Expensive Gifts Could Point To Trouble In Your Relationship

Gifts are a tangible way to show your adoration for your partner. Contrary to popular belief, good gifts don't need to be over-the-top or even come with hefty price tags. Sometimes, the smallest, most thoughtful present can have the biggest impact. Something like a souvenir from a lovely trip, a scrapbook of cherished memories, or sweet treats from their favorite bakery can make for a sweet gesture that fills your partner's heart with joy and makes them feel loved. 

For the most part, the ingredients of a good gift are simply love, care, and a whole lot of thought. But sometimes, we want to go the extra mile to show our loved ones how much they mean to us with a grand gesture. The instinct to spoil our partners and treat them to the finer experiences in life is only natural, and it's okay to give in to that feeling sometimes. 

If you want to occasionally splurge on a fancy dinner or get your partner some gorgeous jewelry or clothes to mark a memorable occasion, go for it! Celebrating special moments with special gifts isn't a bad idea, especially if it's within your means. But the red flag flies high when your partner bombards you with extravagant gifts all the time for no particular reason.

Excessive gifting isn't exactly a green flag

Constant grand gestures and luxurious presents may not be a means to express love but rather to exert control. Excessive gifting is often a tell-tale sign of love bombing. Speaking to Refinery29, clinical psychologist Mary Spillane defined the term as: "Love bombing relates to a person providing excessive love and attention towards another person as a way of manipulating their emotions or feelings towards them." The lover bomber will likely let you know how much the gift cost to make you feel obligated to repay them. 

According to Mallory Grimste, therapist and LCSW, a love bomber sees expensive gifts as transactional. She explained, "By telling their romantic interest how much they spend on them, they are quantifying their investment in and value of the person" (via Well+Good). The costly gift you love in the present might be used in the future to guilt-trip you when you question their love or call them out for their bad behavior.

Likewise, a love bomber could be trying to gain more sway over you with over-the-top presents. As licensed psychotherapist Nadine Macaluso informed Texts From Last Night, there may be an ulterior motive: "From your partner's perspective, your acceptance of gifts implies to them that you owe them now or that they own you." Grand gifts can also be given to overcompensate for insecurities and jealousy because they use the prospect of financial gains to keep someone around when they have limited reasons to stay.

Put an end to love bombing as fast as you can

While it can be easy to write off the onslaught of expensive gifts and other signs of love bombing as innocent romantic gestures, it's important to remember that they have the potential to cause great damage in the long run. Love bombing is a form of psychological abuse that can trap you in an endless cycle of exploitation and manipulation of your emotions. If you find yourself getting love-bombed in the initial days of the relationship, first try having an open discussion with your partner about how uncomfortable these gifts make you feel. 

Likewise, set healthy boundaries about the presents and gestures that are within your comfort zone, and remember that a good partner shouldn't have any trouble respecting them. During a chat with Health, Geraldine Piorkowski, Ph.D., suggested carefully gauging your partner's reaction to these conversations to decide if the relationship is worth saving: "Do they acknowledge your feelings and pay attention to them, or are they like a good salesperson who keeps talking you out of whatever objections you have to [get you to buy] something?" 

She added that if it's the former you can try to work things out, as long as you feel safe, but otherwise, it's best to just walk away to spare yourself from any further emotional damage. To get a clear perspective and support, so you can figure out your next steps, confide in your friends, family, or a mental health professional.