Before dating Joan, Joe admired couples who did the ‘his and hers’ tags. He thought they looked nice, wearing matching watches, phones, and shoes. Being a hopeless romantic, Joe believed in doing things as a couple and spoiling his woman.
Joan and Joe hit it off fast. They even bonded over sharing the same initial and even referred to themselves as the Js. The romantics thought it was cute, while the less sentimental friends thought it was too much. It didn’t come as a surprise when they started wearing matching things.
Joe had a thing for shoes, so when he bought them, he got himself a pair of Converse shoes and Joan a pair. That was a vital aspect of the honeymoon phase of their relationship. High on love and happy emotions, Joe didn’t have foresight of the trend he was setting. Another part that he overlooked was that he was the one buying the items.
When the honeymoon phase faded, he started noticing a trend. At first, it was cute. On a particular occasion, he went to the supermarket to buy groceries, and then he saw a tub of ice cream and decided to buy himself one. He had left Joan in the house working, so as he was unpacking, she saw the tub and asked, “Babe, you only got one?”
“It’s a whole kilogram of ice cream, babe,” Joe responded.
“I know but I like it when you buy things in twos.”
Joe went on about how it was a lot of ice cream, and they could share. The next time the issue came up was when he had to buy some clothes for work. He bought himself two shirts and was excited to show Joan how he looked.
“Which one do you think is more appropriate for the project?” Joe asked after fitting both.
“I like the blue one more,” said Joan.
“You don’t look excited. What’s the matter?” Joe asked her.
“Babe, you didn’t bring me anything?” Joan questioned him.
Joe looked confused. “I needed shirts for work, did you need a shirt too? You should have said something.”
“Of course not, but you only bought yourself something without getting me anything,” Joan responded.
“Joan, you didn’t tell me you needed anything,” Joe defended himself, still confused about what was happening.
“We’re truly past the honeymoon phase,” Joan remarked.
That conversation left a bad taste in Joe’s mouth. He started noticing how Joan always picked an extra thing for herself when they went shopping. If he needed to buy shower gel at his place, she would also take one for herself and go with it to her place. He hadn’t realized how bad it was until one of his friends made an observation. The friend was his perfume plug, so he notified him that he had new scents that Joe could check out. Joe was excited and went to his shop. He loved the scent, but he retreated just as he was about to buy it.
“What’s wrong?” Joe’s friend asked.
“My girlfriend will get mad if I don’t buy one for her,” Joe responded.
“Oh let’s pick out something for her too. Do you know what kind of scents she’s into?” Joe’s friend asked enthusiastically.
“No, just leave it. I’ll get mine for now,” Joe responded.
On his way home, he thought of places to hide the scent so Joan wouldn’t see it. He also realized that when his friend offered to pick out one for Joan, he was unwilling to get one for her. At that moment, he wondered if his feelings for Joan had changed. He hid the perfume and went on his business.
A few weeks later, he met up with his friends; the perfume plug was also present. One of his other friends had gotten the same scent, so the perfume plug pointed out that Joe got it, too.
“Joe, have you been hiding the good things from us?” His friend asked.
“I have never used it,” Joe replied.
“Don’t you like it?” The perfume plug asked.
That was when he opened up about hiding stuff or forfeiting buying things for himself because his girlfriend expects him to buy things in twos.
“Is the money the problem?” One of the friends asked.
“No. I just hate that she feels entitled to it,” Joe responded.
“Does she also buy things for you?” The perfume plug asked.
“Now, that I think about it, no she doesn’t. Maybe that annoys me too given her entitlement to receive things,” said Joe.
At the end of that interaction, he knew he had to have that discussion with Joan. Unfortunately, the conversation didn’t yield the result he wanted because Joan misunderstood him. She felt he didn’t want to spend on her. Joe got tired of denying himself pleasures because he had to get something for her, too, and ended the relationship.
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