I am addressing this question primarily to men (and women) in their 40s and older, because I believe it's a bit different for us, though I welcome feedback from all ages. I am 43 and he is 52.
A man who I know from different concerts and online music forums recently invited me to a concert. We have known each other for at least 2 years and we have hung out together at a couple different concerts (we went separately and met there). Recently, we've been calling and emailing each other a lot more and talking about planning to go to another concert together. It's clear to me that he is interested and I guess he sees that I am interested in him as well, though that took a while as he is pretty shy and reserved.
He saw that one of the artists we both really like had some local shows planned and so called me to ask if I'd like to go. I f course said yes enthusiastically and was really happy!
I asked during that call that night how he wanted to handle the tickets (he lives about 100 miles away) -that I'd book them or if he would prefer to. He said he'd like to and early the next day, he emailed me to tell me he got the tickets. I responded immediately to thank him and said I'd send him the money for the tickets, just let me know where to send.
That was more than a week ago! I haven't received a reply from him... what happened? Did I offend him? Put him on the spot? Make him feel like I didn't view it as a date or he as someone I'd date? I didn't mean any of those things, I just thought the polite thing to do is not presume he will pay my way or front me the money for over a month! I know he's not working right now (his dad is elderly and he takes care of him... he used to live/work about 20 miles away). I don't want to break him or put him in a difficult position or insult him like he can't handle the price of the tickets.
And that's another matter... tickets ranged from $39-69 + fees. He knows I am a front row fanatic, esp for this artist! I don't know if he got high-end tickets or what price range, and he said nothing about it - I didn't know the tickets were of varied price till I checked the website the next day (after his email saying he got the tickets), so I have no idea how much he shelled out.
He is a gentleman. I know this, but I didn't want to seem presumptuous, and wanted to be considerate. It's not like him to just not reply, so I am guessing he doesn't know how to!
Also, I had a long-term relationship with a guy his age in the past - in fact they are a month apart! At first, I offered to pay quite a bit until that guy told me he felt it was 'emasculating' when I offered to pay when we went out and he'd prefer to just pay - he strongly insisted! So I let him. I liked that, but felt it was not really fair to him. I did other nice things for him, cook meals etc.
Other guys my age vary as to whether they pay, but most will say if they plan to treat, but seem surprised if I offer.
What do I do to get him off the spot?
So how do I fix this?
Most Helpful Guy
Okay. Here's the deal with guys, gifts, money, and women.
It doesn't matter if the guy is 15 or 50.
Somewhere along child-development, for whatever reason, boys are lead to believe that girls ONLY value gifts. You never see a cartoon or hear/read a story about the princess that falls absolutely in love with the prince simply because he's so gorgeous. No. It's always something he DOES for her, or GETS her, or GIVES her. (a powerful idea, deeply implanted in the male unconscious mind, at a very young age)
As boys get older, the media, and women, don't really do much to dispel that idea as false or untrue.
It's pretty much understood, that UNLESS you PAY for a first date, there will be no second. That UNLESS you GET a girl something for valentine's day, you will not have a valentine. (a powerful association between gifts, getting, giving, material things, that cost money, and love)
In short, boys come to believe (and conclude) from a very early age, that the only form of expressing affection to girls that's important and meaningful (valued by) to girls is that of getting and giving her material gifts or gestures that represent some sort of time, money, effort sacrifice.
This never allows for guys to learn how to express their affection or interest in women, in other ways (or believe that it will be appreciated).
Later on in life, guys eventually get better at math.
Days, weeks, months, years go by in a relationship, and they look at how much they have both respectively been investing in the relationship:
That's where conflicting emotions start taking place, and something so simple turns into something so complicated.
On one hand, guys aren't creative. For guys, it takes a HUGE amount of mental effort and time to muster up the kind of creativity it takes to think of "other" ways of expressing his affection or interest in someone he cares about, that doesn't have a price tag on it. And since most guys are lazy, they just find it easier to BUY things. It's literally the price to pay for being mentally lazy.
On the other hand, nobody wants to feel used or taken advantage of. And for guys, after just a couple of dates or months in the relationship, is pretty easy to start feeling this way when he's extended $1,000 of himself and the girl hasn't even extended $100 of herself in the relationship.
Because men are so conflicted on this issue, it's sadly, a VERY thin line to walk on.
If a woman is TOO receptive, he starts to become afraid of being used or taken advantage of, and starts to lose interest and checks out emotionally. If a woman isn't receptive AT ALL, he takes it as her way of saying that she's not interested in him; period. (as if rejecting his gift or gesture is the same as rejecting HIM)
The truth is, he only made ONE offer, and you only rejected ONCE. It's not like he asked you out to dinner & you said NO, then said NO to the tickets, and NO to coffee, etc. I don't think you did anything wrong here.1
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