Can you convince a girl to be your girlfriend by giving her stuff?
It's obviously not a strategy we recommend on this site. But LOTS of guys try to pull it off. So let's have a look.
Earlier this week, I bought tickets for a musical next year that we both really want to see and she was over the moon. I really wanted to go with her but I thought maybe it could also be a good opportunity to ask her out again, seeing as it had been 6 months. She asked me how much tickets were and I told her, "Well, I was thinking maybe this could be a date. And in that case, no charge at all."
My friend told me she was sorry but still didn't have feelings, valued the friendship, etc. I told her it was fine and that I just thought I'd check in again and we moved on as usual. It hurt, but I was fine to just stay friends and hoped the feelings would eventually subside.
The next day, we started talking about the musical again. I mentioned the price of the tickets and she said something like, "Oh, I thought it was a gift?" I told her it would have been free if we were going as a date, but as friends, I'd want her to pay for hers. She got quite annoyed at me and accused me of trying to pay her back for not returning feelings. She told me she really didn't want to hurt me (and to her credit, her rejection was done as considerately as it can be) but this was really making her feel like I was trying to punish her for not reciprocating interest.
I tried to explain that I didn't mean it to come across like that, but these tickets were relatively expensive too and I just wasn't willing to spend that much on a friend. My friend told me she wasn't upset about having to pay for the ticket and she was always happy to do that, but she felt like this was me trying to get some petty revenge or even manipulation, that I didn't value her as a friend but just as someone I could maybe have a relationship with.
We see here the stereotypical nice guy / nice girl manipulation dynamic:
Nice guy pretends to be fine with being friends, only to keep trying sneaky tactics at moments he has leverage to try to get dates
Nice girl pretends to be surprised something nice guy offered her for free in exchange for a date is not still for free once she's turned down the date (and manages to get both tickets for free in the end -- see below)
In an update, the nice guy bends, giving the girl both tickets for free to invite whomever she wants. Meanwhile, the nice girl accepts the free tickets (of course... the actually gracious thing would be to say "No thanks, you keep them, take some girl you like instead" -- but this girl's not gracious), though says she will probably take the nice guy along. He's providing her free stuff and lots of fawning attention, without her having to give him anything in return... she is going to keep that going so long as it's still worthwhile to her.
While the whole thing is pretty cringeworthy, we must ask: does this technique ever sometimes work?