On the Wrong Page about Valentine’s Day Gifts- Setting Spending Expectations

So I hung out with Mona today. The topic up Valentine’s Day came up in a roundabout way. Now, since I last posted i started buying stuff: little things so far.

And I said to her “Oh yeah,  Valentine’s Day is coming up. That Hallmark holiday. I may have bought you something ; ) Some small things, and we’ll have a great night.” Or something like that, being silly but opening that conversation.

And Mona turned silent and white. Oh boy.

We had never discussed our feelings toward Valentine’s Day. I don’t think it’s a major gift buying holiday like Christmas or a birthday.

But… with that… I’d still love to make big plans and buy fancy gifts if I could but being out of work I just can’t charge them on my credit card irresponsibly. I don’t have the money to splurge.

Ugh I hated saying that. Yes it was long overdue and it’s the responsible thing to do. And it still hurt. I should not expect her to read minds.  God knows I sometimes behave like I have a trust fund.

But I don’t.

And Mona proceeded to tell me that we should have discussed our Valentine’s Day a couple weeks ago,  because, in her words, not only did she think she went add little overboard, but she went a LOT overboard.

So she got something worth a lot of money,  and I was getting her trinkets, flowers and a meal.

She eventually had to reveal that she bought couples massages at a nice spa with hot stone stuff on our hands and feet and other bells and whistles.

Wow. That would have been awkward to open those gifts in Valentine’s Day.

And as Mona explained she could see the shame on my face. Yikes.  I stepped away for water. I needed it. I was choked up.

Maybe she thought I really did have a trust fund since I never mentioned the need to ease up. But it was clear that the mismatched gifts would cause discomfort.

And she was thinking about returning her gift but said it wasn’t really possible.

Of course only half package was mine,  but still. I looked it up when I got home and it’s like $300 per person.

Then the cycle started of her feeling bad because I was feeling bad, then I felt bad that she felt bad. 


She explained that she needed this,  that this was the closest she can come to a vacation. So ok, we have to go. I don’t want to take that away from her.  And I still cannot splurge on a fancy gift.  We’re just going to make this work. Mona subsequently said that she wanted to do something nice for me for how caring, loving and supportive I’ve been, something that we can share together. And that it’s great that someone loves me this much. That’s a powerful context.

And this is now extra incentive to dig deep and make this next step of my career happen NOW. I HAVE been interviewing. Need to close on one NOW.


  1. Difficult but I think you will both make it work. For your mind, I don’t think this will be your only Valentines Day with Mona. Balance over the span of the relationship is important but sometimes, in smaller chunks, one person will always give or receive more. And that really is okay. Even though our brains say otherwise.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I cant believe I suggested a couple message…and when I made the suggestion, I forgot about your job situation…I have been seeing my guy for 6 months and I don’t know what to get him either..and I don’t have a lot of $ either. Good luck with the job search, you will find something soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can you get an inexpensive hotel room close to the spa that has a pool? Make it like a little vacation. A getaway. Order room service for breakfast. That could run about the same as trinkets and stuff!!


  4. I think it’s great to have a talk about presents & expectations around holidays.

    Sometimes it’s more about spending time together than money. And you could always give her a “spa day” at home… *winkwink nudgenudge*

    Liked by 1 person

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