The birthday of a friend is coming up. A month after that, there is a concert we both would like to see. So giving those concert tickets would be a great gift.

If I just gift her two tickets, she might want to use one to take an other friend. So how do I clarify that the other ticket is for me, without spoiling the surprise?

As response to some discussion in the comment section:
This is not a date, we would go as friends.
I'm sure she won't reject my invitation (as we been to concert before).
She does have a boyfriend, so she might think the tickets are for the two of them.

  • 13
    There is ambiguity in your intentions that is causing havoc (chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/77678/…). You need to specify clearly whether you have a romantic interest in "friend". Is this a date-in-disguise or just two pals going to a gig together? Commented May 18, 2018 at 9:36
  • 8
    Would the surprise be the 'going the to the concert with you' or 'you're getting the ticket from me'? (In other words, do you want to keep the going to the concert a secret or just the fact that you'll be paying her ticket?)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 9:51
  • 4
    Both, giving her the tickets should say "Lets go to the concert, I'm paying" Commented May 18, 2018 at 10:29
  • 4
    Its between brackets for a reason. I would like an answer working on the assumption she is gonna say yes, else it would be a bit of a different question. Commented May 18, 2018 at 13:32
  • 3
    So she has a boyfriend, but you want just you and her to go to the concert - without her boyfriend. Is that correct? Do you know whether or not her boyfriend would be interested in going too? Do you think that she would want to go to the concert without her boyfriend?
    – brhans
    Commented May 19, 2018 at 21:15

5 Answers 5


Don't give the tickets, give an invitation to go to the concert together.

That way you will be making it clear what your gift is: attending the concert with you. Also, this leaves you still holding the tickets.

One caveat here is that this should not make her uncomfortable. If you're romantically interested in her and this gift is actually a date in disguise, while you did not have any romantic relationship beforehand, be prepared for her rejecting the date and thus your gift.
Also, any gift can be rejected at any time by the recipient. As a back-up, you can resort to giving her a single ticket to the concert.

The querant has now indicated that they're not interested romantically in the recipient. I'll leave my caveat as reference for other users.

  • 1
    Note: Please use this feature for suggesting improvements or asking for clarifications. Comments doing other than that are subject to deletion. Try not to add more comments here. Use the chatroom linked here in the comment. Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – A J
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 9:10
  • 3
    I have a suggested improvement: It's possible to still give the tickets as a gift, but doing so means the recipient has to have the option to choose whom they want to go with. So the ticket giver may hope to be the one invited, but can't place conditions on the tickets without making it at least awkward, if not actually rude. Tickets given with the requirement that the giver is one of the people to go is a gift for the giver, not the recipient. One solution is to buy three tickets, and keep one. Then the recipient can invite a third person, or perhaps resell the ticket if allowed. Commented May 18, 2018 at 14:16
  • 14
    I don't know @ToddWilcox, it seems to me "giving tickets as a gift" instead of asking her to the concert means "I am not interested in going with you: if I wanted to go with you, I'd have invited you to the concert instead, which I notably did not." Commented May 18, 2018 at 16:40
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox that's not an improvement, that's a different answer. You can add your own answer if you want to.
    – SQB
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 20:36
  • 4
    @Llewellyn What's the point of showing the two tickets together then? Just give her her ticket, with the accompanying card. If you have to show your ticket show it in your hand. Besides: OP's gift is actually one ticket to that concert. If the gift was for 2 tickets, she has the total right to do whatever she wants with the second, including inviting her boyfriend instead of him.
    – Bakuriu
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 21:27

It's delicate, but I'd roughly say the following.

I've got two tickets to see this band, want to have one? Don't worry about the price, consider it a late birthday present. We can try grab a third ticket if {boyfriend's name here} wants to join in.

This does the following:

  • Explains you are offering only one.
  • Mentions it's a gift, even dealing with the fact it's late.
  • Points out it's not a date given you'd be cool with the +1 tagging along.

Note, if you're not cool with the last point, that might be a warning sign.


This is not a date, we would go as friends.
I'm sure she won't reject my invitation (as we been to concert before).
She does have a boyfriend, so she might think the tickets are for the two of them.

since you've edited to add this information, I think it is fair to update my answer to take this into consideration.

My suggestion is to give her one ticket and tell her you have one for yourself, if she would like to go together. She might have already start to plan to go with her boyfriend, this would give her a good way to both go with him and you.

This still assumes that the tickets are not linked to a specific seat. See here and following for a discussion on why this could be a problem.


In chat you say

Her having a boyfriends shouldn't matter, except that i might offer a date for them as a gift

I would try to clarify with yourself why you think that would matter, as Tom says in his answer for a similar reason, that might be a warning sign, also because later you add

The tickets, having an actual present (containing the tickets). So she know she is going when she gets the ticket. Not sure how I can ask her who else would be invited (since i already bought the tickets). Nor is this my issue XD.

I think this is very much your issue, though, why are you opposed to letting her go with her boyfriend? Or why would you not try possibly to make her even happier than you intend by having also her boyfriend with you two?

You also say

It is a seated concert, so I would buy two allocated seats.

that basically negates my assuption. Personally I think it is more appropriate if, as other mentioned, you would check with her beforehand, or at least with her boyfriend. If you do not have his contact, I'm sure you'll be able to recover it.

If this is not possible, then in my experience is better to let her decide if she wants to go with you or with her boyfriend, by giving her both tickets. You could still mention you would like to go with her, eventually saying something "as with concert such and such, I would like to go with you".


Do not give her the actual tickets. Instead, make your own ticket (either arts/crafts or graphic design depending on your skillset) that says something like the following:

Awesome Band

Admit one

One night only with your friend SirDuckduck!

And give her that with the card.

This way, there's no ambiguity about how she can use the ticket. You also won't have to tell her anything beforehand to "spoil the surprise." And lastly, this has the added benefit of being a handmade gift, which--in my experience--usually shows more care from the giver and will give her something personal to remember the concert by.

  • 4
    Great Idea. Just add the date/time to the card too. Commented May 18, 2018 at 16:30

I thing you may need to re-examine your motives - if your intent here is to ensure she goes with you, this is a present for you rather than her.

To be honest, if I received a gift from someone that required me to spend time with them, I'd be a little miffed.

So here's a thought. Give her both tickets and state that, if she can't find someone to go with, you'd love to go with her, provided it doesn't cause any issues with her boyfriend.

That way, you put no undue pressure on her - she gets a gift with no strings attached but still knows that you'd like to spend the time with her.

Even if she decides to take someone else, you win - you've given her a (hopefully) good present and confirmed in her mind that you like her company.

  • 3
    I like this answer, but I think cost would be a big thing here. Gifting a friend a $100 ticket is one thing, gifting them 2 x $100 is a completely different ballpark; however, if cost is not an issue then this is a good way of doing things!
    – Tas
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 22:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.