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In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
“John” and I met almost six months ago, but only decided to be in an exclusive relationship after four months of dating, right before I left for two-week vacation. About two days after we had that “talk,” he took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, which would be the following week, when I’d be out of town. He didn’t give me a card or a gift, except an impersonal e-card on my actual birthday saying that I should have a great day and enjoy my trip. I was disappointed, because I definitely would have given him a card and at least a modest, thoughtful gift. It was nice that he took me out to dinner, but it wasn’t really special since we do that all the time, and I had taken him out to dinner a few days prior, so it was his turn to get the bill anyway. My cousin told me I shouldn’t be upset or think anything of it, since the relationship was so new (yes, two days old “officially,” but we had been dating for four months).
I let it go because I didn’t think it was worth getting upset over, but two months later, while I am feeling a bit under-appreciated in other aspects of the relationship, I’m a bit bothered by this. I have given him a few small, very simple gifts, and when I was on my trip, I saw something nice that I would have liked to bring back for him, but didn’t, as I thought it would be excessive since he has never given me anything, and I’m the one who had the birthday. I’m not asking if I should confront him dramatically about this, but I plan to talk to him calmly about other reasons I’ve been feeling under-appreciated, and I was wondering if you think this is fair to mention, or am I out of line for having expected at least a hand-written card, or a modest, but thoughtful gift, for my birthday? — Disappointed Birthday Girl