My Boyfriend Candidate went nuts this year and gave me a bunch of gifts. Not individually extravagant, but as a whole, it was an investment of time and consideration. I gave him a set of wine glasses – which he really didn’t need. It was nice, minimally thoughtful, and looked kinda puny next to his pile of generosity.
I have such a problem with this. Being new to dating protocols – after 20+ years of being with my now ex-husband – is the gift giving suppose to be equal? That’s unrealistic considering our difference in income and the fact that everything I have rightfully goes to my children. Still, I’m uncomfortable. I want to show him materially that I care – it’s just not practical or even possible.
It doesn’t bother him at all. As a matter of fact, when I mentioned it, he was put out. He said it was his opportunity to be a little extravagant and spontaneous, and if I was going to tie his hands with a budget aimed at achieving equality that would take all the fun out of the holidays.
I believe too that this gift-giving addresses a sort of fundamental difference between the sexes. I suspect men want to contribute to their women in ways that show character traits and promote their desirability while increasing their market value. The gifts from my BC showed me that 1) he has a sense of humor, 2) he notices my decor/nesting and can purchase an item to match, 3) he notice my stress and wants me to relax, and 4) that he can pick tasteful fashion jewelry which complements my style. These gifts all say “I notice you.” I suspect there was no budget in play. Or at least he wanted it to look that way. I learned a lot about how he feels about me and how he wants me to perceive him. Considering his inability to have a discussion about his feelings and intentions, he accomplished that very thing he avoids through the gift giving.
Or maybe he was at Target and just picked up a bunch of stuff.