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Dear Wendy

“No Valentines card or gift”

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  • #1030455 Reply
    avatarDear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “My SO and I have been together for seven months. He lives in a different state. We see each other every weekend.
    He hinted in December that he wanted a very expensive bottle of rare Irish whiskey. Since I had already bought all his Christmas gifts I said I would give it to him for Valentine’s Day
    Four days before Valentine’s Day he got his second Covid vaccine and two days after started feeling under the weather. We had plans to have dinner the day before Valentine’s Day with friends but those plans fell through and we cancelled the reservation. Valentine’s Day we had reservations again but honestly neither one of us felt like going out to dinner. I gave him the bottle of his favorite liquor which was $200 along with a card (not to mention I had sent him a card before he arrived). I never received a gift or a card!! While he was staying with me he brought over food which I cooked; I went out to get his favorite foods for breakfast and basically catered to him. Even helped him set up emails for friends on his computer and other things. Even helped him shop on line for himself wherein he spent over $300 for himself.
    Valentine’s night before we went to sleep I did mention that I couldn’t believe I didn’t even get a card. I said it in a light hearted way because I just couldn’t believe he was so in thoughtful. I wasn’t angry just aghast with disbelief. He said I’m sorry Valentine’s Day wasn’t what you expected. Before he left to go back home we hugged affectionately and he again said I’m sorry Valentines Day wasn’t what you expected or words to that effect. I’m beyond disbelief at this point. Is it time to cut the sucker loose?
    He did come with flowers from Supermarket when he arrived. Nothing special. My daughter and her family send me two dozen roses while he was here and I received other gifts from my other two children while he was here. So it wasn’t like he didn’t know what you do on Valentine’s Day. And to boot he had me shop on line for him!!

    #1030457 Reply

    LW…Although you don’t give your age, you do say your children sent you gifts so if my assumption is incorrect, do say so. That said, I now have the impression you’re the parent of adult children, therefore, I have to ask:

    Did you ever discuss your expectations with your boyfriend? It’s disingenuous to suggest that everyone somehow gleans what “should be done” as though it is obtained by relationship osmosis. You’ve been together seven months. He told you he wanted whiskey, you said “Ok that’s Valentine’s covered” but it might have worked out better for you if, at that point, you’d verbalized your expectations.

    I’m not touching the business about visits over the course of your relationship during a pandemic. I’ve been in the UK for past year, unable to return to the States, to see my own children, because of restrictions and seeing my own patients via video link and telehealth.

    If the relationship is over for you, then go ahead and end it. If, for example, he truly “had you do” his online shopping as in you had no choice but to comply, that’s troubling. But if you just did these things and expected a certain response from him, then tell him. Verbalize your expectations. It’s key.

    I’ve been a long time reader (years) but never posted before. I did this time because your letter struck a chord. See, my husband and I don’t “do Valentines” per se. We are close, affectionate, and that day is no different to us than any other day. It really is a spectrum, from people who go all out all the way to people who avoid it at all costs.

    There’s no single correct way to do it. So have that adult conversation where you lay out what your needs, wants and expectations are, then see what he says. Then you’ll know.

    #1030458 Reply

    I think he sounds like a knob. “I’m sorry Valentine’s Day wasn’t what you expected.” — ???? That’s not an apology. I don’t agree that it is incumbent on LW to communicate — “yes, I do celebrate this standard romantic holiday, so please get me a gift.” C’mon. Maybe if they were married and wanted to skip it, they could talk about that, but a new relationship? And he has to be prompted to acknowledge a basic holiday? No matter how manufactured V-Day is, that’s lame.

    A normal person would feel pretty embarrassed at receiving an expensive gift and reciprocating nothing. He just shrugged it off.

    I’d exit this one.

    Oh, btw LW, it’s not a good idea to GIVE more in an effort to nudge someone into the behavior you want. Plus, it is perfectly okay to be angry sometimes.

    #1030459 Reply

    $200 is a lot to spend on a Valentines Day gift, especially if you haven’t had a conversation about expectations. You should always have a convo with a new boyfriend when the holidays roll around, about how they like to celebrate and handle gifting.

    But look, you’re not contemplating whether you should “cut the sucker loose” because he didn’t spend $200 on you for V-Day. There’s a lot else going on here, I suspect.

    #1030460 Reply

    The audacity to spend your hard earned money on yourself – WOW!

    LW, did he really “hint” that he wanted a $200 bottle of Whiskey or did you imbed it in your brain that he was hinting, thus you must get it! Vday isnt about “gifts” and giving “gifts” isnt about expecting to be given a gift. He didnt come empty handed. He brought flowers and food, even though it needed to be cooked. You two had to have had a conversation about dinner plans beforehand so I assumed you knew that you would be fixing dinner at your place. You went the extra mile because that is who you are and he did not because he didnt see it as important as you did. What you should be asking yourself is why are you so invested in over spending on someone that you dont feel has the same energy/investment. This guy may be like the millions of other guys who dont find Vday that significant to put so much money and effort into it for one day.

    Also, My husbands brought me beautiful roses and chocolate covered strawberries from the GROCERY STORE with no card and I made a Ribeye dinner with veggies in our tiny slide in bed camper since we had renters. I love getting flowers and have made it clear that I expect flowers, even if they are store bought, during special occasions.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by avatarKarebear1813.
    #1030461 Reply

    Is he thoughtless in general? It is important to verbalize your expectations. And if gift giving is important to you, tell people that! My husband and I aren’t into gifts, neither are our families. People like us appreciate a heads up if gifts are a big deal to someone we care about. If he had followed up his apology with a promise of a redo I’d say give him a chance. But he doesn’t seem to be making an effort here. I agree with Kate, you’re not considering dumping him because of one crappy valentine’s day. I’m betting there’s a pattern of thoughtlessness and low effort.

    #1030466 Reply

    I don’t agree w/ @FYI on this one. Prior to all holiday’s, expectations should be discussed with a new partner. I don’t consider V-day a basic gift-giving holiday. A card? Maybe. Some chocolate or flowers, I guess. An expensive gift? No. I’m from the U.S. He did bring her flowers, apparently, so it wasn’t absolutely nothing.

    In all of my relationships, how birthday’s, Christmas, valentine’s day and NYE are celebrated is discussed and a compromise is made. No hurt feelings. Expectations are met.

    #1030467 Reply

    Right, he acknowledged the holiday, he spent time with her, he did “flowers” and “dinner.” It’s not like he blew it off. But it didn’t match her spending or effort.

    #1030468 Reply

    That said, he probably is a dud.

    #1030470 Reply

    I think the expectation should have been set prior to you buying the $200 bottle of liquor. He did make an effort, his effort just wasn’t enough for you. You even talk down on the “Supermarket Flowers” he got you, instead of paying three times as much from a florist.

    I told my boyfriend three months in that I didn’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day and don’t typically celebrate it at all. Restaurants are always overcrowded, the prices are inflated on chocolate and flowers and everything else “love” related. He bought me a gift anyway thinking I was setting him up. We discussed it and I told him I wasn’t trying to set him up in not getting me a gift. So instead of giving it to me yesterday, he’s holding on to it and is going to give it to me this week as a “just because” gift.

    #1030471 Reply

    I don’t even think it’s that he made little effort compared to what she did, but when she brought it up, he gave a super lame “I’m sorry it wasn’t what you expected,” and nothing else. That’s just not what great people do when they can see their partner is sore about something. He could have redeemed himself, especially when he realized what she did spend and do for him.

    And she did tell him she was getting him that whiskey for Valentine’s Day. Only a total idiot or jerk would then assume he was good with obviously grocery store flowers.

    I do think they should have talked more about expectations, but he should be smart enough to take the hint when she gave him a super expensive gift, and then didn’t rectify the situation. He sounds like a dud. And there’s probably more to it, but this is indicative of his effort and care.

    #1030473 Reply

    ^^^^^^ This.

    The “apology” is the give-away. If someone bought me a nice gift that I said I wanted, and I reciprocated with $12 flowers, I’d be mortified, and I would be happy to talk that through. I’d be acknowledging it and listening to the other person. I wouldn’t pull out the lame-ass non-apology — “I’m sorry you feel that way” — and walk out the door. Ugh.

    Bringing food for HER to cook is hardly a gift.

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