Boyfriend tries to give ang pow of S$316 to girl’s parents; she breaks up because it was too little

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Photo: YouTube screengrab - used for illustration purposes only

With the new year celebrations having recently ended, stories of the merriment and even stress are arising.  One such story is about a couple in Taiwan who broke up because the boyfriend’s ang pow for the girl’s parents was too low.

As the Chinese New Year approached, we saw posters on social media explaining how much ang pow money should be given to each relative or friend. It would seem that a certain couple missed the memo or at least had different standards when it came to ang pows. First released in Taiwanese media NowNews, a couple have broken up after the girl complained that the red packets her boyfriend was planning to give to her parents were too low. Just how much was “too small?” The guy wanted to give NT$3,600 (S$158) to each parent initially but the girl felt that it should have been NT$6,600 (S$290) each instead.

The guy, whose name has been kept confidential, took a screenshot of his conversation with his girlfriend and shared his problem on social media.

According to the guy and his caption, they have been going out for two months and the girl wanted him to visit her parents for Chinese New Year. He said, “She thought my NT$3,600 for a red packet was too little (sad emoji).” The girl, in their conversation said, “We’re celebrating the new year, not attending a wedding dinner! Don’t you feel a NT$3,600 (S$158) red packet is a little disrespectful? I hope you can be more sincere when it comes to my family. Many of my relatives will be coming over tomorrow. If you give my parents some “face”, it will help us in future.”

After a couple of hours of silent treatment had passed, the girl started to message the guy, questioning him if her request was “unreasonable”. She was even asking if the guy saw her parents as his own family and that she has already approved of him, hence the “meet the parents” endeavour.

Come the following morning, the guy replied by mentioning some down-to-earth opinions such as budgeting finances and not spending everything they earn or that he pays for everything in the relationship yet never complained or that they should only spend within their means. The girl somehow translated the guy’s speech as being called a burden and financially draining but still held on to the amount in the red packets as unacceptable. From that point, the guy realized that they had very different values and that they wouldn’t be happy if they continued as they were. Thus, concluded their relationship.

S$316 (for both parents) may seem trivial if you are living in Singapore but NT$7,200 is a big deal for someone in Taiwan who only earns around NT$40,000 (S$1,760) a month. In the words of the now free and single guy, we must “spend within our means” and not stress over what’s inside an ang pow, whether it’s S$158 or two 10-cent coins and a lucky 4D number.