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You Asked: How Can I Make it up to Her?

Dear Sugar--

My girlfriend and I have just had our 3 year anniversary, problem is, she was expecting a material present (we hadn't gotten each other material presents since before last November) and a special day. I had only planned a dinner and did not finish her present in time.

So right now, she's feeling very disappointed and just can't shake it. So, we haven't done anything together since. Any advice as to what to do? Nothing I say or do makes a difference (she told me).

--In-the-Dog-House Danny

To hear DEARSUGAR'S answer,

Dear In-the-Dog-House Danny--

I know you said you haven't exchanged material presents in over a year, but girls LOVE to get presents - especially on meaningful occasions. If you never talked about exchanging gifts for your 3 year anniversary, it's really not you fault. Deep down inside she was probably hoping that you would get her a present to symbolize how much you appreciate having her in your life (girls love to be reminded!).

From a girl's perspective, 3 years is a long time to be together. From her reaction, it sounds as though she was expecting something bigger. Is it possible that she thought you were going to propose? Have you two ever discussed your future plans as a couple?

While her reaction seems incredibly selfish, her shutting you out is a red flag. Keep talking to her, tell her how much she means to you and ask her if her disappointment is strictly from the lack of gift or if there is something more. I'm not sure what your situation is, but this might be a great time to think about your future together.

Once you get to the bottom of this, how about taking her to a Bed & Breakfast to re-connect, send flowers to her office, or plan a romantic picnic next weekend. Doing something she doesn't expect will surely make her feel better. Good luck Danny!


Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 10 years
I understand she might be a bit disappointed if she was expecting something specific, but there's no justification in acting like that imo. A gift that expected is not a surprise anymore!! Either it's a really childish reaction, or it sounds like she was expecting a proposal or something more than just a gift (except that she seems to be the only one thinking/knowing this).
amangel amangel 10 years
I agree with jennifer76 and hope you'll work this out!
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
There has to be more to it than this. If you guys had agreed to not exchange gifts, and you actually planned a dinner for her, the fact that she's so upset that she won't see you has to be based on something deeper. It'd be one thing if you ignored the anniversary altogether. Or if she had to make all the plans. But, she's either being very petty or she's not sharing other concerns with you. I agree with Dear - ask her what's really bothering her.
Marci Marci 10 years
Am I understanding correctly that you two had agreed not to exchange material gifts for occasions? That's what I'm getting from your saying they hadn't been exchanged since before last November. If that's the case, then I think the problem here is that your girlfriend changed her mind about that arrangement but didn't mention it to you. Women have a tendency to expect their men to read their minds on things like that, which isn't fair to the poor guys! Dear could be right that she was hoping for an engagement. That might explain her extreme reaction. But if she continues to refuse to see your or discuss this, then it sounds like something else might be afoot. Good Luck. I hope it works out for you.
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
TO be honest it is strange to me that you guys hadnt exchanged gifts in over a yera. if you had made an agreement not to then unless it was spoken that you would there was no way for you to know. BUT i can totally understand her hoping and being disapointed. TINA!
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
No way its not high maintenance, if you were making something for her that is fine BUT you should make sure its ready by then...
vmruby vmruby 10 years
Sounds to me like she has some deeper issues(maybe the fact that she hasn't gotten anything material from you since last november?) but you did take her out to dinner which is very thoughtful. I like getting a gifts as well as giving them on special occassions especially on an anniversary.I have gotten different types of gifts and not necessarily something material and the sentiment behind it was the same.IMO it does not in any way make every person who feels that way shallow ,immature, or selfish.Regardless of what it is I'm grateful my husband is so thoughtful and he never forgets. It means the world to me and makes me feel so loved.I make absolutely no apologies for that..
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
If you don't usually exchange presents, I don't know why she would get upset this time around...I agree with sugar...are you sure maybe she wasn't expecting a ring? It has been 3 years...has it been discussed? That could leave a girl bummed out, if she was expecting that (justifiably or not)and got nothing.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
i agree with slg279. Did she get YOU anything? i mean, tis better to give than to receive, right? i'm worried that she might be blowing this thing out of proportion as a way to find an excuse to be unhappy in the relationship or get you guys to discuss something (future has been brought up). i dunno. but i do know that, as a girl, i always enjoy homemade gifts AND dinner. so you gained a couple points in my book. YUM!
TrannyDoLL TrannyDoLL 10 years
The girl in me agrees with her. A man will marry the most beautiful woman he can afford. Failure to purchase gifts is rly baaaad. Are you saying I'm not pretty? Now the boy in me thinks the opposite. F that ho! I can get two broads for half the price and no lip service. C ya, toots. So depending on how I feel when I wake up determines my position on this issue. Have the two of you considered swinging?
designergirl designergirl 10 years
I agree with agree Cairo. I mean, it's one thing to be disappointed for a day or two. It's quite another to act the way she is. You didn't finish her present on time, so she won't see you? That's ridiculous. She does sound very high maintenance.
Cairo Cairo 10 years
I'm Sorry, I don't think You did anything wrong, This Girl Sounds like She is High Maintenance, She isn't giving You a Chance, I'd cut My Losses and Move on.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i think you need to take her at her word and move forward; nothing you do will make a difference! if she suddenly thinks it's important to mark special occasions with spending money that's something you needed to know. change in routine is something that needs to be mentioned to your partner. sounds like something deeper might be bothering her.
girlgreen girlgreen 10 years
i kind of have a problem with all these ladies acting like guys have to get us presents! you don't have to buy things for people to prove your feelings for them. of course it's nice to get stuff, but if she's so into presents, what did she get you? it seems a bit one-sided in my opinion.
GQ_send GQ_send 10 years
take her to a museum, then buy a good looking painting and tell the person who work there to hang it, once she sees it, she'll act like it part of the show. Then tell her that it's hers. LOL she will be surprise.
ilove2ski ilove2ski 10 years
Plan something special. Girls love little things. (at least I dot) You don't have to get her anything too expensive. ..If you see us in the club we'll be acting real nice if you see us on the floor you'll be watchin all night..
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
Wait a minute here. He was planning on giving her a present, just not one that he bought from a store. Let's not be too hard on him for that. He did plan dinner...give him some props for that. I definitely think there is something more than just not receiving a present. I say go out of your way to do something really special for her like was suggested and ask her some questions to see what the real issue is.
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
Good luck with all that!! Hope you learned your lesson on that one!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I like Dears advise to plan something special for your girl. I think it's odd you don't give her gifts occasionally? Not even for Valentines? I love it when my boyfriend surprises me with flowers or any thoughtful gift. I think you need to talk to her about how much she means to you and then start a new pattern of showing her more clearly! Couldn't you get her a little something at least once a month? A book she's been wanting, a box of her favourite specialty chocolate, something sweet that shows you were thinking about her.
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