enjoy it, and what good is enjoyment if you can't share it? On the other hand, if he is trying to buy your love, I find that less than attractive.


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jasonred
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Posts: 20

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Feb 2008
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 24, 2009 - 06:01 AM (#47607)

It all depends on how much the guy makes.

Might sound calculating, but there it is.

If someone is pulling $100k a month, and he buys you a $1000 necklace, just smile and say thank you.

If he makes $3000 a month and bought $9000 earrings, you should return them!

I would say, the safety point should be about... 1-2 weeks salary?

Also, consider whether he is naturally a spender or a miser. If he spends thousands on his own wardrobe, what is an expensive dinner date? If he was a very careful with his money before you started dating, alarm bells!!!

The "feeling obligated" is relative... not always about money. (and sometimes gender reversed). For instance, this friend once got really worried when this girl spent 2 weeks knitting him a sweater and mucked up her uni project.

Personally, I am uncomfortable if one person is making large sacrifices while the other party hasn't reached that stage yet.

OKOK, so there's your feelings to consider too... but IMHO, just relax and enjoy the good points of dating someone richer than you.

Oh yeah... if you aren't excited about jewelry and expensive clothes... you should probably tell him so. Tell him what you DO like. Not that you should count on receiving those things... it's generally healthy to get to know each other's likes and dislikes!


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NunyaBidness
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Posts: 83

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 24, 2009 - 07:42 AM (#47609)

JasonRed has nailed it. How much of a bite is this for his wallet? He might just enjoy giving gifts. Be gracious, let him know what you like, and let him know you appreciate gifts but they're not necessary.

I remember a local jeweler here running a campaign of "Warm her up with some ice." They almost had a war with my wife when she saw the billboard, because she's A: not someone you can buy, B: a pornstar in bed freely and C: Doesn't like the implication. (Nor diamonds, actually. I keep her in emeralds.)

Don't let yourself be bought or rented unless that's agreeable to you, and if so, realize it's a short term relationship.


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TheOriginalJes
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Posts: 205

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Jan 2008
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 24, 2009 - 09:05 AM (#47612)
In Response to NunyaBidness (#47609):

I would suggest that, before you decide, you consider the other signals he may have given.

People of different economic status live with different rules on dating and gifts. If he grew up with money, he could believe that expensive gifts are just normal behavior. (Or so my wife says about her ex-.) Accepting the gift could be (to him) a sign that you're accepting him (warts and all). Rejecting it could be taken similarly.

Just remember that such a lifestyle of expensive things could be very attractive at first. But, maybe you should ask yourself why he's dating someone who isn't from money, now.

On the bright side, whatever you decide; you may have to keep the jewelry he's already given you.


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Azerik
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Posts: 35

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Apr 2009
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 02:46 AM (#47632)

Talk to him about it.

If it makes you feel uncomfortable then tell him and explain the situation. If the relationship can't stand that bit of honesty then it's better to find out sooner than later.

Personally I like giving gifts (especially to my wife). We don't have much money so they are usually quite modest, but I make up for it by putting in as much thought as I can. Previous commenters have it nailed, he just could like to give gifts and he can afford expensive jewelry.

Communication should be the cornerstone of any relationship. Explain the situation and resolution *will* come. That resolution may not be what you are looking for, but it will clear things up. You'll either feel better about keeping the gift, find out he's a toad and trying to buy your affections, or strengthen the relationship with a good, honest heart to heart.


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AlpineBob
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Apr 2009
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 05:56 AM (#47643)

Really, the issue isn't what the guy can afford, but what the gal is willing to accept.

She mentions that the date was dinner, but doesn't mention what type of dinner. It certainly
doesn't sound like she is going dutch. In fact, she says "He has spent quite a bit of money on our dates."

Well, darling, if he's been buying you $200-plus 4-star dinners or the like, then you are ALREADY accepting gifts from him. Nothing wrong with that. But he already knows you will take stuff from him, if only to eat. Why not to wear?

Regardless, after three dates you should know that the guy is interested in more than dinner.
That interest is very likely what he was trying to indicate with this gift. I doubt there are strings, per se, just a signal of interest.

So, If you definitely aren't interested in him, tell him so. And give the uncomfortable bauble back. You needn't (it was a GIFT, right?), but you'll probably be happier if you do.
If you aren't sure, tell him so, and that you would prefer to not receive any more large gifts until you are sure. He'll appreciate the plain speaking, if he's anything like any guy I know.

And if you continue hanging out with the dude, tell him what you DO like, so he doesn't drop anymore unwanted expensive frippery on you.


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Jorn
Jorn

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Nov 2007
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 07:00 AM (#47644)

Put quite simply, talk to him about it. You're uncomfortable receiving the gift in part because you're not used to that sort of thing. That's fine, and if you tell him that he'll understand and be OK with that(if he's a guy worth keeping at least). You're also uneasy because you're unsure of what the gift means to him, so ask him.


--
Sa souvraya niende missain ye; I am lost in my own mind.
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TheOriginalJes
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Posts: 205

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Jan 2008
Re: Carat Before the Horse? (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 05:25 PM (#47663)

Wait...

How much older are we talking here?

How exactly did your third date end? Kissing? Or more? Or less?

Judging from your use of language -"I am a woman of modest means..."- I'd say you're over 25 (although I could be wrong). So, I think that you know what the ultimate goal of a good date is.

Are you attracted to the guy, or are you lonely for a friend? I think that maybe you are rejecting him romantically, and just haven't realized it yet.

If that's true, then you may just have to return the jewelry if your conscience doesn't let up.


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