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Do I lend him the money for her engagement ring?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 July 2024) 17 Answers - (Newest, 12 July 2024)
A female United Kingdom age 36-40, anonymous writes:

My friend has been with her boyfriend for 5 years. He is a really nice guy - I would not say I know him really well but we have hung out on a fair few occasions and he’s easy to talk too and I know he treats my friend well.

He contacted me the other day asking for a favor and it’s put me in a bit of a difficult position…

He wants to propose to her which I think is wonderful but he’s £250 short of getting her the ring that he knows she will like and has asked me to lend him the money with the promise of paying me back over the next 3 months.

The thing is, is that in the past when I’ve lent money to friends and even family it’s always become awkward after- they either “forget” to pay me back or made excuses- so I end up feeling like a nag having to keep chasing people up for it and its exhausting and annoying and has even led to a couple of falling outs - therefore I decided (a long time ago) that I will never lend money again to anyone.

I explained this to him and he was quite upset. He doesn’t have family to help him out and his friends are all skint. I told him why can’t he just wait another 3 months to propose to her but he wants to do it this month as they are going on holiday.

I do feel terribly guilty, I have money, it’s not an issue financially for me but it’s just the worry incase he doesn’t end up paying me back etc….. and then my friend will find out and again things will become uncomfortable around them.

I’ve discussed this with my husband who has been no help and said it’s up to me.

Obviously I don’t want to involve my other friends as I don’t want it to get back to my friend whose boyfriend it is.

So I’m here asking the opinion of strangers.

What do I do?

View related questions: money, on holiday

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (12 July 2024):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntDo you lend him the money? HELL NO! Not your relationship, not your ring, not your responsibility.

The fact that he tried to guilt trip you into it would be the final nail in the coffin for me. YOUR money, YOUR choice how you spend it. He is one entitled piece of shit, expecting you to finance him.

Hopefully your friend will wake up before it is too late.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2024):

Don't do it. You won't see the money again. Also, it's a big red flag for their relationship that he can't even save up an extra £250 for the ring but can afford to go on holiday. He is asking for money off you so it's not such an 'investment' for him. If he doesn't put in, he can easily walk away, from his relationship and from the money he owes you. You are not doing your friend any favours by giving him the money, you are just postponing the disappointment she is inevitably going to experience when their relationship falls apart.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2024):

It would be ok if he borrowed from a bank.

But he turned to his future wives best friend.

That's a huge red alert and you should be aware that it's not normally how it's done!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2024):

I don't have much to add other than going off of your response, it sounds like you want to lend him the money and so go for it. It sounds like you have a lesson to learn.

Of course I will add however that most of us have been in your position and no matter how good the relation is, it never ends well! Money is the root of all evil. But sure, go lend the money and when it goes sour at least you can chalk it off to experience.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 July 2024):

He works two jobs? A proper job is 40 hours a week, so I am sure he does not work 80 hours a week, which is two jobs.

You must mean two small part time jobs that don't amount to one proper job!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 July 2024):

I am an old lady now, but when I was in my 20s through no fault of my own I was living alone and having to pay the loan on my very tiny ordinary house alone. I worked from 9 am till 11 pm seven days a week with no days off so I could cover it. I never had a day off for years. I had days where I could barely pay for my food, and had to eat the cheapest food when I did. I also managed to get an education and pass exams so that I could better myself. FOR TWO years I also had three little part time jobs I did to make ends meet. And I never ever asked for or took a penny from anyone, not even family, because I have self respect and respect other people. When someone can afford a nice holiday but wants a nice ring but cannot afford it they are wanting far too much out of life far too quickly. You say he works hard yet you also say that you have met him a few times and get on ok with him. By the way, by the age of 38 I had made nearly two million english pounds, all on my own without any help. and was able to totally retire if I wanted to, but I continued to work just cut down my hours. I soon had over 200 staff working for me. I can tell you now that this guy you are talking about will never achieve anything workwise or financially and for that reason you should not be hoping your friend marries him. They will either be going without or getting into debt.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 July 2024):

You say he is a great man and a hard worker. But there is working and working smart. He ought to learn skills, get an education - he should have thought of this year ago. He is not a planner or intelligent. He allows life to throw him curve balls that he could have avoided and then runs to others to help him out. That is what kids do. A normal person has one job not two. One good job that pays well. Not two that pay badly. And they only spend what they can afford. He ought to be able to tell his girlfriend he wants to marry but cannot afford a ring or it has to be a cheap ring. Why can he not tell her the truth? A marriage based on lies and secrets is never going to last. As for he makes her happy how can he do that when he spends nearly all of his time asleep or working, they don't spend enough time together.

Years ago people did not have holidays and jewellery if they were skint. They would save up slowly and gradually. Not use credit cards and ask others to pay for things. It sounds as if he is terrible with money as well as having two badly paid jobs. Does not sound promising.

As for you, you came her complaining about him and then when people agreed with you you started to defend him and say he is lovely! Don't complain then.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 July 2024):

As you feel uncomfortable about it, don't lend the money. You explained the situation and are not responsible for his lack of money.

If I was your friend I wouldn't like it either that you know he's going to propose before she does.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 July 2024):

I was the person posting this so I wanted to come back on & say thank you.

I was however surprised at how judgmental some people are on here….

So he paid for the holiday himself - he’s been saving since last year & unfortunately he’s gone a little over budget as the hotel they should have been staying in had an issue so he had to book another one at a higher cost, hence why he’s short on money.

Thank you to the person who suggested the fake ring to propose with I will let him know.

I won’t be lending him any money & when I says he was upset I didn’t say “mad” & he certainly didn’t throw a tantrum he just looked genuinely defeated. He’s not had the best start in life due to no fault of his own & he works 2 jobs to pay rent & bills & food so he is a hardworker & makes my friend happy.

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A male reader, kenny United Kingdom + , writes (9 July 2024):

kenny agony auntThis really is not your problem, its his. Don't feel bad for not giving him the money.

He want the ring, its down to him to find a way to get it. I think the fact he got upset when you said you are not going to give it to him says it all really.

You have been let down in the past with people paying you back, so stick to your guns and refrain from giving him any money. I feel if you gave it to him its just going to make things massively awkward.

He is a grown man, its up to him to find the money, He could even take out a small loan, or get the rest on finance.

Stick to your guns, this is not your problem.

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (9 July 2024):

mystiquek agony auntDont lend the money. Follow your instincts. Maybe he should have planned better..put the ring cost before vacation. Not your problem.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 July 2024):

Honeypie agony auntI forgot to add...

They can afford a vacation... but he can't save up another 300?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2024):

Don’t lend him the money as I agree it does make things awkward between people. However you can suggest he still proposes to her on holiday- I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere hot with a beach etc… but suggest gives her like a pretend/costume jewelry ring & explain to her she’ll be getting her real ring in a few months time.

He sounds like a hardworking guy trying to do his best so don’t make him feel bad. Tell him his story:

My brother did this with his fiancé, years ago- slightly different situation as he was completely broke so he bought one of those plastic rings from a pound shop & proposed to her over a takeaway - she said yes & found the whole thing so romantic..Years later, after he sorted himself out financially he bought her a beautiful diamond & they had such an amazing wedding day. They had to wait a fair few years but it was worth it & she still had that plastic ring, in fact she had it on her wedding day as her “something old”

End of the day if they are both truly in love the ring shouldn’t matter- to either of them . 3 months is nothing to wait.

I wish them every happiness.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 July 2024):

Honeypie agony auntNo, don't lend him the money.

The fact that he got MAD that you wouldn't lend an "almost stranger" money (the amount is irrelevant).

You don't know if he actually will pay back the money, that would be AWKWARD too.

If he can't afford the ring he wants to buy, he needs to either reconsider the ring or put more money aside, it is NOT your responsibility to enable him buying a ring.

If your friend friends out TELL her that you have made it a "personal policy" to never lend money. You don't OWE your friend NOR her almost fiancé money.

You are not the bank or a bank.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2024):

If she really wants a more expensive ring then he has to wait another three months until he has the money. I doubt you would ever get the money back. He had a cheek to ask you.

The fact his friends are always skint tells me a lot. People tend to mix with other people like them. If he is bad with money or has champagne tastes and lemonade pockets it is very doubtful he is grown up enough to make any marriage with anyone work long term. He sounds spoilt. Normal people save up for something or lower the price range and get something cheaper. And if he struggles this much to pay for an engagement ring how does he pay for the wedding or a new home and all the other things which are far more expensive that he has to pay for to be with her?

Don't judge a person to be nice simply because h meet and and they chat nicely, chat is easy, work out who is nice by their actions and attitude too, not just them smiling and being friendly if you bump into them, that can all be a show.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2024):

"I explained this to him and he was quite upset."

For me this is a MAJOR red flag!

And not just for you, as a potential friend, but for your friend, his girlfriend, as well! What gives him the right to be upset?!

By being upset he tried to make you uncomfortable, blackmail you emotionally. I wouldn't like to have a person like that in my life at all, let alone as a friend or a partner. So keep that in mind for future reference.

Having said all that, you don't owe anybody anything! Never lend money you don't want to or can't say goodbye to.

If he doesn't have the money for a grand gesture, he should get creative and not burden others with his problems. At his age, doing this? Again, major red flag!

Imagine, you asking your friend's boyfriend for money, that says a lot about a person! As I have already mentioned it reeks of manipulation. He wants you to feel responsible for your friend's happiness. What a load of BS!

Don't give him the money.

The hardest part for me would be not telling any of that to my friend! She's obviously either oblivious or doesn't want to know after 5 years.

And don't get angry at your hubby. he doesn't know what to say, you have to make the decision for yourself.

You have already made it, I am just here to support you and tell you that you have the right to do it!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2024):

You follow your rule and don't give it to him.

He will use the money as a means of keeping a barrier between you and your friend because he will never pay you back.

Quite possibly that is the main intention of the loan.

Just because you could afford to find that money it doesn't mean you should!

A ring is a promise.

It's not meant to mean a debt.

The promise is nothing to do with you, only him!

He should have the balls to find the money and asking a best friend of his potential future partner is outright cheap.

It's a 100% a no.

You don't have to tell her that he asked you for it because it's not necessary if it's a no.

I personally don't like the sound of her guy. I think he sounds like a creep.

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