My Wealthy Boyfriend Does Not Buy Me Gifts. Should I Be Hurt?

disappointed woman

My question is that I have been seeing a guy long distance for 7 months. He seems to be really crazy about me, visits every couple of weeks and we talk on the phone nearly every day. He is going through a very public “yucky” divorce and is quite wealthy. However, he is VERY cheap with me and pretty self-absorbed. He does pay for all of our dates, but he didn’t get me a Hanukah gift (or any other gifts!). We are both Jewish and Hanukah is a big deal…and I got him very nice gifts. I know I have high expectations regarding men and this kind of issue…but I’m having a very hard time with this man who in so many ways I’m so happy with. He does so many self-indulgent things for himself (including a spa on his own for a week that cost $6,000, gets regular massages, drives an expensive car, has elaborate parties for his daughters’ birthdays, etc.) and while I’m appreciative that he comes to visit me (which involves a 1hr flight) and we go on lovely dates, I’m really hurt….what should I do? Thank you…I LOVE reading your advice.


I love your question, precisely because it defies any obvious answer.

You’ve already acknowledged that you have “high expectations regarding men and money.” This is useful and somewhat self-aware. However, your admission calls into question your ability to be objective. How can I know if your boyfriend IS very cheap or if you merely PERCEIVE him as very cheap because you’ve raised the bar so impossibly high that any man is doomed to fail you?

How he feels about you is reflected in how often he calls you, how often he sees you, whether he’s willing to commit to you, whether he accepts you as you are without trying to change you… THAT’s love.

I can’t answer that question for you. But if you have a perpetual issue with how much men are spending on you, it would probably seem to me that this is more about you than it is about them.

This doesn’t render your boyfriend blameless. The only reason I’m focusing on you is because you are the one who wrote me the email and you are the only one who can change your own behavior.

So let’s take a second to do a few things to reframe this discussion:

  1. You equate how much he spends on you with how much he loves you. This is a fallacy — and a self-imposed one at that. Once again, I’m not defending him if he is, in fact, cheap. What I’m saying is that how he feels about you is reflected in how often he calls you, how often he sees you, whether he’s willing to commit to you, whether he accepts you as you are without trying to change you… THAT’s love. Not expensive Hanukah gifts.
  2. You wrote that Hanukah is a big deal. Are you speaking for yourself or are you speaking for him? In my Jewish household, Hanukah is not a big deal at all. It’s always a big relationship mistake to assume that what’s important to you is equally important to him (and vice versa). Since this was your first Hanukah together, perhaps you can have an even-tempered discussion at some point next year where you talk about how this is your favorite holiday and you tend to go over the top with gifts. He will either take the hint and follow your lead, or he will tell you that he’s not a really big “gifts” guy and that you shouldn’t go overboard buying things for him or expect him to do the same for you.
  3. You’re conveniently avoiding the ways in which he IS generous to focus on the ways he’s not. He flies to visit you every few weeks and he picks up all of the costs. That seems pretty generous to me. Factor in that you’re his seven-month long-distance girlfriend, not his wife, AND he’s going through an expensive divorce, and, well, what entitles you to decide how he spends his hard-earned money?

If you don’t like the way your boyfriend spends his money, find a new boyfriend.

I don’t know if you got him a $1000 set of golf clubs and if he got you a hand-vacuum from Bed, Bath and Beyond, but unless that’s the case, I would refrain from making a big stink about how much money he spent on your gifts. I’m not saying that you have to be with a “VERY cheap” guy, but if you want a snowball’s chance in hell at being his wife, you’re not gonna get there by complaining about his Hanukah gifts. In fact, since he’s going through a divorce, I’d think the LAST thing he’d want is someone who might be perceived as an entitled gold digger and that any “cheap” jabs will quickly trigger his break-up reflex.

Long story short: if you don’t like the way your boyfriend spends his money, find a new boyfriend. Don’t complain that he’s not giving you enough. THIS is how he chooses to give.

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  1. 21

    I, too, have a history of dating men who are very successful including celebrities. I agree with Evan. You will come across as a gold digger if you are upset over not getting expensive gifts. Men who are highly successful know when they are getting used for fancy gifts and they will treat you accordingly. I have been proposed to many times and I never, never asked for gifts. I always turned down their gifts early into the relationship and tild them to forget the jewlery and give me flowers and a love letter once a week. Trust me . ..these guys are used to girls wanting to be spoiled with gifts so when you refuse their gifts but want to spend time w them you really stand out.

    1. 21.1

      Warning– book:

      I hate that the first thing people say is gold digger because a woman doesn’t want to feel undervalued. People throw that word around to slut shame. To make a woman feel like she is greedy if she expects regular courtship.

      A true gold digger will stick around long enough to be told no once or twice, then they will find a more generous target. If you were a gold digger it wouldn’t be this question 7 months in, you’d be focusing on the other daddy that you had wrapped around your fingers 6 1/2 months ago, and you would just be using this guy for free meals and entertainment, hence no need for this question. Also gold diggers do not GIVE gifts… they use their looks, body parts and sex, as repayment/gifts. You are allowed to have standards.

      Are you both clear on where you want the relationship to head? Perhaps if his yucky divorce is causing him concern about being generous with the next one, then he should not be dating yet or at least be clear with you what he is really looking for. I would wager this has something to do with the fact that he is   still married and has found someone to believe his ‘going through a divorce’ story.

      But you know your relationship better than we do. You say you are happy with him, then it would be foolish to end it if this is your only concern but ask yourself why you are happy with him? Are you happy because he brings out the best in you and you feel a mutual respect/love or because he seems crazy about you and flatters you? If the latter, then consider that people can do all of that without true sincerity.

      Other than those nice gifts you got him, what are you bringing to the table? Is it that you feel that you are supportive of him and he is not? or do you feel that he simply should? If it is the former and you are actively participating in your relationship, then it is not unreasonable to desire a gift on special occasions.

      A man who truly wants to win a woman (and one who has lived on planet Earth) knows that women are beautiful creatures who often have more than one suitor pursuing them. Most men are competitors by nature and when they want you, they don’t want to share you or let you slip through their fingers. (Blanket statement–which is why I said MOST.) MOST guys know that he has to make himself look the most appealing and that it doesn’t stop after you get her— (same with women). Because how can you expect exclusivity from your partner if you can’t meet their needs?

      If a man does not want to ‘invest’ his money into you, knowing full well that the competition is more than willing to do so, then he does not care if he loses you. The same thing can be said if he doesn’t invest quality time with you.

      He will have some silly reason like ‘if she really loves me it won’t be an issue‘ or ‘if she’s only here for the gifts, then good riddance‘, but that is an excuse to stay selfish. She can be the most faithful woman but she can still feel undervalued, especially if the issue has already been addressed.

      The same thing goes if a woman gains 50 pounds then expects the man to stay out of love (some will, but don’t you want your man getting excited when he sees you?). Medical issues aside, it’s an excuse…

      People are not obligated to love you unconditionally. That is a privilege. Unconditional love is reserved for those making reciprocal effort. Sometimes conditions= standards. Never love someone unconditionally who treats you less than how you need to be treated, that is called obsession.

      Relationships are upkeep and you have to work to keep the person interested in you, that includes wooing them, staying attractive per circumstance, and being the like-able person you were when they met you, all while growing and contributing to keep it advancing forward.

      If a guy never started in the first place, he never took you seriously from the get-go. Sure he liked you, felt joy around you, and knew what benefits he could get from being with you but you were never the person that he just couldn’t live without because when you are, you will KNOW it.. .and please never abuse that.

      I disagree about what others say he is ‘giving you’. He put in just enough to make sure he got what he wanted. You didn’t say ‘he paid for my ankle surgery’ or ‘he skipped a workday to help me out with something’. Has he ever even flown you out to see him? That would require more risk because what if you decided you didn’t want to spend the time with him and went off to have fun in his city? At least his ticket is for HIM, so if anyone’s getting a ‘getaway’ it’s him.

      Talking on the phone & paying for dates= companionship; flying to see you= intimacy. What has he done for you (gifts or otherwise) where he gets NOTHING in return, only the reward of seeing you smile? Men like that DO exist.

      If it is a real problem/deal breaker, you need to address it and see where it goes. Obviously  you know it isn’t working for you because you’re online asking about it.  If this was one of those things you could overlook, then you would have,  so how long are you going to be in a relationship that doesn’t work for you?

      You deserve to have your needs met .. when you settle for something that you can’t deal with, you only end up with resentment.



    2. 21.2

      Or you get used, Bridget. I did the same thing with my ex (not so wealthy but good income) and he got used to not buying me anything. I made it easy on him but instead of feeling appreciative that I wasn’t ‘like the rest’, he started to believe that I thought I wasn’t worth it.

      I’ve always been focused on the guy and not his money and most have been fine but it really all depends on the person you’re dealing with.

      Some men are just givers and others feel entitled to take.

      I personally believe that if you are committed to a partner and you are showing them love, support, attention, affection, etc.. naturally, it really isn’t going to hurt them to put a little thought into a gift, regardless of what else they are doing for you, because lets face it you are probably doing a whole lot more that you don’t get credit for anyway.

      None of this is obligatory but it’s just decent.  I can  relate to her feeling of  ‘neglect’ because of  my experience with a true user.

      My ex was a user.. and similar, only much more stingy and it made me feel undervalued. I am far from a gold digger, I actually ran through my savings helping to pay half of the bills when I lost my job (even though he earned enough to pay them all until I found another job), then years later supported us completely while he was out of work for 7 months because his savings were reserved for something else, all while doing 100% of the housework and other legwork because I loved him, yet he would give me complete crap about spending chump change in our joint account but spent on himself like a king. (Yes, our relationship was severely unbalanced).

      My friends called me desperate and stupid, but I did it because I’m a giver and I truly loved him and when you do, you naturally want them to have less stress… but I deserve the same in return.


      After 6 years of ‘courtship’, I finally came to the conclusion that he wasn’t that into me and split up (other issue). He felt the same. Until 3 months of no contact, when he started showering my doorstep with apology gifts. It wasn’t until he lost me that he realized my value.

      I moved on and do well for myself financially but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate my wonderful, caring fiance who does what he can to take care of my needs. I already know from experience that if it hits the fan, I will stand strong and support him. It feels good to know that he will do the same. I don’t even have to bend over backwards for this love.

      When a person wants you to be happy, they will be selfless. Maybe not all of the time but usually… and most importantly your concerns will not go unresolved…. because they actually WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY.


  2. 22

    Essentially, its about resource transfer.   You feel entitled to the resources he worked hard to accumulate.   What gifts do you provide for him?   Why does being female entitle you to gifts? Aren’t women equal?

    1. 22.1

      Yes, but some are more equal than others. 😉

    2. 22.2

      the romantic ideal is that the woman is young and pretty, while the man is rich and generous.   She thinks she is providing her part of the deal, while in this case, he is providing only 50% of his :-).
      Gifts have historically been a very important part of the dating process, they demonstrate to the woman (and society at large) that the man is able and willing to provide for her, and thus he is worthy of her undivided attention. It is not about equality, but about romance.    

      1. 22.2.1

        THat is totally about equality.   You can’t have your cake and eat it too.   If its a partnership you have more obligations than look pretty and  blow him.

        1. Christina

          Equality is that they exchange gifts. If she is giving him gifts and he isn’t, he is  missing  out on  his part of being romantic with her.

        2. Thoros

          @ Christina: sorry, but that is total nonsense based on the completely false assumption that her gifts to her actually provided him any value. They didn’t. He never asked for them and never wanted them and certainly never expected them.

          It’s completely disingenuous to first give completely unwanted gifts to someone and then ask gifts in return (especially if, like in this case, she would expect his side of the gifting to be so much higher when her side doesn’t even match what he pays for the dinners).

          Your (and her) attitude reminds me of a weird religious evangelist guy in a central downtown shopping street who would first “give” out totally unwanted books to people “for free” and then try to pressure them (with an entitled expectation attitude) into “donating” in return and expressing first disappointment and then shaming attempts (because they wouldn’t give in return for the “gift”) then insults when they didn’t want to play along but gave him back his book and rightly remarked on how this false “gift” sham is not a way to treat people.

    3. 22.3

      Exactly. Couldn’t agree more.

      I am not rich, but I do have a good job. And when women start talking about my money early in the relationship, my first thought is, OK, so our relationship is over. You think I’m a sugar daddy and you are presenting yourself as a sex object to be used in any way I feel fit for money or gifts. Essentially your proposal is to provide sex on my schedule and my terms in exchange for gifts and money. I’m not looking for that kind of relationship, so out the door she goes.

      There is nothing wrong with gifts for Christmas and her birthday, but I’m not going to blow my paycheck on some gift for some girl. The gift is going to be appropriate and on the same level as the gift she gives me.

      I see NO reason to share 50% of my hard earned resources to

  3. 23

    Err, Blogster and Joe, who wants to be in a relationship where you aren’t ever given anything? Sometimes that means emotional giving and sometimes that means the giving of monetary items.   Are you seriously telling me you don’t see anything wrong in a relationship where someone who can afford certain things wouldn’t be somewhat giving to his or her romantic partner? Come on guys..seriously?  

  4. 24

    This was the first post that popped up, but I can’t not comment. You have a guy who is probably stressed to the limits due to divorce. Yet he still invests plenty of time as described by you (daily phone calls, dates.) He’s flying in (flights and accommodations  are not  free) to take you on dates, which he also  pays for. You’re comparing his level of spending on himself and his family to what he spends on you. My take? You are equating money with love. Either that, or you’re looking for a Daddy  whose title starts with Sugar.

  5. 25
    Linda Kaye

    Your boyfriend is not ready to make a commitment. He needs time for himself, and he is needing to be selfish at this time for himself.   I would not let the amount of money he spends on you or not spends on you affect your relationship. When he is ready, he will commit.

  6. 26
    li su

    i think you should start buying him lil gifts then he will starts to buy you gift.

  7. 27

    Muffy, sometimes someone’s refusal to spend money on you, is infact an indication that they do not love you. Especially in our society where men are both biologically and socially programmed to share their resources with prospective mates.  

    1. 27.1

      I can appreciate that position. But he’s flying in and paying for dates. That doesn’t count? And sharing resources with prospective partners? Hmm. From now on I’m keeping a written list of financial expectations and request the guys dossier by the second date in the interest of saving time by weeding out men who don’t have enough financial resources to keep me swimming in trinkets. because I’m certainly entitled to at least half of everything that guy worked his entire life to build…what was I thinking…

  8. 28

    I believe it is an issue if he doesn’t buy her any gifts for any occasion. I think a boyfriend buys you some kind of gift for the holidays or birthday. If not I think you’re a conscience. Believe me guys can be very enthusiastic about their convience but I think if really into you as in exclusive you get a gift. And yes it would be telling if they splurged all the time on themselves but not me. She doesn’t sound nit picky to me sounds normal.

  9. 29

    If a man doesn’t buy you gifts then he just is not into you and it is definitely not love…yet. Love sometimes takes time to grow. Even animals give gifts when courting..i mean come on…just take a look at the birds….of course the man will be generous with his time during the honeymoon period, but that could just be a physical thing. Gift giving shows caring on another level..thinking about what he can give you to put a smile on your face.

  10. 30
    Skid Row

    Real men don’t buy girls.

    1. 30.1

      Purchasing gifts  FOR someone isn’t purchasing THEM. Learn the difference.

  11. 31

    i want to know why men dont know enough to buy us gifts even after we havebeen married well over a decade!   even if we   tell them other wise, buy us a gift!

  12. 32

    Well, we are opposite. Time is the most precious gift a person can give to another person, in which case I appreciate more if a guy remembers me and gives me his precious time. I don’t think much about expensive gifts because I am working and I can buy what i want for myself…You are lucky if he gives you attention because that means he is giving away something that he cant have back and that’s HIS TIME sweetheart…He has his own reasons and if you love him you will accept him for who he is…love is more than any money can buy…be thankful for what he can give you and if you think you aren’t satisfied or happy, then maybe your happiness isn’t with him..just saying 🙂

  13. 33
    Everte Farnell

    How ’bout not dating married guys and laying all your unreasonable expectations on them. “He spends more on his daughter than me…boo hoo”

    Your fault, move on toots

  14. 34

    I don’t agree with Evan’s reply here at all. That’s all nice and cute, that he takes his time and flies to his girlfriend, but despite the fact he’s married to her or not, any man who loves, especially the wealthy one, would invest money in his long-term girlfriend. I know men will rebel right now and say they don’t have to do anything, but in fact, ladies, more man spends on your gifts and attempts to make you happy, more he VALUES the relationship with you, more hard it will be for him to let go off you in future. Some men are just dumb enough to pretend they don’t understand you want to get something nice and valuable from your boyfriend as a reminder of him being generous and loving to you, but, trust me, he will play dumb untill you face him and say it straightforward. In this case, you have to be prepared to leave him without second thought, cause he might answer that you, honey, want too much and he doesn’t want to please you out of his pocket, but there’s also a big chance he’ll do anything to improve the situation and make it up to you. I have to tell, though, after 7 months it’s a little bit too late to have this conversation, you really should train a man to do certain things in the beginning or he’ll get rebellious otherwise, but you can still try. I had a 2 year relationship with a pretty cheap guy, who was going above and beyond with presents and nice little things for me, even though he wasn’t rich at all. In fact, he lived with a roommate and loved his dog only, until I appeared in his life and showed him why it’s wrong. However, if you expect to have nice gifts, you have to have something to bring to the plate too, weather it’s outstanding personality mixed with beauty, great cooking skills or just being compassionate and fun to be around. Don’t listen to anything all these men say and reply on my comment, because women, deep inside, know it’s the truth. They want us to think otherwise to make their life easier, but no, humble chicks were always the easiest ones to get over with.


  15. 35

    Okay you are clearly a gold digger. He is going through a divorce and honestly should work through that before getting involved with another woman. And you yourself shouldn’t want to be with a man in such a place. Have some respect for yourself–you sound like an unpaid prostitute. I’m sorry, but everyone here is missing the glaringly obvious: YOU ARE DATING HIM FOR HIS MONEY!!!!   So you deserve nothing. His money should go to himself and his children.   

    1. 35.1

      A persons money should go to themselves and their children. I agree… But it all depends on the nature of the relationship between the man and woman. If this man has EXPECTATION of getting his needs met by her( emotionally and physically) AND he expects exclusivity, then she has every right to expect GENEROSITY to be reciprocated. The problem arises when two people have different measures of defining the showing of Love and Giving. Is it wrong if MY idea of my boyfriend being giving is I get a nice gift of something that would make me happy, and likewise it is not   wrong if my boyfriends idea of being giving is my show of affection and passion after a long day when I’d rather sleep. Why does one have to give but be criticized for wanting generosity just in another FORM?? Sorry Jay, but men like you want your own pleasurement met while criticizing women for wanting to have pleasure too. Shame on you.

  16. 36

    Yvonne, just face the truth, this man is using your body for entertainment! He lives far and comes to see you to other city so that no one will find out he is cheating on his wife. Are you sure he is getting divorced? How can you find it out(these are only his words, you can`t know for sure).I do agree with Sylvia that men value and get attached to a lady much more when they  provide for her (that makes thwm feel like a REAL man)

    Why, if he loves you that much, doesn`t take you to live with him to his city? He could rent a small apartment for both of you to be always together? Because it is convenient for him not to take any responsibility for this relationship!!! Wish your luck.


    Just talk very openly with him, but be ready to break up with him. It`s not about the presents. It`s about you dating someone else`s husband who traets you as a booty call.

  17. 37

    Cheap is the worst quality in a man. Trust me.   They never change only get worst. Every year   about a month before my birthday he starts moaning how broke he is. So I get a card. Or he pretends to forget and rather spend money instead   have me disappointed and pissed off. Once he gave me his x wifes good plated ankle braclets she left there when they split up.   What he pays in taxes I could live on for 2 years. He reuses sandwich bags.


    1. 37.1

      The cheap man who doesn’t want to give you anything still expects sex whenever he wants, huh???   Selfish people are rampant. Manipulative people are even more prevalent. A manipulative person( man OR woman) will convince you that what they expect from you, you OWE them and should not be a big deal.. And by expecting anything from them they will throw a childlike fit. Close your legs, Girl.

      1. 37.1.1

        Isn’t sex something that women enjoy as well? And there is nothing that indicates that he “threw a childlike fit”. Your very proposition implies that she’s an unpaid prostitute. There is nothing wrong with her feeling loved through gifts but it’s not his duty to provide her with expensive gifts considering he earned iti, he has children to care for and he is going through a hard period. Regardless of gender entitlement is not attractive. There’s no difference between a man who think his date owes him sex because he footed the bill and a woman who thinks her beau owes her expensive gifts because they had sex.

  18. 38

    She is fussy a lot of men don’t pay for all the dates!

  19. 39

    There is an aspect to all this no one talks about but women everywhere know it’s true. Men don’t want to be used for their money, right??? They should not have to give so much so soon, to someone who wants fiscal attention. Well, the flip side of that coin is women don’t want to be used for their Body!! Why is it ok for a man to show up beginning day one…. Wanting and expecting constant sex, attention and time from me… But I’m wrong for wanting attention on another level from him? Women don’t want to be used for SEX anymore than MEN want to be used for money. I understand you not wanting to be a Sugar giving lavishly to someone you aren’t married to….. Likewise don’t expect me to be your WHORE and have sex whenever you want since I’m not   a wife. NO ONE wants to be used or in an imbalanced relationship. If a relationship with time invested, ( not early on) has a wealthy man watching you struggle while expecting to have the energy or desire to jump on top of him every time you are alone than he is a USER. Remember … If a mans only desire is meet your SEXUAL needs and not any others, than dump him. I guarentee if all you did was talk to him for companionship but stand their looking HOT in a bikini but not be intimate. Hardly ever, he would be frustrated too. Again, NO one wants to be used. Having a language of love for nice things does not make one a gold digger anymore than sex beings language of love and being branded a nymphomaniac!! Follow your heart, and find someone who pleases you, instead of hoping he will change. Good luck

    1. 39.1

      Spot on, Tracey.

  20. 40

    My husband does not like to spend a lot of money on gifts generally. I love gifts and tend to equate them with how much he loves me. We have found a happy medium. I don’t spend like crazy on him and if I want something specific, I will tell him ahead of time I would like this purse, etc. he is just not a big gift guy. He prefers hugs and compliments!

    that being said, when a man is courting a woman, he needs to bring it. It is appropriate for him to pony up and spend some money on a nice gift once in a while. Even my cheap minded husband did that for me initially. I did the same for him too. I would not settle for a man who refuses to buy you a nice gift. He is either clueless or stingy of heart.

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