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Thinking of ending my 16 yr friendship because of a lack of support for not receiving a gift for a big milestone in my life

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I’ve (32) known my best friend/childhood (31) for 16 years. Things have been off for between us for months.

1. I moved this summer my very first place ever - an apartment in the city. I moved a few hours away from home to a major city where all of us (my girlfriends and I) are currently living. In October I said I was going to have a housewarming. Instead of having people come over I decided to make reservations at a restaurant for brunch as kind of a celebration. I didn’t get anything at the brunch from my best friend but I didn’t say anything at that time. Another month goes by and still nothing, not even a card, so I was pretty hurt, especially because I made a registry so it’s not like this was some surprise to her. So, I finally decide to invite her to dinner so that we could talk. 

I told her that I had been upset because she didn’t get a gift or even a card congratulating me on apartment. She asked if I was upset with our other friends because they didn’t get her a gift either. I told her I wasn’t upset with the others, only her because she’s known me the longest. She said that she didn’t care about things like this, but wanted to point out to me that I didn’t get her a housewarming gift either. I told her we (friend group) got her a combo gift for her birthday. She said, again, it’s not that I care about gifts but ask yourself are you holding yourself to the same standard as others and then pointed out how I didn’t didn’t a gift for the other girls when they got promotions, moved, etc. We had an event to go to in a few weeks, so, I guess she wanted to smooth things over and she got me a gift. We moved on from it, or so I thought.

2. Last Monday she sent a group texting trying to organize a gift for our mutual good friend’s upcoming birthday (we always do group gifts). She introduced me to these group of friends 10 years ago so we are all very very close. The birthday girl is also the other friend who didn’t get me a housewarming gift that I was referring to in part 1. Anywho, she sent a text saying she was thinking of having a masseuse come to our mutual friend’s house and asked we were okay with $30 a piece. One friend had something really bad happen to her so she said that she couldn’t. I replied and said no. 

She called and asked me what I meant by no. She asked was it too much, didn’t want to do it, had another gift in mind? I was honest and told her that I wanted to focus on myself financially and wasn’t doing any gifts. So, she then said well maybe we should stop doing gifts altogether. I told her that I wouldn’t be offended if we did that. She then asked me where I got my massage (posted it on IG earlier l) and how much was it because she wanted to get one myself. I told her it was off some road and I had a voucher so I didn’t pay. This really rubbed me the wrong way as if she was trying to check on the money I was spending since I told her no to the birthday gift. Then she asked how my Christmas was and I asked about her NYE plans and then we got off the phone. She texted me later and asked for the name of the spa so she could book it. I didn’t respond. That entire exchange really offended me. 

Two days later I got a text asking if I was okay. I told her was just going through a spiritual cleanse and reflecting right now but I was okay. She told me that she was glad that I was okay because she thought I was upset with her since I didn’t respond to her text. Then she sent a follow up text asking if we were okay though. I said she just didn’t have the energy to respond the other day to her asking for the name of the spa.She didn’t respond.

It’s not about the gift but what it represents - showing support. I feel like she wasn’t being supportive. I made a registry, so clearly this was important to me as it was a big milestone in my life, so why would she disregard that? She managed to get a housewarming gift for our friend (the birthday girl in the OP) when she bought her house. So, why not me? Like I said, not even a card to acknowledge this milestone?

Plus, when I had first moved in I was carrying in a case of water with a bag of eggs as well. She didn’t help me and I broke some of my eggs. I told her about this as well and let her know if it was some random person on the street she would’ve helped them but I needed to let her know. So, she just seems selfish.

Both she and the friendship with her just seems so exhausting, especially at our age. I’m thinking of cutting her off but I don’t know if I’m just being reactionary. On the other hand, I have known her for so long. 

What do I do?

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1 hour ago, Lambert said:

I find it odd you registered for a house warming party and that the party wasn't at the house you were warming.  Is this a new thing? I've definitely been to house warming parties but it's usually just at the house and there's no registry or expectations of an expensive gift.  What you explain sounds like a bridal shower. 

All that aside, it is expensive to buy all your friends gifts. So maybe it is for the best to stop the practice.

Why are you so offended by her asking about your massage? I didn't understand the reason. You think she is trying to calculate how much you spend on yourself? And use this to challenge you on how you choose to spend your own money?

Was there some truth to her comments that you are expecting more from friends, than you give? Did you pay for the party at the restaurant? Was this a formal party as in, you booked a place, paid for everything, handed out party favors and all that?

Maybe you have outgrown this friendship. In the past I have outgrown people and one clear cut sign is- you're mad at them all the time. You're no longer compatible and it's becoming a problem. 

Unless you have a big falling out, I would just distance myself. Let it go and let her be for now.  Friendships do ebb and flow. If you've had good times and the problem is just over gifts, just distance yourself.  And being youre a few hours away, it won't be hard to just be too busy for her for awhile. 

In a lot of ways this sounds kinda petty and in time your feelings might change.  So I wouldn't do anything or say anything I might regret. Be the bigger person and just go focus on other relationships and things in your life. 


The bolded is exactly the reason why I got offended. For your other question, no I didn’t pay. It wasn’t formal just a regular brunch spot in the city. My friends paid for their own meals.

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19 minutes ago, Cutiesboy1 said:

The bolded is exactly the reason why I got offended. For your other question, no I didn’t pay. It wasn’t formal just a regular brunch spot in the city. My friends paid for their own meals.

I don't understand why you would feel it necessary to explain how you spend your own money or she would think you owe her an explanation. 

You were probably wrong to expect presents. You asked for them through a registry but I don't think anyone is obligated to give you a present at a regular brunch, that they paid for themselves. Maybe someone would send you a card or give you a gift, but it would strictly be out of their own desire and generosity to do so. 

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^ I second boltnrun's post above in its entirety. My thoughts exactly. Bolts post above totally nailed it.  I have read the OP several times to make sure I have not missed something, but I see no wrongdoing on your friend's part.  I do however see nothing but immature, childish pettiness on your side.  It's sad to see a friendship die due to something so insignificant, where mountains are made out of molehills.

Also, as all the posters above, I too have never ever heard of a registry for housewarming gifts. Tacky (imo).

Best to let this go and maybe do some self-reflection.

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We dont have a registry here so dont know about that. However its always in the house(or appartment) and you organize a party while others usually buy you something for new home. For example, I bought those big "Salt" and "Sugar" cans for a friend because I noticed they didnt had those. Its always something of that nature. Having your "housewarming" party at a restaurant is weird. Because the whole point is to show them your new home. Party or even gifts are not the point. 

Anyway, I would have dropped it after this

11 hours ago, Cutiesboy1 said:

We had an event to go to in a few weeks, so, I guess she wanted to smooth things over and she got me a gift.

Your friends isnt of bad nature. She did bought you a gift and is interested in calling to see what is wrong and smoothing things. She is not the bad friend.

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That is a whole lot of drama, you got it all wrong. I think at 32 you have an awful lot of learning and growing up to do.

First of all, a housewarming party is traditionally done at the hosts’ new place, and yes, guests may bring a gift, but never heard of a registry for that occasion. Celebrating a housewarming at a restaurant? I mean, really?

Did your friends know in advance that they were going to pay for their own brunch? You wrote in your post that you made reservations, rather than inviting your friends for brunch, but was it clear to them? If you can’t afford a housewarming party financially, then don’t do one, but throwing a party and make your guests pay?

Boltnrun said it already, you are not entitled to a gift. You should not have an expectation. I can understand to some degree, that if your group of friends have the tradition to do a group gift, and you got nothing, you may feel left out this time, but never ever would I bring it up with a good friend.

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The is not complicated. You are being self centered and selfish for automatically thinking your friend should have given you a gift. 















































































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  • 1 month later...

Let it go and lower your expectations of others including your friends.  Whenever you entertain, do it unconditionally and if anyone brings a gift, sincerely thank them and an extra special gesture of gratitude and graciousness would be a postal thank you note sometime after the gathering. 

As a side note, if there's any gift giving involved, usually the host or hostess provides the meal.  For example, an occasion at a restaurant is paid by the host or hostess who did the inviting.  Same thing with at a house.  Generally, the host or hostess provides the food and some hosts provide an enjoyable playlist as background music.  If guests bring a gift, then it's wonderful and if they don't?  They gave you the gift of their precious time when they could've done something else or been elsewhere with their priceless time. 

There are several people in my life including friends, family - relatives, in-laws and extended family members.  Some friends send me postal birthday cards, gift cards (e-gift cards), birthday and Christmas gifts.  Some family members also do the same.  Then there are those who don't do anything yet they're the first to race to my doorstep in the event of an emergency or crisis.  They're the types who would drop their lives to drive me to the airport at 2AM.   I have family and friends who've brought home cooked meals to my house during times of upheaval and distress yet whenever life is smooth, they're nowhere to be seen nor heard from.  I'm grateful for the people in my life who express their love in their own way.  Others provide moral support which cannot be bought. 

Value those in your life for who they are.  The greatest gift people can give you is their time.  People are very busy with their own lives.  Therefore, whenever they set aside time to be with you no matter where it is such as at a restaurant, in public or in your home, you can't put a price on being together in person.  Appreciate whatever your friends are willing to give you even if it's non-material, non-tangible overtures. 

Accept nothing and you will become a content, secure person.  The more you expect, the more hurt you will feel.  Change the way you think. 

I've been in your shoes so I understand how you feel.  Ever since I've shifted my thinking, I'm more at peace as will you. 

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I can sort of relate to thinking that giving gifts means you care because giving gifts is my love language. I've always really loved giving gifts and I love shopping, so I enjoy shopping and choosing the gifts, it makes me so happy. Usually if it's an acquaintance I just give something small and a card, but if it's a close friend or family I give a few nice gifts. But I want to add also that I DON'T expect other people to give me gifts. I just give them because I like it and I feel happy about it.

I actually know that people have different love languages and people may not "speak" the same love language, therefore not consider your love language as important because it's not theirs. For example, one of my ex partners really cared about words of affirmation and acts of service, so she'd do things like write me poetry and do really nice things for me. But she didn't like shopping and was a very big minimalist, so she didn't give me many gifts. 

I have a Birthday celebration every year and plenty of people that come don't give me anything and I don't care. I've also had house-warming parties where most guests actually didn't give me anything.

I think it's important to think about what you value in friends. E.g. I value great conversations, when they're a good listener, we have things in common and enjoy doing activities together. I think valuing getting gifts in friendship is what is called being materialistic. You know the saying "the best things in life are free". That means that technically true happiness doesn't come from money or material possessions.

You went into a lot of analysis about how your friends don't get you gifts. It came across as if you judge the worth of a friend on whether they give you gifts or not. So someone could be the nicest, sweetest person and good friend but if they don't give you a gift, they're in the bad books? It seems to me you've got your priorities all wrong.

I'm originally from Eastern Europe but I moved to Australia as a child. Where I'm from, it is actually expected that if someone invites you to their home for a party, you bring something. When it's adults and not kids though I think it's more customary to bring something to enjoy at the party and share. For example, a bottle of alcohol, chocolates, busicuits, a dish you cooked. If someone invites for a house-warming I don't think it's that common to bring actual material possessions like a toaster or something.

I want to point out also that in my original culture and in Australia you always have your house-warming party actually at your home. You show your new home to your guests and you provide food and drinks to your guests. In Eastern Europe you would have a massive table spread with dishes you made but in Australia it's usually more common to provide party foods and canapes. For example, pies, quiches, dips, crackers and cheese, chips and so on. You would not have your house-warming at a restaurant because it's not your home and to be honest to me seems pointless because nobody gets to actually visit your house.

I've never heard of a gift registry for your house-warming in any culture. To me it seems if you're angry you didn't get gifts then you were trying to actually financially profit off your guests, rather than just enjoy their company. It's also not fair that you provided nothing for them and didn't even invite to your home but you expect them to spend money on the restaurant and buy you gifts too. 


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On 3/8/2022 at 9:09 PM, Cutiesboy1 said:

The bolded is exactly the reason why I got offended. For your other question, no I didn’t pay. It wasn’t formal just a regular brunch spot in the city. My friends paid for their own meals.

When I went out for someone's birthday and paid for my own meal that was the gift.  My chipping in for the birthday person -did they pay for your meal/chip in?  You made a registry because you were asking for gifts for your new home. 

Why is that an occasion for gift giving?  If you'd had a party at your home or had a party you paid for at a venue I'd have brought a hostess gift to your home or maybe a gift to the party because as an invited guest I'd reciprocate for being invited and entertained.  Not to congratulate you for getting your first apartment. 

All you did was invite people to a restaurant where they had to pay for their own meals, and you asked for gifts on your registry.  Why does that make anyone obligated to give you a gift?  I see you see it as a milestone and it's typically not a milestone that occasions gift giving.  When I finally moved out of my parents' home to an apartment my parents took me shopping for household supplies -cleaning, some food to get started and I remember my father paying which was really nice.  I never expected any gifts because I moved into an apartment.  

I just find this whole thing odd and I don't think you should be upset that your friend didn't get you a gift on top of showing up to the restaurant and paying her own way.

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