In Tears on My Birthday because of My Boyfriend

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    I just turned 25 on Sunday, and had a get-together with friends Saturday night but reserved Sunday for my boyfriend and I. I woke up to a verbal “Happy Birthday” followed by a lazy day around the house and then we went out shopping (and running some of his errands), and returned home before going to dinner. I received no gift, and only received a card because I told him to buy me one when we were at CVS. I feel so disappointed he did nothing to make my special day, well.. special.

    I know that he is the type of person to put emphasis on birthdays because his brother recently turned 40 and he threw him a surprise party/bought him an expensive ring from Tiffany’s. I feel like his lack of effort means he doesn’t care about me. Last year for my birthday we had just started dating, but he sent me flowers to my office. Am I being unreasonable? I have bought him many expensive gifts, and he is usually good with special occasions so this was extra disappointing. He had even asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple weeks before. I told him jokingly “a puppy!” but knew he wouldn’t really get me that.

    We had a huge fight about it on my birthday and I ended up in tears. He made me sound like I was being a brat for moping all day. What should I do?



    Did you discuss with him what you wanted to do for you birthday?

    Basically, you had expectations about what should happen and they didn’t. If you didn’t discuss these expectations, it is not fair to get angry at him because he has no idea what you want.

    He’s known his brother his whole life…so he knows what his brother expects on his birthday.

    Not to dismiss your feelings, I myself would be upset if I just got a card, but to be fair you should have told him what you wanted when he asked. He may view birthdays as just another day and because you did not express your wishes, took you at your word.

    Last year he was still in the wooing stage which is probably why he sent flowers then. By saying a puppy knowing he wouldn’t get you one may have made him think you were joking and or didn’t put much weight on the day.

    There is actually a great podcast on baggage reclaim site regarding birthdays and how miscommunications and hurt feelings are often associated with them.



    No I would be the same very out of order ! I would pull back make plans with friends and on his birthday do the same !



    Oh my. As Lane would say, a birthday is only important to you and your parents. It’s just another day for everyone else.

    If he treats you great otherwise, you are being over dramatic IMO. Certainly not something to break up over. Or have a huge fight. He had a nice dinner with you and spent TiME with you. Instead of getting mad, you could appreciate what you got.

    What is it you want to do? You already made him feel bad and got him defensive. You can tell him it but you and birthdays mean a lot. Then let him know what you like so that hopefully next year he will be clued in. Men can’t read minds and I agree with the other responder. You could have told him what you would like in your birthday.

    If this is the biggest complaint you have with him, let it go.



    Hi Marie-I agree with you and think the other posters are too dismissive of this issue. My ex boyfriend did not get me anything at Valentine’s Day. I shrugged it off because he was sweet/thoughtful usually. However I did find it odd and he was embarrassed because I got him a gift and a card. We broke up a short while after because he “couldn’t make any promises etc” I asked him as I was leaving, about the Valentine thing. He said he did not get me a card/present etc. because that would show love and investment and he was not feeling that and did not want to pretend he was, so he did nothing. So I should not have been so quick to rationalize the no gift thing. This may or may not be what is happening with you, but I would proceed with caution.



    how often do you two argue or carry resentment with each other? I feel if you were happy in this relationship, and you were showing it to him on a daily basis, he would make an effort to please you because he knows he will get appreciation and he doesn’t feel he is doing a lot of wrong things.

    Maybe he feels he is constantly failing in this relationship? Just a thought.
    You could be very happy together though, in which case it is quite weird but not too big of a deal because it is more important time spent with you than a gift and then treat you horribly the rest of the time.



    Obviously something is not working here if he threw his brother a birthday and did not acknowledge yours.

    But you may have not told him how you feel about your birthdays…it is a conversation you should have had…and how he feels about his birthday as well.

    So start talking…not fighting but talking.



    Not to sound too insensitive here but you are sounding extremely high maintenance. Why are you expecting so many material things from him? Is your relationship so hollow that you are basing on whether or not he gives you a gift? And you are keeping score that you buy him “expensive gifts” yet you get nothing. Relationships arent about things, they are about moments.

    Anyone can make a big gesture but it is what happens day to day that matters. how does he treat you on the whole? Is he there for you during tough times? Does he encourage you to be a better person? These are the questions you need to be asking.

    Birthdays may not mean anything to him (as they dont for most men) so do not hold it against him. It will only make you seem petty and superficial.

    In a more emotionally neutral time, tell him that you felt uncared for when he did not do anything for your birthday and you expect gestures during certain ocassions. Im sure he’ll make arrangements to make you happy.



    I would be disappointed too. You got flowers the first year and someone else said that its because you were in the wooing stage of your relationship. I agree with that. The first year in my current relationship, I got flowers and a card on valentines day and then dinner out and a concert on my birthday (both are in the same month). The next year (this year) I got a heart shaped ice cream cake for valentine day and dinner out on my birthday. They were all very nice gestures, but the guys seem to go more out of the way during the wooing phase. I definitely would not break up with him over it and just get past it. There are definitely worse things a guy can do. Plus his brother is family and 40 is a milestone birthday, but I would also pay attention closely to his future actions during your birthday. If it becomes less and less every year, then there is a problem.



    I would sugest you read “The rules”books by ellen fein. The are also support groups on facebook that you could join. The books teachs you the right way to behave with men so they will always treat you like a princess. There is too much to talk about it here. You wont regret to look into it. It took me over a year to really get it and be able to be that kind of woman but once I did it changed my life. Men know treat me so well and the bad ones get weeded out early so I dont waist my time. Join the group on facebook



    I can relate. I’m older but I’m still a woman and I’m with a man who doesnt like any holidays including Valentines day and birthdays. My boyfriend was out of town on Valentines and I didnt get anything. He was supposed to be back for my birthday but he might miss it SO I planned my own BIRTHDAY WEEKEND. My birthday is on Monday-im getting together with a girlfriend on Friday night, shopping the next day, a sporting event on Sunday and took Monday off and hope I get a hike in. If he comes in early too bad i have plans. And that’s what you have to do for yourself. Dont expect anyone else to make you feel special. You make yourself feel special. Next year I’m planning a trip for my birthday and probably not with him. And I’ll have a great time because I’m taking care of me.

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