Author Topic: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?  (Read 4497 times)

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StarFaerie

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s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« on: July 29, 2010, 01:32:30 AM »
I was coming on to ask this but I saw the other thread so this is sort of a spin off

BF and I will have been dating for 6 months next week. I love him very much and he says he loves me (and I don't doubt it). I am mostly very happy with him (with a few exceptions). One of these exceptions is gifts and special occasions.

We had only been going out for 2 days before my birthday (he was a friend before that) and he forgot it entirely. He has made it clear that he places no significance on these occasions. He has not given me any gifts except a bottle of Champagne and cupcakes that we shared when I got a huge raise. I have given him several "just because" gifts, some that cost quite a bit.

Now we are coming up to 6 months and I would kind of like him to show in some way that I mean something to him. Last night I reminded him that next week is our 6 month anniversary and jokingly asked what he was getting me. He stated "nothing" as he does not do that stuff. I kept pushing it as a joke and he jokingly asked whether I was becoming a "high maintenance girlfriend". I don't think it is High maintenance to want the occasional gift but don't expect or want a gift next week.

So actual etiquette questions:
Is the 6 month anniversary a gift giving occasion?
Is it SS to want gifts in a relationship?

shhh its me

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 01:45:15 AM »
  In my opinion 6 months of dating or marriage is not a gift giving occasion.  I'm a gift giver and it would not occur to me it's been six months must celebrate.


It's also not SS to want some tangible expression of affection. If I were you I would not be giving him expensive gifts ,I would start to resent the lack of reciprocation.  On this the two of you differ greatly it doesn't make him a jerk or you high maintenance it make you different. How ,much if any are each of you willing to compromise?


Samantha

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 01:51:04 AM »
I don't think that six months is a milestone when it comes to a relationship... though I will acknowledge things like that, by mentioning to Wally something about how nine months ago today, we met for the first time. I'm dorky enough that on our one year, I'll probably go to Starbucks and get a caramel frappucino (for me) and a strawberry banana smoothie (for him), as that is where we met for our first date/meet, and what we each ordered.

I don't think it is SS to want gifts... I know I'm curious about what Wally will do for my birthday next month (we'll have been together for 10 months by then).

Wally only recently started telling me that he loves me, but I've known it for awhile. He shows me that I am important to him in other ways, by cooking me dinner, rubbing my back/shoulders when I'm stressed, buying me flowers or plants, and reminding me that I'm one of the smartest people he has ever met (usually when I'm freaking out about school and saying that I can't do this anymore).

I like to buy gifts for those I love, and I've been restraining myself from doing that with him... He appreciates them, but he isn't really one for shopping (unless it is cycling gear or gun stuff), and I know it won't be reciprocated. Inexpensive gifts can have as much as (or more) meaning than something expensive.

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MaggieB

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 02:00:18 AM »
He told you up front that he doesn't get into these occasions.  I think it's unfair to pursue the relationship anyway and then get upset when he does exactly what he told you he was going to do.  If you want a boyfriend who remembers special occasions and presents thoughtful gifts, you have the wrong guy.  He told you that six months ago.

No, it doesn't make you a special snowflake to want gift-giving to be part of your relationship...but you can't browbeat the guy into giving you presents.  He doesn't do that.

And in all honesty, I don't think a six month "anniversary" is a gift giving occasion.  Sure, couples can and do agree to exchange gifts for their six month mark if they want to, but I would not think of it myself.  In my relationships it's been more like "Hey, our first date was six months ago today."  Kiss, kiss...and that was that.

I think you need to decide what your bottom line is and have an honest talk.  Does he see ever buying you a gift for anything?  Can you live with his answer?  Can he live with what you need to feel loved and appreciated?  You just need to lay it out there...but do acknowledge that he tried to tel,l you before.

Good luck!

StarFaerie

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 02:11:43 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I'm not actually upset about no 6 month gift or anything and I certainly don't expect it. I don't see 6 months as a gift giving occasion. I really was joking with him.

My best friend put it into my mind that I should expect something.

Your responses are just what I wanted to hear. I can live with him not being a gift giver. It's not perfect but no-one is. I've stopped giving him big stuff.

LauraKat

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 02:25:27 AM »
You have to decide whether receiving gifts from him is something that is important enough to you that it's a deal breaker. Chances are if it's something he's not doing in the early days, it's not likely to get any better (in my experience). That said I find this quote quite concerning.

I kept pushing it as a joke and he jokingly asked whether I was becoming a "high maintenance girlfriend".

I know you were both joking and I hope he just didn't realise how important it was to you, but putting you down when you're telling him about something that would make you feel loved is very uncool in my opinion. It actually feels a bit manipulative to me.

MariaE

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 02:55:49 AM »
StarFaerie, I'd highly recommend "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. In it he explains that people have different ways of expressing love and 'understanding' love. Some people show love by saying "I love you" a lot, others by doing favours, others again by physical touch and others - like you, it sounds - by giving gifts.

If you like showing him you love him by giving him gifts, by all means continue! :) As long as he reciprocates in another love language, I wouldn't worry about it :)

On the other hand, I don't think it's SS to let him know that you expect gifts at birthdays. Anniversaries are a different matter as not everybody agrees on what is a gift-giving anniversary and what isn't.
 
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blarg314

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 05:22:35 AM »

You have to be direct in a case like this.

For example, tell him directly, and without hinting, that you really enjoy exchanging gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and that this really means a lot to you - you'd like him to get you something on those occasions.  That's a reasonable request - even if he doesn't do this for himself, this is something he can do for you. You may have to give him a list, or detailed instructions on what gift you want, though.

I do think you have to have realistic expectations, though.  Birthday and Christmas are reasonable gift giving occasions for a non-gifter.  Gifts on the six month anniversary of the first date is stretching it, even for people who really like exchanging gifts. And if someone isn't a gift giver, you simply aren't going to get spontaneous expensive just-because gifts. So for your own spontaneous gift giving, you have to decide if you're happy to do it because you want to, rather than expecting the same in return.


M-theory

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 05:23:30 AM »
Your boyfriend's gift-giving behaviour or lack thereof is the least of your relationship problems.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2010, 06:07:19 AM »
I don't see the six month anniversary of a first date as a gift giving occasion. However, I don't think it's SS to expect gifts at Christmas and on birthdays.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like it's not so much physical possessions that you're after, but signs that he sees you (and the relationship) as special. Would you be ok with him expressing that in different ways? For example, he might not get you spontaneous gifts, but could you live with him organising a special romantic dinner once in while or something?

baritone108

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 04:53:43 PM »
StarFaerie, I'd highly recommend "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. In it he explains that people have different ways of expressing love and 'understanding' love. Some people show love by saying "I love you" a lot, others by doing favours, others again by physical touch and others - like you, it sounds - by giving gifts.

If you like showing him you love him by giving him gifts, by all means continue! :) As long as he reciprocates in another love language, I wouldn't worry about it :)

I highly recommend the same book for both you and BF.  The message is somewhat different from what is expressed above.  Essentially, people tend to express love in whatever language makes them feel loved.  The idea is to learn what language makes your significant other feel loved and then you learn to express love in that language.  So, your BF would learn to give you gifts for significant (and sometimes insignificant) occasions.  You would find some other way of expressing love to him, since he's made it clear that "gifts" isn't his love language.

Extra info.:  I believe the five languages are receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation (praise/compliments), and physical touch.

blarg314

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2010, 11:57:27 PM »

So, your BF would learn to give you gifts for significant (and sometimes insignificant) occasions.  You would find some other way of expressing love to him, since he's made it clear that "gifts" isn't his love language.


This is a good point. You will need to pay attention to his style as well. For someone who is actively non-gifty, getting an expensive just because gift likely doesn't say "I love you", it says "This is more pressure to live up to an unrealistic standard. Now I have to get her something or she's going to be mad and take it out on me!"

From your initial post, I'd guess that you may well come across as over the top for your expectations on gifts, so you have to recognize that your own expectations aren't necessarily realistic. Gifts on the six month anniversary of the first date, expensive gifts for no particular reason and anticipating a birthday gift after dating for two days are on the extreme end of gift giving practices. Your BF is on the other extreme end, and you'll have to meet in the middle.

And as others have said, there is a big difference between someone who isn't gifty but is willing to try because it makes their SO happy, and someone who isn't willing to budge. But there's also a huge difference between someone who loves to exchange Christmas and birthday gifts, and appreciates the thought even if the gift isn't perfect, and someone who demands constant, expensive, high quality gifting for every possible occasion.



PaddedPaws

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2010, 03:21:44 AM »
So actual etiquette questions:
Is the 6 month anniversary a gift giving occasion?
Is it SS to want gifts in a rel@tionship?

Generally, no, but I think it depends more on how you make your preference known.

Now we are coming up to 6 months and I would kind of like him to show in some way that I mean something to him. Last night I reminded him that next week is our 6 month anniversary and jokingly asked what he was getting me. He stated "nothing" as he does not do that stuff. I kept pushing it as a joke and he jokingly asked whether I was becoming a "high maintenance girlfriend". I don't think it is High maintenance to want the occasional gift but don't expect or want a gift next week.

It was hasty of your boyfriend to call you "high maintainance". However, I think you startled. Your questions may have come accross as a criticism of something he had no idea he was supposed to do. He might have felt as if he was surprised with a "test" that he hadn't seen coming.

If gifts are really important to you, I'd reccomend bringing it up beforehand in a way that makes your feelings clear to your boyfriend, but also doesn't sound like a demand. For your 1 year anniversary, don't ask him what he's going to get you. Instead, a few weeks in advance, open with something like "Shall we do presents for our anniversary?" He'll might agree  but he'll probably answer non-committally. That's a good time for you to explain that you like it when loved ones get you presents - it doesn't have to be expensive, just thoughtful. Let him know why a gift would be so meaningful to you. Explain how it makes you feel and what's so special about it. While you're describing this, let yourself imagine how you would feel, getting a special present from him. Let him see that light in your eyes. If he loves you, he'll want to help create that light more often. He'll want to do what it takes to make you feel that way.

The important thing is to remember that other people don't automatically understand the things that have significance to us. If you surprise him a few days before a big event with an expectation of a gift, it will feel like a pop-quiz in a class he didn't know he was taking. But if you simply share your feelings with him, not as a demand or expectation, but as a sharing of information about yourself, and if you give him enough advance notice, then you give him a fair chance to express his love for you. I'm sure he wants to make you happy, and you can give him the tools to feel proud of himself for being able to do so.

Just keep in mind, if he does get you a gift, try to encourage the behaviour. So if he gets you leg warmers because he interpreted your complaints about cold weather as discreet hinting... don't get mad. Thank him for his efforts. And for future events, you may have to give broader hints or even offer suggestions until he gets a feel for your taste. For example, if chocolates are a romantic gift for you, then wait until you are eating chocolate together, and talk to him about how chocolates make you want to cuddle romantically by the firelight.

Lisbeth

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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2010, 09:00:31 AM »
No, I don't think gifts are necessary at a six months' dating anniversary (although I helped my brother select one for my now-SIL at that time when they were dating).

I don't think it's SS to want gifts, but it seems clear that your BF doesn't want to be bothered.  If you stay in a relationship with him, either you are going to have to sit him down and explain to him that at least on occasions normally seen as gift-giving occasions, such as your birthday or Christmas, you need this from him, or accept that he won't do it.  I do think that the "high maintenance" comment was triggered by pushing it probably a little too hard, even though you were teasing.  Also, consider giving him gifts and setting him an example (but don't overdo it).
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Re: s/o of Gift Giving - Is it SS to want a gift?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 09:24:31 AM »
Agreeing with PP's who have said there's nothing particularly SS-ish about wanting a gift, but if there is a disconnect between the BF you 'want' and the BF you have, then that's your stuff to deal with.

My SO and I are sporadic gift givers. We give gifts when we actually find something we think the other will actually love, and figure our 'presence' is present enough on those other occaisions. This can lead to wonderful synchonicities, like the' Christmas of the Awesome Bathrobes', when he surprized me with a cashmere bathrobe, and I surprized him with an awesome terry-velour robe he saw in London months before. But usually it doesn't work out that neatly.

Sometimes one or the other will return from a trip overseas with a great present for the other, and then be empty-handed on the next birthday. That's our 'punishment' for having no self-control, I guess :D

To some folks, not having a present on a major gift-giving occaision would be a deal breaker, and only you can decide if having different gifting styles is something you can live with. (and sure, people can ultimately be 'trained' up to your expectations, if you think it's worth it).