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Thread: Gf taking a gift (something she gave me) without my knowledge

  1. #1

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    Gf taking a gift (something she gave me) without my knowledge

    Just wanted some advice on this as I'm really not sure how reasonable/over-reactive I'm being about this: when is a gift not a gift?

    Basically, my gf and I have a long distance relationship. She lives in Canada and I live in the UK. We spend 3 months together at a time together.

    The last time she was in UK, the relationship deteriorated. It looked like it wasn't going to work out. The day before she left I asked if i could hang onto a book of hers I was reading at the time and mail it to her in Canada once I was finished. This admittedly was during a period of high pettiness that had ensued. She seemed hesitant but agreed. I said she could have it back as she didn't seem happy about it. I said "you keep it" but eventually she relented and let me hang onto it, after which I mailed it back. I also mailed back another book I thought she might like.

    Key point: Unbeknownst to me however, on the last day she was at my flat, she took a rare book (a gift she had given to me) away with her. I only just found this out, 7 months after the event, because I was looking for the book yesterday and couldn't find it. I asked her if I had the book in my collection as I could have sworn she gave me a copy. She initially ignored the question, but the second time she admitted that she took it and was sorry.

    The issue is I feel very betrayed by this. I feel that A. taking a gift she gave me from me/not telling me is a huge breach of trust B. I feel the fact she tried to bury the issue, not telling me or owning up to me is really bad as well. Unfortunately, she's not someone who handles criticism well. She thinks I'm attacking her by not immediately accepting her apology and wanting to understand why she did this and how I can trust her in the future.

    So, am I overreacting? One of my female friends thinks it's not a big deal and I should get over it. For me it is big deal though, and says a lot about a person's character.
    Last edited by vertical; 07-14-2020 at 06:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think she took her gift back because she wasn't sure if she'd get her book back. And she figured the relationship -long distance -was ending. Is it perfect behavior? No but since it was what she gave you and you kept stuff of hers -I can see her perspective.

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    Thanks for the input. Just looking for some different perspectives. :)

    Funnily enough, I asked her if she didn't trust me to send her her own book back and she said no. Hence it's all a bit perplexing.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vertical
    This admittedly was during a period of high pettiness that had ensued.
    Best I can see things, the taking of the book was just a symptom of that period. Cute? No. A hill worth dying on? Well, that's your call, but it seems like an awfully small one. If things are back on track now—and, well, are they?—I'd try to see all this as the sort of human hiccup that happens during petty times.

    If you're looking for a reason right now to end things—well, you can really pick any scab when that's the headspace. But at a certain point the picking takes a toll, so if you're feeling optimistic about things, and wanting to stay invested, I'd find a way to shake this off. And if for whatever reason that's not possible? I'd avoid going down the wormhole of making this about trusting her "in the future" and more about a present that has lost its momentum and authenticity.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Best I can see things, the taking of the book was just a symptom of that period. Cute? No. A hill worth dying on? Well, that's your call, but it seems like an awfully small one. If things are back on track now—and, well, are they?—I'd try to see all this as the sort of human hiccup that happens during petty times.

    If you're looking for a reason right now to end things—well, you can really pick any scab when that's the headspace. But at a certain point the picking takes a toll, so if you're feeling optimistic about things, and wanting to stay invested, I'd find a way to shake this off. And if for whatever reason that's not possible? I'd avoid going down the wormhole of making this about trusting her "in the future" and more about a present that has lost its momentum and authenticity.
    I felt the same way about the situation.

  7. #6
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    Your girlfriend was 100% in the wrong for stealing your book. Yes, it was stealing. Once the book was given to you as a gift, it became your property. It doesn't matter that she was the one who purchased it, once she made the decision that it was to be gifted to you, she essentially transferred ownership of the book to you.

    Hopefully, in addition to her apology, she is doing all that she can do on her end to make sure you get your property back. Yes, I agree with you that you may want to reflect on all of this and how it speaks to her character.

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Best I can see things, the taking of the book was just a symptom of that period. Cute? No. A hill worth dying on? Well, that's your call, but it seems like an awfully small one. If things are back on track now—and, well, are they?—I'd try to see all this as the sort of human hiccup that happens during petty times.

    If you're looking for a reason right now to end things—well, you can really pick any scab when that's the headspace. But at a certain point the picking takes a toll, so if you're feeling optimistic about things, and wanting to stay invested, I'd find a way to shake this off. And if for whatever reason that's not possible? I'd avoid going down the wormhole of making this about trusting her "in the future" and more about a present that has lost its momentum and authenticity.
    Yeah, I hear what you're saying. I think I'd be fine with it if she could give me reassurance. I think the surrounding issue is that she's hypersensitive to criticism, and me trying to see reassurance - i.e. talking about a trust-issue for more than 5 minutes ends in her saying "I can't deal with this. I'm too easily triggered by this issue. I need to protect herself." She believes she has PTSD (she's definitely hypersensitive) but hasn't been diagnosed. In practice, this makes tough situations almost impossible to work through.

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    If you’re going to fight over a book I would call it a day and end things.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vertical
    Yeah, I hear what you're saying. I think I'd be fine with it if she could give me reassurance. I think the surrounding issue is that she's hypersensitive to criticism, and me trying to see reassurance - i.e. talking about a trust-issue for more than 5 minutes ends in her saying "I can't deal with this. I'm too easily triggered by this issue. I need to protect herself." She believes she has PTSD (she's definitely hypersensitive) but hasn't been diagnosed. In practice, this makes tough situations almost impossible to work through.
    Well, this is kind of a different can of worms, with the book serving as what I suspect is one of many can openers over the course of the relationship. Hard to say how to approach all that, just being honest. Have you expressed to her that, much as you want to be sensitive to her sensitivities, you need to be in a relationship where your feelings, when hurt, can be acknowledged?

  11. #10
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    You noticed the book missing 7 months ago. Are you still together? Surely she can return the book to you the next time you two see each other again? I understand you're upset ..... but ...... mountains, molehills.

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