I know multiple men who have spent $300+ on archery equipment for their girlfriends. Why? Because they want their girlfriends to share their love of the sport so that they can go do archery together. Sometimes the girlfriend ends up only using the equipment once or twice before they break up with the guy, sometimes they stay together and end up loving the sport (and spending time together).
I remember about 6 years ago buying a girlfriend rollerblades. She used them ONCE and then never used them again, despite coaxing and pleading. We eventually broke up years later, for different reasons, but the idea of rollerblading together was still stuck in my head.
The concept isn't limited either.
- Go cycling together = both people need bicycles.
- Go rollerblading together = both people need rollerblades that fit.
- Doing archery together = both people need bows, arrows, shooting glove, etc.
- Rock climbing together = both people need a safety harness, climbing boots, rock climbing gear.
- Horseback riding together = You are going to need two horses, either rented or owned, plus saddle and possibly horse riding lessons.
- Fishing together = Two fishing rods and enough fishing tackle for two people (plus food as fishing is time consumingly boring).
- Knitting together = Enough yarn and knitting needles for two people.
- Playing PS4 together = Two controllers and games that two people can play together in two player mode.
Sometimes it just happens that one person in the relationship will lavish the other person with "sporting equipment" or other things just so they can do the activity together. Note - I added the knitting needles and PS4 at the end to show that this isn't limited to sports.
Is it really a big deal however? You are introducing the other person to an activity that you love doing, with the hope that they end up loving it too? Is that really so bad? (It isn't like you are introducing them to the life of being a serial killer or something equally grotesque.)
Introducing someone to a new sport can even be quite romantic...