Repay friends who helped during long break-up?
November 15, 2012 1:12 PM   Subscribe

How to repay/show gratitude to amazing friends that have let me crash at their place for the last 5 months while I disentangled myself from LTR with co-owned condo?

I just got out of a long term relationship with my partner of 9 years.

Because my ex and I have finally been able to unload our underwater condo, at long last I can afford to move into my own place. Two friends in particular have been extraordinarily generous with their own personal spaces (we all live in the city in smallish condos) and let me stay, eat, avoid the ex at their respective homes many nights of the week when staying at my own place was too painful.

Moving and dumping my condo is costing pretty much everything I have, so getting them luxury gifts or fancy dinnera out isn't in the cards--and they each have the means to buy the things they want so most gadget-type gifts are out too. Still, I want to do something nice for each of them. In addition to physical housing, they have saved me from some really dark moments after the LTR.

The two also have different personalities that might be helpful to know about:

Friend 1: Sincere, laid-back, older gentleman with a huge heart who values friends above all else. Big kid--always looking for a new adventure. Sappy options will fly with this guy.

Friend 2: Super-smart and smart-ass, mid-thirties. In the process of building a new life after his own LTR ended last year. Finicky eater. Sappy options won't fly with this guy.

We are all single gay guys.

I look forward to your suggestions!
posted by CaptApollo to Human Relations (7 answers total)
For a totally dollarwise-cheap/satisfaction-rich gift, write them (on nice stationary or a pretty thank you card, not an email!) a long, heartfelt letter of thanks, detailing the many ways they saved you and how wonderful it is to have friends like them. Invite them to be your first guests with a homemade dinner when you get into your new place, even if it's just spagetti & cheap wine.
posted by easily confused at 1:18 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

I would write each guy a heartfelt letter of thanks. (Sappy is fine, even for the smart-ass)

Then I'd invite them over for a home cooked dinner, wherever your new home is.

Pick out a nice wine, and propose a lovely toast to these dear friends saying how grateful you are for their warmth and friendship.

Perhaps a day driving in the country looking at the last of the leaves?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:18 PM on November 15, 2012 [6 favorites]

Can I just say, I can't imagine how difficult this must have been for you, and hooray that it's finally resolving.

I keep on coming back to the idea of you hosting a dinner party in your new home, just for the two of them; it'll be a nice gesture, it won't be too expensive, and it'd be symbolic as well ("hey you were my hosts for so long and now I get to be your host and yay"). Your second friend being a little finicky may be a challenge, but still definitely do-able.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2012

I was going to say what about a professional house cleaning for them, but you said that you're strapped for cash.

What about having them over and cooking them a really great dinner? This would be more meaningful than a fancy dinner out. Wine, steak, etc.?

(This is so tough and I sympathize with you - I went through a horrific break-up several years ago and it was amazing the lengths that some of my friends went through to keep me sane and breathing. It's so hard to thank them in the capacity that you want to thank them because anything is just not enough to show the level of gratitude. For me, I know that I always jump at the chance to help these friends and go out of way anytime they need anything. That's just how friendship works, and of course, speaks volumes about the type of person you are - you need to be a friend to have a friend.)
posted by floweredfish at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks to all so far, one more bit of info I left out: Because of their differing personalities, my two friends would be *unlikely* to find a dinner or other activity just with the three of us very, um, awesome. I definitely plan to have them both over separately though for the best darn dinner I've ever cooked.
posted by CaptApollo at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2012

Give of yourself. Don't give a present. A letter or a home-cooked meal or some other way to physically show your gratitude -- find something that they need done or help doing and show up and do it. If you are strapped for cash, don't strap yourself further. You might put the date on your calendar and if you have more money on the anniversary, give a nice bottle of wine to each of these people.
posted by amanda at 3:49 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Write a poem. I got one and it was deeply touching.
posted by metahawk at 10:29 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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