Author Topic: Would this have bothered you?  (Read 7945 times)

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Larrabee

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2011, 05:12:33 PM »
Sorry if I'm misinterpreting good intentions, it just always seems to come up on any thread about gifts, when I really don't think the actual gift is the issue at all. 

DuBois

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2011, 05:26:47 PM »
Sorry if I'm misinterpreting good intentions, it just always seems to come up on any thread about gifts, when I really don't think the actual gift is the issue at all.

FWIW, I agree with you.

Judah

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2011, 06:36:13 PM »
Sorry if I'm misinterpreting good intentions, it just always seems to come up on any thread about gifts, when I really don't think the actual gift is the issue at all.

FWIW, I agree with you.

I don't understand.  So, we're not supposed to answer questions honestly?
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bah12

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2011, 07:11:16 PM »
Sorry if I'm misinterpreting good intentions, it just always seems to come up on any thread about gifts, when I really don't think the actual gift is the issue at all.

FWIW, I agree with you.

I don't understand.  So, we're not supposed to answer questions honestly?

I think what she's getting at is the question probably isn't "would not getting a gift bother you?" so much as it is "is the changing dynamic of what's normal in my relationship something to be concerned about?" or even more simply "Am I wrong because it bothers me?"

I think it's fine to answer the question and say that not getting a gift wouldn't bother you.  That's the truth.  It wouldn't bother me either.  But, it would also be helpful to the OP to answer the underlying question, which is "this bothers you.  It's ok that it bothers you and you should approach it X way."  KWIM?

Two Ravens

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2011, 07:31:11 PM »
Sorry if I'm misinterpreting good intentions, it just always seems to come up on any thread about gifts, when I really don't think the actual gift is the issue at all.

FWIW, I agree with you.

I don't understand.  So, we're not supposed to answer questions honestly?

I think what she's getting at is the question probably isn't "would not getting a gift bother you?" so much as it is "is the changing dynamic of what's normal in my relationship something to be concerned about?" or even more simply "Am I wrong because it bothers me?"

I think it's fine to answer the question and say that not getting a gift wouldn't bother you.  That's the truth.  It wouldn't bother me either.  But, it would also be helpful to the OP to answer the underlying question, which is "this bothers you.  It's ok that it bothers you and you should approach it X way."  KWIM?

FWIW, No one has said the OP was wrong to be bothered by this.  I stated clearly if it bothered the OP it was fine, and that she should talk to the BF about it. (The BF appears to have communication issues, though, so it is unclear how helpful this would be)

The OP asked the question "Would this have bothered you?" I answered honestly.  Not to shame the OP, but to illustrate that not everyone thinks the way she does.

figee

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2011, 09:04:40 PM »
It would bother me.  An ex-BF never bought me anything for either my birthday or Christmas.  We were both broke, but somehow I managed to buy him gifts.  The weird thing was that I didn't necessarily want anything from him.  What annoyed me was that I bought him Christmas and birthday gifts, he didn't buy me anything, and then had the nerve to get angry with me when, after his mother asked me what he had given me, I told her the truth.  We broke up very soon after that, after he had: refused to lend me any money for petrol to get to work after my employers had mucked up my pay for the third time, had complained about the amount of money he had spent going out with me, or picking me up from the train station which was 20 minutes from his house, and when I'd spent 2.5 hours and $20 on tickets to get to him, and then he gave me the cash equivalent of the money I'd spent on gifts for him so 'we'd be even'.  The last was the single most insulting thing that has ever happened to me.

I guess my position is that this is probably not about gifts, its about other things, which is about the amount of effort bf is putting into the relationship.  That, in some cases is measured by money (as shown in my example: apparently I wasn't even worth the amount of money needed to spend time together, and the relationship was defined by cash and obligation - not the way I was working at all!), but in others, as in this instance, it seems to be about time and generosity.  To me, the bigger flag is his refusal to pick up the OP's sister when it wasn't out of his way to do so on top of the other things.

celtic_lady

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2011, 10:49:52 AM »
OP, these incidents would bother me too because from what you describe it seems like they came out of left field. To me it does seem like your BF may be backing off and you should probably have a talk. I've had similar experiences in the past with BFs and friends who were trying to distance themselves for whatever reason.  Usually it started with some kind of subtle shift in the dynamics of the re-lationship. The action itself wasn't really the issue, but what it represented was what concerned me. If it was just the gift incident I would have thought that perhaps money was tight and he just didn't want to admit that he couldn't afford to get you something, but the thing with your sister was odd, especially if it's never been an issue before. As hard as it is, I think you probably will need to have a serious discussion with him. Long distance re-lationships can be difficult under the best of circumstances and  they take a lot of effort on both sides. I tried maintaining one while I was in college and it just didn't work out. It got to the point where I was putting in all the effort and he finally admitted that he just couldn't handle it along with all the stresses of college life. Anyway, this might not be the case for you and your BF, but I do see why his recent behavior would raise red flags and it's worth clearing the air.

Surianne

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2011, 12:50:44 PM »
FWIW, No one has said the OP was wrong to be bothered by this.  I stated clearly if it bothered the OP it was fine, and that she should talk to the BF about it. (The BF appears to have communication issues, though, so it is unclear how helpful this would be)

The OP asked the question "Would this have bothered you?" I answered honestly.  Not to shame the OP, but to illustrate that not everyone thinks the way she does.

I'm with you on this, and I think there's nothing inappropriate or shaming about your posts in this thread at all.  In fact, before reading pages 2-4 I was planning to respond the same way and say this wouldn't have bothered me at all (I'm not big on presents, and I've had the "Okay, should we even bother getting each other gifts this year?" conversation with boyfriends before) but since the OP is bothered, she should discuss it with her boyfriend and make her gift expectations more clear.  No judging here at all, simply saying "Not everyone is bothered by this, so it's possible your BF didn't realize how important gifts are to you."

Providing the other perspective (that of people who aren't really into gifts) can give her a chance to read where her boyfriend might be coming from, which makes it easier to communicate where *she* is coming from.  So I think Two Ravens' post is quite useful in that sense.

O'Dell

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2011, 01:09:06 PM »
I'm not particularly into gifts. Never have been. So I do get where some people aren't bothered by the "gift" part of the situation. That wouldn't bother me at all if someone asked the question because money was tight or they just couldn't think of anything or getting it to me was going to be difficult...any sort of pragmatic reason will get someone off the hook.

What bothers me in this scenario is that his reasoning seems to be "I won't be with you in person, so I question the need to get you a gift." Not only don't I get that reasoning, to me it suggests that he doesn't value someone away from him the same way he values someone who can be with him physically. Did he always think that way and it comes up now because of college? Did he ask the same question of family? Or was his gf an exception? Has something changed with him? It raises enough questions that I'd be asking them of him or at least be keeping an eye out for other signs that something is changing in the relationship.



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WillyNilly

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2011, 05:12:46 PM »
OP, these incidents would bother me too because from what you describe it seems like they came out of left field. To me it does seem like your BF may be backing off and you should probably have a talk. I've had similar experiences in the past with BFs and friends who were trying to distance themselves for whatever reason. Usually it started with some kind of subtle shift in the dynamics of the re-lationship. The action itself wasn't really the issue, but what it represented was what concerned me. If it was just the gift incident I would have thought that perhaps money was tight and he just didn't want to admit that he couldn't afford to get you something, but the thing with your sister was odd, especially if it's never been an issue before. As hard as it is, I think you probably will need to have a serious discussion with him. Long distance re-lationships can be difficult under the best of circumstances and  they take a lot of effort on both sides. I tried maintaining one while I was in college and it just didn't work out. It got to the point where I was putting in all the effort and he finally admitted that he just couldn't handle it along with all the stresses of college life. Anyway, this might not be the case for you and your BF, but I do see why his recent behavior would raise red flags and it's worth clearing the air.

The bolded line begins to go into something I was thinking.  Its unfortunately not all that uncommon - especially with younger or less-experienced-with-adult-relationships folks - to start backing away from a relationship as a way to end it.  Sometimes the person knows exactly what they are doing, sometimes its subconscious, but either way, its not all that uncommon for someone to start acting like a jerk to get their SO to break up with them.   The jerk moves are subtle, and outwardly explainable, but ultimately its because the person is too cowardly to have the hard discussion of breaking up.

Breaking up over a major fight or issue is easy.  Breaking up because you've grown apart, or have gotten bored, or have just moved in a different direction, or because you knew it was never actually a "forever" thing and are ready to move on - that kind of break up is super hard.

OP, its not fun to consider that, but bear it in mind - he might not be into the relationship anymore.  And that doesn't even necessarily mean he doesn't love you, or enjoy spending time with you, or anything.  Sometimes its just a case of two great people who aren't meant to be together.

It of course could be not the case at all, but its something to consider.

Ondine

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2011, 02:17:51 AM »
OP: the boyfriend's attitude would bother me if he had always been giving gifts/making that extra effort in the past.  I also think it depends on your experience.

My ex and I were not huge on holidays - we did not celebrate Valentine's Day or most other commercial holidays (other than Christmas). For some people, it would be an issue if every holiday wasn't celebrated. It wasn't the case for us.

I also wouldn't say your boyfriend was being lazy - you are both entering second year university. You say your birthday was in April - was he studying for exams? It's possible he was bogged down by studying, and shopping was not a top priority. I think he could have worded it better - like, 'it's been a tough month for me with school - is it alright if we celebrate your birthday once exams are done?"  Would something like this work?

PaddedPaws

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2011, 11:37:21 PM »
TychaBrahe, i think the book you are talking about is The 5 Love Languages. It is overtly Christian, and espouses many biblical attitudes toward male-female relationships. If that is your thing, cool; but a body should be warned before diving into something like that unawares. I personally wanted to burn after reading.

TwoRavens beat me to the link.

For the record, I do not share that author's religious views, but I still think the book has useful information. I don't know if speaking different love languages is the key issue in the OP's situation. As others have said, it could be something else. But it could be a miscommunication about love languages. If you ignore the religious message, there's some useful theory in there.

I have different expectations than my boyfriend's family about gift giving, although we've managed to meet in the middle. For me, I wouldn't care if my boyfriend never got me a gift for birthdays or anniversaries or christmas. The only thing I would d want to know is whether he was getting me one, so that I'd know whether I should get him one too. I spent last Christmas with his family and I was overwhelmed.... They all got me so much stuff, I was embarassed! I did get them all something, but nothing fancy. Fortunately, nobody took it amiss and nobody was insulted by me. Now that I know that gifts are big deal in his family, if we spend Christmas with them again, I would definitely put more effort into it. (My boyfriend doesn't care that much himself either.)

Lynn2000

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Re: Would this have bothered you?
« Reply #57 on: August 25, 2011, 05:39:16 PM »
For me, I would be frustrated by what as I see as a lack of communication. The whole DVD issue I could see happening in my family, not through maliciousness, but because we have different priorities and difficulty communicating. Maybe BF had perfectly good reasons for why he made the decisions he made; but it sounds like he never explained any of them, and the OP ended up having to ask about her own gift just to find out a little more information. This gives the impression that the gift, and in a sense the OP, is not very important to him. I'm sure if the BF had said, "Actually, I'll be really busy with exams right then; could I give you the DVD once classes are out?" she would not even be posting here.

The sister thing is worrisome for similar reasons. I have to admit that my first thought was that some issue has come up with the sister--not to impugn the OP's sister's character, but it seems like the kind of thing that might happen if the sister made a pass at BF or something like that. HOWEVER, the BF needs to communicate to the OP about this issue, if one exists. I think the OP said SHE would gladly pick up his brother, even though his brother is a jerk. I don't know that I would give a lift to someone who is a jerk to me, even if he's my BF's brother. However, I would make it clear to my BF that his brother's behavior was the reason why I wasn't willing to go even the tiniest bit out of my way to help him; I wouldn't just say, "No," and refuse to say more.
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