We’ve only been dating for a few months and my new romance is constantly showering me with expensive gifts and travel. How can I send him the message that I love the attention, but am beginning to feel uncomfortable with the extravagance?
Congratulations on your new relationship, I’m excited to hear that your man is giving you so much attention.
Let me start by expressing some sincere empathy – in the abstract if you ask any woman if she could ever receive too many gifts, you would expect to hear “Never!” But, I suspect this has m
ore to do with you trying to understand what expectations he might have following his generosity, and how this display of opulence might tie into other values he might have about money. Money and a couple’s relationship with it can reinforce the core values they share, or be terribly divisive.
First, I would encourage you not to imagine the worst. The gifts could be pure generosity, nothing more nothing less. He may be oblivious to the cost and just seeking more opportunities for the two of you to have fun together. He probably just enjoys giving you gifts.
At Kelleher International we constantly advise our clients to be open and to engage issues head on with their partner. We also urge them to be sure to focus the discussion on how they feel, not the act that is making them uncomfortable. There is nothing inherently wrong with the generosity of your new man, so he shouldn’t be criticized for paying you too much attention. But his efforts are not creating the feelings and connection that he is probably hoping for, and you have a responsibility (and shared interest) in helping him out.
The next step is for you to be able to suggest some alternatives that might keep you comfortable, but acknowledge his desire to pay attention to you. You want to be careful not to take the fun out of his giving. These ideas could range from “one jewelry piece per month” to expressing a preference for “fancy restaurants” as opposed to “luxury weekend getaways”.
Finally, it’s time to have a healthy conversation with your new romance.
Here’s an outline:
1. I love all of the attention you pay me and it makes me feel _____
2. Sometimes when you do [explain expensive gift giving], it makes me feel ___
3. I want to feel adored and appreciated by you.
4. How can we both change a little bit so that I am more comfortable but we’re not stifling your wonderful generosity?
5. Let the conversation flow, keeping the focus on your feelings, not the act.
Lastly, before you have this chat, be sure you are actually ready for the results!