Amicable breakups and staying friends with exes is not something everyone can do. If you can, there is sometimes a danger of slipping into old “partner” behavior rather than friend behavior.
That line can sometimes be hard to see.
A Reddit user going by “yesiamtheexgirlf” isn’t sure if she crossed it in a recent attempt to do something nice for her ex and his new partner.
What better place to turn when your nice gesture blows up than the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit?
“AITA for sending my ex boyfriend a present his current girlfriend couldn’t afford?”
On AITA, the original poster (OP) shares their situation. Other Redditors cast votes and share their thoughts in the comments.
Voting options are:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Now onto the details.
“I dated Paul on and off for about three years. We broke up amicably (we didn’t have enough in common, just sex and physical attraction, proximity) and still text or send photos or joke around.”
“Paul is now with Jenni, and I love them together. They have so much in common, they literally look like they should be together, etc.”
“Also, if it helps, I’m married. Happily. My husband and my ex get along and send memes to each other, etc.”
“I was taking pictures (for my job) and posting them on Instagram of some new products we had in my shop, a clothing store. He commented on a specific sweater and said he’d love a sweater like that, and asked if I could send him details.”
“It’s a low production item, so I sent him a link and told him to act fast. I guess it’s what he asked from Jenni for Christmas, and she said to me she couldn’t afford it.”
“She followed me on Instagram and struck up a conversation, and when I asked for her address and said I was sending out Christmas gifts, and she was happy to give it. The sweater was $60 down from $105, so not very much.”
“I felt bad and decided I’d use my discount on the sweater and send it to Jenni so she could give it to him. I added a note saying it was nice to meet her and also if she wanted stuff from the shop to let me know and I’d use my discount for her too.”
“Well, she blew up in a bad way. She was so upset she called me all kinds of names, suggested I wasn’t over him (again… I’m married), I’m trying to look better than her (objectively… she’s way hotter than I am, she’s a hot blonde with Serena Vanderwoodsen hair), etc. I felt awful and apologized for whatever it was I did, but she blocked me on her and his devices.”
“I was trying to do a nice thing. Did I f*ck up?”
“My husband thinks I was just trying to do something nice, but a few friends have said I crossed boundaries and tried to look like an angel.”
Redditers were all over the map with this one.
“NTA I was prepared to say you may have crossed a line but when you sent it to Jenni to gift to him then I think it was a kind gesture.”
“You weren’t looking for the praise from your ex. It sounds like Jenni is a bit insecure when it comes to you and now you know she’s not open to having a friendship with you” – TheCookie_Momster
“Jenni maybe should not have lashed out, but I don’t know if she is being irrational. This whole situation feels weird, and I keep asking myself why OP is ok creating secrets between Jenni and Paul, because that is what she is doing by saying Jenni can just give Paul the sweater and say it was from her.”
“If I were Jenni I would have so many questions.”
“Is OP inserting herself into their relationship on purpose? Does Jenni owe OP money or a favor later? Will OP throw this in her face somehow?”
“Did Paul go behind her back and ask for it? Should she pretend she bought the sweater? If so is it unfair for Paul to spend money on a gift when she spends nothing, so should she buy another gift?”
“Will OP tell? What happens if Paul finds out?”
“Jenni just met OP, but her boyfriend was ok sleeping with her even when romantic feelings otherwise were gone, like they are right now. Her boyfriend asks her for a sweater from OP. Maybe Jenni doesn’t actually want her gift to her boyfriend to be a sweater from OP- it’s not a big feeling, but it’s understandable—or she cannot afford it.”
“Maybe Jenni tells Paul that the sweater was too expensive and, hey, she did not really want to give the sweater to him anyway and they settle on a new gift. Maybe Paul even likes this gift more. It’s probably not the best, most unique sweater in the world so I doubt Jenni is super hung up about the one sweater and she has probably moved onto thinking about other gifts.”
“This is one scenario, but it seems pretty plausible to me and OP has no way of knowing what they actually wanted. OP did not need to butt in without asking. YTA even if you didn’t mean to be.” – BridalHat
“I would say that offering the discount directly to Jenni could have been the right move. Giving someone the gift to give on behalf of another without asking them is a bit… Pitying…”
“Even if OP meant it as a gift, is the gf supposed to see it that way implicitly?”
“If I was in her place, it would seem like either 1) I’m being pitied, or 2) I’m being one upped. Neither of which are appealing.”
“You can say, yes, it’s a gift. But it still doesn’t feel good because ultimately, the gift is to shore up your shortcomings.”
“And it wasn’t exactly a gift ‘You can’t afford it, so I bought it for you to give to your boyfriend!’ “
“That said, yes OP’s heart was in the right place. NAH. The situation just sucks.” – RedditDummyAccount
“Ehhh, you sound kind, and friend’s gf overreacted big time, but I’d be willing to bet that a majority of people would not want to give their SO a gift purchased for them by their SO’s ex. It would have been lovely to offer the the discount, period. NTA.” – NannyLive
“Ok but think about how Jenni feels? OP has put her in a position where she now has to outright lie to her boyfriend about the gift, or come clean and have OP be the better person, the one who COULD buy boyfriend the gift he wanted when Jenni could not.”
“Also, it puts Jenni in a weird position. Boyfriend will now wonder why Jenni gave him a gift from OP even though they’ve only conversed (from OPs post) about 1 time, and boyfriend has known OP far longer.”
“As far as I’m concerned, ESH. OP put Jenni in a VERY uncomfortable position but Jenni shouldn’t have reacted so badly to it.” – bebbibaby
“If OP is saying she didn’t have bad intentions, then she didn’t… BUT… If she did have bad intentions, it would be the ultimate power move to send the gift to Jenni like ‘here ya go sweetie, I took care of this for you, bless your heart.’ ”
“I can see how Jenni might have taken it that way.” – CallYaMuthaAlreddie
“Yeah it’s all about the bulldozing here. NTA but butt out their relationship – doing that sends all types of mixed signals from ‘I know your partner better than you’ to ‘I want to control how much I’m in his life’ etc.” – MightySmurf1
“Soft YTA (yes, I see I’m in the minority with that verdict) – It kind of looks like you one upped her here and made her feel inadequate. I’d be pretty mad if my husband’s ex got him a present he asked for from me, but I couldn’t afford it.”
“I get why she’d think you were still hung up on him. People can be married and still be not over someone.” – idrow1
“I think it’s quite understandable that Jenni would feel inadequate when her boyfriends ex gives her a present to give to him. She probably feels like OP is saying ‘here since you’re too poor and unable to give him what he wants, let me the ex do it for you’ it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know it’s from his ex, because his girlfriend does. That sucks. YTA.” – Ethan12984
“I think this is a classic case of ‘the path to hell is paved with good intentions.’ “
“Someone said Jenni probably feels like OP is saying ‘here since youre too poor and unable to give him what he wants, let me the ex do it for you’ – she probably feels that way because that is what OP did.”
“It’s obvious OP didn’t do this to be mean; she wanted both of them to be happy and thought she could kill two birds with one stone. But by OP’s own admission, she did it because the GF was too poor to afford it and she felt bad.”
“I’m sure it’s not OP’s intention, but if OP wasn’t careful of her wording and tone in the note… it really comes off as a pity buy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jenni thought it was, especially because of the second part of the note.”
“Like OP just removed all agency from Jenni concerning a present from her to her own boyfriend. That’s a dick thing to do, regardless of OP’s intention. YTA.” – bird_word
“I’m surprised with all the NTA responses. I wouldn’t be mad if my husband’s ex did this, but I would find it annoying, odd and inappropriate.”
“I wouldn’t appreciate anyone buying my significant other a present for me to give. That really takes away the spirit of giving, in my opinion and would also feel like someone inserting themselves into my relationship.”
“I’m leaning toward a soft ESH. The girlfriend may have overreacted, but the OP also overstepped a boundary.”
“I think it would have been better if she contacted the girlfriend and said, hey, I know dude asked for this sweater, I can get a discount if you want to use that. Let me know! And then left the ball in her court.” – ducking_what
“I’m gonna go with the minority vote here and say YTA.”
“Sure, from your point of view you’re just trying to do a nice thing and that’s lovely of you. But from her point of view it’s out of bounds to pay for an entire gift for him especially when you’re the ex-girlfriend. It doesn’t matter that you sent it to her to give. I think a lot of people would be offended by it.”
“It’s more a gift from you than it is from her because she didn’t get to contribute anything. I think offering her a discount would have been fine, but you’re obviously not friends/close so it’s definitely crossing a line to pay for the whole thing.”
“You being married doesn’t matter, it still looks bad. I’d block someone too if they did something like that. You might have had good intentions but unless you’re close with her, it’s not going to seem that way at all.” – PrettyNothing
“OP should have offered Jenni the discount, not paying for the whole thing. If I were Jenni I’d be insulted too cos it feels condescending and like a charity case.”
“Why would I give to my boyfriend a gift from his ex that his ex told me to take credit for? Am I that pitiful? I won’t enjoy it a bit. It’s a slap.” – redzzdelady
“I think YTA and kind of a major one. You didn’t remotely have the right to do that without asking her if it was ok, and it really does look like you’re trying to one up her. It doesn’t really matter if you’re married.” – woosygoosy24
“NTA you just wanted your friend to have something nice. You were even willing to give her credit for it. Whatever issues she’s dealing with are solely her own.” – ohbuddywhy
“People are being very kind to you in assuming good faith. It’s extremely sus behaviour. Like exactly what you’d do to screw with someone.”
“Your ex casually mentions he likes a sweater on social and you decide that’s what his current gf is getting him for Christmas? Even though she can’t afford it?”
“What, she isn’t allowed to get him something else? She has to get him the sweater he mentioned liking to his ex on Instagram. Maybe she had other plans ffs lol.”
“Maybe she was going to write him a song, or cook his favorite meal. Then suddenly you’re sending her expensive sweaters?”
“That you definitely weren’t going to casually mention helping her get! That was never going to leak out to him by mistake I’m sureeeee.”
“So if you’re in good faith just consider how manipulative, overbearing and interfering your behavior was.” – kaiism
Normally, these sorts of things end right there.
But OP sat and read through the comments and offered an update.
“Thanks for the feedback, all. I’m glad I posted.”
“I recognize I should have offered her the discounted price, but since she’s living on unemployment wages, I thought she’d be embarrassed.”
“Also for those of you asking why I still talk to my ex or send gifts, I’m friendly with all but one of my exes, including the ones from way back in middle/high school. I don’t do the whole toxic breakup never talk to you again thing.”
We sincerely hope OP and her husband as well as Jenni and her boyfriend have happy holidays. This year has been a mess and we could all use some good cheer.