Reader Story: Should She Pay Him Back?

by TTMK on November 8, 2012 · 4 comments

I recently received an email from reader “M”, who asked for my feedback on an issue she was facing.  After getting her approval, I’m sharing it as a reader story, and opening it up for folks to provide their thoughts.

She noted that she read the posts on dating and debt, and found it to be both similar and opposite to her situation.

Here is this reader’s story:

I was dating an older guy for more than a year. Before I got engaged with him, I received a card from him with money in it. I was surprised about it. I don’t have debt and my work is doing well. By the way, I’m a young single mom back then. Even everything is budgeted, me and my daughter don’t look like beggars. We are blessed with my family and church family too. He wrote on the card it was a gift and he underlined it twice. I clearly remember it and I just put the money in the dresser for 2 weeks thinking he will want it back. And we got engage after few weeks. I spend the money after that (which  was a bad move).  A month before the wedding…everything seems falling apart. We argued more and we are like broken recorder

There are so many issues that we ignored before and now everything exploded. We got counseling but still decided to end the engagement. There are instances that he will email me and say sorry for everything and asking if we could make it work again. I am not ready for any relationship that time and spend more time with my daughter which got confused from all the wedding and no wedding. A month, the email stop. and I’ll get receive emails again and from I love you to I hate you emails. I ignore most of it.

Now, he wants the ring back which I tried to give back after we broke up but he didn’t want it. I kept it in case he want it again because of his history of changing his mind. My friends told me to sell it since he doesn’t want it. But I got the nagging feeling that it wasn’t a good idea plus I’m already guilty from accepting the gift money and spending it.

He emailed my dad about the ring and money. I only explained to my dad the situation.

I’m willing to give the ring back. But should I repay him the money too? And he’s asking me to pay all his expenses from dating me. I was mad when he told me that. It was understandable for the ring but I didn’t ask him to date me. I thought it was in the relationship if you want to spend.

I want him off my back…

He talks to everyone and every person have different stories.. I kept quiet and let others assume what’s happening. Not that I don’t care what people are thinking but I won’t explain to everyone to please their curiosity.

Should I pay him back? Though my inside screams for no 🙁

Editor’s Comments:  As I follow what she’s saying, it seems to me that she’s willing to give the ring back, which sounds fair.  But she hesitates to pay him back, which also seems like a reasonable position by her.  I don’t see anything here that tells me that she needs to pay anyone back for dating expenses!

Questions for You:

What do you think of the reader’s situation?

Do you think she should pay back the money (and give back the ring), or do you see it the way I do?


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ evolvingPF November 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

Give the ring back through a third party, don’t exchange any money (very unreasonable for him to ask!), and block his email/phone number.


Kathleen, Frugal Portland November 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

He sounds like a jerk. Sure, give the ring back, but dating expenses are sunk costs and not reimbursable. Even the gift.


Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin November 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

What a jerk! I would definitely give the ring back. Maybe mail it using certified mail that way you have proof he received it. As for the money it was a GIFT as he underlined it twice therefore it is yours to do with as you please. Sorry you have to go through such non sense.


eemusings November 25, 2012 at 5:15 am

Ugh, what an awful situation.

I’d definitely want the ring gone. Agree that you don’t owe him any money ESPECIALLY not for the bullshit ‘dating expenses’ – but I’d personally probably want to give that cash gift back, I think I’d feel kind of gross about it and want to metaphorically throw it back in his face.

Sorry it all spiraled downwards like this after what seemed like a good start, M. 🙁


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