It's okay to skip out on getting a couple an engagement gift and wait until their wedding to shower them with generosity. It's not like we're all made of money.
But getting only one member of the couple an engagement gift, because you "don't have a relationship" with the other? That's a different matter altogether.
One woman recently posted to Reddit asking if it was okay that she'd only gotten a gift for her male friend, and not the woman to whom he'd just proposed. Here's her story.
They've been friends for 10 years:
So I (28F) been close friends with my friend Jack (27M) for more than a decade. He lives in a different city now while I still live in our hometown, but we still talk everyday and are basically each other’s confidantes.
Jack has found "the one":
Last year Jack began dating Ashley (26F) and within two months of seeing each other, they moved in together and Jack told me that he really thinks that Ashley is the one. I was happy for Jack because he’s been through a string of toxic relationships before Ashley, and based on the things he tells me about her, she seems like a stable and sweet person.
But this woman has never met her:
To this day, I have never met nor talked to Ashley for even 15 seconds. Whenever Jack visits our hometown to see his mother, he goes alone or when he’s with Ashley they just stay for just a few hours and Jack never invites me or our other friends to meet Ashley. I don’t ask if I could meet up with them because Jack’s mother is going through chemo so I thought maybe Jack wants to spend the limited time they have with his mom.
She hasn't even spoken to her via video game (???):
Jack, his friend Tom and I also play video games online regularly, but he doesn’t include Ashley in our conversations when we do voice coms, even though I know she’s just nearby because I can hear her talking to him. Sometimes I say “Hi Ashley!” when I hear her in the background and she replies with “Hello Nikki!”, but that’s it. Neither of us has really made any effort to know the other better - I guess we were fine with just knowing each other as Jack's girlfriend and Jack's friend.
The woman had a little advance warning that her friend was getting engaged, so she got him something:
So a few weeks ago Jack suddenly messaged me asking about engagement rings. I asked if he was popping the question to Ashley, and he said yes. I was really happy for Jack, and I decided that I would buy the watch that he wants but hasn’t been able to afford. That way, he can have something he wants for himself after shelling out three grand for an engagement ring. The watch is about $800, which was not spare change for me, but it’s for someone I consider to be my younger brother so I’m fine with spending a bit this time.
The watch arrived three days after he proposed:
Jack proposed to Ashley last Friday (October 23). I ordered the watch in October 9 and it arrived at Jack’s house last Sunday. While he sounded excited when he thanked me for my gift, Tom later told me that Jack and Ashley fought about it. Apparently Ashley got mad because I gave Jack an ‘engagement gift’ while I didn’t get her anything.
Even this woman's boyfriend agrees this was a weird move:
My boyfriend told me that what I did was insensitive, I should apologize to Ashley and send her something. To be honest, I don’t understand it though. I didn’t send them an engagement gift that only Jack can use, I just sent my friend a personal gift. I will get them an engagement gift that is for both of them and both of them can use when they have their engagement party. I don’t know why Ashley expects me to send her a personal gift either if that’s the case, because we don’t even have a relationship.
Was I really the a**hole?
The people of Reddit agree that while she might not have meant to, she did something wrong.
User aasparaguss lays out in plain terms why this could've been hurtful:
Yes, YTA even though you were trying to do something nice for your friend. Thing is, an engagement isn’t something you congratulate just one person for—it’s celebrating the union of two people. What is she supposed to see when his best friend, who is a girl, gives him an $800 engagement gift? You must be able to see how that looks to his fiancée, and how it makes her feel.
Zipadee-doodah says the key word is "inappropriate":
I don’t necessarily think your TA but I think it was a little inappropriate. An engagement is a celebration of both of them. It seems like a very personal gift and something that if anything, should be given to him during Christmas or a Birthday maybe? I can imagine that Ashley was uncomfortable with such a personal gift being given to her fiancé. Maybe send a gift card for them to go eat a nice dinner to try to rectify?
And foibleShmoible says her rationale is pretty questionable too:
you should definitely apologise to Ashley. You created this misunderstanding. If you don't explain what happened to her and apologise for the mix up then you would be the a**hole. Also, I wouldn't word it this way:
"I decided that I would buy the watch that he wants but hasn’t been able to afford. That way, he can have something he wants for himself after shelling out three grand for an engagement ring."
Because that 100% makes it sound like you are being judgemental of the engagement/her ring, and that you were intentionally getting him a present in a tit-for-tat manoeuvre that intentionally left out her... tat? Either way, this particular sentence of yours is why I suspect a**holery on your part.
Giving an expensive gift to someone like that so he could “have something for himself” seems really excessive. If you were extremely close, I could maybe see that, but since you’re not even close enough to have met his future wife, I can see how it would make them feel very uncomfortable. Honestly, that’s the kind of gift a wife would give her husband, not just a friend.
Jrockyroad points out that this watch probably set off alarm bells:
Dude, this girls new Fiancé just got an $800 watch from a woman she’s NEVER MET BEFORE who he claims is “just a really good friend”, right after they got engaged! 😂 How’s that supposed to look? Sorry, but [you're the a-hole].
And loudesttown says OP made it all about her:
It was THEIR moment, as a couple. You jumped in right in the middle of THEIR moment with a pointless -and overly expensive- gift.
It was pointless because it wasn't an engagement gift. Engagements gifts are meant for THE COUPLE and are given in a special occasion just as an engagement party, etc.
Yours was meant only for him and out of the blue, so the question is... Why? Why did you really do that?
AND the price of it????? I'm sorry, I don't know you so maybe this is wrong, but with this info, sounds like you were calling for attention right in the middle of ASHLEY'S moment
Sooo yeah. Don't do this!
Engagement gifts should be for the couple. And $800 is probably a weirdly high amount to spend!