How much is the girlfriend expected to pay for the boyfriend's daughter's graduation?

by Mary
(Nevada)

Dear Miss Manners,


I'm happily living with my boyfriend for two years. I make more money then he; however he does not make a bad wage. His daughter, with whom he is very close, is graduating from college. I see her roughly every 4 months when she visits, but she and I do not have a relationship between those visits. Of course, she and her father talk almost daily. She's a wonderful young woman and I'm very proud of her. It's just that she and I have not forged a real "family" relationship or bond. She's my loving boyfriend's daughter.

My question- my boyfriend wishes to give her daughter a relatively large sum of money for graduation and he's asked me to split this cost with him. I feel as though the right contribution for me is $100-$150 (which I believe is generous), but any more is not my duty or position. I'm not her mother and we only speak when she travels to see her father at our house.

What is the right thing to do in this circumstance?

Thank you,

Why am I being asked to pay as a mom ... when I'm not a mom?

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Gift Giving
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Mary,

How much a person gifts is up to what the gift giver deems is appropriate. No one can tell you the right amount to give and no one can expect you to do anything differently. If you believe $100-$150 is appropriate, then that is the right amount. Also, there is no real reason for you to combine gifts with your boyfriend. There is the option to give separately, but that is something the two of you must work out.

As to your other point about not being the mother, there is also no prescribed amount as to what a parent should give. Again, that is totally up to the parent to decide. Perhaps a discussion with your boyfriend on how you feel about the appropriate amount needs to be had. And by "appropriate", it is what you feel you want to give, as there is no "right" amount except what YOU think it should be.

Good luck!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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