My Boyfriend Hasn't Bought me a B-Day Gift in 4 Years!!!! What do I do?

I know this question sounds materialistic... and I do love my boyfriend very deeply. He is very giving with his heart and his time... but for some reason the idea of giving gifts is a problem for him.

For the last 4 years of our relationship - he has celebrated my birthday - by buying me a sentimental card and then cooking me dinner. It is all very sweet and kind. And I love how special these gestures are.

This year for his 40th birthday I saved all year to buy him a luxury watch (over 5 grand) and took him out on the town to ensure the moment was special to him. In return this year he bought me a card ... and offered to take me out to dinner. Although very kind... he never has offered me a gift/token of any kind. I give him so much... and to be honest I feel taken advantage of being the one who is always giving and he always taking.

I asked him to forego Xmas gifts this year - becuase he says he's low on cash (although I still bought him lots!) and he gave me a sentimental love letter which I will cherish forever. However, he took that to mean also not buy me a birthday gift when I asked him why he doesn't give birthday gifts - flowers, anything. I am not asking for anything expensive ... just something to show he cares... and that all I give him is appreciated. We moved in together a month ago... and I me carrying all the bills... and helping him out financially.

When we talked about it last night... he got very defensive and upset. I didn't want to hurt his feelings but I was really taken aback by the fact he decided to spend $300 on my birthday on clothes for himself... yet didn't even think about a small gesture for me.

Should I breakup with him? Am I being used?


Most Helpful Guy

  • I actually joined this site so I could answer your question.

    I'm a guy who probably was once (and still is in many ways) like your man. Four years in, if he hasn't changed by now were you really expecting the world to shift in your favor?

    Could it be money? Sound like you buy him extremely valuable gifts and perhaps he can't reciprocate? What do you give a girl who gives you a $5000 watch? A $120 necklace doesn't stack up, if I was feeling strapped for cash I might give her nothing because I feel like I can't measure up. If this is the case try buying some gifts he can compete with.

    If that's not it, he may just not be the kind to lavish you in this way. And if you try and bring it up this invites an "I don't want to talk about it now" moment or worse a fight where he'll redirect the non-gift conflict to something like "I've been so busy at work, I just couldn't this year." Could you still love the man if you asked him for a nice letter every year and that was all you ever got?

    Believe me I've been there. I'm a little better now but it's hard pushing down my practical side. I'm just not the one to see value in expensive gifts ("Why buy a $500 necklace when the car needs tires") but my girlfriend has also learned to appreciate that I've got other qualities that make it worth sticking together.

    • Report

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond! Very much appreciate your point-of-view. Indeed my boyfriend is a practical/rational man... and the idea of spending on even himself most days is a no-fly zone. The 300 he did spend on himself was holiday gift money... and I don't condone him for that at all.

      His other qualities - bar-none make him an amazing partner... and frugality is "one" of those qualities that I love about him.

      Thanks again for this point of view -- very helpful!