Does Not Accepting A Well-Meaning Gift Make You A Jerk?

I think the world has come a long way in the past several years when it comes to critically evaluating the health of romantic relationships. We still have a long way to go, and it remains so much easier to see issues from the outside than in, but giving people who treat their partners badly a break is something I’m happy to see die.

This woman must have already had an iffy feeling about the person she’d been seeing, because when he started to heat up faster than she did, she’d asked him to take a few steps back.

So, I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month.

It seemed like he was taking things really fast, so I asked him to scale back.

He respected my boundaries and things were going really ok.

When he called her up and said he had a surprise planned, she was there for it – until she found out the “surprise” was a trip to the optometrist so she could get new glasses.

Except she couldn’t afford them, and instead of offering to pay, the guy offered to pay…and then she could pay him back in installments.

Today he had a “surprise” planned for me.

So I said okay, that’s cool. Surprises are nice.

For some insight on the situation, I lost my glasses and have been without them for a while.

My surprise ended up being an appointment at the optometrist.

I told him I don’t have the money for it, but he said he’d pay for it and would collect payments from me every paycheck.

She said that wasn’t something she wanted to do and insisted they leave without seeing the doctor.

He apologized, but only sort of, and was clearly put out that she didn’t want to accept his “gift.”

I told him that it isn’t something I’m really looking into doing right now and that I wanted to leave. He kinda fought me on it, but we finally left. I said something like “I hope I don’t seem like a dick for declining, I know you just wanted to help but I can do this on my own.”

He seemed really upset about it and gave a half assed apology that included something like “I can’t believe I’m apologizing for trying to help.”

OP got angry at his reaction, feeling manipulated and like the entire “surprise” was really just an elaborate excuse to get control of her in some way.

The more she thought about it, though, she just wasn’t sure, and so she’s coming to Reddit for clarification.

This is when I got really angry. He explained that the reason it was a surprise was that he knew I’d decline and if we were already there, I wouldn’t want to back out as much. I found that to be really manipulative and I told him that.

The thing that upset me was that I was trying to be objective and understand that he believed what he was doing for me was kind. But it felt a lot like he was trying to take advantage of my understanding and make me feel bad for saying I didn’t want the appointment.

But maybe I really did hurt him unintentionally…


Of course, Reddit is going to come through – scroll down for the top comments!

The first reply points out that help cannot be forced on another person, otherwise it’s something else.

Image Credit: Reddit

Trying to turn a gift into an obligation is a huge red flag for most.

Image Credit: Reddit

It really doesn’t seem like he took the “slow it down” request seriously at all.

Image Credit: Reddit

He clearly doesn’t know her very well, but also, he doesn’t seem to want to know her very well.

Image Credit: Reddit

Many replies thought there was a definite creep factor.

Image Credit: Reddit

OP provided this update, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

UPDATE: I broke it off. The guy still refuses to see where he went wrong. I told him what he’s doing is textbook manipulation and of course you can’t convince a narcissist that they are being narcissistic, so it is DONE.

Thank you everyone for your insight, I really appreciate all of the supportive words and advice. It has been very helpful.

It makes me happy to know there are people out there who know themselves well enough and listen to their own inner voices when things seem wrong or out of place.

Would this have seemed like a red flag to you? Tell us why or why not in the comments!