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Teenager buying for GF

177 replies

DBML · 08/12/2019 15:39

I have a teen boy (15). He wants to get his gf of four months a gift for Christmas. He’s met her a handful of times.

I’ve set a budget of £30 for him to spend, but apparently this is unreasonable and he wants more so he doesn’t “look cheap”.

AIBU and how do I navigate this without another huge and hormonal argument?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

358 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
francienolan · 08/12/2019 22:36

I remember being in high school and my then boyfriend got me a pair of pearl earrings for Christmas. I had made him a mix tape and cookies--didn't have a lot of money but had put a lot of thought into it. He spent the next few weeks talking about how he spent so much. To be honest it soured me on him and I never wore the earrings because looking at them made me feel like shit. Please dont let him spend too much. Something thoughtful and modest is much better.

Rombocious · 08/12/2019 23:21

Must have misread but thought I saw a post suggesting he stayed at her place a bit.

5 time in person meet ups over 4 months still seems very strange though. Do they not like kissing?

SheSaidHummingbird · 08/12/2019 23:26

Why on earth wouldn't you expect a 14 year old to give his parents christmas presents? The pocket money is very generous and the £30 is far more than I would give. I would be totally unimpressed if my son were ungrateful to be given that amount for nothing.

DBML · 08/12/2019 23:32


They can only meet up when it’s pre-arranged as he needs to be dropped off, as does she. So they arrange something a few weeks ahead. They don’t live close enough to just walk to meet each other.

OP posts:
SexlessBoulderBelly · 08/12/2019 23:33

I hate over spenders.

My absolute pet peeve having boyfriend in my teens was the sheer amount of “look how much I’ve spent on you” because I couldn’t return the favour I felt totally out of my comfort zone.

Tell him less is definitely more. My DP of 6 years has only just got the hint that I don’t need nor want lavish expensive gifts, I just want something to keep, something to eat and something to read. By that I mean, a present that I can look back on and say “aw you got me this X amount of years ago” , chocolate because I love chocolate, and a card because cards are a dying trait and I’m determined at 23 to give and receive more actual cards than Facebook posts wishing me a merry Christmas or happy birthday.

DBML · 08/12/2019 23:37


Quite right. I will suggest to him that he should be starting to consider others too, like his grandparents who do a lot for him and also give him pocket money every month. A small gift for them from him (that I didn’t have to buy) would be appreciated.
He gets enough to be able to buy a few choccies here and there. No one would be expecting anything expensive.

OP posts:
Rombocious · 08/12/2019 23:47


Do 15 yr olds not use buses or bikes anymore? I promise I'm not being goady for the sake of it. Just trying to get my head around hours of online chat per day over 4 months and 5 in person meet ups all arranged weeks in advance.

lisag1969 · 08/12/2019 23:52

If he spoke to me like that I'd tell him he's getting nothing. You can have your £50 per month an no more. Get yourself a weekend job if you like her so much. You be an earner. Buy your own presents.

TotalRecall · 08/12/2019 23:54

My 15yo spent $15 (£7) on her BF of 4 months. 🤷‍♀️ It was just a cute little novelty item they saw at the shops and he thought it was hilarious.

SheSaidHummingbird · 08/12/2019 23:56

He gets pocket money from GPs too?! Wow. So, plenty of savings to spend on gifts for you all I should think. At 14 I gave my dad a rare edition of his favourite novel (the same edition that he first read when he was 9 years old) which I paid for with my own money (and boex and wrapped myself.) He is 14! You should expect so much more from him!

SheSaidHummingbird · 08/12/2019 23:57

*Sorry - 15!

Louise91417 · 08/12/2019 23:58

Iv 15yr old dd, you cant go wrong with a lush bath bomb, they start at a fiver so could throw in pair of earrings too.

DBML · 09/12/2019 00:02


DS has only just turned 15. We have lived in the sticks for years and only just moved into a city. He’s never caught a bus in his life. He’s not at all streetwise. Doesn’t yet know the area, let alone the city. Gf lives miles away, not close enough to cycle. They were chatting on the internet long before us parents found out about it all. In fact, the first 6 weeks of their ‘chatting’ we weren’t even in the country as we live abroad some of the year. I’d say that they’ve been chatting since August and we’ve known since end of Sept, so have facilitated some of their meet ups since. They don’t attend the same school and don’t have any friends in common.
They call each other girlfriend/boyfriend and I guess they feel that’s what they are.

I’m confused as to why that is an important factor in all this for you? The point is, they’ve not been together that long and have only met a handful of times, yet he feels he wants to spend £££ so he doesn’t look cheap. For me, the type of relationship they have means surely that he should only really be buying a novelty gift.

OP posts:
DBML · 09/12/2019 00:06


Yep £20 off gp.
He is very lucky. Not much of a saver though. Last bought a set of fancy lamps and a bridge so they are all colours. Doesn’t think long term yet...clearly expects his dad and I to step in. After today’s comment though, that’s come to an end.

OP posts:
BackforGood · 09/12/2019 00:07

Sod that for a game of soldiers.

He wants to buy something, he uses his pocket money. That's what it's for.

This ^
I can't believe you are offering to a) give him money and b) that you have to take him shopping !!!!
If he's old enough to have a girlfriend, then he is old enough to a) save from his very very generous pocket money allowance and b) work out how to buy her something
(Also to be buying for his parents, but that's another thread)

DBML · 09/12/2019 00:08


Thank you

There’s a Lush in the Mall and a Pandora. Hopefully £20 on some cute earring and a bath bomb will do it. He can factor in his own wrap and card now as well I think. No extras from me.

OP posts:
DBML · 09/12/2019 00:10


You’re absolutely right. I’ve already told him today that this is the last.

OP posts:
Rombocious · 09/12/2019 00:13

@DBML it's not important to the gift question so sorry for derailment.

I hope this isn't unwanted advice but if he's not at all street smart in your estimation be carefully your not over sheltering him. Adulthood is coming soon. Why not teach him to bus by going along with him - not related to the GF thing, it's just an important thing to learn. You don't want him to have to learn independence all in one go when he's 18 and goes to uni in another town (for e.g.).

doodleygirl · 09/12/2019 00:24

No advice re present but at 15 I would think you should be teaching him how to budget. It always amazes me how parents just don’t do this.

OlaEliza · 09/12/2019 00:27

He’s never caught a bus in his life. He’s not at all streetwise. Doesn’t yet know the area, let alone the city.

I'd be very wary of him wanting to spend £££££. She could be taking advantage of him.

DBML · 09/12/2019 00:43


No, you’re right.
I’m your classic overprotective apron strings mother. My own mother was this way and I think I have just brought my child up similarly.

I moved to the city to try to give DS more freedom. I’m aware that I need to teach him more responsibility and independence.
Catching buses with him is a good idea and I do want him saving some of his money. I’m thinking of reducing what I give him as well, as he should really be contributing to his phone. I do not want him to end up a selfish, entitled man child.

I think today has opened my eyes to the fact I’ve done DS no favours.

DH and I have put together a chores list and a study timetable. Not excessive, but fair. He will receive pocket money based on his willingness to do the chores.

I realise my upset was less about the gf gift money and more about how expecting he was. But that’s my fault, so I guess I better do something about it.

OP posts:
SheSaidHummingbird · 09/12/2019 01:28

He could still buy a meaningful (i.e. not novelty) gift for


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Rombocious · 09/12/2019 01:37

Sounds like a great plan. Just be careful not to try too much too quickly.

Encouraging him to start a team sport or other group activity could be helpful. Ultimate frisbee is one with a strong focus on being welcoming/anti-bullying.

Also learning basic cooking is something I wish I'd started earlier in life. Could spin with an "impress the GF" angle :)

Zimber · 09/12/2019 04:23

This is a perfect chance to teach him about economics. Tell him he can have the thirty quid, but it all has to go on his girlfriend. The other choice he's got is he can have an advance of two months pocket money, but all £100 goes on his girlfriend's present. Make it clear to him if he accepts the £30 it's free money, but accepting the £100 means he's going to be penniless until March. If he does for the second choice, you'll have to be strict on yourself and not give him anything until his pocket money has paid off the debt. That means no Xbox live if he pays for it monthly.

Sara321 · 09/12/2019 07:54

If he is like mine, this would be the start of so many more unreasonable demands to come and the more you give in to, the more he will ask for. While he is still 15 try to get him to accept reason by making a better relationship with him. I made mistakes with the way I handled my son's demands and I know now that there wouldn't be an end to this type of demand if it's not dealt with in the right way right at the beginning and it can get out of hand.

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