Author Topic: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?  (Read 7894 times)

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Drawberry

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2012, 07:30:31 PM »
Regulating how gift giving is done, or what gifts are bought, is not the point of a gift.

I keep feeling like I have to say this over and over again. A gift is not a way for you to 'get out of' paying for something yourself. It's not the same thing as asking Mom or Dad to buy you a game for your Birthday when your a child. A gift is a courtesy that someone chooses to give to someone close to them or under any circumstances the gift giver deems appropriate.

We do not get to dictate how , why or what is given and to whom.

If you do not want to follow someone else's rules, then do not. It is your money and you have every right to do with it as you please.

CakeEater

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2012, 07:17:24 AM »
Regulating how gift giving is done, or what gifts are bought, is not the point of a gift.

I keep feeling like I have to say this over and over again. A gift is not a way for you to 'get out of' paying for something yourself. It's not the same thing as asking Mom or Dad to buy you a game for your Birthday when your a child. A gift is a courtesy that someone chooses to give to someone close to them or under any circumstances the gift giver deems appropriate.

We do not get to dictate how , why or what is given and to whom.

If you do not want to follow someone else's rules, then do not. It is your money and you have every right to do with it as you please.

Sure, but most people are giving gifts, especially at Christmas, to loved ones. And as a general rule, we don't want to cause hurt feelings, or resentment. It's a relationship issue, rather than a purely etiquette one.

I'd really prefer no-one gave me a gift, ever, and I quite dislike buying for other people, but I join in with the gift exchange because it means something to my loved ones. And while I have a right not to buy a gift for my mother-in-law, it's not going to happen.

I did manage to convince my parents not to do presents for DH and me this year, and we agreed the same with my brother a few years ago (his idea, not mine), so I'm slowly getting there!

Lynn2000

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2012, 09:26:17 PM »
I give to several friends who have a significant other, but I give only to the person who's my friend, and don't even think about the partner. Likewise, I receive a gift from, say, my friend Tina, with no mention of her husband Tim being involved in it.

I feel like it's not so much a rule as the pattern set by mutual, if perhaps unstated, agreement (a sticky subject sometimes, to be sure). Kind of like if I get Tina a large, pricy piece of home decor, and she gets me a set of mini office novelties (clearly smaller and less expensive), I figure she wants to reduce the amount we spend on each other and I step my gift down the next year. She's never given me anything "from Tina and Tim," so I feel no obligation to find a gift for Tim as well. Besides which I know Tim far less well than I do Tina.

One interesting scenario involves my friend Amy. I've actually been friends with her husband Adam for longer than I've known Amy and at one point, years ago, Adam and I were pretty good friends. But, we were not gift-giving friends--he's not really a gifty person, if you know what I mean. Now Amy and I are much better friends than Adam and I. Amy gives me a gift from just her. I give a gift just for Amy, and I also give a gift to their young child. So I'm actually giving gifts to two-thirds of the household, but not the final third. Even though I've known Adam the longest.  :P But I think this is what everyone feels comfortable with, and to me that's more important than trying to enforce abstract "rules."
~Lynn2000

lmyrs

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2012, 05:22:27 PM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Sharnita

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2012, 05:31:07 PM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, that would make sense to me.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2012, 05:54:43 PM »
My experience has been that single people get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts.  I’m sure I’ve spent three times as much on couples and their children as they’ve spent on me, and most of them are two income families.

One Christmas I gave a married couple a very nice gift for their house.  The husband threw a fit: “Ever since I got married, people think they can buy one gift for both of us.  No one ever gets a present just for me anymore”.  In the 10 years I’d been friends with the couple, the guy had never once bought a present for someone on his own.

I do not dwell on the inequality.  It’s just the way things are. Gifts should be tokens of affection, not reason for resentment. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Raintree

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2012, 06:02:59 PM »
One Christmas I gave a married couple a very nice gift for their house.  The husband threw a fit: “Ever since I got married, people think they can buy one gift for both of us.  No one ever gets a present just for me anymore”.  In the 10 years I’d been friends with the couple, the guy had never once bought a present for someone on his own.

What, how old is he, four? Wow!! People "can buy" whatever number of gifts they want!! My opinion of him would have gone WAY down after that and I probably would have just bought a gift for the wife from then on. (What did he get you, other than sign his name to his wife's single gift to you?)

What I do in my family (I'm single, my sister is married, neither of us have kids): she gives me something and signs both their names on it. I either get something they both would like for the house, and address it to both of them, or I give her the "main" present and get him some secondary token thing. Nobody seems to have a problem with that. It's not as though I've ever received anything personally from him; it's definitely my sister who picks out the present for me, wraps it, and pays for it.

Drawberry

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2012, 08:12:43 PM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, that would make sense to me.

I personally see the issue as financial and personal.  If boyfriend and I have the finances to buy individual gifts or are struggling to pool enough money for one then we do what we can afford. I don't expect anything in return for any gift giving. I appreciate being included in gifts sent Boyfriends way and equally so for unique individual ones given to me.

If I was receiving individual gifts and did not have the money to give an individual gift back I do feel bad, but if all Boyfriend and I can afford is a joint gift it's simply all we can do. I cannot pull money out of thin air to gift equally back. I simply can't.

It isn't that I see us as being one unit to GIVE and two to RECEIVE.It's that we do what our finances allow us to do and hold absolutely no expectations of others.


snowdragon

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2012, 01:37:20 AM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, that would make sense to me.

I personally see the issue as financial and personal.  If boyfriend and I have the finances to buy individual gifts or are struggling to pool enough money for one then we do what we can afford. I don't expect anything in return for any gift giving. I appreciate being included in gifts sent Boyfriends way and equally so for unique individual ones given to me.

If I was receiving individual gifts and did not have the money to give an individual gift back I do feel bad, but if all Boyfriend and I can afford is a joint gift it's simply all we can do. I cannot pull money out of thin air to gift equally back. I simply can't.

It isn't that I see us as being one unit to GIVE and two to RECEIVE.It's that we do what our finances allow us to do and hold absolutely no expectations of others.

Yes, seriously.  And this has been going on for better than 30  years.   It's not a matter of money for the couple, It's a matter of laziness and not caring about what they give most of the family.  They will spend $100's on one brother with whom they have a "crazy gift" contest - they both literally spend about $400-$500 a piece on the  silliest things they find all year, and then begrudge the time and money to get a single gift for the others in the family.  The extent of their "Christmas shopping" for the singles is to go to the supermarket and pick up gift cards off the display.  The message is clear in this instance...singles matter less than the couples and need to shut up about it.

Fleur

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2012, 05:14:11 AM »


For me, it really depends on the individual circumstance. I have several female friends whom I would gift without gifting their partners. However, in the case where it is the male of the couple whom I know better, I would not exclude his female partner as I feel that would be inappropriate.

Raintree

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2012, 03:00:02 PM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, that would make sense to me.

I personally see the issue as financial and personal.  If boyfriend and I have the finances to buy individual gifts or are struggling to pool enough money for one then we do what we can afford. I don't expect anything in return for any gift giving. I appreciate being included in gifts sent Boyfriends way and equally so for unique individual ones given to me.

If I was receiving individual gifts and did not have the money to give an individual gift back I do feel bad, but if all Boyfriend and I can afford is a joint gift it's simply all we can do. I cannot pull money out of thin air to gift equally back. I simply can't.

It isn't that I see us as being one unit to GIVE and two to RECEIVE.It's that we do what our finances allow us to do and hold absolutely no expectations of others.

@ Drawberry, that's fine in my opinion, because nothing's "expected" in your case. I don't see why anyone should go without groceries or get behind on their bills in order to match other people's gift-giving.  But some other posters have indicated that there are couples in their family who feel that each member of a couple "deserves" their own gift. One poster even mentioned the male half of a couple, after receiving a couple gift, grousing that nobody ever gives him his own gift. Yet he doesn't give his own gift.

It's all a matter of whether entitlement attitudes are present. Nobody expects me to give BIL a separate gift, though I often do if the event is hosted at sis and BIL's house. It's a smaller one than I would give my sister. Or if it's something for the house, I address it to both of them since they will both be using it. He doesn't get me anything. My sister's gift is from both of them. I'm fine with that. I'm not counting up value and comparing. I just give what I feel I can afford and want to spend on each family member.

Now, if BIL *expected* a separate gift in spite of not giving one to me, my attitude about it would be different.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2012, 03:36:16 PM »
A sensible rule of thumb is that if a couple normally gives you a single gift, you can give them a single gift. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

CakeEater

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2012, 03:54:35 PM »
A friend of mine who is single just gives me a small gift, and DH and I give her a small gift. We give it as a joint gift firstly because we have joint finances, so it does come from us, even if I'm the one who does the shopping. Also, DH does wish her a merry Christmas, so I think it's perfectly reasonable for him to appear on the card.

We're both fine with her not buying a gift for both of us.

Drawberry

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2012, 04:37:56 PM »
In my family it is expected that the singles buy for both members of the couple - yet get one gift from the couple.  It does cause resentment, especially if one member of the couple is really hard to buy for, or if the couple does stuff like putting no effort into gifts or such.  I've suggested couples gifts or family gifts and have been told that I am being selfish, that the couple is two people and each deserves to receive their own gift. If I had to do it over again I would start with the couples gifts as soon as older brother got married, after a year or two it would likely be accepted, rather than letting things go and now several singles are feeling frustrated about it. 
 

Re the bolded: Seriously? If the couple is two people who deserve individual gifts then the couple can be two people that GIVE individual gifts. Talk about a ridiculous double standard.

Yeah, that would make sense to me.

I personally see the issue as financial and personal.  If boyfriend and I have the finances to buy individual gifts or are struggling to pool enough money for one then we do what we can afford. I don't expect anything in return for any gift giving. I appreciate being included in gifts sent Boyfriends way and equally so for unique individual ones given to me.

If I was receiving individual gifts and did not have the money to give an individual gift back I do feel bad, but if all Boyfriend and I can afford is a joint gift it's simply all we can do. I cannot pull money out of thin air to gift equally back. I simply can't.

It isn't that I see us as being one unit to GIVE and two to RECEIVE.It's that we do what our finances allow us to do and hold absolutely no expectations of others.

@ Drawberry, that's fine in my opinion, because nothing's "expected" in your case. I don't see why anyone should go without groceries or get behind on their bills in order to match other people's gift-giving.  But some other posters have indicated that there are couples in their family who feel that each member of a couple "deserves" their own gift. One poster even mentioned the male half of a couple, after receiving a couple gift, grousing that nobody ever gives him his own gift. Yet he doesn't give his own gift.

It's all a matter of whether entitlement attitudes are present. Nobody expects me to give BIL a separate gift, though I often do if the event is hosted at sis and BIL's house. It's a smaller one than I would give my sister. Or if it's something for the house, I address it to both of them since they will both be using it. He doesn't get me anything. My sister's gift is from both of them. I'm fine with that. I'm not counting up value and comparing. I just give what I feel I can afford and want to spend on each family member.

Now, if BIL *expected* a separate gift in spite of not giving one to me, my attitude about it would be different.



That's unfortunate when something becomes expected :\ then it's simply not a gift anymore, it's a gimmie grab-bag!

 I've been on the receiving end of individual gifts while being the second half of a couple and while I genuinely appreciate it, I certainly don't expect it. This was on an occasion in which I said I did not need anything myself but was still given very lovely individual gifts. During the holidays I struggle to gift my 'own' family and Boyfriend, if I cannot afford to give a gift on my own to someone I certainly wouldn't expect one back (or in the first place, but for the sake of argument).

Gifts. What's it with people's hang ups with gifts! Just be thankful that someone cared enough to even give you anything in the first place.


LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2012, 11:35:42 AM »
Single people definitely get the short end of the stick.  My sister is married and has 2 children.  Every year I buy them FOUR gifts, and they send me ONE.    This is not going to change.  The girls are the only children that will ever be born into the family (serious fertility problems), and nobody else in my family is ever getting married. 
Over the years, my gifts to them have gotten progressively smaller, as I simply can't afford to keep up with this 4-to-1 ratio. 
Not to mention, I had to buy ALL of my own household stuff, since my sister got a whole mess of stuff as wedding/shower presents, and I will never have either.
Hmph.  At least I never have to fight for the blankets.