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Man snaps at GF for 'taking back' replacement volleyball she bought for him.

Man snaps at GF for 'taking back' replacement volleyball she bought for him.


It's all too easy to get stuck on semantics when you're in a long-term relationship. Before you know it, playful discussions turn into standoffs and mountains turn into molehills.

Luckily, the internet is full of people who are eager to share their hot takes and two cents on the lives of strangers. So you never have to look far for an outside perspective.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he's wrong for holding onto an ongoing argument with his girlfriend.

He wrote:

AITA for telling my girlfriend she can't just take back a replacement item she gave to me after the lost item was found?

My girlfriend and I had a long debate about this quite a while ago, and it still remains a touchy subject in our relationship. Please weigh in. (FYI: busy day ahead, won't be able to check responses until way late tomorrow).

Situation: my girlfriend lost my volleyball when she borrowed it during one of our routine league nights. She offered to replace it at no cost to me, since she acknowledged the ball going missing was entirely her fault. True to her word, she gifted me a new ball before our next league night.

Note: She physically gave the replacement ball to me and it was now in my possession (ie. it is now 'my' ball). When we got to our league later on (-perhaps later that day or the following day, I forget which TBH), my lost ball had been found by the staff and my girlfriend handed it back to me. At which point, she also said: 'I'm going to take back the other ball now' and went to take it from my bag.

I told her it wasn't ok for her to do that and challenged her on that point. Her POV: According to her, as I was no longer missing my original ball, so it was ok for her to take back the replacement ball. She believes that by returning my original ball, the 'debt' is settled, and since the replacement was no longer necessary for me to possess, it was hers to keep now as she had paid for it.

My POV: Once you give something to someone, you no longer have ownership of said item, as that ownership has been transferred over to the recipient. Therefore, what happens with that item from that point on is not for the giver to decide. I believe that for her to (re-)assume ownership of something she has given away to be a huge transgression on her part.

Taking back a gift is a big no-no in my eyes. My gripe is that I feel like she should have asked for the replacement ball back, rather than have assumed ownership of it outright. If I wanted to donate the ball, or, heck, even just keep it for myself, I feel it would have been my prerogative to do so, not hers.

Now, to clarify:

1- As she had given me the ball as a replacement and the original had been found, I feel the morally correct thing for me to do would have been to offer the replacement ball back to her , as a token for her generosity in the first place. However, she had 'robbed' me of this opportunity by deciding to take back the replacement ball before I could offer it back to her.

2- If she had not yet given me the ball (ie. she had purchased it but had not yet physically given it to me) before returning my original ball, I feel she would have been within her rights to keep the replacement, as ownership hadn't been transferred over to me through the act of giving. So, AITA?

(Final word: I gave her the ball because of clarification point #1.)

Update: My girlfriend and I are currently reading the comments together and we are having an absolute laugh! We didn't anticipate such a high volume of responses (over 1000 at this point!)! She feels validated. 🤣 There were definitely lots of points for us -and me in particular- to reflect on. I can't get back to everybody, but I will be responding to as many as I can over the next few days.

Also, not that it matters much, but the volleyball is worth ~$90 CDN. To those mentioning autism/mental health issue ...I've already had some concerns over being on the spectrum before. Categories and the 'pedantics' of things are things I worry/stress about very often, much more than those around me.

Thank you for pointing that out and making room for this in the conversation. Perhaps this is worth me looking into further.

The internet was fittingly honest.

personofpaper wrote:

YTA. This relationship sounds exhausting.

shutupdipsh*t wrote:

She and her next boyfriend will laugh at how big of a jacka*s you are.

adventuresofViolet wrote:

YTA for making such a big deal out of an item that can easily be found on Amazon for under 20 bucks.

morgaine125 wrote:

YTA. The new volleyball wasn’t a gift, it was to make you while on the one you lost. Now that the other one has been found, one of those balls should be hers. You are basically taking advantage of the fact that your girlfriend replaced your ball quickly in good faith rather than dragging it out to see if your old ball turned up first.

KDSD628 wrote:

YTA and one of those insufferable people who is obsessed with being right 24/7/365. I honestly would dump someone over this. You were going to give it back anyways, but you’re upset she assumed you would - rather than giving you the chance to gallantly offer to give it back. What in the hell?

Clearly, OP is TA here, and this dynamic might speak to something deeper about the relationship.

Sources: Reddit
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