She Got An “EXPENSIVE” Birthday Present For Her Guy Friend And His GF Thinks “It Was Over-the-Top and Clearly Outshined Her Gift.” What Do You Think?

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Should a gift come straight from the heart, no matter what? Or should you consider the feelings of others when purchasing a gift? A user caught between his best friend and his girlfriend asked on the forum, “Am I wrong for purchasing my guy friend his dream birthday present and outshining his girlfriend in the process?”

Here’s the whole story.


The original poster (OP) and Tom have been best friends since college. They both are in their 20s and are in committed relationships with long-term partners. “I have never had feelings for Tom, nor has he ever had feelings for me,” says OP.


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Since college, Tom has been a huge watch fanatic. Two months ago, he was showing OP this stunning vintage watch and made an off-handed comment about how he would die of joy if he somehow got his hands on one.

Very coincidentally, OP was in NYC a few weeks ago and stumbled upon this watch store that just happened to have the exact one Tom wanted. “It was expensive, I won’t lie, at about $2,500, but I decided to get it for his 25th birthday (to me, it was basically fate, lol). My boyfriend and I do very well financially, so this was something that I could personally afford and wanted to buy for Tom, especially knowing how happy it’d make him,” explains OP.


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Tom has a tradition of hosting a dinner party at his place for his birthday and then following that up with cake and gift opening. The OP told him before the dinner that his gift was a huge surprise and asked if he could save it for last, and he agreed.
His girlfriend ends up going first, and she gets him this gorgeous sweater she crocheted for him and a book that he’s been wanting, which OP thought was super thoughtful and lovely.

“Last, it was my gift. When he opened it and saw what it was, he literally screamed, hopped over a bunch of people, and squeezed me in this huge bear hug. I was SO happy to see him happy; it genuinely filled me with so much joy. He even got emotional, and I saw him swipe a few tears. He also said it was the best gift he’d ever received,” informs OP.

The whole time, his girlfriend was only slightly smiling and stayed quiet.


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The following day, OP got a text from his girlfriend saying that although she appreciated his thoughtful gift, she thought it was a bit out of touch and lacking awareness. She admitted that Tom had also told her about the watch, and she wanted to get it for him, but it was way out of her budget. “She accused me of knowing this (I had NO idea) and still getting it to rub it in her face and to “outshine” her. She finished by saying how she felt like I had overstepped a boundary by getting the gift and would appreciate me not doing anything similar to it again in the future,” says the OP.


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The OP responded and told her that while she could see her POV, she was trying to do a nice thing for a close friend. OP asked her, “Wouldn’t you rather he got the gift and seen the happiness that it brought him than him not getting it at all?” She responded that happiness was “only shared between her and Tom” and no one else and that she felt hurt by my actions.

“Only my boyfriend knows about this and is on my side. But thinking through it all again, I see how I could’ve overstepped, but my boyfriend says it’s not my job to apologize for her insecurities. So am I wrong here,” asks the OP?

Here’s how the readers responded.


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“You are not wrong. You weren’t thinking of how to hurt her; you just wanted a nice gift for your friend. Your BF is right; you don’t need to apologize for her insecurities.”


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“I can empathize with how the girlfriend must have felt, but she was out of line to reach out to OP for what was just a kind gesture.
It’s also what’s in the best interest of her BF. She should be happy that he could get something he wanted rather than envious she couldn’t provide it. That’s real love.”


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“I’d say NAH. Both POVs are valid. She was right to make the gift, and the GF had valid reasons to be upset (not being in the position financially to make a similar gift, feeling outshined).

Next time you find something special and expensive, team up with the GF and make a shared gift. That’s the way to become a bridesmaid instead of being barred from the wedding.”


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“She also asked her friend to save opening her gift till the end because it was special.
Methinks that she did want to outshine the girlfriend and everyone else.”


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It sounds like OP wanted a big show. OP knowing that OP is rich and the gift is a big deal, should have made an effort to downplay it. OP should have told gf to go last and made a huge deal about the homemade gift.

Better yet, OP should have coordinated with the gf. Only a major idiot would get a birthday gift over $2k and make a big show of it in front of someone whose best effort is a homemade sweater. I disagree with people here. OP wants to flaunt her wealth.”


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“What OP did was so weird. TBH, I would be uncomfortable if anyone gave my husband a gift with that price tag. It’s just not appropriate. And we could afford the watch ourselves!”

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Anika is a CPA and founder of What Anika Says. She shares simple and actionable frugal living, money management and money-saving tips to live a debt-free financially independent life. She has been featured on popular websites like Bankrate, Forbes, Mint ,and Authority Magazine. Byline: MSN