No, I wouldn’t ask your niece and her boyfriend to give you the vouchers they received from the airlines in exchange for taking a later flight to visit you. The tickets you purchased for them were a gift – just as something material you might have given would be. If your niece sold, say, a sweater you bought her for her birthday, you wouldn’t expect her to give you the money she made from the sale, right? That said, your niece sounds like an insufferable ingrate, clearly lacking any discernible social graces, and one would have to imagine her parents — one of whom must be your sibling — are at least partly to blame. If that doesn’t ring true for you, she either has a shitty personality that she may never grow out of, or she might be going through a phase that, hopefully, life experiences and maturity will cure her of.
It’s understandable that you’re disappointed in how the visit went, and you are certainly not without cause in thinking your niece has a sense of entitlement. If this is something you feel you could speak to her parents about – or at least the one who is your sibling — it might be worth mentioning if you’re ever asked how the weekend went (I wouldn’t recommend broaching the topic unsolicited though). You could say something like, “We enjoyed seeing her and meeting/seeing her boyfriend, but we were surprised with how much time 20-year-olds spend on their phones!” This is general enough that you’re making a point while couching it in some reflection and understanding of generational differences. It’s pointed enough that it invites a conversation if your sibling is interested in going there, but it can easily be shrugged off if he/she doesn’t.
At any rate, now you know not to extend an invitation to this family member again, and unless she expresses some interest in YOU, you’re under zero obligation to express any interest in her. Think of the time and money that will save going forward!
Christmas was around the corner and in the break room the same teacher ruined the surprise my boyfriend had for me. When I spoke to my boyfriend about it, he seemed to defend her instead of being upset that she ruined his gift to me. After we all returned to work from the holiday break, I had to cover that same teacher’s class and was admiring something on her desk when the students mentioned that it was a gift from MY BOYFRIEND!! That broke my heart. It’s not bad to give a gift to a coworker, but isn’t it weird that you have five co-workers and only give one a gift — a sentimental gift — while keeping it a secret from your girlfriend who you know is uncomfortable with that co-worker? How should I respond to this? — Suspicious of Their Friendship
This is a fantastic opportunity to practice honing your intuition, listening to your gut, and paying attention to contextual clues. Eight years is a very long time to spend with someone, and when those years are such formative ones like the ones you shared with your boyfriend, it can be difficult to see yourself without that person. It would be understandable if he feels almost like part of your identity at this point – like being his partner is a way of defining yourself. But I hope you realize what a whole and full person you are on your own and that, if this relationship has run its course and now brings you more anxiety than joy, you can actually find much deeper fulfillment and happiness outside of it.
You don’t have to be a slave to the confines of a relationship that may have worked – or not worked! – when you were a teenager. You’re an adult now, and if your gut and intuition and the narrative you can watch unfold in front of your eyes tells you you’re no longer regarded by your significant other in the way a partner deserves to be, give yourself a gift: the gift of freedom, from a relationship that no longer brings you joy.