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Birthday Woes

Dear Sugar
I am in a three year relationship with a man who has never given me a birthday gift! He is an engineer type and he is very fixed. He says he doesn't know what to get me that he thinks this answer justifies no gifts at all.

This year, I worked up the courage to tell him I wanted a pair of earrings, but he ended up getting me nothing. I felt incredibly let down; his response to me telling him what I wanted was positive, so I was looking forward to receiving a gift from him. He says he is waiting for a CD account to mature and planned to buy me something then.

I feel awful, devastated hurt. A token gift in the interim would have sufficed. I can't stop dwelling on this, and lately can't even talk to him. I am deeply in love with him, and told him that I am looking for validation from him regarding his feelings for me.

Now I feel like I want nothing from him. I don't think I can enjoy a gift from him knowing that it's coming based on his fear that I will break up with him if he doesn't show up with a gift for me at some point soon. What should I do? Neglected Naomi

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Neglected Naomi
Yuck, that is hurtful. Don't guys know that even flowers, and a card count as something special? I totally understand... you just want something from him that shows that he is thinking of you.

I am with you on this one 100%. Sorry guys, believe me, us gals know deep down that material things shouldn't matter and they aren't what's important. But... on our birthdays just go that extra mile to show that you really care.

We would never want you to break the bank to get us something ... honestly, it is the thought that counts. So if we are willing to give up awesome earrings that we've had our eye on, a purse or a cashmere sweater etc.. because you can't afford it - then at the very least, you better have a damn nice card and a box of our favorite candy to show us how special we are.

Naomi, don't threaten him, just be clear that you are disappointed and let down and then be patient. Actions speak louder than words. If he's promised you the world and never comes through, your problems are bigger than a birthday present. Beware of guys you call "fixed."

ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 11 years
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 11 years
Oh yeah- and I forgot to add: My EX boyfriend once got me a birthday present of blonde hair dye (thats it). ...and I am a burnette too. Lets just say is he is loooonnnggg gone. lol.
Stella10 Stella10 11 years
Naomi, I feel you pain I LOVE presents, I know that sounds very materialistic but the truth is that Big or small presents make everyone feel better, I grew up in a family where everything was celebrated with gift giving, Christmas (obviously), easter, valentines, birthdays EVERY OCCASION!! My advice dump his ass or reform him, i know you don't think it's possible but it is. I recently started living with my BF and he is only abirthday and christmas gift giver but I have reformed him!!! I know it sounds cheesy but beyond all the complaining he did get me easter presents! But I clearly had to layout what I wanted how much it was and where he could purchase it! It takes time, but it can be done!
haze1nut haze1nut 11 years
yeah naomi, you're situation made me remember my last bf. he rarely got me presents and had to study all the time and rarely called me (law student and long distance), finally i realized i had enough bc i didn't want to waste my time with someone who i didn't think was my "ideal guy" and moved on to a more passionate guy (aka my best friend) who loves me unconditionally (seriously he does:P) and lol i could talk forever about him. what i'm saying is, unless you're totally sure he's the one for you, you really don't know what kind of people are out there. judging from your screen name you're probably 21 and you're still a young gal and you have plenty of time to figure out where you want to be in life and who you want to be with. but also, if you're having a birthday dinner today, naomi. maybe's he's gonna surprise you with something?? i hope you find what you're looking for :) remember the old saying "it's the thought that counts", hopefully he'll do something thoughtful to make it up to you, if he doesn't.......well, you'll have to figure out what to do. lol i'm babbling. best of luck and happy birthday!
karmasabitch karmasabitch 11 years
Naomi the best advice I have is dump his ass and fast. I know it's hard especially when you've been with the person for a relatively long amount of time, but this one doesn't sound like a keeper.. Not only does he refuse to buy you birthday gifts, but after you made it clear that you wanted one, he still left you with nothing. That's blatantly ignoring your feelings and that's not something you want to be involved with. He doesn't have to wait for a CD account to mature to get you a birthday gift, that's a load of BS. A cheap gift or a homemade gift can mean more than an expensive one if it's something he's put time into finding/making. If you're having a hard time leaving him and need more reassurance that it's the right thing to do, sit down and have a talk with him about how you're feeling. See what he says and if he isn't willing to pull a 180 to make you feel better, start packing girl. There are men out there that are worthwhile and he isn't one of them.
Scribe85 Scribe85 11 years
I want to say thank you for all of your comments. It was reassuring to read your thoughts. Some of you said you wanted a lot more details .... that would take PAGES!!! He did call me on my birthday, six times, and sent me two e-mail birthday greetings. We were to celebrate my birthday this weekend .... dinner ... that sort of thing. But I know he hasn't a gift for me(see above)and i became quite sad about it. I had told him i wanted something from him to express his feelings for me. Anyone can take me to dinner. Perhaps Hazelnut is correct and i need to reevaluate the relationship. Thank you all so much. Naomi!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 11 years
I know how you must feel that you are being 'superficial' or 'shallow' in wanting (or expecting) a gift, but dont. To me, it seems like it boils down to a larger issue or him not respecting your wishes or feelings. I mean, come on, at least a CARD or something. A flower? Anything? A birthday comes once a year, and a little something to show he cares wouldnt kill him. If this really really bothers you (which I know it would bother me alot) I definitely think you should sit him down and let him know how you feel. Alot of guys dont really know unless we spell it out for them. Maybe next time he will step up to make your day special.
t0xxic t0xxic 11 years
Definetly let him know how u feel! we find out what the baby is in 3 days!
haze1nut haze1nut 11 years
seriously and honestly. you asked him, and he didn't deliver. i don't understand why he didn't at least try to get you anything, i mean, i'm pretty sure all the 'warning signs' hit him that he was about to hurt your feelings..he's not that dumb to think it wouldn't hurt your feelings! if this is some weird statement he's trying to make to change you and show you he's set in his ways, i say screw him. i think he's hurting you and he knows he could prevent it but he doesn't. honestly, if this such a big issue i would guess you would need to reasses the entire relationship situation and figure out where yall stand. maybe there's something wrong with the guy, seriously. you should ask him and try to figure out. if he gets upset at you and tries to put you on a guilt trip, he's not worth it. but still, maybe us readers aren't getting the whole picture. maybe he took you out for a nice dinner and flowers, maybe he wrote you a nice poem. we don't know that. maybe he's saving his money for a BIG PRESENT. again, we don't know that full details. but if this situation is really hitting ya deep then you gotta figure out, "is this the guy for me?"
wynter wynter 11 years
My husband and I don't exchange holiday/birthday gifts with each other. The kids *might* get us a gift, but that's all we do. He will do things like take over the kids for the day, do the chores, make dinner/take me out, etc.. on my birthday though. It used to bother me at first, but he's the type that will pick up flowers or something special on a normal day just to surprise me. When he's deployed, he gets online and orders things for me and the boys and has them delivered to us. I appreciate those little tokens of thought more than a mandatory gift on a special day. I hope your guy is the same way and does things on an average day to make you happy!
LisaK LisaK 11 years
What does he do on all the other holidays? Has he ever bought you a gift? Do you give him gifts? Talk to him about this. This sounds passive aggressive but on his birthday don't get him anything either. See how he reacts to that.
nicachica nicachica 11 years
there's something about this that just doesn't sound right. Naomi, is this the only thing that he's done that's disappointed you so much? what other things does he do to make you love him so much (i.e. cook you dinner, surprise you at work, non-material actions)? trust me, i completely sympathize with you being hurt that he did not get you a gift because i would be hurt as well. but is it simply that he didn't get you anything material? did he even remember it was your birthday? did he do anything for you that day? i honestly can't put my finger on it but there's something here that just doesn't make sense to me...
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