GiftsI stan for a few writers on Twitter, reading almost everything they publish. So that explains how I ended up clicking links to author, blogger and writer Demetria Lucas relationship advice forum over the weekend knowing I needed to be logging off of Twitter and charging my battery.

This particular question revolved around receiving (or expecting) gifts from a significant other who is not yet a spouse. Lucas’ stance reflected her father’s teachings of “If you can’t afford it and I won’t pay for it, you don’t need it.” Basically her response to the reader was nope, inappropriate and not the significant other’s job but rather a “husband benefit.”

Wayment, now. I don’t necessarily request items but if my significant other asked what I wanted, I’d eagerly suggest. I’m all about a designer bag, a bracelet or some diamond studs and even a vacation all while I’m in a committed-but-still-unmarried relationship. Not exactly things I couldn’t afford but things I wouldn’t have to afford myself. Things that also represent symbols of love and appreciation. What you mean no gifts?

The advice also made me think of my own upbringing. While my grandmother was all about the dollars and taught us “You don’t want no man with no money who can’t do nothing for you,” I didn’t agree that my man should be paying my rent when he didn’t even live with me or lining my hands with cash, which also falls into the gift category. Something about cash and bill-paying sends an uncomfortable and unclear message like I just granted access and control to whatever was just paid. But I’d still accept a gift certificate or gift card.

Lucas’ advice struck many nerves, setting off a flurry of followup responses from other readers, who would’ve probably agreed with my grandmother. One reader posted:

“A grown woman running to her daddy for something her man is able to do? What’s the purpose of having a man then? You aren’t the only one w/a daddy Ms. Belle but this advice ain’t making sense. Not saying giving up the goodies = him buying things either but your man should be able to help in a bind.”

Well I don’t think that’s the purpose of a man. It’s more companionship than coins. But my grandmother would’ve surely repeated her mantra if anyone approached her for monetary assistance for anything and there was a man in the picture. I’m not saying she wouldn’t help but she would school you all over again in case you missed the lesson the first time.

Another reader tweeted, “A lot of fatherless women just won’t get it. Bottom line, when he pays you owe.” Although the comment slightly contradicted the reader with a father, it was a very interesting view.

The first half applied to me. I don’t have a father to turn to. Could this be why I have no qualms accepting certain items from a significant other? Do I view men as sort of a replacement when it comes to receiving gifts?

Well if my father were here, I can see asking him for help in a dire emergency but still not for luxury items because we never had that type of relationship. Dad can fix my car but I doubt I’d put those Chanel shades on my birthday or Christmas list to my him. My man can get those or I’ll buy them myself. So perhaps I really don’t get it.

Clutchettes, do you accept lavish gifts from significant others who are not yet your spouses?

Washington, DC transplant Teronda Seymore is a writer, blogger and an undercover Twitter addict. Follow her @skinnydcwriter.

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  • Lucky

    I struggled with this, b/c my SO bought me a very expensive article of clothing after me protesting about him giving it to me for a year. There are always going to be the questions like “Why is he giving you that?” or “What did you do to get him to give you that?” I accepted because we are going to be married (we’re not formally engaged yet, though), because I don’t want to reject his generosity and because when we are married & he gives me a toaster for a gift I will not be happy & he would then say “Well I tried to give you XYZ gift & you rejected it.”

    For me, accepting the gift was not about the object itself but about accepting him.