Should I buy my ex a birthday gift? Q

Q: I have remained friends with my ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, should I still buy him / her a birthday present?

A: I would say No, a card will suffice unless you’re attending some formal party celebration in which case a bottle of wine or some food for the party as a polite gesture is as much as is necessary. Anything else and you’re risking giving the impression you want more than friendship from your ex. This could be construed as the case not just by your ex but by your current partner. It also sets up a precedence. Your ex may then feel obligated to buy you gifts, causing friction in their relationships and it would be an ongoing thing as ‘stopping something you started’ is not so easy.

Avoid awkward moments for now and in the future and give the gift for the ex a miss. If your ex is upset they didn’t get a gift from you, they’re either very spoiled or they haven’t moved on.

One Christmas I received some very ‘thoughtful’ gifts from an ex and I in return had only bought him a token ‘novelty’ item. The gift opening ceremony was very embarrassing as it was very much a case of my gifts confirming ‘it’s over but we’re still acquainted’ and his gifts saying ‘please take me back, I love you’. I felt dreadful because ex or no ex, I care about people’s feelings. He of course felt awful and somewhat humiliated.

If you can’t second guess this and you’re likely to be at an event together where gift exchanges are expected from all guests, perhaps have a word with your ex in advance and let them know that any gift exchange between the two of you will be a token gesture only.

If you can open your gifts after the party in private that may also help awkward public moments.

If however, still being in love with your ex is what you want your gift to communicate then I definitely suggest some dialogue with your ex and a private moment to present the gift. Do not expect your gift to heal old wounds or repair a broken relationship. Life is not that simple. There is also a chance your gift will be refused.

Have you any experiences of giving gifts to ex’s ? Tell me about them here in comments.

Meanwhile if you are seeking to heal wounds and repair rifts you may find an apology gift more appropriate.