My girlfriend was born in Laos and is currently living with her family in France. Money has always been a problem for her and her family. Her parents both don't earn a lot and regularly ask her for "financial help". While they claim it's just temporarily, they never showed any intention of paying anything back to her.
I was born in Austria, where I currently live and where she intends to move in with me. I myself do not have such monetary problems. I am currently studying for my BSc in Information Security at university. My monthly income is currently €600 and I have about €25,000 saved up in various assets (savings accounts, investment funds, etc.). Also, my chances of getting a well-paid job in the InfoSec industry are very good.
I enjoy giving my girlfriend gifts. She enjoys playing videogames together with me, so sometimes I buy her a new game off her wishlist, or a DLC for a game we enjoy playing together, or an in-game item or similar. A while ago, for example, she showed me a video about some ultra-rare in-game emotes for the game Killing Floor 2 and said how much she wanted to have one specific emote. I looked around the Steam Marketplace until I found someone selling that emote for 60€. I bought the emote and when I told her that, she was rather upset at me. She didn't want me to spend so much money on "a stupid emote" and told me how many other things I could have bought for myself with this money.
I was rather surprised by her reaction, and I don't really know how to proceed with it. She knows how much money I have and how much I earn, so I am not pretending to be barely making it through the month. I considered that she might consider those gifts "flexing", but this was never my intention, given that the cost of my gifts are not exorbitant and never exceed €100.
Is there any way I can convince my girlfriend that she should not worry about the gifts I give her? Or should I accept that it makes her feel uneasy and stop giving her gifts?
Questions from the Comments:
- Q: "You mention that you're planning to live together. Have you discussed finances with respect to that yet?"
A: Yes, my girlfriend would plan to stay at home and take care of the household. While a single-earner household does not have the same economic strength as if she were to work part-time, I do certainly see it within our possibilities to have good standard of living with only one income.
- Q: "I don't think the problem is on the offering. It's on the gift - a digital cosmetic item. I consider myself a gamer as well and to be fair that's a lot for a cosmetic and I think that's why she got upset. Can you confirm this?"
A: I agree that it's a lot, but as far as I understood, she didn't want me to spend as much money on her, not that she was upset that the item was so expensive. She had the same reaction when I bought her a game for 15€, which was worth every cent.
- Q: "So she just said she wanted it, but didn't ask you to buy it for her and you also didn't tell her beforehand that you would?"
A: Correct. She wanted it and I wanted to surprise her with "Look what I got for you!"
- Q: "How long have you two been together?"
A: One and a half years now.