I want to surprise my girlfriend with an expensive exercise bike. Why is everyone telling me that’s a bad idea?

Through Wayne and Wanda

Update: 2 hours ago Published: 2 hours ago

Wanda and Wayne

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and my brilliant gift idea for my girlfriend is getting shot down by my friends and their SO’s. I was planning to buy him a home exercise bike, high end with a bunch of workouts beyond the bike. I think it would get her moving and motivated again with her workouts and fitness.

She still refuses to go to gyms or yoga studios, she doesn’t run, ski or do anything outside in the winter other than walking her dog once or twice a week. I still exercise a lot, but I’ve mostly avoided gyms because it upsets her because she doesn’t go and because I’m potentially dangerous. I know she’s frustrated with losing her gym routine, which was actually going on the treadmill or cycling for about an hour a few times a week while watching movies on her iPad and talking to her handful of “gym friends”. I even think she might be a little depressed about all of this and her endless COVID stress.

But my friends and their wives/girlfriends say it doesn’t matter how I frame him — for his well-being and happiness! – buying her that bike is like telling her she’s out of shape and doesn’t look or feel good, and if anything, that’ll really set her back and she will never forgive me. I do not understand. I still think it’s a great gift, but now I’m questioning it. And it’s expensive! I don’t want it to be a clothes rack and I’m sure if she doesn’t like it she won’t want me using it in my garage with my workout stuff. And I don’t want to sell it at half price. Anyway, what do you guys think? Bike or no bike? Thank you.

Wanda says:

You say you want to “remotivate” your girlfriend with her workouts and fitness, but has she ever done that? Listen: You describe her as an occasional gym visitor who was probably there more to socialize than to sweat, whose activity never really ramped up beyond a light walk. This old reality doesn’t quite fit the stereotype of an exercise bike fanatic who sets an alarm at 5 a.m. and pumps the pedals with effort oozing from her pores.

It would be a different story if your daughter was once an avid runner, daily yoga practitioner, or serious weightlifter. Instead, you’ve hitched your cart to an amateur walker, and it seems his slower pace might bother you more than he does. Frankly, putting an aggressive exercise machine in the middle of her living space doesn’t mean she’ll get on board.

Your intentions may be rooted in kindness and generosity – we get it, it’s expensive, you mean – but stay away from the bike. Take off your fitness instructor hat and start dreaming up creative ways to bring romance on February 14. Presumably, you’re the only one who can deliver in this category, and with the stress of the last two years, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make her feel spoiled and special.

wayne says:

Tell me you never had a serious relationship on Valentine’s Day without telling me you never had a serious relationship on Valentine’s Day… Since Wanda provided you with a few things to do and basic don’ts for Valentine’s Day, I’ll cover your special gift for bad gifts.

Sporto, unless she specifically asked for a really cool and expensive exercise bike or constantly hinted that she wanted a really cool and expensive exercise bike, don’t buy her one. For Christmas. For his birthday. For Thanksgiving. For a surprise. And certainly not for Valentine’s Day. If you are so fascinated by this bike, buy it for yourself. And if he happens to mount it or play with certain programs, bonus.

Your friends are correct – this would have been an unused, unappreciated dud at best. You should listen to them more often. You should also listen to your girlfriend instead of guessing her mental state and what you should prescribe to fix it.

However, I will try to guess what your girlfriend wants. Probably some love, support and understanding. Probably a break from the now infuriating monotony. And news flash: we’re all a little depressed and very exhausted from the madness of COVID. So if you can afford a fancy bike, I’m sure you can quickly put together a nice little Alaska vacation package or vacation itinerary that takes you both away from your routines and brings you both closer together during some time.

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